When you order flat glass like mirrors, tabletops, and shelves, you can specify the type of edgework you would like done on the glass. If you were to opt for no edgework, it would leave you with very sharp edges, so it is only recommended if all raw edges will be completely concealed in a frame.
Seamed edges are produced by a light sanding. The finish is non-uniform and almost appears wavy. In thinner pieces of glass like 1/8” (or double strength), this non-uniformity may not be noticeable, but on pieces of 1/4” or 3/8” glass, the disparity is highly visible, particularly on shelves and mirrors.
Ground edges have a consistent finish with a satin appearance, reducing the reflectivity through the edge of the glass or mirror. On a 1/4” mirror, ground edges help make the edge’s appearance almost imperceptible.
Polished edges are produced by buffing the edge of the glass with a fine abrasive material and polishing oil. The result is a beautifully translucent finish. Flat polished edges are excellent options for the thicker glass used in shelves and frameless shower enclosures.