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Custom Glass Cutting: What You Need to Know About Thickness, Edge and Finish 

Shower doors, shelves, cabinet doors, divider walls, tabletops, frames, specialty window replacement… and the list of uses for custom cut glass goes on and on. Not all glass is cut, edged and finished the same, so where you’re installing it and how it will be used dictate the glass’s thickness, edge and finish.

Glass Thickness: General Rules of Thumb

Where/How Glass Used Recommended Thickness
Glass doors and custom glass tabletops 3/4”
Frameless shower doors, custom glass patio tables and protective furniture tops 1/2”
Frameless shower doors, custom glass patio tables and custom glass tabletops 3/8”
Protective glass furniture tops and custom glass shelves 1/4”
Insulated glass windows, small shelves and custom glass tabletops 3/16”
Storm windows and custom glass tabletops 1/8”
Picture frames and protective glass tops for furniture >1/8”


You probably noticed that some applications are listed twice with a different thickness, the reason being that a specific design, preference or use can call for a different thickness. Having glass custom cut allows for your unique needs.

Choosing an Edge Profile for Your Custom Cut Glass
Custom cutting glass gives you artistic freedom in terms of the glass’s edge profile. Some are more noticeable to the eye than others (as it is glass we’re talking about here). If you’re unsure which type of edge would work and look best for where your custom cut glass will be used, our experts can explain the pros and cons of each to help you narrow down your choice.

Edge profile options include: 

  • Bullnose
  • Flat
  • Mitre
  • Pencil
  • Single, double or triple bevel in several sizes
  • Waterfall
  • And more

Choosing a Finish for Custom Cut Glass
With finishes such as frosted, tinted, reflective, satin or a glass film available, which one is the best for your purposes? 

Custom cut glass with a frosted finish:

  • Has a cloudy look
  • Offers privacy
  • Can be frosted in certain areas 
  • Can be frosted to create a design

Custom cut glass with a satin finish:

  • Looks smoother and softer than frosted glass
  • Has less shine and a more matte appearance
  • Can be achieved with a film finish (thicker films are opaque)

Custom cut glass with a reflective finish:

  • Metallic coated on one side
  • Creates a mirror effect
  • Can be seen through from one side, but reflects on the other
  • Minimize heat gain when used for exterior project, like a window, since it reflects the sun

Custom cut tinted glass:

  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Darker colors provide privacy
  • Tint can be added when manufacturing the glass or with a film
  • Can filter sunlight to keep interiors cool

Custom cut glass with film:

  • Put in place with adhesive
  • Can mimic most other finishes above
  • Wide range of colors and textures, or custom printed
  • Can sometimes be removed, depending on the film used

Also, you’ll need to consider a few aspects of where and how the glass will be used. Keep in mind that glass finishes can be layered, so depending on your project, you could choose several to get what you want.

Think about your goals, privacy and location. For example:

What’s the purpose of your custom cut glass? Will it create a space? Add an aesthetic touch? Minimize or maximize temperature? 

Is there a need to create privacy? How opaque or translucent do you need the glass to be, especially in the case of windows and shower doors? 

Where will the custom cut glass be used? Interior or exterior? Should it allow in the most or a little light? 

As one of the largest fabricators in the KC Metro, Complete Home Concepts custom cuts mirrors, desktops, glass shelves, cabinet door glass, shower doors and more for residential and commercial use. We perform in-house fabrication to ensure quality. Our installers are never sub-contracted, so you know you’re working with the people that will do the job right.