Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a listing of the most frequently asked questions we encounter. If your question isn’t listed, give us a call.
“Safety glass” is a term given to specific types of glass that when broken will break in such a way as to minimize potential injury to people. This is in contrast to standard “plate glass” which can be deadly due to the large sharp spear-like pieces that are created when broken. Safety glass comes in all types, sizes, colors and shapes depending on the application. The most common types of safety glass are Tempered glass, Laminated glass, Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Uniform building codes have been created that address specific applications for residential and commercial buildings and assure the public’s safety when followed. Be sure to use a licensed and insured contractor who is aware of all building codes when having glass replaced in your home or office.
Tempered glass is a form of Safety Glass that is manufactured by heating flat glass to its softening temperature and then suddenly chilling with jets of cold air called quenching, which distributes compression stress on the glass surfaces while creating tensile stress in the center. The counteraction of compression stress and tensile stress provides tempered glass that is up to 5 times the strength of normal glass. When broken, tempered glass forms oblique bean size granules to reduce damage to human bodies. Tempered glass also withstands quick temperature changes.
These doors are usually used in commercial applications like malls and offices. The glass is tempered and is typically 3/8″ to 1″ thick. Top and bottom metal rails capture the glass and conceal the closer and pivots. Frameless glass doors can be used in multiple applications and provide a very clean appearance.
Laminated glass is a form of Safety Glass that is manufactured by sandwiching a layer of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) between two pieces of annealed or tempered glass. It then goes through a heating and pressure process in an autoclave to firmly adhere the glass to the inner-layer. This is the same type of glass used in the windshield of your automobile. If broken, the glass is held together by the inner-layer and provides a high level of both safety and security.
Dual pane windows are manufactured as airtight units that are able to resist fogging due to a material in the spacer called desiccant. When either the inner or outer piece of glass breaks, the desiccant becomes saturated and ineffective which requires replacement of the whole unit. Although insulated units are more expensive to replace than single pane windows, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Besides the obvious energy savings benefits, insulated units also provide some important security benefits. Usually when a dual pane window breaks, one side stays in tact keeping air conditioning or heat from escaping. Unlike single pane windows, it also keeps your home secure until the new window can be installed.
Low-E stands for Low-Emittance. Low-E coatings are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window or skylight glazing surface which reduces the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow. By purchasing windows with a low-e coating you can allow all the light into your house without all the heat that goes along with it.
The standard glass used for protecting table top finishes is 1/4″ annealed glass. Many people mistakenly think that tempered glass is necessary. While it’s true that tempered glass will take more of an impact than annealed glass if something is dropped directly onto the surface, it is also prone to shatter if hit directly on the edge of the glass. If that should happen with tempered glass, the thousands of little broken pieces of glass will likely scratch and damage the wood surface. Also remember that clear buttons should be used to raise the glass off of the surface of the table to allow for airflow.
Yes, but it will depend on how the door will be mounted. Due to the increased weight of 3/8″ or 1/2″ glass, it will be necessary to have a stud or other reinforcement behind the wall that the hinges will be mounted to. Other options are also available including top and bottom pivot mounts or even sliding hardware. An inspection of the existing opening will be necessary to determine the proper mounting.