When most people pick up a glass shower screen, they automatically go for glass that is completely transparent. However, many homeowners prefer glass screens that are slightly or completely opaque, and there will generally be two options from which to choose from shower screen manufacturers: acid etched glass or sandblasted glass.
There's really no overall right option between the two, but each type of glass does come with its own benefits and drawbacks. If you're not sure which one would best suit your needs, just look through this quick overview of pros and cons.
The Pros and Cons of a Sandblasted Glass Shower Screen
As the name implies, sand blasted glass shower screens will have been blasted with a small but coarse material to create its opaque appearance.
The great thing about sandblasting as opposed to acid etching is being able to create difference designs. It's possible for only certain sections of glass to be sandblasted, so you can create a privacy strip of opaqueness running from around the top of the chest to the knees if you want privacy without losing sections of transparency. Sandblasting is also a lot faster than acid etching, which is an important factor if you're going for a custom screen, and a sandblasted glass shower screen will generally be cheaper than an acid etched one.
However, sandblasted glass shower screens are harder to maintain since they tend to collect fingerprint marks quite easily, and you have less say over the overall level of opaqueness.
The Pros and Cons of an Acid Etched Glass Shower Screen
An acid etched glass shower screen will have been treated using hydrofluoric acid. This acid can be applied to one or both sides of the glass in order to create a smooth matte finish.
This chemical process bestows exceptional durability on acid etched glass shower screens, meaning the effect can never be washed or scratched off. It also creates glass that is smudge-proof since it is able to put up with moisture and oils, making it easier to keep clean than sandblasted glass. Additionally, acid etched glass allows more control over the depth of the etching, so you can have extremely opaque glass instead of glass through which shadows can be seen.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that the acid etching process will cover the entire screen, so the number of styles you will have at your disposal will be limited.