The Phoenix skyline wouldn’t be the same without those gleaming windows reflecting the sunset in the evening. You might have also noticed how the right glass can enhance a building’s sleek design or spruce up a home’s curb appeal. 

How to Choose the Best Glass for Your Building

Most people don’t realize just how much thinking goes into glass selection. Today’s manufacturing processes provide you with multiple options for glass types, finishes and thicknesses. Making the best choice for your building is easier when you’ve done some pre-consultation planning.

Create a List of Essential Needs

The temptation to pick glass with the most features is strong. While going all-out tends to work for many projects, it might not be necessary with doors and windows. For example, you might not want tinted glass if your goal is to set up displays for people to see from the sidewalk. 

The opposite can also be true. Knowing beforehand that breakage is an issue helps you to focus on stronger types during your consultation.

Building with glass walls.

Understand the Basic Types of Glass

Our professionals know how to talk about their specialty in a way that any home or commercial building owner can understand. It still helps to have at least a general idea of how the various glass types differ, along with their benefits. Brushing up on these basics will get you off to the right start.

  • Annealed - Sometimes referred to as float glass, you’ll find this type in many buildings. It is known for being less expensive than other types. The lower cost does come with the drawback of being more prone to breakage.
  • Tempered - This type goes through a special thermal process that makes it four to five times stronger than annealed. You might prefer this type in areas that get bumped regularly, such as a front door.
  • Laminated - Parts of your building with heightened safety and security concerns can benefit from this type. Laminated glass has two panes with special film in between that makes it harder to break. If it does break, the plastic film helps to hold the pieces together.

Consider the Location

As a general rule, you’ll want to use laminated or tempered panes in places where there is a high risk of breakage. For example, safety glass is ideal for low windows and doors where children tend to play. In some instances, you may be required to use stronger materials to comply with local building codes. 

Discuss the Need for Insulation

Energy efficiency and noise control are major concerns for property owners today. Insulated windows and doors help to prevent heat loss in buildings and can potentially lower your energy bills. You may also prefer insulated windows for offices and rooms that are near busy streets.

Stack of glass for commercial and residential use.

Think About Which Type of Finish Is Best

Now it’s time to think about aesthetics. Clear panes are ideal for homes where you want to match the other buildings in your neighborhood. 

Tinted glass works wonderfully for increasing security in buildings such as banks or jewelry stores. 

Mirrored glass finishes give that beautiful skyline look that makes a building stand out.

Frosted and patterned glass finishes allow the light in while obscuring people’s view inside. 

Picking out a finish tends to be fun and helps you to fully visualize how the right materials can make your vision for a building come to life.

Choosing the right glass type helps you to avoid paying for features that you don’t need. You’ll also benefit from options that help you solve common problems with buildings, such as the need to minimize noise. 

You also don’t have to worry about making all of the decisions yourself. Working with a professional technician helps you to feel confident about your choice of materials for your upcoming project. Give us a call and we’ll help you decide which type of glass will work best for you.