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Understanding the Different Types of Window Glass Options

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Window glass is essential for windows. It shields you from the weather and provides other benefits. Windows give you a view of the outdoors. Plus, they act as insulation to make your home or business more comfortable and cost-effective.


Your window glass must be strong. It must last through regular use and even bad weather. Here are some window glass options to think about when choosing windows for your property:


Types of Window Glass


Selecting the ideal window glass can be confusing. There's a large variety! What type you decide to install depends on numerous factors, such as climate, operation, protection and looks.


Let's examine the various types of window glass available and their pros and cons:


Tempered Glass


Tempered glass is an incredibly popular type of glass for homes and businesses. It's made stronger via a thermal or chemical process. This makes it more resistant to damage and perfect for windows, doors, shower enclosures and more. It's 4 to 5 times stronger than regular annealed glass.


When tempered glass breaks, it crumbles into little, blunt-edged pieces – a lot safer than regular glass. Other benefits include:

  • Heat resistance – can withstand temps twice as hot as annealed glass

  • UV protection – up to 99% of UV radiation blocked

  • Safety – meets federal safety standards

Tempered glasses come in clear and tinted forms. They improve the look of any room and enhance safety. All-Brands Window Service & Glass only provides top quality tempered glasses, so customers know they're getting a strong, durable window!


Laminated Glass


Laminated glass is constructed by fusing two sheets of glass together with a layer of plastic in between. This can add safety to your windows, lessening the chance of injury should it break. It also works well as an acoustic barrier, reducing sound transmission.


It's strength and durability make it an ideal choice for windows. It's resistant to penetration, scratches, and damage. It also has superior performance in extreme conditions such as hail or hurricanes due to its high impact resistance.


Plus, laminated glass offers energy-saving advantages too! It blocks both heat gain and heat loss, creating thermal comfort all year. Lowering energy costs and helping to keep your home or facility comfortable.


Low-Emissivity Glass


Low-E glass is a special technology made for energy savings. It's transparent, but reflects infrared heat, keeping your home comfy. There're two types of Low-E glass: Soft Coat and Hard Coat.

  • Soft Coat is perfect for sunny climates, as it reflects infrared heat well but does not change natural daylight.

  • Hard Coat Low-E has metallic oxide layers that can reflect heat. There might be slight changes to natural sunlight due to the metals.

Pick the best one for you! Low-E also offers UV protection, noise reduction, clarity, and safety from shards.


Impact-Resistant Glass


Impact-resistant windows are a special type of window. They have two pieces of glass held together by a plastic interlayer, commonly made from EVA or PVB. If these windows break, the plastic interlayer holds them in place, preventing shards from flying and risking harm to people nearby.


These windows are especially useful for coastal homes and businesses. They are designed to withstand high winds and pressure changes during hurricanes. Plus, they add extra protection from intruders and noise, due to their strong construction.


Most impact-resistant windows have a tinted plastic surface. This helps keep the heat out of the building and reduces glare from the sun. When buying these windows, make sure to check the certification level. Some might require an additional charge depending on the level of protection they offer.


Benefits of Each Type of Window Glass


Windows are a big feature in any house or property. Choosing the right window glass can affect its performance, energy-saving, and looks. There are many types of window glass available. Let's look at the most popular ones and their pros and cons:


Tempered Glass


Tempered glass is heat-strengthened or safety glass. Normal glass can shatter when hit, while tempered glass breaks into smaller pieces that are not as dangerous. It can't stop breakage, yet it still offers more safety and keeps contamination down if it does break. Doors and windows with tempered glass are tough but scratch easily.

Benefits of Tempered Glass:

  • Strength: Heat-treated normal glass is five times stronger than before, with resistance to thermal stress and impact damage.

  • Safety: When it breaks, tempered glass forms small pieces, unlike annealed glass which forms sharp shards.

  • Durability: It is made to last for years and is more resistant than annealed materials.

Laminated Glass


This window glass is also known as safety glass or PVB (polyvinyl butyral) glass. It has two or more panes, held together by a plastic layer. The purpose? To keep broken shards away from people, reducing injury risk.


It has good resistance to UV light, sound and security. Plus, it meets strict building codes and government regulations. Exterior walls, stairs, skylights, structural glazing, entry doors - it's suitable for all these applications.


Lastly, the PVB film holds the panes in one piece, like a safety net - making it hard for intruders to break in.


Low-Emissivity Glass


Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass is a type of window glass that reflects infrared light. It uses little energy for cooling and heating homes. Windows with Low-E films can reject up to 30% of the solar energy that hits them. This keeps indoor temperatures balanced, no matter the outside temperature.


Low-E films also protect against UV light damage. This means furniture, carpet and artwork won't fade so quickly. Low-E coatings also provide decreased drafts, increased noise reduction and improved safety from forced entries. Plus, they enhance a home's exterior look with a more uniform glass appearance.


Impact-Resistant Glass


Impact-resistant glass is the strongest window glass. It is made of two or more pieces of glass with one or more PVB layers between them. The PVB acts as a glue, keeping the glass together in case of shattering. It is designed to withstand heavy winds and inclement weather, perfect for vulnerable places like coastal and storm-prone areas in Florida. It gives better insulation than single/dual pane windows due to its multiple gas-filled PVB layers. But it tends to be pricier than other options, because of its extra materials and labor needed for installation.


Conclusion


Choosing window glass for your home involves many factors. Your climate and desired look, plus other considerations, will help you choose the right option. Whether it be energy-efficiency, insulation, security, or aesthetics, there is one that fits your home's needs.

Talk to a professional to learn the pros and cons of each type. This will help you make the most informed decision. It will benefit both your wallet and home in unexpected ways.

In conclusion, take the time to find the perfect window glass for your home.


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