These are the most common types of glass available for the home. Each glass type lists advantages, disadvantages and their main applications to help you choose the right glass for your home.
Annealed glass, also commonly known as float glass, is the basic flat glass product that is the first result of the glass manufacturing process. Annealed glass is cooled slowly under controlled conditions during production. This annealing procedure removes internal stresses from the glass.
Annealed glass is the minimum standard for glass in the home. It’s also the base starting material for other glass types Low-E, Laminated and Toughened Glass.
Although this is the standard glass type commonly offered in new homes we recommend it be used when visibility and light transmission are important.
Toughened glass is often referred to as safety glass or tempered glass. Toughened glass is annealed glass, heated and then rapidly cooled and is also classified as Grade A Safety glass. Toughened glass is five times stronger than standard annealed glass of the same thickness and the toughening process reduces the risk of cracking.
Toughened glass is recommended in areas where windows require structural strength and safety such as elevation windows and large feature windows. Like laminated glass, toughened glass is also suited to areas of the home most prone to injury from human impact such as bathrooms, splashbacks, doors and full length windows.
Important to note that Toughened glass cannot be reused or re-cut once installed, something to consider if you want to have a pet door later. Alternatively, you can have the pet door installed prior to the glass going through the toughening process.
Laminated glass, also referred to as safety glass, is classified as Grade A Safety Glass and consists of two or more sheets of glass permanently bonded together with an interlayer designed to improve acoustics and/or impact resistance. The interlayer reduces the risk of the glass breaking and forming long, dangerous shards.
Laminated glass is perfect for areas of the home most prone to injury from human impact such as bathrooms, doors and full-length windows and offers a cost-effective alternative to toughened glass. If you require special performance, laminated glass is suitable for sound reduction, energy efficiency and additional security.
Check building regulations you may require laminated glass to be installed into some areas of your home.
Toned glass, often commonly referred to as tinted glass, is made by including colouring additives to normal clear glass during the manufacturing process. Majority of tinting is done with shades of bronze, grey, blue or green. These tones of glass significantly reduce glare and heat gain from the sun.
Supertoned glass, also known as supertinted, uses a heavier pigmentation to provide even greater solar heat control.
With the sunlight absorbing properties in tinted glass its ideally suited to warmer climates when ideal window orientation is not achievable. The coloured tint within glass absorbs a greater proportion of solar heat in comparison to clear glass. Toned glass is particularly useful for reducing the suns impact on unshaded windows you wish to keep unobstructed by other shading devices.
Toned glass will reduce the amount of sunlight entering the home year-round. With its sunlight absorbing properties, the use of toned glass in north facing windows and doors is not recommended if you want to harness the winter sun to warm your home. In colder areas sunlight entering the home in winter is free heating that reduces costs, thus toned glass would not be suited.
Also known as Low Emissivity Glass - Low E Glass has a thin, transparent metallic coating that reduces the transfer of heat or cold through the glass, meaning in the winter your home stays warmer and in the summer it stays cooler. It's helpful to think of Low E glass like insulation panels for your home.
Where greater solar and thermal control is required in the absence of natural heating, Low-E Glass can be used. Also an option to consider towards the Energy Efficiency Rating for new homes, especially in cases where plenty of light is desired.
The cost of investing in Low-E glass can be offset against your future energy bills, and is a cost effective alternative to double glazing.
Traditional window glazing consists of a single sheet of glass within your window sash. Double glazing consists of two panels of glass which are separated by a layer of air or argon gas and then sealed. The air creates the insulation break which greatly reduces both heat flow and thermal conductivity through the window. Double glazing is often known as Insulated Glazing Units (IGUs).
Double glazing thermal benefits makes it ideal for windows in rooms where there is the desire for more control of heat gain and loss through the glass.
Double glazing is best applied to the rooms most affected by thermal impact. Consider why you are wanting double glazing, are there other glass types that will have the same result. Low E glass for example is often a cost-effective alternative.