How to Work Knee Walls into Your Shower

Frameless glass showers are a very stylish look in any bathroom. However, they have one aspect that some people may not like: you can see through them. If you want to preserve a sense of modesty and frosted or decorative glass just won’t do it, you do still have options. One way to compromise and have the look of a frameless glass shower while still having opaque surfaces is to incorporate knee walls into the enclosure.

A glass shower enclosure with knee walls has all of the style of a full-length glass shower, while giving a little bit more security to those who prefer solid surfaces. If you’re not sure how you can make that work in your bathroom, here’s how to add knee walls to your own shower.

Incorporate the Vanity into the Shower

If you have a vanity built into your wall, you can incorporate that into the side of your shower. If you have enough space between the vanity edge and the sink edge, consider waterproofing and tiling one edge of the vanity to make it a part of your shower. You can also extend the side of your vanity out perpendicular to the main wall, to create a knee wall for your shower.

Knee Wall in Shower
Knee Wall in Shower

By incorporating custom glass cut to fit your situation perfectly, you don’t have to worry about builder-standard dimensions. No matter how you choose to incorporate your vanity into your shower, it will work out.

 Include a Shower Bench

You can also incorporate a bench into your shower enclosure. You can build up a wall to use as a seat back while also preserving your privacy. A bench can be used as storage, with drawers or doors outside to let you into the storage space under the bench. You can also place things on top of the bench inside the shower, use it as a place to help shave your legs, or it can help people with mobility issues stay safe.

Including a bench also makes a bathroom seem a lot more put together. It adds elegance to the room, and a spa-like ambience. Adding a bench to your shower can make it the centerpiece of your bathroom. Combine that with classy tile and the clean lines of a frameless glass shower and you have a showpiece of a bathroom.

Use the Shower Knee Wall as Storage

If you’d prefer to avoid installing a bench in your shower, you can also install storage, full stop. It’s hard to go wrong with having as much storage capacity as possible. Installing a wall of drawers, cabinets, or open shelves at the perimeter of your shower gives you a great place to store extra towels and general toiletries. It also gives the room a custom feel. It becomes clear that you were intentional in the design of your bathroom, and you put thought into how the room was put together.

Use an Existing Knee Wall

You may have a knee wall already in your bathroom. These low walls are often found in older bathrooms, dividing the bathing part of the room and the vanity area. If you have this wall already in place, you can use it as-is or build it higher to act as part of your custom glass shower’s enclosure. Either way, it works great as a division in the room.

You can also combine a knee wall with a frosted glass partial panel, for the maximum amount of privacy along one side of the shower. A combination of clear and frosted glass will maximize light in the shower while still having privacy where you want it.

Add a Counter Outside the Shower

Finally, if you frequently need a lot of space to get ready in the morning, you can use your knee wall as a way to install more counter space in your bathroom. The wall extends up to counter height, and ends in your preferred countertop material. This can be best for preserving modesty discreetly, because counters can frequently be up to four feet high.

Similar to a vanity, you could also extend this countertop into your shower. It can make an excellent shelf for any shower products you need, while also being up and out of the way so delicate products don’t get wet before they’re supposed to. Using one single surface from outside to inside the shower is a thoughtful touch. A quartz or granite countertop will look excellent with glass and metal in the shower, and it stands up great to water exposure. Consider color-coordinating your counter with your tile for that final touch!

In Summary

Glass showers are truly a timeless look, but their defining feature can also be some people’s biggest objection. Just because you prefer to have more opaque features between you and the world doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of a glass shower in your home. If you combine a knee wall with the glass shower aesthetic, you can have all the privacy you want with the elegance of glass. Talk to the experts at Heartland Glass, we’re here to help.

Source:  Excerpts taken from Glass Shower Direct article.

Frameless vs. Framed Showers

Frameless vs. Framed Showers

When renovating your bathroom, it can seem like there are just too many options. There are plenty of things to make a decision about, including what to do about hygiene. If you’ve already gotten as far as deciding that you want a shower in your bathroom, then you’re probably facing a new decision: what kind of shower should you get? The main two varieties of shower can be summarized as framed and frameless showers. If you’re currently comparing frameless vs. frames shower doors, then you should know that there’s a clear winner. Frameless showers are better for a wide variety of reasons, and here are few of them.

Showers Are Easier to Clean

Frameless shower doors are much easier to clean than their framed counterparts. The lack of a frame means that there’s many, many fewer places for germs, mold, and grime to hide. A traditional framed shower has places on every edge and in every corner where unhygienic grime can accumulate, between the frame itself and the shower door. With a frameless shower door, you have a large, smooth, flat surface, without ridges or corners for dirt to get trapped in. Instead, you can simply spray the door with your favorite glass cleaner, wipe it down, and your shower will look brand new. Talk about simple!

Glass Showers Have a Classic Look

Framed showers have so many parts involved that it’s easy for them to look dated. Because they usually come pre-designed, you’re stuck working with someone else’s aesthetic vision, and what might seem appealing today will look cheesy or tacky in a decade. You want your bathroom to look great for as long as you live in your house, and to appeal to anyone who might want to buy it in the future. An outdated shower is not going to help you with that!

Frameless showers, in contrast, use clean lines and simple designs that will never go out of style. Classic design elements like glass and simple metallics are a huge draw for any design, and work especially well in hard-floored rooms like the bathroom. You can also choose to customize your frameless glass shower, by using whatever tile and fixtures you want. A frameless glass shower can be a focal point or an accent, depending on your style preferences – it’s up to you!

Lots of Options

There are lots of options out there for your bathroom remodel, to be sure. However, just because there are lots of choices doesn’t mean each choice is made equal. Framed showers used to be the only option, and plenty of people think that’s still the case. However, getting a custom-designed frameless glass shower for your modern home is simple and will make your life much easier down the road. Frameless showers are more hygienic and easier to customize than the framed showers of yesterday. Stop by our showroom to see the many styles and options available.

Source:  Excerpts taken from Glass Shower Direct article. Frameless Shower

Remembering a great man and a great leader

Doug Nelson 8/12/44 – 5/8/19
Former CEO and co-owner of
Brin Glass Company
“None of this would run or even be here without the terrific team of people we have.” – Doug Nelson

We are sad to report the passing of someone very special to all of us who taught us not only lessons of leadership but of life, Doug Nelson. 

Douglas Marshall Nelson, was the co-owner and former CEO of Brin Glass, the parent company to Heartland Glass. A certified public accountant by trade, Doug and another fellow accountant, Larry Waller, purchased the Minneapolis-based Brin Northwestern Glass Co. in 1978. Just last June, Nelson retired as Brin’s CEO.
Doug credited his business success in large part due to his supportive wife of 51 years, Marilyn, and his team of employees and business partners. Doug continued coming to the office until the last 6 months of his life when his cancer became debilitating. Although Doug loved working, he never put work first. He had a gift for keeping balance in his life, and that is one of the strongest parts of the legacy he leaves with us. We will miss you Doug. Thank you for everything.

Andersen Named 2019 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence

Andersen Corporation, including its subsidiaries, has been named a 2019 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner. The Sustained Excellence Award is the highest honor given by ENERGY STAR for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Andersen will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 2019.

“As one of the largest window and door manufacturers in North America, it is our responsibility to produce durable products that help reduce energy consumption and emissions, lower utility costs, and improve personal health and well-being,” said Jay Lund, chairman and CEO of Andersen Corporation. “We are proud to have been named a 2019 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner and continue our partnership with the ENERGY STAR program, a trusted symbol of energy efficiency.”

Andersen has been an ENERGY STAR® partner since the Windows program began in 1998 and was the first window manufacturer awarded the ENERGY STAR National Window Partner of the Year in 1999. This is Andersen’s fifth Sustained Excellence Award and the tenth time the company has been recognized by the ENERGY STAR program.

“Our customers trust Andersen for beautiful, enduring, high-performing windows and doors that also offer the highest standards of energy efficiency,” said Annie Zipfel, Andersen Corporation’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We are proud to align with the EPA and the ENERGY STAR program to help customers choose energy efficient products and continue to build awareness for the importance of energy efficiency.”

The highest honor among ENERGY STAR Awards is the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award. EPA presents the Sustained Excellence Award to partners that have already received ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year recognition for a minimum of two consecutive years and have gone above and beyond the criteria needed to qualify for recognition. Winners hail from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 organizations – representing energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

“I applaud the 2019 ENERGY STAR Award Winners,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum. “Their innovation and leadership enhance America’s economic competitiveness. Reducing costly energy waste improves air quality and public health while protecting the environment.”

Additionally, Andersen is committed to reducing energy use across its operations. The company has an enterprise goal to reduce its energy use by 20 percent by 2020, using 2013 as a baseline.

ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions.

Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500®—rely on their partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped save American families and businesses nearly 4 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity and associated reductions of over 3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. In 2017 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save $30 billion in energy costs.

Limited Time Savings on Fullview Retractable Screen Storm Doors

Ask us about the limited time special offer!  Saving are available on both the 8 Series and 6 Series Andersen® Screen Storm Doors.   This offer is for a limited time on orders placed between April 16th and May 14th, 2019. Call us today for details!  320-259-1679.


Save now on a NEW LuminAire® Single Retractable Screen Door

Retractable Screen Door Spring Promotion

March 28-May 9, 2019

Fresh air at your fingertips!  Add ventilation without changing the look of an entryway,  The Andersen® LuminAire® Retractable Screen Door disappears when not in use and easily engages to allow fresh air in.

Save 7% on orders placed March 28th through May 9th, 2019.  A promo code is needed when placing the order.  Call Heartland Glass (320) 259-1679 now for details!

Insect Screen Change for 100 Series Casement/Awning Windows

Andersen is pleased to announce an improved insect screen design for 100 Series casement and awning
products. Inspired by the 400 Series insect screen design, we will be incorporating a roll-formed
aluminum screen frame that provides for tighter screen cloth appearance.

Replacement components
The new casement insect screen leverages the same screen cloth and is similar in appearance to the
current insect screen. New casement and awning insect screens can be identified by close examination
of the wing blade (see images below). In most instances, the new insect screen will be a viable substitute
for the current insect screen (“backward compatible”). The current insect screen design will remain
available as needed through a special product request (SPR).

Insect Screen Design
Insect Screen Design

Andersen® LuminAire® Retractable Screen Door

Andersen is pleased to announce the launch of the Andersen® LuminAire® Retractable Screen Door featuring the SlideAway® insect screen system that disappears when not in use. The sleek profile of the LuminAire retractable screen door integrates seamlessly with entryway providing customers convenient ventilation without changing the look of their entryway. This retractable screen door is available in three popular colors, includes options for both single and double hinged doors and installs in three easy steps.


Easily Hidden

SlideAway® insect screen system designed to disappear

when not in use

• Easy to Use

Quiet, controlled operation for smooth, reliable


• Easy to Install

Installs in 3 easy steps and requires only basic tools and

no cutting

• Easy Light and Ventilation

Brings in natural light and ventilation on demand

For additional information please contact Heartland Glass at 320-259-1679.

Firstlight Health System in Mora, Minnesota

Firstlight Health System in Mora, Minnesota


It takes time and passion to be really great.
Twenty years ago, I never would have guessed that I would still be working for the same company that welcomed me straight out of high school! I also would not have guessed at this time I would be the parent of a high school freshman! Time flies by in the blink of an eye.
Our son, Chase, is almost 15 and right now, football is his LIFE! Every day revolves around the game he loves. He trains all year in the weight room to be the toughest guy he can be. All his hard work came to a screeching halt this summer when he broke his leg on the second day at UMD Football Camp in Duluth. He had broken his Tibia and Fibula (the two bones between the ankle and knee). It was a long boring summer for Chase. We all learned to have a little patience and grace this summer.
Chase’s next biggest passion is anything that he can drive! He ended up buying a four- wheeler and worked on restoring it most of the summer. By the end of the summer, he was fully healed and cleared to play at the end of this last football season. He has already decided he is going back to football camp!
During his recovery, Chase has been working with the Physical Therapy department at the Firstlight Health System in our home town of Mora, MN, which just so happens to be our Heartland Glass feature project this quarter. I have been managing the Firstlight Health System project for about the last year or so. I was also responsible for estimating this job so I have literally seen it from start to finish. It has brought challenges in bidding and managing, but overall, this project has been very rewarding. We have developed a great working relationship with Kraus Anderson Construction who are the construction managers on the project.
There are so many advantages of running a project close to home. The top being one of the first patients to use their state-of-the-art Physical Therapy department. This facility was much needed in our area. I am very happy to send Chase to Firstlight Health for Physical Therapy. He enjoys going and using the equipment there. I love walking through the building and seeing friendly faces that I know from around town whether I’m working with my pink hard hat or there as a patient. Yes, I said pink! It was graciously given to me for Women in Construction week by my fellow peers; Garrity Gerber, Ken Schueller, David Pennertz, Luke Nelson and former employee Matt Dieser. I couldn’t do this job without my team!
I have really enjoyed working on this project and I hope to keep adding to my health care portfolio in the future. Health care projects usually incorporate leading design aspects and I am continually learning something new on these projects.