Toughened glass – Broken tempered glass showing the shape of the granular chunks Toughened glass is processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering, by design, creates balanced internal stresses which causes the glass sheet, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks of similar size and shape instead of splintering into random, jagged shards.
The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury. As a result of its safety and strength, tempered glass is used in a variety of demanding applications, including passenger vehicle windows, shower doors, architectural glass doors and tables, refrigerator trays, as a component of bulletproof glass, for diving masks, and various types of plates and cookware.
In the United States, since 1977 Federal law has required safety glass located within doors and tub and shower enclosures.
- 1 Is safety glass stronger than regular glass?
- 2 Does safety glass crack?
- 3 How safe is safety glass?
- 4 Can you smash safety glass?
- 5 Is safety glass more expensive?
- 6 Why is safety glass better than window glass?
- 7 Why does safety glass pop?
- 8 Is safety glazing tempered glass?
What’s the difference between tempered glass and safety glass?
Do You Know the Difference Between Safety Glass and Tempered Glass? – Safety glass, or safety glazing to be more precise, is a broad term that can be used to refer to a number of different glazing products, including some that aren’t even glass. The key here is that all of these products can be used to improve human safety and reduce the risk of injury from glass hazards.
- Some glazing products serve the dual purpose of improving both safety and security, while others are only intended for making your glass safer.
- Tempered glass is just one specific type of safety glass, and it is ONLY designed to make glass safer for people to be around in the event that it breaks.
- It is NOT built to make commercial facilities more secure.
This is why tempered glass is often also referred to as tempered safety glass. There is no such thing as tempered security glass. To sum up, tempered glass is safety glass, but not all safety glass is tempered glass.
Why is safety glass better?
136 Responses –
Hi, I am building a house n it has a courtyard of 12 ft width x 40 ft length. Which type of glass should b used on top of it and v propose to lay the glass without any inbetween support.
Hi Santhosh, Thank you for the question! We received the request that you submitted to the Glass Detective and will be reaching out to you directly with an answer.
Please, one question: When is necessary the combination of both, tempered and laminated?
Hi Fran, Thanks for the question! A combination of both tempered and laminated glass would be necessary when you want the advantages of both increased strength (breakage resistance) and the ability of the glass to stay in place (temporarily, due to the polycarbonate interlayer of laminated glass) if it breaks. Also, at any time the building code would require it the use of both would be necessary. I hope this helps!
How much $ is square foot 1/4″tempered glass and same question for 1/4″ laminated glass. Thank you Ylli
Hi Ylli, Thanks for the question! The cost could vary depending on the location of the project, and how much you need in total. Please submit a request on Glass.com and we will be happy to provide you with an accurate quote!
Colour laminated glass is very similar to clear laminated glass but with the addition of a coloured interlayer. These allow for a rich palette of colour permutation, ranging from subtle transparent and translucent colours to opaqu If I want to use laminated glass in my balcony windows to cut UV coming in, do I have to order extra clear glass for keeping the clarity of views? Or two 6mm glass +PVB is fine ?
Hi Josephine, This is a great question! But it will require an answer from our resident expert, the Glass Detective. We will be in touch with you shortly. Thanks!
Here is what our Glass Detective had to say: Josephine, Regular laminated glass will give you a regular view. No need to order extra clear (aka low iron) glass unless you want an above ordinary clear view. I suggest you stop in at your local glass shop where you intend to purchase the glass and ask to see a sample of each. The PVB should not have any real effect on overall clarity.
Hi. Which glass will be useful for a building court yard area(2.1 x 1.8m2),which means we need to walk above the glass.i will cut the glass by 4 pieces.laminated or toughened?
Hi Bob, here is the response from our Glass Detective: Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective with your recent request for advice on what kind of glass might be best for a courtyard project. My answer will be short but probably not what you were hoping for. Here it is: There are a number of things to take into consideration when determining what type of glass to use for any project. The first is safety What type of glass will give you a safe installation while also complying with all applicable safety codes? You need to start with an understanding of the code requirements in your area. Then you can consider what type of performance you want (sound reducing, heat reducing, glare reducing, UV blocking and aesthetics – color and so forth). So, from the information you provided, I cannot give any recommendations. I strongly suggest you spend a few minutes with a reputable glass shop in your area and maybe even a few minutes with an architect who is familiar with your area’s code requirements. I hope this is of some help to you. Glass Detective
Hi, I was advised to put in my bathroom sliding shower doors which will go on top of the tub. The company that gave an estimate offered me to put laminated glass,I’m a lil confused wouldn’t it be better to have tempered glass,instead of laminated for sliding shower doors in the bathroom. Thank you so much !
I would strongly recommend you stay with the tempered glass for a tub enclosure. Laminated is certainly an option but tempered glass is much stronger and I have some concerns about the glass edges if you use a laminated glass because the constant exposure to moisture can cause a problem over time with delamination. Maybe there is some reason why the contractor in question is offering or suggesting laminated glass that I am not aware of, but there are good reasons why 95% or more of tub and shower enclosures use tempered glass. The Glass Detective
We want vertical partition on a long wall of Research Laboratory ( 70′) long. The height has to be between 8′-6″ to 9′. Whereas at bottom about 3′ height laminated particle board is thought of so that being Mezzanine floor the SS railing is not visible from the Lab. Which glass toughened or laminated is recommended. if laminated one thickness and cost thereof may kindly be shared. Regards.
From the Glass Detective: Thank you for reaching out to the Glass Detective regarding your upcoming project. I will try to be helpful. To begin with, based on the information you have provided, I believe you are most likely going to want to go with tempered glass. Because you have introduced the prospect of a railing system near the glass, you will need to check in with a local architect/engineer in your area to verify all code requirements for an installation of this type. There is a slight possibility that you will end up using a tempered/laminated combination for your final glass selection. Obviously, you will need to divide the glass wall area up into multiple lights of glass due to its size (70′ long) and you do not reference any type of framing concept (lites of glass framed individually or butt jointed vertically). If you butt joint the glass you will need to accommodate the top and bottom edges of the glass with an adequate frame component. Given the size of this project and the questions you have asked, I think it best for you to select an architect to work with who is familiar with these types of glass installations as well as code requirements to help guide you through this process. Lastly, we do not provide pricing for projects. Once you have developed a formal concept/plan, we encourage you to reach out to local glass shops that can provide you with competitive bids. Thank you again for contacting us.
Hi, I would like to install a glass whiteboard, for writing on. I was originally looking at retail products which were made from tempered glass and a process called Ceramic Fritting to apply a coloured finish to one side. When I started looking around locally, a glass shop mentioned something they called “Lami” glass, which I am assuming is what is being compared here.
- They said I could achieve a similar result for a lot cheaper with that product.
- This glass will not be installed in a location where impact is probable, so it really makes no difference to me as long as the finish is smooth enough to write on in the end.
- I will however need some holes to be drilled for standoffs and the edges and corners rounded off.
Are you able to recommend my best option? Thank you.
From the Glass Detective: Aarif, In response to your request for some guidance regarding “glass marker boards”, I am going to give you my opinion what I would do if I were buying glass marker boards for my own use. With this in mind, I need to point out that there is a reason that probably 90% or more of the glass marker boards being sold today are made with tempered glass. Stronger, less expensive and easier to produce nice clean polished edges are the primary reasons. Even if you want to go with a custom color or shape, I still would recommend tempered glass. Laminated glass will work but it would not be my first choice. I hope this helps you in some way and thank you for reaching out to the Glass Detective!
I am going to use glass shelving in a niche. Which type of glass should I use and what thickness. Shelf will be for decoration only. Thank you
Thanks for the question Connie! Tempered glass will be fine for this application and can feature a variety of finished edges, depending on your aesthetic preferences. Since the shelf is for decorative purposes only, relatively thin glass can probably be used, but will depend on the overall size of the shelves. Don’t forget to use Glass.com to find a local glass shop to supply the shelves.
What is the best glass to use for hurricane impact windows?
What an excellent and timely question! We actually just recently published a blog on the subject of hurricane and storm impact windows, Check out the link!
recently a painter got stain blocker on my frosted glass bathroom window and nothing would remove the white marks, the company have agreed to replace the glass and the glazier has recommended laminate as its easy to clean as shiny on both sides and this wont happen. do you agree? thank you
Hi Gillian, I would default to your local expert who will be able to visually evaluate your specific situation. But yes, laminated glass could be the appropriate selection here.
My brother was talking about using toughened glass and its benefits. He too described tempered glass as being strong and durable and its easy cleanliness. This is so interesting to me since I did not know about these different types of glass. I had fixed toughened ( tempered glass) on my roof top – Approximate length 12 feet – width 5 feet – two years back.
- Because of the length, the glass was made in three pieces and attached.
- I faced two major problems 1.
- Leaks were there post summer due to the glue used for joining the three glasses were giving way, flooding my ground floor room exposed to the roof.
- Periodically, workers have to climb up and fix the leaks.2.
This summer the glass has developed cracks and the glass vendor says he has to replace the glass. Since I fixed the glass at high cost, is there any other alternative and whether I have to go in again for the tempered glass. If so which is the right quality and what should be the thickness? Approximate cost likely.
Hi Ram, Thanks for the question! Our Glass Detective is currently out solving other glass mysteries, but I’ll do my best to provide you with insights.1. Leaks in skylights are fairly common. An old adage goes “There are 2 kinds of skylights- those that leak, and those that will leak.” Leaks are usually caused in 2 places- the seal around the lite itself, and the flashing around the frame. Sealing these 2 areas is paramount. There could even be a flaw in the frame itself. These would need to be evaluated by a professional.2.12 ft. x 5 ft. lites are very large- a good portion of their structural integrity simply goes towards supporting their own weight. Proper framing plays an essential role in this as well so this may be the first place to start. A local, reputable glazing contractor should be able to evaluate your particular situation and make recommendations on the thickness. Safety glass (laminated) is most likely the proper glass for your application though.
My wife runs a small shop in town and just last night she had her front window break and while it’s just cracked right now, we don’t know how long it will hold up. I liked that you had mentioned that because of the way that the tempered glass is made, that makes it stronger and more resistant to breaking.
- Since we’ve had this glass crack, we might have to look into someone who can install tempered glass for her front window, this way we can feel more comfortable knowing that it’s a strong front window.
- Hi – for a verandah glass roof I’ve been told by the glass company they will use toughened glass and will be 25ml double glazed.
Would this roof be strong enough to uphold heavy rain, snow etc without breakages. Just need to be convinced as the company I want to use often waffle on just so that they get the business. The roof will will be approximately 20 foot wide with suitable supports.
Proper support and framing is critical in ensuring structural integrity in these types of installs. Rain should not be an issue, and snow would depend on the amount that your area receives. It is hard to say without knowing the full details of the project. The company you are working with is likely making their best educated recommendation, while also trying to minimize liability by not making any guarantees.
Hi, We had a situation in our store where the sliding glass door basically blew up and shattered into a billion little shards while a team member was locking up shop. The doors are tempered glass. What could be the reason for this and how can we avoid this from happening in future installs?
Hi Maria, I’m sorry to hear of the misfortune! I have personally seen this happen with a tempered glass table, and some vehicle owners have even experienced it with their sunroofs. Sometimes it can be attributed to temperature changes, or extreme temperatures. Glass doors should be handled delicately, especially in these conditions. Another reason could be impurities in the glass. Because of this, it is important to choose a door from a quality manufacturer.
Hi there, I am constructing a skylight at my home. I would like to make use of 6mm laminated glass is this advisable? The dimensions will be 2400 x 1200 at 22deg. pitch. Thanks
Hi David, what units are those measurements in? Thanks!
They’re in mm, so it’s 2.4m x 1.2m.
Hi Daniel, I would like to repurpose a 1/4″ (6mm) tempered glass shower door as a sloped awning over an entry. The dimensions of the glass are 30″x60″. My question is whether there is a chart available that can tell you what thickness of glass is needed for what loads? There would be a 40″ span, 30″wide of unsupported glass.
Brenda, We’re glad to hear that you are repurposing old glass for new projects! This is a unique case, so we have passed the question on to our Glass Detective who should be getting back to you with an answer shortly! Hi Brenda, The Glass Detective decided to take your case! Please view his response to your question here,
Hi, would 6.4 mm laminated glass be suitable for windows of a metre square? They are to be fixed vertically in timber frames. Or should I go thicker?
Thicker is always better well, maybe not always, but usually. This should be Ok though as long as the glass is glazed properly and framing is secure.
Would laminated safety glass offer better u values in a window than monolithic glass?
From our Glass Detective – A very slight and insignificant difference. However, It does give 99% UV resistance/blockage, a little bit of sound resistance and is a safety rated glass so it(laminated) is the better product.
My brother enjoyed this article because he’s planning to have tempered glass on his phone. He’s now looking up some services who can provide him with tempered glass. He likes it that this article mentioned that tempered glass is four to five times stronger than laminated glass.es it that this article mentioned that tempered glass is four to five times stronger than laminated glass.
There are multiple options when it comes to tinting laminated glass. Also, surface applied films can offer an array of green tint options. I am not sure what you are trying to achieve here whether it is a reflectance issue or a light/color transmittance issue but tinted laminated glass can align itself very well with non-laminated tinted glass of the same color/tint and thickness. Reflectance and transmission percentages are very, very close. Check out www.SunGuardGlass.com for comparison purposes but remember, the options are virtually limitless. Hope this helps!
hello sir, i am constructing my new home. the plot is corner plot. The final design which we had constructed at a corner plot are having bigger windows, Architecture proposed to fix aluminium (Sucho Brand). In same they suggest us security glass without grills.
The Glass Detective thanks you for making contact with your glass question and the simple, straight forward answer is as follows: Your architect should be very familiar with the building codes and conditions of the area in which your home is being built. The 17mm laminated under tempered safety glass is an excellent product when installed properly. It gives security, some sound reduction and UV protection as well.You may want to have a conversation with the company that will be doing the actual installation to get their recommendations and comments also. Generally, I think you should follow your architect’s advice if you have confidence in him/her.
Hi sir, for a scenic elevator, what type of glass shall we use for the elevator car panels? The original glass panel installed has some cracks and we need to replace it.
Laminated glass would likely be the best option for this application. A local reputable shop will be able to provide more input based on visual inspection.
Dear Glass Detective, I have a horizontal skylight of 1.5 x 1.75 meters, that I need covered with double glazing. For the inside, I’m opting for 4mm plus 4mm laminated glass, but I’m unsure about the best choice for the outside layer. I wanted a 6mm tempered glass outside, but then someone told me that normal glass is better, since tempered glass can shatter because of temperature differences.
Thank you for the question Jaco. The Glass Detective will respond shortly.
Hi – I have a bullet hole in a large window (74X96). One person I received a quote for recommended tempured glass whereas another quote said lamited. Thoughts? Thanks, David
Hi David, We’ve sent this one off to our Glass Detective and he should be getting back to you with an answer shortly. Thanks!
Does a chip on a edge or corner of tempered glass ruin the integrity of the tempering process.
Hi Rastello, Yes, to some extent it does. I have however seen tempered glass with chips on the edge last for many years. If the chip is exposed, like on a piece of furniture, it should be replaced. If the chip is covered (by a frame of some sort), and the glass is stationary and non-load bearing, it may be able to be left alone. It really is dependent on the use of the glass. -The Glass Detective
We are considered a front door glass insert repair. It was a panel of leaded and beveled glass. We are going to replace it with a piece of tempered private glass. Is an area of 62 inch X 20 inch too big for the tempered glass for security reason?
Hi Sue, Thanks for the question! You should always consult with your local glass shop who will be able to evaluate your particular project in person, but a 1/4″ thick piece of tempered glass should be fine.
Hi Glass Detective, What is the preferred glass used on a framed shower screen door? And why? Thank you for your reply. Rom
Thanks for the question Rom! The Glass Detective will be in touch soon. The most common (and appropriate) glass used in shower doors and enclosures is fully tempered safety glass. This type of glass is used in these applications because of its strength (typically 4-5 times stronger and more resistant to breakage than ordinary annealed glass) and if it does break, it tends to break into small and much less harmful pieces than other glass products. Most smaller tub and shower doors are made with 3/16″ or 7/32″ fully tempered glass. What are commonly referred to as “heavy glass shower doors/enclosures” are typically made with 3/8″ or 1/2″ glass. The heavy glass products are typically used for “all glass enclosures” which often swing off of architectural style hardware (hinges) or have minimal hardware anchor points.
How impact-resistant is tempered glass? Would a tempered glass window withstand a thrown shoe, apple, tennis ball, or metal spoon thrown at it; as well as cracking? If someone was to throw a ceramic coffee mug, a glass cup, or an empty beer bottle at tempered glass, would it break the glass? If any of these do break tempered glass, is there any type of window glass that is stronger, and able to withstand those impacts? Asking because I have a friend who sometimes comes over and sometimes suffers from behaviorial issues.
Thanks for the questions Gary! Our Glass Detective will be in touch with answers soon. Tempered glass is typically 4-5 times stronger (more resistant) to impact than non-tempered glass of a similar thickness. This is why it is used (and code approved) for shower doors, vehicle doors (and backlights) and in safety glazing code applications (doors and sidelights in stores as an example). I have been involved with a number of tests and acted as an expert witness on legal cases involving tempered glass. There are engineering reports available from some of the tempering companies that will provide you with exact calculations for their products if this is what you think may be useful to you. As for your specific questions about shoes and empty beer bottles and such, the quick answer is that none of these objects will most likely break a ¼” piece of tempered glass if thrown in a soft enough manner. Remember the old Einstein equation E=mc(2)? Energy (force) is developed by mass times some given speed. So in your example, if the empty beer bottle that is going to be thrown against a piece of ¼” glass is thrown with enough force (speed/energy) it could break the glass. However, for many years the glass in hockey rinks was primarily heavy (typically ¾”) tempered glass (mostly treated polycarbonate panels are used now) and those hard rubber hockey pucks often hit those glass panels at speeds of 100 mph or more. Racquet ball courts that have glass walls (which I have hit with my racquet or run into more times than I want to remember) are typically ¾” fully tempered glass. So you get the idea here, I hope. Remember that the angle of incidence with which an object hits tempered glass will affect how it reacts. Many years ago I was involved with a test on 3/8″ tempered glass for a well know fast food chain. One of the things that has stayed with me these many years is that under testing, a piece of 3/8″ tempered glass could take a glancing hit from a BB gun or pellet gun (at a distance of about 20 feet) and not break. But when the device was fired straight at the glass from the same distance, the glass almost always broke. We did similar tests on 3/16″ and ¼” tempered glass with rocks and marbles and had similar results. There are certain types of glass/ceramic products that are stronger than even tempered glass although even bullet resisting glass breaks (which is why it is correctly referred to as bullet resisting and not bullet proof by people in the industry). The cost of these “superior products” is extreme. Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective and I hope the above comments are of some help to you.
Hello, Thank you for the great article and information! I am repurposing laminated hurricane windows and am curious if I can use one over a tub. Will laminated impact windows with PVB meet the Florida building code (or others) for glass over a tub? Thanks
Hi Carissa, We’re glad you liked the article! We have affiliates throughout the United States, so unfortunately we cannot stay up to date on all the building codes as they vary from county to county. Please reach out to your local government offices for this information. Thank you!
Hello, I live in the mountains and we often get window breakages in large windows in the winter due to thermal shock. My window is 6 foot by 7 foot and double glazed. Am I better off getting laminated or tempered glass to resist the cracking due to thermal shock? I would like to create a mirrored photo booth picture frame.
Hi Don, If the word “two way” means being able to use it as a true mirror from both sides of the glass while also being able to see through it as well, it would be difficult to do without tempering. If they simply mean a mirror on each side (back to back) you can laminate two pieces of mirror back to back which would qualify as a safety glazing product. As an aside, today’s tempered mirrors are significantly better than in the past and may work just fine. -Glass Detective
Thank you for your learned advice Glass Detective. By two way I mean to say see through from the darker side and a mirror on the more lit up other side or outside. While I have you in the 20 questions and answers kinda spirit. Which see through one way mirror type could have no metal involved in the glass/plexi or coatings. Would dielectic qualify has no metals included mirror? If not what could you suggest?
I have what appears to be laminate glass on my boat windows, now the edges are starting to what appears separating from the vinyl interlayer (it shows like air inside). Does it means that if my glass breaks, that separated part could be dangerous as a regular glass? Hello, so what would you recommend to use laminated or tempered for inside of pool, as a window in the pool that goes to the edge of the pool? Nikola.
Hi Nikola, We recommend reaching out to a local glass company who will be able to visually assess your individual situation and needs. You can submit a request here, Thanks!
Double glazed windows versus laminated glass windows. Which does a better job at reducing heat entering thru the glass into the house & external mouse from neighbours entering the house? Hi is it safe to use 8mm tempered glass on an aquarium 100×50×50 will it holds thanks
Glass used in aquariums can be a little bit difficult to choose when dealing with over-sized assemblies and your’s qualifies as one based on the sizes you have provided. There are actually charts that give recommended thicknesses based on the volume of the tank. I have made a couple of small aquariums (about 20 gallons each) and was quite proud of myself for using clear glass on the front and green tinted glass in the back. However, I used the wrong sealant and my fish died. Make sure you use the right sealant!!! My recommendation is that you check out a company by the name of Fish Geeks. They are good with this stuff. Website is fishgeeks.com. Phone number is 612/444-3444.
I am shopping online for a dining table and prefer glass tops. I noticed that the tempered glass tops seem to be a bit more expensive but i hear stories about shattering or exploding. A lot of the shops just mention “glass”. Is there a regulation on the kind of glass table tops are supposed to use? My basic concern is safety.
While there are ASTM standards for glass used in (and on) furniture assemblies, codes do not necessarily exist for this so it can be a touchy subject with some amount of confusion. As you kind of suggest, tempered glass can explode when it breaks and the small pieces that are produced can get into your eye and even produce small but not serious cuts. Also, anything on the tempered glass will fall through it when it explodes (upon breaking). Non tempered glass can cut you into ribbons when it breaks if you were to fall on it or through it when it breaks. If you are absolutely convinced safety is your ultimate concern, you may want to go with a tempered/laminated glass assembly. Much more expensive but much safer as well.The edges will not finish as nicely because of the butyl interlayer but it will be a much safer piece than either of the other types. Finally, I want to strongly suggest you visit with a reputable glass shop in your area and look at samples and get comparative pricing for each of the above types.
It sure got my attention when you said that among the advantages of laminated glass are the fact that they block up to 99% of UV rays and they have sound reduction qualities. Using that kind of glass for the windows is like hitting two birds with one stone then.
My sister prefers the place to be quiet while I do not want UV rays penetrating in the living room since it ruins the furniture upholstery. Thank you for sharing this. I did like it when you said that laminated glass is a good option for doors and windows because not only do stores have a lot of stock in the market, laminated glass can also easily qualify as bullet-resistant glass.
if that is true, then I will be sure to mention this to my brother who is planning to have a store built. He said he wants the storefront door to be bullet resistant, and I think this will do the trick. Thank you! I didn’t know that tempered glass would be 4 or 5 times stronger than regular glass and break into smaller pieces that don’t cause injury or damage.
- It makes me wonder what kinds of things are made with tempered glass.
- Is a phone screen tempered? This is very interesting information, thanks again for the pros and cons of the different kinds of glass.
- Hi, I am building a wine cellar under my staircase and i am fabricating a door ( hardwood frame) i want to put a glass in the door so we can see the racks and bottle inside.
What would be the best type of glass considering good insulation property and high resistance to impact (i have childrens). Also what product is best to use to seal the glass in the door at assembly?
Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective regarding your request for some help in selecting the appropriate glass for your new wine cellar doors. Based on what you have indicated, I would suggest 3/16″ or 1/4″ fully tempered glass. A bead of clear silicone should be adequate for sealing purposes. If you are worried about temperature control, you could use an insulated unit but you will probably still want to use tempered glass. I hope this is of some value to you and good luck with your project.
Thank you for explaining that laminated glass is the type of glass that has vinyl inserted between two panes and that it is an effective safety material because it stays in place even when broken. My parents are intending to get the patio glass replaced with a newer, stronger one this month.
It was good that I saw this article on glass types and learned about the best option that we can consider. What thickness ranges is lami glass available in, in the USA? How much does it weigh per square foot, compared to tempered glass? Bryce, Glass is manufactured in many different thicknesses from the float line, anywhere from 2.0 mm to 6.0 mm are common for use in residential windows, with 2.2-2.5 (single strength) to 3.0 – 3.1 (double strength) the most common for residential window construction.
Laminated glass can be manufactured using two lites of any glass thickness from 2.0 through 6.0 (and thicker) depending on the application. Mixing and matching different glass thicknesses isn’t particularly uncommon either. The plastic interlayer thickness used between the two glass lites typically ranges from,38 mm (.015″) to 2.28 mm (.090″), or thicker in multiples of,015″.
Thicker is stronger of course. Also there are different types of interlayers available, again depending on application of the finished laminated glass. Laminated glass of 6 mm using,030″ interlayer and two lites of either 2.7 mm or 3.0 mm (6.4 mm overall when using 3.0 mm glass), is probably the most common make up of safety glazing using laminated glass for residential applications.
While a security product will increase the plastic interlayer to,060″, and a “hurricane” impact resistant laminated glass will generally be manufactured using,090″ interlayer. Laminated glass can be manufactured in literally hundreds of different thicknesses depending on what you are looking for.
So to answer your question with a question, what is your application? Thanks for helping me understand that tempered glass is a safe type of glass since it doesn’t shatter into small pieces if it breaks. With this in mind, I will probably choose this type of glass for the glass enclosure of our tub. My husband has been bugging me about adding an enclosure to our tub because he got inspired by a photo of a bathroom in a magazine.
Millie Hue, Tempered glass is considered a safety product because the glass DOES shatter into tiny pieces rather than big, sharp, dangerous daggers. Laminated glass is safety glass because if broken the glass stays bonded to the plastic sheet that is between two separate lites of glass.
- Most shower enclosures use tempered glass, but more often than in the past laminated glass is being used in some shower enclosures because it doesn’t shatter into the tiny pieces.
- It got me when you said that the tempered glass is 4 to 5 stronger which makes it more resistant to breakage.
- I guess I will be picking this type of glass for our cafe which will be opening next month.
We have been dreaming of having our own coffee shop ever since we were in college. So my boyfriend and I have saved for this. Now, we are already planning for the appearance of the shop which makes me really excited. This information will give us a strong storefront glass.
Thanks for explaining the differences between laminated and tempered glass. I like the fact that that laminated glass can help keep burglars out since it won’t shatter. I need a window replacement because my dog broke the glass by jumping at it. Replacing it with laminated or at least stronger glass seems like a smart idea.
I just had my picture window replaced. It is tempered glass. Why is it so wavy? When looking out of it on an angle my view is somewhat distorted. Appears very wavy on the exterior. I like that you pointed out that a tempered glass is a choice for strength and breakage resistance but a laminated glass is more flexible to use.
Hi Manoj, Thanks for the question. We certainly like the idea of replacing almost any wall with a glass wall! It will be best for you to reach out to a local and reputable glass shop in your area to get their opinion for this particular project since they will be able to do an onsite visual inspection.
I have one question please help. Is there any regulation or standard or code of practice that dictates the use of laminated glass in high rise buildings. Or where pedestrians are passing by the building and in case of a breakage there would be a risk of glass particles fall on the,??
The glass installed in a building must meet all code requirements for windload, fire codes, hazardous location and so forth. There is no code in the USA that requires a glazed opening have laminated glass. Balcony glass does typically have such a code however.
Thanks for explaining how tempered glass will be 4 to 5 times stronger and is more resistant to breakage. We live near a baseball field, and it is not uncommon to see a few balls crashing down our windows. It certainly looks like we’ll need to replace our windows with more durable tempered glass.
I want to replace an exterior window in a large walk in shower, house built in 1964, has some water damage leakage from the window on the exterior of the house. I would like to replace it with some kind of art glass window but I probably need double-paned glass. it is a clerestory window about 30″ wide x 72″ high.
The exterior is stucco, and the interior is tile. I know from your string I will need tempered glass but is there ever a double pane glass which is also tempered? I would like to do an inter-layer for the art part but I don’t want moisture leaking into the glass and also need it in a metal frame to install it.
Other option is to repair the leaking part if there is any kind of decal to put on a window that is architecturally acceptable? This is in Yucca Valley, CA restoring a mid century house. I want to use a safe piece of glass to cover the top of my seven years old son’s reading desk. Any glass would suffice to protect the desk but I am very much concerned about my son’s safety, taking into consideration that his three years old brother is prone to breaking things.
I have contacted two different local glass suppliers, one of whom suggested laminated glass and the other tempered glass. Although both can produce both types of glass, they both defended their opinion as the best one as far as safety is concerned. Which one should I go for and for what thickness? Thank you in advance for your help.
The benefit of laminated glass is that if it does break, the polyvinyl interlayer will help keep the glass in place, which helps ensure that sharp shards don’t go flying. On the flip side, tempered glass will break into many many tiny pieces, mostly without sharp edges which reduces the risk of injury. Laminated tempered glass is a 3rd options that combines the best of both worlds. However, you may want to consider alternative options such as polycarbonate which is much tougher and will be much less likely to break and cause injury.
Hi, I made a 21.5mm Tempered Laminated glass for a customer to use for his client’s swimming pool. They broke the glass and the fracture count was 38 small particles in a 50mm X 50mm erea. Can I argue that the glass is within the building regulations? The engineer wanted 40 small particles in a 50mm X 50mm erea for a Tempered glass.
Bearing in mind that this glass it is now a Tempered Laminated piece of glass. Thank you for sharing the detailed information about tempered and laminated glass. This will help us to choose right glass for our use. Hello, Trust you are well. I would like to know which type of glass is more suitable for shelves and thickness.
These shelves will be used for glass items (vases etc) which can be heavy. Each glass will measure 25cm wide by 105cm length when in place. Thanks a lot for your help. Kindest Regards Frankie
Hi Frankie, I think you’ll find this blog helpful! https://info.glass.com/glass-shelving-strength/
Well worth a read. Got great insights and information from your blog. Thanks. Thanks for the great information regarding screen protector. A good blog that you shared with us and it is very knowledgeable, is aware of some things we do not know. Can you use laminate glass for a sauna window or would there be heat issues with the vinyl interlayer?
The quick answer to your question is “yes”, laminated glass can be used in a sauna. Remember, car windshields are made with laminated glass and are subjected to rain, snow, high temperatures and sub zero ones as well. Make sure the laminated glass is set properly with appropriate setting blocks at the bottom, clearance and edge coverage and then, I would suggest you seal it wish a silicone caulk bead after it is in place. A reputable glass shop should be able to safely and properly install the glass.
thanks for providing this information it was rally helpful for us. Hello. Great and informative article. For a fixed shower enclosure for an elderly person, which would be better – tempered or laminated? I have been advised having the shower enclosure than a shower curtain which could collapse under weight in case of.imbalance etc.
I love what you shared about temper glass being more breakage-resistant. I believe that stained glass windows serve as great conversation pieces. If I were to buy a stained glass window, I would make sure to work with a reliable business in my area. Thanks for pointing out that one of the benefits of tempered glass is that it is more resistant to breakage.
My husband and I are thinking about putting glass shelves in our dining room because we think that they would be good for displaying our pictures and other decorations. I think that tempered glass would be a good option so that we could make sure that it was strong and would last.
Hi – I am designing a semi submerged underwater living unit with windows that could go as deep as 10 metres, then there is tidal current pressure and possibility of wave impact – I calculate that the maximum possible pressure on the window is under 25lbs per sq inch (and so would want to use 40 or 50 lbs per sq inch).
I am looking at the minimum ‘nice’ size for an underwater window and thinking 2 metres by one metre high. The structure outer wall is a 15 to 16 diameter circle and so is curved slightly across 2 metres – and while the glass can be flat pane if it is tempered then it can (I guess) be made curved in the process.
I am going to give you a “ballpark” response but you need to have this verified by a licensed engineer familiar with your codes. The sealant and framing you will use are also critical to the installation’s success. I think you will want to use multiple layers of 1/2″ tempered glass with structurally sound laminated inner layers of a PVB or polycarbonate. Don’t attempt to determine this glass type on your own. Find an engineer familiar with this type of application and provide them with whatever information they desire. Good luck with the project.
Thank you for this. In thinking about it I was not sure that layers would be suitable as the glass will be constantly flexing with rise and fall of tides and wave action increasing the depth and so the pressures on it 24/7, especially as replacing the window underwater is clearly not simple.
Thank you for the question! Without further details of your sunshade project, it is hard to say which is more suitable- laminated or tempered. However, for most glass canopies, tempered laminated glass is the better option. You’ll want to work with a local and reputable contractor who can guide you based on your specific goals.
We are considering enhancing the safety and security of our staff in the reception area. We have public access lobby area where our clients wait until they can be served. There is a reception counter but we are considering putting up a tasteful glass barrier that would prevent someone from jumping over the counter or throwing something at our receptionist.
- We do not need something that is bullet resistant as robbery is not an issue (no cash on hand).
- However, we would like a level of glass protection that could resist someone throwing a chair against it.
- What type of glass and thickness would you suggest? Thanks.
- I am building a sauna and want to know if laminated glass has better thermal qualities than tempered.
I will only using it for a window but am also worried that with the steam in the sauna laminated might be prone to seepage between the sheets along the edges
Laminated glass can be used in a sauna. Remember, car windshields are made with laminated glass and are subjected to rain, snow, high temperatures and sub zero ones as well. Make sure the laminated glass is set properly with appropriate setting blocks at the bottom, clearance and edge coverage and then, I would suggest you seal it wish a silicone caulk bead after it is in place. A reputable glass shop should be able to safely and properly install the glass.
I am considering purchasing a full view storm door with laminated glass which would face west. The entry door has a three quarter glass insert. Will laminated glass coupled with the glass insert create an increase in heat in that area?
Terrie, Thanks for the question. Laminated glass has a decent amount of insulating properties when compared to regular glass. Plus, the polyvinyl interlayer will help to block UV rays. There may be some difference in heat gain/loss in comparison to a solid door without glass, but many consumers feel that the aesthetic tradeoff is worth it.
58. Ron says: January 17, 2019 at 6:19 pm Hi, I made a 21.5mm Tempered Laminated glass for a customer to use for his client’s swimming pool. They broke the glass and the fracture count was 38 small particles in a 50mm X 50mm area. Can I argue that the glass is within the building regulations? The engineer wanted 40 small particles in a 50mm X 50mm erea for a Tempered glass.
- Bearing in mind that this glass it is now a Tempered Laminated piece of glass.
- Reply Realizing that I am replying to a one year old post, and almost certainly no longer applicable to the original poster, I am still going to comment in case anyone else might ever have a similar issue arise.
- Based strictly on what Ron originally posted, it appears that the engineer that he was working with wasn’t entirely familiar with the characteristics and the application requirements of tempered glass vs laminated glass vs a tempered-laminated glass combination when meeting safety glazing requirements, but meeting the requirements in different ways.
As mentioned previously in this thread, as well as in the original article, tempered glass is both stronger and has a different break pattern than annealed (ordinary) glass. Per safety glazing standards, it’s the break pattern and NOT the strength or break resistance of tempered glass that defines it as a safety product.
- Several different protocols (ANSI, CPSC, EN, ISO, etc) are used around the world to define the maximum size or weight of the small cubes that result when tempered glass shatters.
- Whether or not the 40 cubes (engineer) vs 38 cubes (Ron) following breakage meets safety requirements could be important IF the tempered glass was being used in an application as a monolithic lite, but in Ron’s situation the tempered glass is being used as part of a laminated glass sandwich and that’s where the engineer apparently misunderstands safety glass requirements.
Tempered glass is classified as safety glass because of how it breaks, but once it’s used as part of a laminated glass sandwich the break pattern requirement no longer applies. Once tempered glass is laminated it’s the laminated glass standard that matters.
Doesn’t matter if it breaks into 38 or 40 cubes when the tempered lite is broken, it’s irrelevant in the situation as Ron describes it. As pointed out on the original article, laminated glass meets the requirements of safety glazing using annealed, heat strengthened, toughened, or tempered glass – it makes no difference per safety standards.
Using tempered glass in a laminated sandwich will enhance the structural strength and break resistance of the laminated glass versus other glass option, but not safety. My tempered glass broke in my outside spotlight. it is only a piece 6 1/2 inches by 9 inches.I cant find anywhere to replace itcan I use regular glass from a hardware in this fixture? Where I purchased the light 10 years ago said just replace light which would be at least $200 plus an electrician not a good option for a small piece of glass.thanks Hello, I live in Chicago and I will be moving in 3 months into a condo with a 1000 sq foot private patio.
Hi Mauricio, You’ll want to check with your local county/city to find out what is required. You can work with a contractor that can help with this process.
My building (a retail wholesale business) was damaged during the recent looting. All windows need to be replaced. Should I replace the broken windows with tempered or laminated glass? Which is easier to replace, if someone hits it with a baseball bat, say?
Hi Linda, please email us at [email protected]
I live in Edmonton and want to have a solarium attached on my balcony. The maximum temperature in summer season is around 30+ C (raining) and the minimum temperature in winter season is around-35+ C (snowing). What glass is the best for solarium in my situation? Can I use tempered glass or luminaries glass for my solarium? What is the best thickness of the material using in solarium? What is the price difference in the above materials? Terry
Hi Terry, Thanks for the question! We’ve actually received this question a few times and have written a blog in response. You can find it here, You’ll want to work with a local contractor and ensure you’re conforming with local building codes.
I am replacing “atrium type” dual pane curved glass in an old sunroom. The new sunroom will have 52″ x 72″ straight glass roof and bifold doors. The old “atrium” sunroom was noticeably warmer than the rest of the house – this warmth (passive solar heating??) was a nice feature in our cool coastal area.
- Which would you recommend for the roof? 1.
- Laminated safety glass – what thickness? – will “clear” be noticeably greenish? 2.
- Tempered over laminated glass with air gap 3.
- Tempered Low E (Solar Ban 70) over clear laminated glass PS The new bifold doors are dual pane and can be ordered with or without low E.
Is there a device to check if a window is tempered,lammy or heat strenghtened.
Yes, you can find them from EDTM,
I m happy to see by peoples questions that they are more interested in safety than price.
Maybe you’ve heard that.
Is safety glass stronger than regular glass?
What is Tempered Glass? – Tempered glass is a special type of glass that is made using extremely high heat and a prolonged cooling process. The tempering process results in glass that is resistant to heat and shatters into small crystals instead of large sharp pieces.
Does safety glass break easily?
Is tempered glass stronger than regular glass? – Tempered glass is tougher than standard annealed glass, but this doesn’t mean that it should be considered impact-resistant glass. Though it can be up to five times stronger than traditional glass, tempered window glass can still be easily shattered by impacts.
What are the disadvantages of safety glass?
Intruders Easily Gain Access – As we stated above, tempered glass is not the best solution to increase security in areas prone to smash and grab attempts. Although it is much stronger than conventional glass, when tempered glass does break it will completely shatter.
Does safety glass crack?
What Is Safety Glass? – To understand how safety glass can benefit your windows, you need to understand what it is and how it works. Glass, by nature, is fragile. When glass breaks, it can form sharp shards that can easily pierce the skin, cut arteries, or even sever tendons and muscle.
However, safety glass is different. When it cracks or breaks, it doesn’t shatter into dangerous shards. The safety glass will either crack and hold together or shatter into small cubes that aren’t sharp, depending on the type and construction of the glass. It is most often used in areas where the glass is likely to experience pressure or impacts.
One of the most common examples of safety glass is a windshield of a car. When a windshield is struck, it cracks rather than shattering, protecting the occupants inside.
How safe is safety glass?
Toughened glass is sometimes known as tempered glass or safety glass. The glass is up to five times as strong as standard annealed glass and if broken, shatters into small granular pieces that don’t have sharp or jagged edges.
Why is it called safety glass?
What Is Safety Glass? Safety glass is glass that is specifically designed to be less likely to break, and less prone to inflicting injury when it breaks. It also includes glass that is manufactured for strength or fire resistance.
Is safety glass bulletproof?
Why Ballistic Glass is Important – When most people think about glass strong enough to stop a bullet, they want to call it bulletproof glass. That’s fine, but it’s not technically accurate because there is probably a big enough gun with a large enough bullet to get through any kind of glass we might make.
- People who are in the industry would prefer it be called bullet-resistant glass or ballistic glass.
- While some of the highest-end ballistic glass might be considered bulletproof for all intents and purposes, none of it is truly bulletproof.
- This is fine, though, because the average business that wants to protect its employees from the threat of gun violence during an armed robbery doesn’t need to stop a large bullet fired from a high-powered rifle, it needs to stop what most criminals use, which is a 9mm handgun.
Tempered glass is made to withstand some damaging forces, but it won’t be able to protect you against any kind of bullet fired from a gun (except maybe a small BB gun).
Can you smash safety glass?
HOW SAFETY GLASS WORKS – Toughened safety glass has undergone a heat treatment, making it up to 5 times stronger than standard glass of the same thickness. If the glass does break, it will fracture into thousands of small, relatively harmless particles.
Is safety glass more expensive?
Cost – All these processes and extra materials come with a price, and this is the price. Safety glass is more expensive than standard glass. The cost depends on your exact specifications. For example, a bifold door with tinted glass with a high U-value will be quite expensive. A fire door in an office, school or hospital is also a costly item, but what price safety?
Does safety glass scratch?
How Do You Get Scratches Out Of Safety Glasses? Safety glasses are meant to protect your eyes – as such, they’re often used in professions where dangers to the eyes are expected. It’s not uncommon for them to eventually become damage-worn, or scratched up.
Do you need safety glass?
NOTE: We do not give out general advice regarding safety glass locations unless you are buying decorative glass from us. Please do not call us seeking general advice regarding safety glass. Safety Glass Regulations cover what types of glass can be installed into windows, doors and other glazing locations.
Here is our guide to help you understand where you must look to install the correct safety glass to your home or business. To comply with the Building Regulations glazing requirements or also known as ‘ Critical Locations ‘ there must be safety glass or safety guards in place to protect people from injury.
The most likely locations for accidents caused by glass breakage, which could result in cutting and piercing injuries are in doors, door side panels, low windows and low level glass in walls and glass partitions. Safety glass should be fitted in all doors and other windows or glazed areas that are lower than 800mm from the floor level.
Is safety glass soundproof?
1. Laminated Glass Was Born to Muffle Sound – Well, not technically. Laminated glass was invented by chance by the French chemist,, When he dropped a glass flask coated in plastic, he found that his plastic cellulose nitrate outer layer caused the glass to shatter instead of breaking. Because of its ‘unbreakable’ properties (no glass is truly unbreakable but laminated comes remarkably close), laminated glass is well known as a safety and security glass. However, because of the way it is manufactured, it also acts as an effective barrier for sound.
To dampen nerve-crunching decibel levels and drown out the high pitch of screeching brakes and the anxious barking of your neighbour’s dog, laminated glass will do the job. consists of two glass panes with an interlayer sandwiched in between. This construction creates a more complex obstacle for sound to travel through.
The interlayer also creates a distinctive noise reduction benefit. It is usually made from polyvinyl butyral, or PVB, which has unique vibration dampening properties. This helps to make laminated glass particularly effective at empowering property owners to finally get the peace and quiet they are looking for.
Why is safety glass better than window glass?
Safety Glass – Safety glass is also known as tempered glass or strengthened glass, because it has been processed using heat to make the glass stronger. Safety glass might also owe it’s safer properties to having been laminated. When safety glass breaks, it crumbles into small, blunt pieces instead of shattering into sharp shards.
Why does safety glass pop?
Spontaneous glass breakage – Spontaneous glass breakage is a phenomenon by which toughened glass (or tempered) may spontaneously break without any apparent reason. The most common causes are:
- Internal defects within the glass such as nickel sulfide inclusions, Nickel sulfide defects can cause spontaneous breakage of tempered glass years after its manufacturing. Nickel sulfide inclusions (“stones”) can be present in the glass. The most common cause of these inclusions is the use of stainless-steel machinery in the glassmaking and handling process. Small shavings of stainless steel containing nickel change structure over time and grow, creating internal stresses in the glass. When these stresses exceed the strength of the glass, breakage results. This type of breakage is almost always found in tempered glass and is indicated by a distinctive “figure eight” pattern, with each “loop” of the figure eight approximately 30 mm in diameter. Alternatively, small pieces of refractory brick can be eroded by the molten glass from the internal walls of the furnace during processing and become embedded in the finished glass. These are also known as “stones”, and can also break the glass when the glass is heated, as they create thermal anomalies.
- Minor damage during installation such as nicked or chipped edges later developing into larger breaks normally radiating from point of defect. While glass is being moved and installed, it is easy for the glaziers to nick or chip the edges of the glass with various tools. It is also possible for fasteners such as nails or screws used to attach glass stops to nick the glass edges if these fasteners are installed at an improper angle. These small nicks or chips may not result in immediate breakage. However, over time, as the glass expands and contracts, stress concentrations can develop around the nick, leading to breakage. In the case of tempered glass the entire unit usually breaks.
- Binding of the glass in the frame, causing stresses to develop as the glass expands and contracts due to thermal changes or deflects due to wind. Glass expands and contracts with changes in temperature and deflects due to wind, so almost all modern glass is set on resilient blocks at the bottom and with space for expansion at the sides and top. The gaskets holding the glass in the frame are also usually resilient to cushion the glass against wind buffeting. If no space is provided at the perimeter of the unit, the glass will bind against the frame, causing internal stresses to develop in the glass which can exceed the strength of glass, resulting in breakage.
- Thermal stresses in the glass. Breakage due to thermal stress is most common in large pieces of sealed insulating glass with heavy heat-absorbing (reflective) coatings. The coating is usually applied to the “number two” surface (the inside face of the outside lite). This causes the outside lite of glass to heat up more than the inside lite as the coating converts radiant heat from the Sun into sensible heat. As the outer lite expands due to heating, the entire unit bends outward. If the spacer bar or other edge condition connects the two lites of glass in a very rigid manner, bending stresses can develop which exceed the strength of the glass, causing breakage. This was the cause of extensive glass breakage at the John Hancock Tower in Boston.
- Inadequate glass thickness to resist wind load. A pane that is too large or thin, having not been properly engineered for wind loads on the site, can be broken by the wind. See Bernoulli’s principle on wind.
Any breakage problem has more severe consequences where the glass is installed overhead or in public areas (such as in high-rise buildings). A safety window film can be applied to the tempered panes of glass to protect from its falling. An old-fashioned precaution was to install metal screens below skylights.
Is tempered glass used in safety glasses?
Making Glass Stronger – Two types of safety glass are heat-strengthened and tempered. Heat-strengthened glass is cooled at a rate faster than regular annealed glass. Tempered glass, in turn, is cooled at a faster rate than heat-strengthened glass. Another way to strengthen glass is to use more than one lite of glass in the application.
- Laminated glass consists of two or more lites of glass joined by a layer of plastic.
- Heat-strengthened glass is made by heating annealed glass uniformly, then cooling it at a slow rate.
- The rate of cooling directly affects the strength of glass.
- The regular process of cooling – or annealing – float glass results in a slow rate.
Stronger glass can be produced by changing the rate of cooling. Heat-strengthened glass is about twice as strong as regular annealed glass of the same size and thickness, which makes it more resistant to wind loading and impacts. When it breaks, heat-strengthened glass fractures into large, jagged pieces similar to annealed glass.
Is safety glazing tempered glass?
What is Safety Glazing? – Safety glazing is the process used to make glass less susceptible to breakage, and less dangerous when broken. While there are several different types of safety glazing, the two most common types are tempered glass and laminated glass.
- Tempered and laminated glass are both required to be permanently labeled indicating their glazing type, usually by etching in the corner.
- Tempered glass is processed by controlled chemical or heat treatment to increase strength when compared to standard glass.
- Tempered glass balances the internal stresses on the glass, and causing the glass to break into small pebble-like pieces when shattered, rather than sharp panes.
Laminated glass consists of layers of glass and plastic held together by a binding interlayer. Laminated glass is also usually tempered to avoid the formation of dangerous shards, while the interlayer also prevents glass fragments dispersing.
Is safety glass laminated or tempered?
Safety and security – Both laminated and tempered glass are safer than regular glass when it comes to how the glass breaks. When laminated glass breaks, the broken glass sticks to the plastic or polyvinyl butyal (PVB) layer that binds the glass, rather than falling to the floor.
- Tempered glass shatters into rounded cubes instead of jagged shards, reducing the potential for injury and making cleanup a much easier process.
- Laminated glass has the added security benefit of superior soundproofing.
- This helps to keep your home quiet and keeps any potential intruders from hearing what goes on inside.
If you live near an airport, major intersection, or other loud environments, laminated glass can keep the noise from the outdoors out of your home as well.