What is Your Mirror Style

What is Your Mirror Style

What is Your Mirror Style?

When someone asks you what your design style is, how do you typically respond?  Modern?  Traditional?  We’ve picked out a few mirror styles that might fit these trends to help you fill your space.

 

Modern

For the modern designer, installing mirrors with standoffs create the perfect finished look for any contemporary space.  The mirror can be customized by choosing the edge work (we recommend a nice, flat polish), and the stand offs come in multiple finishes to match your hardware.  The most common finish in 2019?  Brushed brass!

The standoffs allow the mirror to do just that – stand off – from the wall that it’s installed on, so it creates a nice floating effect.  Go the extra mile with your modern mirror by installing lighting behind the mirror to make it back-lit.

Minimalist

The minimalist designer will always agree with the phrase “less is more.”  Installing a mirror directly on to the wall or tile with a professional grade mirror grip allows for clean lines with no distractions besides that spiffy reflection in the mirror.  Custom cut sizes afford the ability to fit the mirror in any space no matter the dimensions.

If the mirror needs a bit more support due to size, installing a chrome L-mold underneath the mirror subtly supports the base and can barely be seen.

 

Traditional

Traditional decorators can go multiple ways.  Our favorite traditional mirror element?  Bevels.  Beveled mirrors have been featured in custom homes for decades, and they don’t seem to be going out of style any time soon.

What’s a bevel, you ask?  A beveled edge is a sloped edge along the perimeter of the mirror to create a subtle framing effect.  This process is performed by a machine during fabrication.

The beveled mirror can be hung as a free standing mirror or in an existing frame for an added custom element.

No matter your style, mirrors help brighten any room by reflecting natural and interior light.  The best part about decorating with mirrors?  They create the illusion of a larger space making even the smallest spaces feel roomy and open!

If you’d like to add a custom mirror to your space, give us a call for a complimentary estimate.

#mirrorwall #gymmirror #vanitymirror

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What is Low E

What is Low E?

There are many reasons you might choose to update the windows in your home.  Maybe you want to go from single to double pane windows, maybe you want to take out that bar pattern on your windows, or maybe you want to go from clear to Low-E.  But what exactly is “Low-E”?

Low-E stands for “Low Emittance” which refers to a surface condition that emits low levels of radiant thermal (heat) energy. Low-E windows help keep UV and infrared light out of your home without compromising the light coming in. The Low-E coating is thin, transparent, and reflective.
What does this mean for you? It means you’re keeping that Texas summer heat outside where it belongs!
If you already have clear, double-pane windows, swapping the insulated glass units out for Low-E IGUs is something we do every day! The Low-E coating is applied to the inner portion of the pane during the manufacturing process, so it’s something we order from a local distributor after taking measurements. It is a soft-coat Low-E, so it is immediately sealed between the two panes so that it can’t be defaced by human touch. Once the panes are sealed together with a spacer bar in between, you have a Low-E IGU.

Double-pane, Low-E IGUs are decreasing your electric bill by having two panes of insulation and also by reflecting the extreme temperatures out of your home.

If you’re interested in upgrading the IGUs in your home, give us a call today!

 
 

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UpCycling Mirrors

UpCycling Mirrors

We’re from Austin, Texas. What do people in Austin, Texas like to do? Recycle! We decided to see how we can better contribute to the recycling community by taking old frames that people are throwing away or donating and making them usable pieces again.
Watch the video to see how Alyssa and Chris turn an outdated Goodwill art piece into a brand new mirror!

 

If you’re looking for a similar project, start by finding the frame.  Check out Goodwill, Savers, or Habitat for Humanity Store for some great deals.

 Next, contact your local glass shop to see if they can cut you a mirror needed for the size of the frame.  They usually can out of what we in the industry call “drop” pieces.  They’re the smaller pieces we have leftover after cutting large mirrors.  If the drop pieces have any blemishes, they might even give them to you for free!

 Attach the mirror to the frame with the existing hardware or using glue/silicone, and you’ve got yourself the prettiest piece of art in your house (your reflection, of course)!

#mirror #upcycling #recycle #diy

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Showers Are Back

Showers Are Back

Showers are one of our favorite products to install. They allow us to be creative, and the end result is always a beautiful product. We’re excited to have brought them back!

 
shower glass doors

Inline with Clamps

Over the last few months, we’ve taken numerous steps to ensure your shower experience at Ames is a pleasant one.  We’ve developed a promising relationship with our vendor to be sure that we’re providing a quality product.  We’ve sent team members to multiple trainings so that they’re up-to-date with the current shower trends and installation methods.  We’ve also developed a beneficial relationship with a glass company based out of Phoenix & Colorado to consistently learn and grow with each other.

As with our business as a whole, our shower process – from estimating to installation – is one that we’ve worked really hard on and are consistently trying to improve.

 

If you’re interested in updating your bathroom and receiving a quote for your new shower enclosure, shoot over an email to taylor@ames.glass for your free estimate!  We look forward to working with you!

 

#framelessglassshower #showerdoors #bathroomremodel

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Shower Types Blog

Shower Types Blog

Shower Types – Framed vs. Semi-Frameless vs. Frameless

Shower enclosures can be confusing to many of our customers – even builders! Frameless, semi-frameless, framed… what’s the difference? We thought we’d break it down for you.

A framed shower is just as you would expect – framed in a metal border around all fixed panels and the door.  The metal is usually chrome, and the thickness of the glass is usually 3/16” thick.  While frameless showers are a great option if they suit your space, we do not install them.

 
shower glass doors

A semi-frameless shower looks very similar to a framed shower, but the door is not framed.  There is metal surrounding all fixed panels on all sides, but the door only has metal along the hinged side (and sometimes the bottom).  The thickness of semi-frameless glass is usually 3/16” or ¼” thick.  We do not install these either!

Frameless showers are where things get really tricky, but we do install these.  A frameless shower can be installed several different ways: with u-channel, with clamps, with a header, with a transom… just to name a few.  We’ve heard many times before that u-channel and/or headers make the shower framed, but that is not true.  For a shower to be frameless, the glass should be “heavy” glass.  That means it’s 3/8” or ½” thick. 

When it is installed with channel, the channel only surrounds the sides of the glass attached to the wall and base, and the door has no channel.  We, personally, really like the look of channel.  It often disappears into the tile it’s secured to, so there’s less in your sightline.  Also, it’s less expensive because it requires less fabrication of the glass.   

 

However, clamps are a fabulous option as well.  Clamps are usually what customers think of when they envision frameless showers.  They’re clean and classic.  When you have a 90-degree shower, we like to use top corner sleeve-over clamps rather than the double corner clamps that lie about 6-8” down from the top and bottom of the corner pieces because, again, it’s less obstructing your line of vision and less fabrication has to be done to the glass – saving you money! 

 
Glass Shower - See Through Glass
Custom Shower Doors And Enclosure

And how about that header?  Sometimes, no matter how much you don’t want it, a header is necessary to support the weight of glass.  If you’re in the middle of a bathroom remodel and don’t like the look of a header, make sure your shower setup allows for it! 

 

When you’re designing your next shower, make sure you know what you’re signing up for and ask for options.  Also, if your glass designer recommends a specific setup for safety reasons, listen to them.  They usually know what they’re talking about! 

Skip the headache on your next home improvement project, and budget to hire the right professional to do the job.

New Year , New Home Gym Wall

New Year , New Home Gym Wall

Was getting fit your New Year’s resolution?  Of course it was!  If you’re planning on working towards this goal in the comfort of your own home, a mirror wall in your new home gym is icing on the cake.  (Is it wrong of us to talk about cake and working out in the same sentence?) Why not watch yourself sweat to death because you haven’t worked this hard since 2012?!

If you’re thinking about adding a mirror wall or walls to your home gym, here are a few things to keep in mind:

 

Size

What size are you wanting your mirrors? Do you prefer floor to ceiling, or would you be okay with a standard stock size? How many panels would you like them to be broken in to? Some customers even prefer the mirror to be centered in the middle of the wall going all the way around the room.

Space

Do you have space in the room to properly install an over-sized mirror, or will it have to be broken down into panels just to fit it through the doorway?  Is all of your gym equipment out of the room to allow room for installation?  Will the technicians need to transport the mirrors up any stairwells or through any tight spaces?

 

Details

Are there any plugs that need to be accessible after the mirror is installed?  We can drill out holes for these!  Do you want it to sit on L-mold (low profile) or in J-channel?  These provide support at the base of the mirror.  Do you want a safety backing applied to the back of the mirror?

Not sure what you’d like?  Here are some of our favorite jobs we’ve done to give you some inspiration!

Yoga Room

If you’re interested in adding a mirror to your home gym, give us a call or shoot us over an email to schedule your complimentary estimate in person.

#mirrorwall #gymmirror #homegym

 

Skip the headache on your next home improvement project, and budget to hire the right professional to do the job.

Keeping Your New Mirrors Clean

Keeping Your New Mirrors Clean

How to Keep Your Mirrors Clean

We’ve heard the age-old methods on how to clean a mirror or glass, but which ones actually work? We’re here to break it down for you using some things you might already have under the kitchen sink or sitting in the garage.
Household Standard

You guessed it – Windex (or a generic equivalent). The main ingredient in the classic Windex window cleaner is ammonia. Ammonia is great for cleaning tough surfaces without causing a build-up. However, ammonia can sometimes be too strong of a chemical for more porous surfaces such as window tint. If you’re really trying to avoid streaking, try using sheets of newspaper instead of paper towels with your Windex.

Industry Standard

Our go-to product at the shop is called Spray Away. We prefer Spray Away over Windex because it foams, so there’s no concerns about dripping. It’s also ammonia free, so we never have to worry about it being too abrasive for the surface. This can be picked up from your local Sam’s.

 

Trick of the Trade

Have some tough to remove residue on your mirror?  Our go-to trick of the trade is 99% isopropyl alcohol.  This leaves a streak-free shine like no other for even the dirtiest of mirrors.  You have to work fast, though, because it dries quickly!  Try using the alcohol with steel wool for the best residue remover.  Make sure it’s extra fine steel wool, though, to avoid the risk of scratches.

Have a different trick that works for you?  We’d love to hear it!

#mirrorwall #cleaningwindows #howtocleanmirrors

Skip the headache on your next home improvement project, and budget to hire the right professional to do the job.

High End Glass Shower

High End Glass Shower

High End Glass Shower Doors

Is your shower curtain out of style?
Any bathroom can be dressed up with a pop of color from a new shower curtain if that’s all your budget can afford, but is it really as elegant or classy as a custom glass shower door?
In smaller bathrooms with a bathtub, a glass bath enclosure can really help open up the room and make it seem bigger.

If you have a large master bathroom, a custom glass shower and shower door is the ultimate show stopper to give your space a true WOW factor.
The options are pretty limitless with a lot of technologies out there these days.

We can use smart glass (which I go into detail about in a previous blog post) to give you the open classic look yet with the flip of a switch, give you complete privacy. Smart glass can go from transparent to opaque or dark grey within the flip of a switch or even be synced with your voice through Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri.

https://www.ames.glass/single-post/2017/12/26/What-is-Smart-Glass
You have the options of enclosing your shower completely in glass, creating a steam shower to keep in the moisture but create a stunning look with clean lines. This is a very popular option in a lot of high end homes we’ve worked in over the past few years.

One of my favorite new technology options is Mprint decorative glass which works as beautiful shower glass to give you a design centric look and feel.
.

Dip Tech has a patent for a special ceramic ink that is printed into the glass during the tempering process. It keeps the integrity of the glass up to par compared to sandblasting.
Here’s a link to their website if your if you want to learn more.

I’ll be writing and discussing a lot about this product on our podcast and videos in the very near future because my Nostradamus like senses predict that this will be a big product in the Design-Build world in the years to come.
One of our vendors (Waterfall Bath Enclosures out of Carrollton, TX) has a heavy glass frameless slider that they call the “Waterslide” that is stunning.

The most common hardware colors are oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, and stainless; but you can have them powder coated to about any color imaginable if you have a custom design or color scheme.

 

The manufactures have a standard height of 74″ and 80″ but you can customize the height to any size that you need for your shower design.

For those of you that are on Houzz you’ve seen the farmhouse style shower enclosures that are popular by designer’s right now.

Personally, I really like the style but I’m curious to how long it will be in around. Either way I’m digging it in 2018 and I live in the now.

Just know there are so many more options than just the shower curtain from Walmart. You can make your neighbors and friends envious by installing a beautiful heavy glass shower no matter what design option you choose.

If you live in or around the Austin, Texas area Ames Mirror and Glass can install it for you. If you think that you can measure and install it yourself we will supply the glass for you. Again, more options.

If you have any questions or just want to talk design ideas follow us on Houzz or shoot me an email.
My email is chance@ames.glass
Don’t be shy. I look forward to connecting and hopefully working with you.

I will be posting a new blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday either about our products and services or the ups and downs of scaling Ames to being the best glass company in Austin.

#showerdoors #showerdoorcompany #glassandmirror #residentialglass #bestglasscompanyaustin #glassinstallation #bathenclosures #framelessglassshower

 

Skip the headache on your next home improvement project, and budget to hire the right professional to do the job.

New YEar , New HomeGym Wall

New YEar , New HomeGym Wall

If Your Time is as Valuable as Your Money

Was getting fit your New Year’s resolution? Of course it was! If you’re planning on working towards this goal in the comfort of your own home, a mirror wall in your new home gym is icing on the cake. (Is it wrong of us to talk about cake and working out in the same sentence?) Why not watch yourself sweat to death because you haven’t worked this hard since 2012?!
If you’re thinking about adding a mirror wall or walls to your home gym, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Custom Gym Mirror

Size

What size are you wanting your mirrors? Do you prefer floor to ceiling, or would you be okay with a standard stock size? How many panels would you like them to be broken in to? Some customers even prefer the mirror to be centered in the middle of the wall going all the way around the room.

 

Space

Do you have space in the room to properly install an over-sized mirror, or will it have to be broken down into panels just to fit it through the doorway? Is all of your gym equipment out of the room to allow room for installation? Will the technicians need to transport the mirrors up any stairwells or through any tight spaces?

 
Glass Installation Company

Details

Are there any plugs that need to be accessible after the mirror is installed? We can drill out holes for these! Do you want it to sit on L-mold (low profile) or in J-channel? These provide support at the base of the mirror. Do you want a safety backing applied to the back of the mirror?
Not sure what you’d like? Here are some of our favorite jobs we’ve done to give you some inspiration!

3 Places You Do Not Want to Buy Glass Shower Doors

3 Places You Do Not Want to Buy Glass Shower Doors

If Your Time is as Valuable as Your Money

Budgeting for a home improvement project or a remodel can be tricky.  Staying within that budget can be an even bigger challenge.  We’ve all been there – you plan on spending a certain amount on a project, you plan every foreseeable expense out, and you price shop.  Then you knock down a wall… whoops!  What’s behind those walls can be full of surprises and unforeseen expenses, so now you’re having to cut costs.  We hear regularly from customers that they’re over budget by the time they get to the glass shower doors stage (usually the very last stage), so they’re trying some other methods before heading our way.  Here’s our advice:  

Frameless Glass Shower Installation

1. A Hardware Store

Buying a pre-fabbed shower glass enclosure from a big box store might be the most affordable route, but it most likely won’t provide you with the final outcome you’re looking for.  Most of the options aren’t truly frameless.  And while their few frameless shower door options have come a long way, they’re still lacking.  Typically, the glass isn’t considered “heavy glass” like what you’d receive from a local glass company which is 3/8” thickness or greater.  Their finishing selections are much more limited as well because they aren’t custom selected for the job.  When pre-fabbing, they mass produce the most cost effective options and don’t product much else.  This also means their sizing choices are limited as well.  If you’ve moved your shower head up, you want to make sure your glass height increases with it.  This often isn’t an option with a “from the shelf” shower door.

 

2. The Internet

Ordering your glass from the internet instead of the shower door company down the road that specializes in glazing bring on many of the same challenges as buying one from a hardware store. You might have a few more finishing selection options, but now you’re stuck paying for shipping on top of everything. Let us tell you – shipping glass is not cheap! Not to mention, who is going to install this door once it arrives (hopefully in one piece)?

 
Glass Installation Crew

3. A Handyman

1. Listen, we know some incredibly talented handymen (and women).  They’re detail oriented, fair, and reliable.  But glass is a whole different beast in the subcontractor world.  Why?  Because if you mess something up, you can’t run to the store to pick up a new one.  It’s also dangerous to install.  One wrong move and the entire thing shatters.  You pay a premium to have a glazier measure and install your shower glass because they’re specifically trained to do so.  When measuring, a glazier knows how to account for out-of-squares and proper deductions for glass to properly fit and function.  They know that your walls are most likely not square, but if they do their job right, no one will ever be able to tell.  They also know the art of the glass installation and how to handle such a heavy, fragile object.  A handyman knows a lot of things, but it takes a specialized training when it comes to glass. 

Skip the headache on your next home improvement project, and budget to hire the right professional to do the job.