Everything YouNeed To Know About Our Home Glasswork Service


We install glass and mirrors in Des Moines, Iowa and the surrounding areas. Our experienced installers will come to you and measure and install your custom mirror. We also cut custom mirrors and glass if you would like to install them yourself.

We are able to switch out existing trim or add a metal frame to an existing mirror. Our technicians can even do cutouts in mirrors for light switches or outlets.

Shower Door FAQ

Here are frequently asked homeowner questions:

Can you match Kohler, Moen, or Delta finishes?

We have a good variety of finishes, but it’s not always feasible to match a faucet manufacturer’s finish. Their finishes don’t always compare with each other even.

We recommend going with a neutral tone if you can’t utilize one of our industry-standard finishes, such as Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Gold, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Matte Black.

Why is my unit leaking?

It could be a couple of reasons:

Is the pitch of the shower floor and door sill correct?
It should be sloped down towards the drain or into the shower. You can tell if the floor is pitched the right way by placing a marble on the pan. It should roll towards the drain. No shower door can prevent leakage from an improperly pitched floor or door sill.

Is all the vinyl in place?
Vinyl is helpful for keeping more of the water in the shower. The vinyl options vary depending on the type of unit.

 Does the unit have rain heads or horizontal body sprayers?
Certain units aren’t able to cope with that much water. We have a document explaining splashing water.

Why is there no warranty on the glass?

We guarantee our glass to arrive free from defects (scratches/chips) and be in the correct size. Once it’s installed, however, it’s still just glass. It’s an easily damageable material, and we can’t be responsible for how it is cared for.

Like all glass, it could be scratched, chipped, or broken quite easily by accident — we see it quite frequently, and we can’t offer any kind of guarantee other than the product arrives in good condition.

I bought the ShowerGuard Surface Protection, but my shower is still getting soap scum accumulation?

Cardinal 10 is an “easy clean” product, but it is not a “you don’t ever have to clean your shower door ever again” product. You would be able to clean your door less frequently. And if you cleaned it as frequently, it would be easier to clean than a door without coating.

Soap scum or hard water can still accumulate on treated glass and must be cleaned off. This coating just makes removing it much easier.

What are the tolerances for scratches or pits in glass?

The industry standard is scratches or pits visible from 10 feet away are unacceptable. Our standard is arm's length. We have a link to a document explaining that in detail. We’re passionate about our glass.

Other companies make the glass you look through. We make glass you look at.

I only need to replace the door in my unit that isn’t a cardinal unit. Do I have to replace my entire shower enclosure?

Most likely yes. Shower door manufacturers all have proprietary parts that don’t fit well together. This is intentional since mixing units creates all sorts of warranty and liability issues.

For instance, who do you call when it starts leaking, or it doesn’t fit properly, or the finish doesn’t match? All of those are likely scenarios when mixing parts.

So who do you call to resolve the issue — the manufacturer of the original unit? Or the manufacturer of the new door? It’s a much better idea to rip out an old unit and start fresh.

What kind of support or studs does a shower door need if I’m going to do a remodel?

Sliders and framed and semi-frameless swing doors only need as much backing as you need to put up for the tile. They can be installed on fiberglass or tile, regardless of what is behind the tile, since the wall jambs end up holding up the weight of the unit.

Frameless doors are another matter. If you are going to hang a wall-mounted frameless door, there must be a stud behind the drywall to attach the hinges. Without a stud, a frame's swing door will eventually tear right out of the wall due to its own weight.

It’s never a good idea to install heavy glass on a fiberglass stall unless you are using our TruFit systems.

What kinds of wall/floor conditions are ideal if I’m going to do a remodel?

Plumb walls and a level curb that is pitched into the shower are ideal, but that almost never happens. If a wall leans in or out a quarter inch, that’s something we handle every day.

Over the years, we’ve come up with some creative solutions for unique shower configurations.

I thought I was ordering a frameless unit, but this has a header and/or u-channel on it?

Yes, sometimes there is. What type of unit you have is defined by the door only. A framed unit has metal all around the door. There is no exposed edge of the glass.

A semi-frameless unit has metal glazed onto one or two sides (hinge side definitely, bottom usually) of the door and exposed glass on two to three sides. A frameless unit has hinges attached to the door.

Whether the panels are in the channel or there is a header above, it does not change its classification. If you want to see as little metal as possible, make sure to specify that when you are designing and ordering your unit.

For 3/8″ and 1/2″ heavy glass frameless units, the metal that we do dictate is there for structural reasons or to meet building codes. Ordering a unit without appropriate support would void the warranty and give you a potentially unstable enclosure.

I thought the low-iron glass was perfectly clear when viewed from the edge based on the small sample in my dealer’s showroom, but this large piece in my bathroom has dark blue edges?

A piece of regular glass has a greenish tint because of the light refracting off of the iron in it. The larger the piece, the darker the edges get because there is more iron for the light to refract off of. Low iron glass is not “no iron glass.”

There are minerals in the glass that the light is refracting off of that give it a bluish tint — the larger the piece, the darker blue it gets. The small sample piece doesn’t have enough minerals in it to have different colored edges — but they are still there.

It is perfectly normal for a large piece of low-iron glass to not have perfectly clear edges.

I see my local big box hardware store has a slider on the shelf for way less than Cardinal sells a slider for — what gives?

They do indeed. However, without slamming the competition, that is not a comparable unit. It has not been sized to optimally fit in your opening — it’s more of a one-size-fits-all type of deal.

Our units are designed with tighter tolerances, giving you thinner metal around your unit. Aesthetically and mechanically, you aren’t comparing apples to apples.

Additionally, if you need parts for our unit, they are going to be shipped from Louisville, Kentucky or one of our six other locations in the United States. If you need parts for the off-the-shelf unit at a big box store, they’re going to be coming from overseas.

Now, we might be biased here, but your local glass company won’t be. Ask them what they think of an off-the-shelf unit vs. a Cardinal Shower unit, and which one they’d rather order, install, and service.