What is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass, sometimes called toughened glass, is both stronger and safer than ordinary glass. The process of making tempered glass actually changes the properties of the underlying material. Tempered glass is stronger, and when it breaks it crumbles into small particles, which minimizes damage and/or injuries from the broken glass.

As a matter of general safety, most windows should be made with tempered glass, including both interior and exterior windows, and single or double pane windows, especially those located close to a door because of higher traffic levels.

Tempered Glass is Stronger

In reality, tempered glass is roughly four or five times stronger than regular glass and that is what makes it safer to use in both commercial and residential projects. Regular, aka annealed glass, is often dangerous when it breaks, frequently leaving behind nearly invisible slivers that can cut long after the original broken glass is cleaned away. Tempered glass breaks into relatively small pieces that are much safer to handle. The tempering process allows for a slower cooling period, which in turn results in a much stronger and safer glass product.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass for exterior commercial use

Tempered Glass for Commercial Use

Glass might be considered a relatively fragile building material which is why it is so important that it be tempered. Just imagine if your building used normal glass in its doors and windows. It is equally important that these items are see-through, which is why you don’t see windows made from opaque materials. When glass is used for commercial doors, windows and storefronts, the tempering process is used for that glass to produce greater strength and to protect against breakage and possible injuries to customers and employees.

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Tempered glass can save lives

Produced using a slower cooling process, this type of safety glass is much stronger and safer as compared to standard glass. To the average customer, tempered glass can look the same as ordinary glass. While the cost of tempered glass can be four or 5 times more than normal glass, it is also 4 or 5 times stronger. When safety is an issue, tempered glass is clearly the better choice.

Tempered Glass

When a window must use tempered glass

One of the benefits of dealing with a professional glass company is that they know all of the rules and regulations pertaining to residential or commercial use for tempered glass. That means you don’t have to worry about the proper material being used in your project. Roxy Glass Company has been providing excellent glass services to the East Bay, South Bay, and North Bay area for over 40 years, and their commitment to excellent products, installation, and customer service makes them a favorite.

We always offer a free estimate for both cost and time needed for your project, eliminating any unpleasant surprises when your project is done. Phone or email us today to arrange for your FREE estimate. We also offer design ideas to bring your project to life.

Tempering for High Resistance to Breakage

In commercial projects that require exterior window, doors or storefronts, tempered glass is the only practical choice. If your high rise is in a windy area or you have frequent storms or high heat, cheaper glass can break and create damage to your store and injury to your customers and employees. That is why this type of glass is also referred to as tempered safety glass. Everyone is familiar with the sharp edges and corners that result from regular glass breakage, and no homeowner or business owner wants to deal with that.

The International Residential Code sets certain building codes that specify where tempered glass should be installed in a home to prevent injury or death.

Uses Of Tempered Glass In Your Home

Household uses

Tempered glass is also used in the home. Some common household furniture and appliances that use tempered glass are frameless shower doors, glass table tops, glass shelves, cabinet glass and glass for fireplaces. Surface heat resistance is also a characteristic of tempered glass.

Glass doors

According to the IRC, all glass panels in fixed, swinging, sliding, bi-fold or standard doors should have tempered glass or laminated glass installed. This requirement makes it safer for both residential and commercial customers. But many people have a question of what is the difference between laminated or tempered glass?

What is the difference between laminated and tempered glass

Two of the most common uses for laminated glass are skylights and automobile windshields. Laminated glass consists of two layers of glass with an inner layer that also can be used to improve the sound insulation of a given window. For this purpose a special acoustic PVB compound is used for the inner layer.

An additional property of laminated glass for windows is that it can help block UV rays. For both commercial buildings and residence, this can help keep your home cooler and help save on energy bills. It is used when the glass could potentially fall and injure either customers or employees. Also known as a variety of safety glass, laminated glass is an alternate choice for exterior windows, storefronts or curtain walls.

Using a commercial glass company such as Roxy Glass Company means the differences will be explained to you, along with differences in cost and application. We have been advising local residents and business owners for over 40 years, and always offer a guarantee for both our products and installation.

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Tempered glass windows

Glass in the bathroom

All glass in any bathroom or wet area such as showers, bathtubs, hot tubs, steam rooms, whirlpools, saunas, spa decks, and swimming pools should be made of tempered glass if the bottom edge is less than 60 inches above the walkway or standing surface and within 60 inches of the water.

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Tempered glass used for interior commercial use

Floating glass shelves and bathroom shelves

Tempered glass shelves for a bathroom or a kitchen can be very useful, and are much safer to use than regular glass. If you decide to have any installed, make sure that you use the proper glass. This is the modern version of floating wooden shelves but updated to a clean new look.

Corner glass shelf

Perfect for use in the bathroom shower- you can finally have a spot for your shampoo and conditioner.

Window glass plant shelves

Simply attach several tempered glass panels to any window with brackets and use them to act as a greenhouse for growing plants.

Other typical applications of tempered glass include:

  • Balcony doors
  • Athletic facilities
  • Swimming pools
  • Façades
  • Shower doors and bathroom areas
  • Exhibition areas and displays

Buildings and structures

Tempered glass is also used in buildings for unframed assemblies (such as frameless glass doors), structurally loaded applications, and any other application that would become dangerous in the event of human impact. Building codes in the United States require tempered or laminated glass in several situations including some skylights, glass installed near doorways and stairways, large windows, windows which extend close to floor level, sliding doors, elevators, and glass installed near swimming pools.

Roxy Auto Glass specializes in Laminated glass and Tempered Glass

We have been serving the businesses and residences of the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years, and offer our expertise for any glass needs that you have. We always offer a FREE estimate, including an estimated time for when your project can be completed. Simply call or email us today to set up an appointment. Our designers can also help you with suggestions to help you get started.

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