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Laminated security glass vs tempered safety glass

Tempered Glass Vs Laminated Glass

As a premier glass contractor for residential & commercial properties in Seattle, Washington and though out nearby King County cities. Beacon Hill Glass has been providing excellent customer service and quality workmanship since 2012. One common question we often address is the difference between laminated and tempered glass and their best uses. This page aims to help you understand these two types of glass better, so you can make an informed decision for your home glass or business commercial glass improvement project.

The Pros and Cons of Tempered Safety Glass


Tempered glass is made by heating and cooling a piece of standard glass in a tempering furnace. The glass, which must be pre-cut and edged before being put into the tempering furnace, is heated to approximately 1200°F and then cooled rapidly.

This process is also known as quenching. The quenching process leaves the glass hardened so that it is now approximately 4 to 5 times stronger, and therefore more resistant to breakage, then it was before the tempering process. If it does break, tempered glass shatters in small pieces that are less likely to cause injury or damage than non-tempered glass.

Tempered vs. Laminated: How To Choose The Right One For Your Job


Both tempered and laminated can come in single pane and double pane glass units. So for strength and breakage-resistance, temper glasses often is the first consideration. For flexibility, UV-resistance, security and sound considerations, laminated glass is often the product of choice. Both are considered safety glazing materials and can be obtained in a variety of thicknesses and colors or tints. Both are easy to clean and maintain when installed properly.

Keep in mind that tempered glass cannot be cut. Once glass has undergone the tempering process, piercing the surface will cause the glass to explode. If using tempered glass for a project, be sure that all sizing is completed before the glass is tempered. In contrast, laminated glass can typically be cut and sized at any time without issue, which could be a benefit for some projects.

Typically, laminated glass products are a slightly higher price than tempered products of the same type and thickness. The optical clarity for both laminated and tempered glass are excellent in either product will provide many years of satisfactory service in your door or window.

What is Laminated Glass?

Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when broken. In the process of its creation, two or more layers of glass are bonded together with a plastic interlayer, typically Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB). During an event that leads to the glass breaking, the interlayer holds the fragments together, preventing them from shattering all over the floor, causing potential injury or preventing intruders from entering.


Best Uses for Laminated Glass:

Laminated glass is best used in places where safety, security, and sound reduction are required. It is ideal for use in windows, doors, shower enclosures, and glass floors. It is also the preferred glass for applications that require the prevention of dangerous glass shards in case of breakage, such as skylights.

What is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass, is processed through extreme heating and rapid cooling. This process makes it stronger and harder than standard glass. Its safety characteristic is in the way it breaks. When shattered, it breaks into small, granular chunks that are less likely to cause injury.


Best Uses for Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is primarily used in areas where safety is of utmost importance. This includes places like shower doors, entry doors, skylites, glass doors, sidelites, windows below 18" off the floor and tables, Its strength makes it suitable for high-traffic areas where the glass is subjected to mechanical stress.


Choosing Between Laminated and Tempered Glass

The choice between laminated and tempered glass depends on your specific needs. If safety and sound reduction are the primary concerns, laminated glass is the best choice. However, if strength and durability are the priorities, tempered glass is more suitable.


At Beacon Hill Glass, we are committed to helping you choose the right glass for your project. We provide a range of glass services, including laminated glass and tempered glass installation. Our team of professionals will guide you through the entire process, ensuring you receive the best quality products and services.

Please Contact Us for more questions, please feel free to contact us anytime. Thank you!


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