When it comes to upgrading or replacing your windows, two of most popular options are laminated and tempered glass. And for good reason! Both are strong and durable. So much so, that they’re both considered to be “safety glass,” capable of being used in hazardous locations (e.g. skyscrapers, windshields). Settling the laminated vs. tempered glass debate just comes down to your needs, preferences, and budget.

Laminated vs. Tempered Glass

Laminated Glass

A good analogy for laminated glass would be that of a glass sandwich. Two (or more) layers of glass are joined together by a plastic layer. These two layers of glass create a much thicker, stronger window (great for home security). That’s why it’s used in many entrance doors, aquariums, sliding doors, windshields, and display cases.

laminated vs. tempered glass

One of the benefits of laminated glass is that if it breaks, it sticks to the plastic layer rather than shattering into tiny pieces. Keeping this structural integrity not only helps to avoid a big mess, it is also a big safety benefit (in cases of car accidents, for instance). Also, if you’re looking for soundproofing, multiple layers of laminated glass provides your best bet. Similarly, those layers can keep out up to 99 percent of UV-light and greatly improve energy efficiency.

To learn more about laminated glass, visit our page here.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is made to be strong and durable through a process called “air quenching.” The glass is pre-cut and edged, placed into a tempering furnace, then cooled rapidly by a system of air jets. The quenching process makes the tempered glass about 4-5 times stronger than non-tempered glass of the same size and thickness.

A unique characteristic of this glass is that it has more tensile strength than laminated glass. That means it’s more capable of bending without breaking. For this reason, tempered glass is commonly used in skyscrapers or in areas that are susceptible to severe weather. If tempered glass does happen to break, it does not typically break into shards with sharp edges. Rather, it will break into small, rounded pieces (significantly lowering injury risk). Another benefit of tempered glass is that it usually carries a smaller price tag than laminated glass.

For more details regarding the characteristics of tempered glass, follow this link.

Contact Glass West

The glass professionals at Glass West have replaced over 25,000 windows, screens, and doors in the Sacramento region since 1995. So if you have further questions regarding tempered or laminated glass, feel free to contact us or request a free estimate.