The Many Different Types of Commercial Glass

Commercial glass comes in many different types and can be used to enhance the style and aesthetics of new builds or renovations. From large pane storefront windows to expansive curtainwall installations, each type of architecture demands a different type of glass for the perfect effect to be achieved.

Transparent and Stained Glass

Clear commercial glass is commonly seen in storefronts that have large display windows. The best transparent glass option is generally heat-treated or fully tempered to strengthen it. Double glazed windows can use transparent glass for clear visibility and an insulated build that muffles sound from the outside. Stained glass is most commonly associated with religious buildings, but has found a foothold in the commercial realm, creating a fun and interesting front for restaurants, clubs, and other venues.

Tinted, Mirrored, or Frosted Glass

Tinted windows can add security, cut down on power bills by reducing the amount of solar heat that enters a building, and provide a modicum of privacy. Mirrored glass allows a view from the inside that is unobstructed, while viewers from the outside merely see a reflection, much like mirrored sunglasses. Tinting or a mirrored effect is generally achieved with a very thin film which can be applied at the factory, although some tints are metal oxides which are “baked” onto the glass surface during production. Frosted glass is produced by using a process similar to sandblasting during glass production to pit the surface of the glass, or by using acid to etch a pattern.

Safety Glass

Safety glass is a type of commercial glass specifically designed to withstand blunt force. It is covered with a film or laminate to help hold the glass together and prevent further damage if it fractures, and the pane will break into many small “crumbs” instead of large shards.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is made of two or more layers of glass with one or more polymeric material layers bonded between the glass layers. PVB laminated glass uses heat and pressure to seal a thin layer of polymer between layers of glass. If the glass is rated as SGP, it can be strong enough to withstand storms, hurricane, and cyclones. Resin Lamination or Cast in Place glass replaces the polymer with a liquid resin poured between two panes of glass then cured using chemicals or UV light. Laminated glass is often used extensively in building and housing products.

Insulated Glass

Insulated glass consists of two or more panels of glasses with trapped air or gas between them, which provides cost saving benefits since heat gain and loss as well as condensation are controlled.  Insulated glass is also excellent at maintaining wind load strength, making it an attractive option in tornado or hurricane prone areas.

Choosing the correct glass for your commercial project is the first step. Contact Perspective Glass for advice and a quote.