Amidst the excitement of installing a new glass window or, as the case may be, replacing an old one, combining the tips and the guidance from an experienced installer cannot be overlooked.
And that’s if—of course, you do—you want all your expectations and desires fulfilled.
Speaking of expectations, regardless of whether your project is a residential building or commercial, every home builder seems to share common goals namely; security, ventilation, energy efficiency, natural illumination, and beauty.
Other than installing windows that serve the aforementioned purposes, as an individual, you want a window that is; durable, practical, easy to maintain, last longer, and ultimately easy to repair and install.
Therefore, to ensure that all your desires are fulfilled and to secure that you make the best investment, the fundamentals of windows and the types available should all be weighed—one against the other.
In the same light, the following facets must be considered for a good choice; type of building (home or office), the architectural design of the construction, geographical location, climatic factors, and your budget.
In this post, our experts at GlassProClovis have explained everything you need to know about the 5 types of glasses for windows.
At the end of this article, you will know the pros and cons of each glass type, the average cost range of each, and the best purpose for each.
First thing first. Here is an overview of the 5 glasses recommended for windows.
Types Of Glass For Windows
1. Float Glass
Float glass is the most fundamental. The complete procedure of preparation of it forms the initial stage of preparing other superior glasses. The whole process revolves around passing molten glass over an extended, flat surface of molten tin to cool and solidify. Afterward, the resulting smooth, flat glass panel is trimmed and treated to produce a colorless panel that is cheaper and less durable.
A float glass can measure from 2mm up to 19mm in thickness. With a width range of 715mm-3660mm and a length range of 914mm-6100mm, float glasses transmit up to 87% of the light that falls on them and can withstand acidic effects or other chemical reactions caused by a range of environmental conditions.
Benefits Of Float Glass
- Offers a natural greenish hue
- Reflects 87% of the incident light
- Provides high visibility
- The cheapest and cost-effective window glass
- Easy to maintain
Disadvantages Of Float Glass
- It shatters into pieces of sharp shards when it crashes
- Low strength and durability
- Expands and contracts rapidly
Average Cost Range Of Float Glass; $1.88 to $19.99 per square
Best Application Of Float Glass For Window
- Small windows in a domestic house
- High windows
2. Safety Laminated Glass
Otherwise called laminated safety glass, safety laminated glass is a highly-durable window material that is commonly an ideal choice for commercial buildings. In the making, two float glass or other stronger glasses are joined or molted to make one piece that has space in between. A PVB (PolyVinyl Butyral) is employed as the bonding material to secure the tightest bond possible between the two glass panes so that they don’t fall apart when heated whilst still providing the inner space needed for expansion to avoid shattering in summer. And the result is a glass that defends itself against heat, cold, and nocks.
Though safety laminated glasses are applied basically in vehicles as windshields, commercial buildings and hotels that are built with glass on the external walls are mostly windowed by laminated safety glass.
Just like your windshield, using safety laminated glass in your home is a way to minimize the penetration of heat in summer and, at the same time, cut back freezing in Winter. The PVB between the molten panel also serves as protection that keeps the panels together when they break to prevent them from shattering into pieces that may bounce off to cause injury.
Meanwhile, in some specially treated safety laminated glass, the replacement of PVB with a super tear-resistance polyvinyl butyral film as the bonding material adds even more strength to your window. The update is that your window has the capacity to withstand shot bullets, explosion, and breaks-in. And though, all safety laminated windows provided protection against ultra-violet rays, these specially treated ones have more UVR-protection capability that lasts longer.
Benefits Of Safety Laminated Glass
- Provides extra thermal protection in summer
- Prevents freezing in winter
- Offers ultraviolet ray protection
- Ideal for sound insulation especially for residences in the industrial area
- Solar and heat control
- Doesn’t shatter on breaking
- Recommended for windows that last longer
- Can be configured into various designs due to the bonding film
- Bullet and explosion resistant
- Minimizes risk to injury and maximizes safety
- Highly expensive
- Visibility is minimized
Average Cost Range Of Laminated Glass For Windows; $125 to $200 per square inches
Best Window Application Of Safety Laminated Glass
- Skylight Glazing
- Industrial and commercial windows
- Offices in temperate regions
- Residential homes in noisy locations
- All buildings in locations that are vulnerable to air pollution
3. Obscure Glass Window
As the name suggests, obscure glasses are specially designed material for both windows and doors when privacy is a priority.
This group of glasses is distinctive from the conventional transparent ones that can be seen through. Nevertheless, the level of the obscurity of glass is not set in stone. That is, you may prefer to make the view less obscure so that elements on the other side of your closed obscure glass window can be slightly seen but not clearly.
Conversely, you may opt for a less obscure glass that is oriented for more visibility. The main objective of obscure glasses, regardless of the level of obscurity, is to offer privacy whilst still benefiting the natural illumination of sunlight.
Most homeowners prefer this glass type due to the variety of options in using it. For one, you may decide to have a colored obscured glass window that transforms sunlight into your desired color.
In most cases, showrooms and galleries seize this opportunity to add natural beauty and make wares more eye-grabby. Obscured glasses are also commonly an elemental feature of churches in both windows and doors to create a holistic sort-of interior.
If you’re wondering how that style of glass is achieved, here’s a brief explanation of how obscured glasses are manufactured.
Obscure glass is a glass pane that has been frosted on a surface either chemically or mechanically.
In the former case, a specially prepared acid is poured unto a surface of the transparent pane to frost it while the other side of it is left unscratched. The same goal is reached when done mechanically by the use of abrasives, laminating kiln, or other cutting machines.
Benefits Of Obscure Glass Window
- Provides privacy and security
- Energy efficient
- Offers light color transformation
- Minimizes freezing in winter
- Reduces the risk to injury
- Comes in varieties of patterns and designs
- The level of obscurity is customizable to preference
- You can choose between opaque and frosted
- Doesn’t react with aluminum or wood frame
- Some designs offer UVR protection
- The availability of temporary and permanent frosting
Disadvantages Of Obscure Glass Window
- May explode when heated to a point
- The frosted surface reduces window strength
- Can’t be resized for your glass window repair when it expands
Average Cost Range Of Obscure Glass Window; $80 to $275 per square meter
Best Place To Use Obscure Glass Window
- Bathroom and shower
- Offices where more privacy is needed
- Public and home libraries
- Kitchen gardens
4. Tinted Glass
This is yet another option for increasing the curb appeal of your home and maximizing privacy whilst still enjoying the warmth and natural brightness that nature offers every home with transparent glass windows.
As the name predicts, tinted glasses could be any of the previously highlighted glass types that have been taken a step forward with the use of dye.
Basically, there are two types of tinted glasses based on the mode of manufacturing namely; aftermarket and factory tinted glass.
In the manufacturing of factory tinted glasses, pigments and dyes are added directly into molten glass and made to cool and solidify. The result is a dark glass panel that forcefully allows incident light to pass through it. Once designed and installed as a window, the tone of darkness is permanent.
On the flip side, the aftermarket tinted glasses are more dynamic and functional. They are designed by individuals other than glass manufacturers.
An aftermarket tinted glass is more like tweaking your old transparent glass window for more privacy and beauty. You simply apply a polyester film that comprises multiple layers of metal particles, dyes and pigments, and an adhesive coating on the transparent glass panel of choice.
Meanwhile, the trending addition to tinting your glass window is the application of a protection film that provides scratch-resistance to your installation.
Benefits Of Tinted Glass Window
- Curb appeal; increases the value of your home
- Privacy and security
- Glare reduction
- UVR and solar protection
- Furniture protection
- Decreases energy bills
- Highly durable
- Heat resistant
- Protection against shattering if broken
- Encourages cold in Winter
- Less effective at night and may darken your interior space
- Tinted windows for home are expensive
Average Cost Range Of Tinted Glass; $255 to $655
Best Place To Use Tinted Glass Window
- Bathrooms and showers
- Modern glasshouse
5. Insulation Glass Unit (IGU)
Otherwise known as double-panes, an insulation glass is a high-quality window and door material, fundamentally adopted to be insulation from heat, noise, and air pollution.
It is a far better option and an ideal replacement for your safety laminated window. As a structure, an IGU (insulation lass unit) comprises of two or more sealed glass panels separated by an insulation gas.
The unit may be a pair of laminated glass panes or two tampered glasses. To achieve the target insulation objective, a spacer is engineered between the two parts.
And other than that space serving as a room for the insulation gas, it equally prevents fogging by holding the needed desiccant to absorb whatever moisture that gets trapped in.
Insulation glass units are more widely used in areas where efficiency is required. Though more expensive and likewise difficult to install, they are the best option for a bright, noise-free space that is healthy to breathe in.
To enjoy all the benefits of installing insulation windows, and for an investment that stands the test of time, it is imperative to get a professional installation.
Here at GlassProClovis, we are equipped with the most sophisticated installation tools. And with our over 30 years of installing glass windows and doors in California, you can expect professionalism, security, and peace of mind from us.
More on the pros and cons of an insulation glass unit below.
Benefits Of Insulation Glass Unit
- Interior comfort and coziness
- Saves a lot of energy
- Lessen noise for homes in busy areas
- Doesn’t fog
- High safety and security level
- Highly strong, tough, and durable
- Brightens up your space more effectively
- Highly dynamic
- Comes in multiple lengths and thicknesses
- UVR protection
- Prevents heat loss and doesn’t cause heating
- Combines with window coating to offer more performance
Disadvantages Of Insulation Glass Unit
- An expensive type of glass
- High maintenance needed
- An ongoing insulation gas budget
- A slight crash may lead to a replacement
- Poor installation may leak insulation gas away
Average Cost Range Of Insulation Glass Window; $300 to $1200
Best Place To Use Insulation Glass Window
- Skylights and casement windows
- Picture windows and double-hung windows
- The exterior of buildings in an industrial location
- Hospitals, eateries, and all health centers
- Offices and schools
The chase for glass in modern architecture and in other structural designs has been a trend for decades.
But while glass elements, at their fundamental level, bring a closer relationship between indoor and outdoor, some types of glass are a better choice over others. In most cases, however, this depends on your project and the climatic factors of your project’s location.
So far, in this article, our experts at GlassProClovis have stretched-out everything you need to know about each glass options available. And by now you have decided on what glass type to go for.
Ready to install your window now? Get a free quote on the spot.