Possible Glass Replacement Types for Windows and Doors

If a glass door or window in your home breaks, you'll need to have it replaced. Not all glass is the same, however. Within the home, different kinds of glass are used, but it depends on where they're installed. Here are several possibilities.

Standard Float Glass

One possibility found in many windows is standard float glass, which breaks into pointy shards when it shatters. This glass may feature in windows and old glass doors if they've been in place for a while. The problem with this glass is that its sharp edges, when broken, can cause injuries.

The breaking pattern of glass often shows what type it is. A windowpane that's broken into pointy pieces is likely to be float glass. An expert may replace it with the same glass type. However, regulations are updated regularly, so what was once permissible may now not be. Your contractor can offer advice on what options comply with current regulations.

Toughened Glass

Another type of glass used around the home is toughened glass. These glass sheets have been heat-treated and rapidly cooled, rendering them about five times stronger than standard float glass. This toughened variety is often featured in glass doors, expansive windows and shower screens.

You can easily identify broken toughened glass because it disintegrates into many rounded cubes without pointy bits. Tempered glass is designed to break in this way, which means it's less likely to cause injury. However, the glass will completely crumble to the ground, leaving the door or window unprotected.

Laminated Glass

Another type of safety glass that's used around the home is a laminated variety. This glass comprises two sheets of float glass that are laminated or stuck together in the middle, creating an ultra-strong glass window or door. The plastic interlayer holds all the glass together, even if it cracks.

You may have seen this on a car windscreen, which can crack into a spider web pattern while staying put. If one of your windows or doors has fractured in this way but still remains in position, it may be laminated safety glass. Beneficially, this glass stays in place until you can get it fixed, rather than crumbling to the ground, so you'll have better security. You won't have to worry about loose pieces of glass that may cause injury, like float glass.

A glass replacement expert can advise on what replacement glass is permissible for your broken window, door, shower screen or item, in line with safety regulations. Contact a glass replacement service for more information.