Showers for Tiny Homes: How to Choose

One of the more non-traditional home styles that many people are interested in is the tiny home phenomenon. These homes are frequently built on trailers, so they can be moved from place to place, and their defining feature is being small but well-organized, with every inch of space put to good use.

Plumbing in a tiny home can be a struggle. Finding a shower that maximizes space in a tiny home while still being attractive is hard, because there aren’t many companies making glass shower doors for motor homes. However, if you get creative, you might find that there’s an obvious answer: custom glass enclosure from Heartland Glass! Here are the top four qualities to look for in a shower to include in your tiny home.


Obviously, in a tiny home, the most important aspect of a shower is how well it fits in the space allotted to it. Many tiny homes have footprints of less than 120 square feet, which means that a useful shower might take up 10% of the entire house. With that in mind, you want to avoid sliding doors or shower doors that open out. Sliding doors require a place to slide them to, which may not be possible in a tiny home. A door that only opens out needs several feet of clearance, so that you can get into the shower at all.

The type of shower door you want should be able to open on a hinge in either direction – opening into the shower lets you enter without hitting anything and opening out allows you to exit from a small space easily. You also should consider getting hinges that attached to the top and bottom of the door, instead of at one edge. This saves you precious inches of space on the shower door’s opening radius. Inches are everything in a house that’s ten feet wide!


Tiny homes often have strange dimensions. A shower may have a built-in seat, which is actually a drawer that pulls from the outside to store towels. Being able to customize your shower wall would be incredibly helpful! Even if there is no ingenious storage happening around your tiny home shower, you still want to make sure the door isn’t too wide for your space.

This level of customization is crucial to all aspects of a tiny home, not just the shower. However, the shower and the bathroom facilities in general are where customization is often hardest to find. Finding a good shower fabricator who makes the shower to your specifications can be the difference between feeling like you’re camping while you live in the tiny home or feeling like you live in just that: a tiny home.


Most tiny home owners, when pressed on the matter, will admit that part of what appealed to them about a tiny home was the aesthetic of the whole thing. The craft with which tiny homes are put together, the thought that goes into where everything will be stored, and the simplicity inherent in a home that is the size of a large bedroom has a real draw. If you’re trying to really make your tiny home what you want, you shouldn’t back down before you get to the bathroom.

A tiny home shower should be just as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of the house. With a frameless glass shower door, you can make sure that happens. The hardware you choose can match the rest of your tiny home, and you can even choose whether to prioritize privacy or open lines of sight by deciding between decorative or clear glass. Don’t sacrifice aesthetic for convenience when you can have both!

Excerpts from Glass Door Direct article.

Andersen Windows and Doors launches multimillion-dollar rebranding effort

Its first in a decade, the campaign includes a new logo, tagline and ads across TV, radio and social media.

Andersen Windows & Doors is launching a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign as part of its first rebranding effort in a decade.

The Bayport-based company’s new logo, tagline and ad campaign are designed to refresh the brand and better reach homeowners and celebrate their stories, officials announced Wednesday.

The campaign includes ads on TV, radio and social media including Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. The advertisements will feature inspiring stories of homeowners enjoying the moments they create inside their homes through the lens of their Andersen windows and doors, officials said.

This series of ads will differ greatly than an older set of Andersen ads from 2018 that featured the tradesmen and builders who traditionally install the windows and door products, officials said.

For example, the first of the ads hit YouTube on Wednesday, featuring a little girl playing with a dollhouse that had many rooms, including one sad room with no window. The commercial shows the girl running to get her mom and some tools. She soon cuts a new glowing window into the dollhouse as happy music plays in the background.

That and other ads begin running in other venues nationwide in April with the new Andersen logo.

The updated logo flaunts the company’s historic orange and black triangles but rearranges them to create an upward facing “shield” or triangle. In Greek, the shape symbolizes an “opening” or “doorway” and strength, said Chief Marketing Officer Annie Zipfel during a phone interview.

She said the new design eliminated the letters AW from the logo, because the company does so much more than just make Andersen Windows. Lastly, the refreshed logo adopts the tagline, “Andersen Windows & Doors. Love the life you see.”

Excerpts from a Star Tribune Article 2/12/2020 by Dee DePass

New Andersen Windows logo and tagline

Bathroom Updates for Older Homes

Plenty of older homes have great bones, but just need a little updating. If you find yourself in possession of an older home that you want to renovate, you might be trying to decide what should be done about it. What aspects of the home should you fix first?

Well, the bathroom is a key renovation site, because many old bathrooms have hidden leaks, faulty plumbing, strange layouts and walls that are out of plumb. Here are the top five tips to make your old home’s bathroom feel new again.

One- Update the Shower

When you’re fixing up the bathroom in your old home, remember that getting a new shower can make even the smallest or oldest bathroom feel modern and fresh. Even if your walls aren’t quite straight, a new customized shower will bring the wow factor that will make your renovation feel worth it.

A new shower doesn’t have to be an ordeal, either. If you have a weird space, as many old homes do, you can get your shower custom-designed to fit whatever room you have. It can be a corner space, a square standout, or even just an inline or simple shower door if you have an alcove. Not having to deal with frames, the strict dimensions of a shower kit, or the limited colors of a pre-fab shower means that you can do a lot more with less, even in an older home.

Two- Re-tile the Walls or Floor

Another possibility to consider when looking to update an old bathroom is redoing the tile. Putting in new tile can make a bathroom that felt dingy or outdated feel brighter, more modern, and so much cleaner. With a custom frameless glass shower, you can show off a tile pattern or split-level tiling, with different tile at different heights on the wall.  These can have a huge visual impact while being fairly simple to install.

Getting a custom glass shower door from Heartland Glass will help ensure the perfect fit with your tiling job.

Three- Let the Shower Pop by Replacing the Vanity

A smaller but still important change you can make is updating the bathroom vanity. Removing a dated vanity and replacing it with something modern can make other details about the room look purposeful, instead of left over from a previous owner. For example, getting a sleek vanity can make a 50’s-era bathroom look like a paragon of mid-century modern style instead of simply old.

Even a new coat of paint and new hardware can give an old vanity new life. Sleek metallics or matte black are two great options for vanity hardware that will give it a new look. You can also match or compliment your vanity hardware to your shower hardware, adding an extra style element to the room.

Four- Emphasize the Shower and Reframe the MirrorKentwood Mirror

Even simpler than painting the vanity is getting a new mirror from Heartland Glass. A thick, dramatic frame on a mirror can be a statement piece that helps you choose elements for the rest of the room. On the other hand, a frameless mirror can help keep the bathroom looking sleek.  Mirror size and placement is another design element to consider. One large mirror above the sink can draw the eye, and in tight spaces adding other mirrors can make the room look bigger. Using a clear, frameless glass shower and a few mirrors can make the smallest bathroom feel roomy. Old homes can feel cramped, so use this effect to your advantage!

Five-Replace the Light

Old light fixtures can really date a room. In the bathroom, where lights are subject to a lot of humidity, light fixtures can show age even more quickly. Getting matching light fixtures for over the shower and by the sink can be the detail that takes a regular bathroom to a place that’s enjoyable to spend time in.

If you find a particularly interesting light fixture you’d like to feature in your bathroom, using a glass shower can help you feature it more proudly. With a clear or decorative glass shower door, light can be seen much more easily, and you aren’t as tied to traditional light placements. You can place a light above the shower, but you can also move it to the center of the room without sacrificing visibility in the shower.

So, while renovating or remodeling an old home can seem like a lot of effort, it doesn’t have to be that way! If your older home has good bones but just needs an update, there are plenty of simple ways to refresh it. Updating your shower, updating your fixtures, or redoing tile are all relatively short projects that can make an older bathroom feel new again. If you’re interested in getting a shower that can handle your old home’s quirks, like out-of-plumb walls, please stop by our showroom and talk to one of our experienced designers.

Excerpts taken from Glass Shower Direct article.

Custom Glass Showers with Knee Walls

A common feature in older bathrooms or renovated rooms is a knee wall.  A knee wall is a low wall in the middle of the room that may be a barrier between bathroom features, a border of a large tub, or simply a remnant of an older room design. These walls may seem inefficient and annoying at first glance. If they aren’t made into a functional part of the room, they can interrupt the flow of the room and make it hard to use.

However, there’s a way to incorporate a knee wall in your bathroom in a way that seems natural, make it part of your glass shower! A glass shower door knee wall will make the room seem intentional and put together. Here are some great options for making this style decision a part of your dream bathroom.

1) Partial Side Knee Wall Shower Door:  The first and most likely way you will find to incorporate a knee wall into your shower is by having the knee wall compose part of one wall. This style of shower has two panels making up that wall, a short glass panel over the knee wall and a full-length panel next to it to fill out the length of the wall. It can look very classy and makes an awkward-length knee wall seem like it was installed on purpose.

Depending on the thickness of the wall, you can also choose whether to have the bulk of the wall inside or outside the shower. Inside results in a convenient shelf where you can leave shower essentials like shampoo and soap, while outside gives you a place to leave accessories, towels, or anything you want to keep dry.  Both options are great, depending on what you prefer.

2) Full Side Knee Wall Shower Door:  This is similar to a partial knee wall, but is used when the knee wall is particularly long. Here one or more panels can be used to make up the glass over the knee wall. Knee walls of this length are particularly good candidates to be included in a glass shower enclosure, because they can feel awkward if they are left to just hang out in the middle of the room.

A full-length knee wall that is part of your shower also allows for unique tile patterns. A long low wall like that lends itself to continuous tile patterns from the floor up the wall. You can also play with color gradients, shifting from the tile of the shower floor up to white or your preferred color at the top edge of the knee wall. This adds visual interest to your shower, and helps it make the kind of statement that people will notice.

3) Enclosed Knee Wall Shower Door:  If you have a narrow bathroom and a knee wall, you can consider an enclosed knee wall glass shower. Here, you fill the gap between the full-length wall and the knee wall with the shower door, and the only stationary panel is partial length above the knee wall. If you have this kind of floor plan to begin with, it’s likely that this used to be how the bathroom was organized originally.

Using this space can make a small or oddly proportioned bathroom work for you instead of against you. An enclosed shower with a knee wall gives you the option of having multiple showerheads without worrying about water escaping. You can also have a rainfall showerhead with a minimum of fuss, thanks to the permanent walls that would be the majority of the enclosure.

4) Neo Knee Wall Shower Door:  The final option, if you have a large bathroom or a short knee wall, is to install a neo shower with a knee wall. This can work great for showers that fit in a corner with a knee wall, or for a large open chunk of floor.

If you have a preference for a roomy shower but you need to save floor space, a neo shower can be right for you. Essentially cutting off a corner of a square shower makes a small difference in usable space inside the shower, but removing the corner on the outside gives the bathroom a more open feeling. It can especially help in the kind of bathroom that also already has knee walls obstructing the flow of the room.

Knee walls can seem inconvenient and make it difficult to put in a traditional shower. However, they can actually be a key part of the shower of your dreams. By getting a custom glass shower designed just for you, you can incorporate an awkward knee wall into a bathroom design so everything feels intentional and put together well.

Source:  Excerpts taken from Glass Shower Direct article.


Benefits of Converting a Bath to a Shower

If you’re renovating your bathroom, something you probably want to update is your old bathtub. There are tons of ugly kit shower-bath combinations out there, many of them damaged or harboring hidden mold. The question is what should you replace it with? A new kit shower-bath will have the same problems in a few years, and there aren’t many other options that fit that space. Trying to find a shower kit to fit the pre-existing space is hard, plus most of them are just modern versions of the ugly tub you want to remove! However, a custom glass shower enclosure makes it possible to get something elegant even for a space with strange or uneven dimensions.

Here are four huge benefits of replacing an ugly kit tub with a modern shower.

Showers Have More Room

If you compare a tub and a shower of the same outside dimensions, the shower has more room inside. Showers have much thinner walls than tubs do. If you’re trying to make a small bathroom feel larger, a big shower with a clear wall will make a room feel much more open than the same space filled by a tub. It also gives you the opportunity to have features like a shower bench or a counter at one end, since you have so much free space.

Showers in the space of an old tub can be fitted to have multiple showerheads. This conversion can be difficult to pull off if you hold onto an old kit tub, because many of those are built in one piece. Getting to the plumbing to add an extra showerhead without damaging the tub itself may be impossible. However, with a custom glass shower, each piece is individually made, and can be removed or replaced as necessary.

Showers Have the Ability to Go Curbless

With a shower, you also have the ability to go curbless. Tubs are not great for people with mobility issues. It can be very hard to get into or out of a shower tub if someone has an injury or disability. However, with a curbless shower, you can get rid of any barrier to entry between the outside and inside of the shower.

The curbless style is also currently very popular. There are lots of custom design choices to make a curbless shower as aesthetically pleasing as possible. The right design makes the shower its own room, with a door you open and close to enter. Many home designers agree that this is the kind of touch that can elevate your bathroom from just another room to a place you actually enjoy.

Showers Are Water Efficient

Showers are also much more planet-friendly than baths. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the average bathtub holds about 37 gallons of water. Meanwhile, with a modern showerhead that uses two gallons of water a minute, it would take an 18-minute shower to reach the amount of water used in one bath. Most of us aren’t breaking 20 minutes in our daily showers, so for your day-to-day cleanliness purposes, showers are better for the Earth.


Speaking of planet-friendliness, all of the components of a frameless glass shower are recyclable. Kit tubs are frequently made out of fiberglass, which is essentially impossible to recycle. However, glass and metal are two of the easiest materials to reuse. So, if in the future a new homeowner decides to remove or replace parts of your shower, those elements don’t have to go in the dump. It’s better all around!

Showers Are Simpler to Update

While your new custom glass shower will look great for decades to come, sometimes your style changes more quickly than that. If you decide you want to change your bathroom’s colors scheme from silver to gold, changing your shower’s hardware is as simple as ordering new options and scheduling an install. You only need to lift a finger to dial the phone!

In Summary

Kit tubs are not the choice most people prefer for their bathrooms. They are awkward to bring into a home, they don’t always age well, and they are bad for the planet. A custom glass shower enclosure helps make your bathroom appear bigger and more stylish. The metallic accents of the hardware add a pop of color, while the lack of a frame helps you keep your bathroom cleaner. It’s a no-brainer – getting a custom glass shower will make your bathroom a much more pleasant place to spend time.

Source:  Excerpts taken from Glass Shower Direct article.


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.