It can seem as though all glass is the same. If you need a glass door for your storefront or office glass partition you go to a glass shop, or call a glass specialist; you ask for a “glass door”. But as simple as glass can be, there’s a little more to it.
The 3 most common types of commercial glass
- Annealed – Less expensive and most common
- Tempered – 4-5 x stronger than annealed and safer if damaged
- Laminated – Two annealed panels are sandwiched together – much harder to break
Annealed glass is the most commonly used type. It is often used in window applications or where security is less concern and cost is of greater concern. Annealed glass is less expensive and quick to install, in fact installation can be completed in less than a day.
Most businesses use a single-pane of annealed glass of 1/4 ” which is sufficient for doors and windows.
Tempered glass is used where safety and security is more of a concern, or where additional strength is needed, like in glass entry doors and storefronts. Tempered glass can also be found in custom table-tops and similar furniture. It is a good option for office partition walls since the sound insulation is far greater.
Tempered glass is seen as a safer choice; when it breaks it shatters into tiny rounded pieces instead of sharp shards. Even so tempered glass is much tougher to break than annealed, because of this it is heavier and more expensive.
Tempered glass has a longer turnaround time than annealed and laminated, somewhere between 3-7 days.
This is the most secure type of the three most common commercial glass types. Laminated glass is used where there is a greater risk of vandalism or injury – if the glass were to shatter from a great height for instance; this is why laminated glass is often seen in architectural installations. Laminated glass may also be considered for its superior noise reducing properties – since noise must travel through two separate panes of glass.
Laminated glass is crafted by sandwiching two annealed glass panels together. The panels are held with a film which can keep the glass in place even after repeated knocks. If the glass gets broken the film can still hold, stopping the glass from falling.
Like annealed, laminated glass can often be installed more quickly, even in a day.
It is possible to use laminated glass made from tempered glass instead of annealed. This offers far superior durability and safety, but is far heavier and less practical for most commercial uses.
Special types of glass
In addition to the three main types of commercial glass, there are also sub-types, customizations for annealed, tempered and laminated glass installations.
Tints and coats are a great way to add a little interest and style to your business, but they can also have practical uses too. Tinting adds a greater level of privacy and sophistication which can really pay off. If you have office enclosures for instance you may choose for a frosted type of glass to separate the office space, but still keep it “open” in a sense.
These coatings can also serve to keep your building/office spaces cool in the summer and reduce the need for air conditioning.
Bullet resistant glass
For added protection glass can be ordered in varying strengths of bullet resistance.
To discuss the right type of commercial glass for your business, contact Eastern Glass & Shower Door Company, serving all of Connecticut.