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The architectural use of sandblasted glass can enhance the overall look of homes, offices and stores. Sandblasting is a type of glass etching that uses sand propelled by steam or air. Synthetic particles or small pieces of coconut shell are sometimes used instead of sand in sandblasting applications. Dividers, doors and shower surrounds are some of the most popular architectural uses of sandblasted glass.
Sandblasting effects on shower doors can create wonderfully frosted looks to compliment the appearance of any bathroom. Typical sandblasted shower surround designs include waves or horizontal lines, but some designs are more ornate such as pictorial sea life scenes. Sandblasted glass panels on front doors are popular and can really add elegance to the front door of a home. Commercial storefronts and doors may feature sandblasted company logos and business names.
Although glass etching is extremely decorative, sandblasting is not done for looks alone. It can be an attractive and practical solution to reduce the appearance of fingerprints on glass. The frosted appearance and/or different textures sandblasting gives glass can make fingerprints and smudges more difficult to see than if the glass was left as is. Sandblasting glass can also help it repel dirt build-up such as on shopping mall doors and shower enclosures.
Some sandblasted glass room divider panels are more like art pieces than just architectural necessities. For example, some upscale hotels or museum lobbies feature large panels of glass with detailed sandblasted etchings that may include figures or animals. Smaller artistic sandblasted glass panels may be used as architectural accents in homes such as in front halls and kitchen sink backsplashes.
Even small amounts of sandblasted glass can add interest to any residential or commercial outdoor or indoor space. Designs for architectural sandblasting are created on computer software programs. Stencils and sandblasting machines are used to transfer the design onto the glass. To create small pieces of etched glass, it's possible to cover a piece of glass with contact paper and then cut out a design from the paper using a utility knife. Sandblasting equipment can then be used to create a sandblasted effect on the areas not covered by the paper and the contrast between the sandblasted and plain glass is revealed after the remaining paper is peeled off the glass.