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8 Most Popular Types of Window Glass for Your Home​ ​

Did you know that there are actually many different types of residential window glass? Each type has different characteristics, making it perfect for certain applications. In this guide, you’ll learn more about different glass styles for home to help you decide which one is right for you.

8 Most Popular Types of Home Window Glass

This list details some of the most popular window styles that you can find on the market. They can be used for residential or commercial applications alike.

Float Glass

When you take molten glass, pour it over molten metal, and let it cool, you get float glass. These are large, fragile sheets of glass. Manufacturers will actually often start with float glass and transform it into the different types of glass that you’ll find on this list.

Where is it used? You might find float glass in small residential windows. Most people recognize float glass from display cases in retail stores or jewelry showcases.

Pros:

Cons:

  • If it breaks, can become large and dangerous shards
  • Low-strength glass compared to others

Tempered Glass

When you take float glass and heat-treat it, you get tempered glass. Heat-treating is a manufacturing process that heats up a material before letting it cool down slowly. This makes the new material a lot stronger than the original and, as a result, it makes tempered glass a lot stronger than float glass.

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This heat-treating process has a unique result on the glass: If something hits the glass hard enough to break it, it can shatter, but only into tiny, dull pieces that are less dangerous. Because of this, tempered glass is a form of safety glass.

Where is it used? Large windows, windows used near busy areas, and low windows.

Pros:

  • Much stronger than float glass
  • Safer option
  • Better wind resistance

Cons:

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass takes two pieces of float glass and puts a layer of adhesive between them. This is typically PVB resin, which is a strong, flexible, and tough adhesive. If your window gets broken and shatters, the PVB resin will hold it in place. In other words, you won’t have to worry about glass shards on the floor.

Having two panes of glass and a strong adhesive combine to make a very firm and sturdy piece of glass. Laminated glass is one of the safest resident window trends and it’s another form of safety glass.

Where is it used? Car windows/windshields, large windows, security glass, glass doors, glass railings, and skylights.

Pros:

  • Can’t use glass cutters to get through the window
  • Better sound insulation
  • Very strong and impact-resistant, though not as strong as tempered, but remains in the opening once it is broken

Cons:

  • Requires specific installation
  • More expensive than tempered glass

Obscured Glass

Obscured glass is also called privacy glass or frosted glass. The glass is either reflective, etched, or beveled. Regardless of how it’s achieved, the glass aims to give you privacy. Light can still shine through the glass, but it’s not transparent like a standard pane of glass. In most cases, you’ll only see shadows or silhouettes as you look through obscure glass.

Where is it used? This glass is one of the most popular shower glass styles. It can be found throughout your bathroom and can also be used in kitchen cabinet doors and office buildings

Pros:

  • Best option for privacy

Cons:

  • Obscured glass can’t be cut after getting processed
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Insulated Glass

Insulated glass uses multiple panes of glass. It can use either two or three panes in a single unit. The panes are separated by spacers. The gaps between the panes can be filled with argon or krypton before being hermetically sealed, making them airtight. These elements are insulators.

The purpose of this unit is to prevent outside temperatures from creeping inside and prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the glass. Some forms of glass aren’t a good insulator, but as the name suggests, insulated glass does a great job. Hot air will heat up a standard window, making your room hotter. Insulated glass stops this problem.

Where is it used? Homes and businesses that want to insulate their building, lowering their use of heating or AC.

Pros:

  • Energy-efficient option
  • Good sound insulation

Cons:

  • Glass can fog up over time
  • More expensive option

Tinted Glass

Tinted glass is any kind of glass that has a film or coating on the outside. The result is a colored piece of glass. It’s good for adding style to a building or home, and it can also block sunlight and UV rays.

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Tinted glass can also be created while the float glass is molten by adding metal oxides. This creates a more subtle tint of green, blue, bronze, or gray. It doesn’t change the strength or performance of the glass, just the color.

Where is it used? Large buildings with many windows, and storefronts. It can also be used for interior design.

Pros:

  • Beautiful finish
  • Any type of glass can be tinted
  • Certain tints block UV rays

Cons:

  • More expensive than float glass
  • Susceptible to breaking in very hot regions of the world

Low-E Glass

The “E” in low-e glass stands for emissivity. Emissivity is a term that refers to radiation passing through a window. As a result, the benefit of Low-e glass is that it’s able to block the emission of UV rays through your windows and limit solar heat gain.
UV rays are known to damage your skin, and they can make your clothes and furniture fade. A highly emissive window also allows warm air to escape during the winter months.

Low-e glass can either be manufactured, or you can buy an aftermarket film to create tinted glass with low emissivity. The best method to block UV rays is to have manufactured, brand new, low-e windows installed.

Where is it used? West and south-facing windows, and areas with lots of sunlight.

Pros:

  • Blocks harmful UV rays
  • Good at keeping warm air inside during winter

Cons:

  • More expensive than float glass
  • Requires specific installation

Impact-Resistant Glass

Impact-resistant glass is often called hurricane glass. It’s a form of laminated glass that is specifically engineered to withstand debris flying into it. Since it’s built from laminated glass, it’s a very safe option that won’t result in glass shards on the floor.

Where is it used? Regions where hurricanes and tropical storms are common.

Pros:

  • Safe option
  • Very strong and impact-resistant

Cons:

  • Expensive

Conclusion

There are many popular window styles that might be perfect for your home or office. Each option has its own designed use, and corresponding pros and cons. Picking the right glass style for your home or office can save you money, keep you safe, and give you privacy. For convenience, price, and high-quality installation, repair, and replacement, give us a call at Century Glass. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and get personalization window recommendations for your house or business.

Call the Glass Experts at Century Glass

Century Glass is the glass company you can count on. We have a team of glass professionals who can assist you with your windshield, shower door, and home glass needs. We understand reliability and convenience are key. Our customers enjoy not just clearer glass, but see life’s moments more clearly.

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