Volume 42, Issue 3 - March 2007
The Farnady Files: It All Seems Pretty
It has been two years since the last time I beat this horse, but I just can’t resist. I’m taking another shot at clear glass. The continuing explosion of the frameless and heavy glass shower door and shower enclosure business is documented regularly, not only in this magazine but with advertising in nearly every publication I have seen that has anything to do with housing or construction, not to mention glass.
The popularity of clear, frameless shower enclosures was also brought to my attention by way of a recent conversation with an old acquaintance, who is going to install a ½-inch shower unit in my daughter’s house. This guy, who is in a small, but high-end market, tells me that his shop did 600 units last year. And his glass shop does not specialize in this product. I do not want to make any bets, but I will guarantee all of those units were clear glass.
You Have Choices
The lack of awareness and imagination among design professionals has left us in a world where the only color is in the surroundings. The glass is a nonparticipating component of the design, merely there to keep the water off the floor and show off the other materials.
Not Throwing in the Towel
There are several options for 3⁄8- and ½ -inch glass. The products start with the ultra clear with blue or nearly white edge low-iron glass and the slight green tint of clear heavy float with its green edge. We are led to believe that that is all there is. Not quite.
The real fun starts with the deeper green of Pilkington’s 3⁄8-inch blue-green, the aqua blue cast of PPG’s Azuria or the darker sky-blue tones of Arctic Blue.
No one even thinks of heavy bronze and gray float anymore because they don’t know how to use it. The doorlites on the mahogany entrance door to my house are beveled 3⁄8-inch bronze and look rich as they complement the wood tones of the door. Heavy bronze and the accent blackness of heavy gray glass in 3⁄8- and ½-inch offer a myriad of options to a designer with imagination. Too bad for us that we can’t sell them and the designers don’t know how to use them. You know the old saying, “use it or lose it?” Well, it applies to glass products, too.
the author: Dez Farnady serves as general manager of Royalite Manufacturing Inc., a skylight manufacturer in San Carlos, Calif. His column appears monthly. Mr. Farnady’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of USGlass magazine.