Working with Cast Glass

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Below are some frequently asked questions about working with cast glass. If you have any other questions, or would like to speak with us about specific applications, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Venetian Cast Glass FAQs

Venetian Cast Glass Pull FAQs

Where can I use cast glass?

In any application where tempered glass is specified, you can use Cardinal's thermally formed cast glass. Its inherent strength allows you to use it in unique applications:

  • Door inserts (can be made to fit commercial or residential doors)
  • Railings (can be made to fit any commercially available railing system)
  • Curtain wall glazing systems
  • Storefronts
  • Signs
  • Partitions
  • Bar tops
  • Coffee Tables
  • Architectural panels suspended from walls or the ceiling
  • Shelves

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What type of glass do you use?

Cardinal Shower Enclosures uses Vitro glass supplied from Mexico. After fifteen years of experimentation, Fred diFrenzi found that this glass casts more beautifully and dramatically than other glass available. It has a softer nature that takes the impression from the mold better, yielding a higher resolution. Be assured, you will have the most beautiful cast glass product on the market today.

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Is Clear or low iron glass etter for cast glass?

Most people would think that the colorless low iron glass would yield the most beautiful cast glass. However, we've found that some of the dramatic effects of the thermal forming are diminished by the lack of any color. The Vitro clear glass that we use has a hint of green that is created by a higher percentage of iron oxide in the silica recipe for the plate glass. This hint of green yields a more dramatic piece of cast glass. In the image below, you can see how the ridges in the first panel of glass (low iron glass) don't show up as well as the second piece of glass (Clear).

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What about casting other colors of glass?

Besides Clear and low iron (super clear) glass, we stock five other colors of glass, all of which cast beautifully. In the image above are the colors (from left to right) low iron glass, Clear, Solexia (Green), Azuria (Blue), Rosetta, Bronze and Smoke.

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What is the best backdrop for cast glass?

Because of the way light plays through the glass, alternating patterns of light and dark yield the most dramatic effect behind cast glass. The richness of the patterns tends to get lost if you have a plain background behind the glass. For example, if you're installing a shower enclosure with all beige tiles or all white tiles, there's very little pop from the glass. If, however, you have a band of an alternating color, or some random tiles in an alternating color, these can dramatically enhance the look of the cast shower from the outside.

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Can I mix casting and etching?

Yes. In the example to your right, the panel was cast with a custom sweep pattern with part of the hiko-A-mon logo thermally formed into the glass. The letters hiko-A-mon were etched into the glass after casting.


Can you handle my large hotel project?

In the past, if you wanted to have custom art glass made up for a shower enclosure, you had to work through a local artist. Cardinal Shower Enclosures is a nationwide shower enclosure company. Our 160,000 square foot production facility in Louisville, Kentucky is equipped with glass cutters, kilns, tempering ovens, a complete powder coat line, and more. If you need 300 enclosures with custom pulls for your hotel, we can handle the job in house. We've brought producing cast glass enclosures and pulls to a production level. Our motto is "Complete. Correct. On Time. Every Time."

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Can you provide bent glass?

At this time we are not set up to create bent glass.

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Can I put a cast pull on a cast door?

Yes, you certainly can. However, we've found that putting a cast pull on a clear glass door creates the most dramatic backdrop to accentuate the beauty of the cast pulls. Lightly textured glass also works well. A cast pull on a cast door can tend to get a lost in the pattern, especially if they are both clear.

There are instances where cast on cast can create a dramatic effect. On the salmon wall, the blue 3/8" Safari glass resembles water and the bronze 3/8" glass is used for the salmon. The viewer can easily differentiate the pulls from the background. The salmon viewed behind the glass look like they are underwater.


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Can I get a custom pull for my project?

Absolutely. We can design a pull to complement your designs. For the Equani Spa we designed a logo to match their falcon logo. We can cast custom logos, shapes, and more. Call us today to talk with us to see how we can make your designs come to life.

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What is the smallest pull or panel you can make

At least one dimension of the pull must be 18" long. Otherwise, it won't make it through the tempering oven. Also, designs that get too narrow can't work with cast. For example, if you want a pull in the shape of a butterfly, you could not put thin antenna on it as it would snap.

You can get fairly detailed with the pulls. The Fleur-de-lis is an example of how even a pull with detailed flair can stand up to day to day use.


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What is the largest pull or panel you can make?

Up to about 108" in length. Beyond that and it won't fit in the kilns. Most of our patterns can be case up to 60" wide, and many of the patterns can be booked together to run along a wall.

As you can see from the picture at the right, you can also integrate the design of the pull across several panels. This unit features double doors with a fixed transom panel across the top. The pull, designed to look like a torch, spans across all three panels.


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