Can You Drill A Hole Into A Glass Shower Door?

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Glass shower doors are quite durable and strong, and they can withstand the fluctuations in temperature that occur from taking hot showers without breaking or cracking. But can you drill a hole into a glass shower door in order to install something like a towel bar?

You cannot, under any circumstances, drill a hole into a tempered glass shower door. It will shatter completely if you try to do so. If you want to find out whether your door glass is tempered, look for watermarks or check the edges to make sure that they’re smooth and even. 

Tempered glass is known for its safety and strength. Let’s take a closer look at how it’s manufactured and why you can’t drill a hole in it. We’ll look at some signs that’ll help you determine whether your glass is tempered.

Can You Drill a Hole in a Glass Shower Door?

Workers are mounting door handles of the shower enclosure

Typically, shower doors like this one (example on Amazon) are made with tempered glass, which can’t be drilled into. Doing so will likely shatter the glass into tiny pieces.

If you do need to drill a hole in glass, it should be done before the tempering process.      

What Is Tempered Glass and Why Can’t It Be Drilled?

Tempered glass, also known as safety glass, is basically annealed glass that has passed through a number of thermal treatments for added strength. This treatment ensures even distribution of pressure, which causes the glass to shatter into tiny pieces if it breaks. 

Unlike typical glass, which breaks into sharp and dangerous shards, tempered glass is manufactured in a way that causes it to crumble into granular pieces when broken.  

The tempering process is a safety measure, as small pieces are less likely to cause an injury. It’s durable and is used in many everyday products that could result in injury if shattered such as shower doors, mobile phone screen protectors, glass doors and tables, car windows, etc.   

How Can You Tell if Glass Is Tempered?

There are several indicators of whether a piece of glass is tempered or not. You can check the authenticity of your glass in the following ways:  

Look for Watermarks

Typically, watermarks are found in the corner of the glass, and they contain the manufacturer’s name and the safety approval markings. 

Carefully check all the corners because they can become faded over time. It’s also possible that the information is found between the glass layers, which can make it hard to see. 

Check the Edges

Check the edges of the glass for any chips or roughness. If the glass has even, smooth edges, then it’s tempered. On the other hand, if the edges look uneven and feel coarse to touch, then the glass isn’t tempered. 

Check the Glass While Wearing Polarized Sunglasses

Take your glass outside and check it in the sunlight while wearing your polarized sunglasses. You’ll see a pattern of lines resembling a grid on the surface of the glass if it’s tempered. This pattern indicates the glass stress variations formed during the cooling process. 

Another way to check this is by taking a picture of the glass through a polarizing filter.

Look for Imperfections

The heating process may cause the tempered glass to warp, bend, or develop dimples. Examine the glass carefully to look for these imperfections.

Also, if you find impressions left by tongs, then it means that your glass is tempered since tongs are used to remove it from heat. 

How Can I Hang Things on a Tempered Glass Door?

Workers are installing glass door of the shower enclosure

If you were hoping to install a towel rack or a soap dish by drilling into your shower door, don’t worry. We’ve got other options for you.

There are many products out there that don’t require drilling. For example, you can look for an over-the-door shower caddy like this one from Niefi (on Amazon).

Or, if you’re looking for a towel bar, try this suction cup bar from YOHOM (on Amazon). It’s made of premium steel and is perfect for hanging wet towels or other items in your glass glass shower.

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