The Types of Glass Available for Building and Renovations and Their Uses

How many of you have wandered into a Starbucks and asked for a coffee, only to be met with the blank stares of Millennial baristas? We simply don’t order ‘coffee’ any more without answering the barrage of questions: Short, tall, vente, skinny, chai, vanilla, soy, coconut, flat, oat milk, honey…? 

In much the same way, if you are involved in home or office renovations, then you won’t simply ask for glass. Understanding the types of glass available will assist us in making the right choice for our space. 

We’d like to shed some light on the types of glass available and their uses. 

Types of Glass Available for Building & Renovation

More people than ever are realising the role of glass in both residential and commercial use, and rightly so. Glass opens up spaces, lets in light and warmth and adds a modern twist.

Float Glass

Large panes and double glazed windows benefit from float glass. So named due to its method of creation whereby glass is floated on a molten metal surface, the result is a thin, smooth, beautifully even and strong sheet of glass. 

It is often used in commercial applications where architects require a durable product and will form the basis for other windows, doors and panels.

Toughened Glass

For tables, glass balustrades or pool surrounds or doors, toughened glass is what you need.  This glass is created with a specific cooling technique which will force the glass to shatter into small pieces in the event of stress rather than break up into large shards. 

Laminated Glass

Another form of safety glass comes in the form of laminated glass. This is made from layers of glass fused with an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) which is a transparent adhesive resin. These are designed to stay intact when stressed and is ideal for balustrades, shop fronts, windscreens or even bullet-proof glass. 

While not strictly a security glass, wired glass is a form of safety glass in that it has a grid of wires embedded into the pane. It is commonly used in schools or hospitals and will maintain the glass in a frame in the event of a fire or even a fireman’s hose, thus avoiding damaging shards of glass. 

Solar Control/ Insulated Glass

Solar control or insulated glass is a highly effective way of keeping your energy bills down. Commonly used in skylights, large windows and conservatories this type of glass keeps the weather out while still allowing the light in.

Insulated glass often comprises of two or three panes of glass with the spaces filled with argon. Argon is an inert gas which is denser than air and does not contain moisture making it the best choice of insulating gas. 

Painted/Tinted Glass

Adding colour to a sheet of glass has become very popular with designers who have used these beautiful finishes for showers, feature walls, kitchen splashbacks and more. 

Tinted glass also serves as great protection from UV rays and can also afford a level of privacy depending on its opacity.

Patterned/Obscured Glass

There are a host of ways to create a pattern on glass most often done by sandblasting, etching, frosting or coating designs, logos or images onto the glass. This provides the same light, bright look alongside a level of privacy. However, another type of patterned glass comes in the form of panes which have had heat irregularly applied to their surfaces giving an opaque and quite beautiful finish which also offers a level of privacy. 

Bathroom and shower doors benefit from this type of glass, but it can also be used in entry doors for a little extra privacy.

Choose Your Glass Wisely

The average person may not know or understand the science behind the various glass options available, but we do want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we have the best possible product in place. 

With winter around the corner and skyrocketing energy bills, if you’ve been thinking about renovating or replacing old, dated windows and doors in your home, then this is your starting point. 

Why not chat with GHI who can guide you on the best choice, along with the practical and durable hardware that comes along with your decisions?

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