Types of Glass

When you need new replacement glass in a window or door, it's good to know what options you have.

Glass thickness:

  • 3/32” Single Strength Glass. Light, flimsy easily broken.
  • 1/8” Double Strength Glass. Significant gain in stability, less likely to flex.
  • 3/16” Glass. Suitable for larger applications such as picture windows.
  • 1/4” Glass. For very large insulated glass units, commercial use, or heavy glass frameless shower enclosures.

Color or pattern variations and usage:

  • Clear Glass: No added tint or coating, maximum light penetration
  • Low-E Glass: Special coating scatters UV light. Reduces glare, greatly improves energy efficiency, and protects furniture, upholstery, and drapery from fading.
  • Pattern Glass: During manufacturing, glass is processed through extra steps to press patterns into the glass, etch the surface, or impart deliberate imperfections to achieve an artistic look. Useful for decorative purposes, creating privacy, or replicating vintage glass.
  • Tinted Glass: Minerals are added to the glass give a distinct color, such as aqua or amber, for dramatic architectural applications.

Specialty glass:

  • Mirropane: gives the appearance of a mirror on whichever side has brighter ambient light, yet offers visibility from the opposing side.
  • Mirror: multiple layers are added to glass, both reflective coatings and then also an opaque layer to prevent light from passing through. Better mirrors feature 1/8” or 3/16” glass and give a clear, distortion-free image.
  • Heat-treated Glass: Glass can be tempered, which results in what is commonly called “safety glass.” If broken, it forms small chunks. Used in doors, windows adjacent to doors or close to the floor, shower enclosures, an other locations where safety is a concern.
  • Laminate Glass: Two sheets of glass are bound together with a sheet of polyvinyl carbonate (PVC) which holds to the glass, even if it is broken. Offers both safety and security.
  • Bullet Resistant: Very heavy glass that features both heat-strengthening and multiple layers bound together with laminating compounds.
  • Hurricane Rated Glass: Strengthened laminate glass used in areas where high winds may cause flying objects to impact glass.

Your Inst-I-Glass representative understands each type of glass, and both how and where to use it. Our quality requirements include the use of double strength glass for the fabrication of all standard insulated glass units manufactured on our trucks. When needed, we will upgrade to the appropriate glass for the project. Through every step of the process – from estimate to completed installation – we're here to make certain that you get the right glass for your needs!