From Tinted to Tempered and Everything in Between: A Guide to the Types of Window Glass for Your Home

Tinted and tempered and floating, oh my! San Antonio residents have a ton of window glass options. Here’s a guide to the types of window glass for your home.

window glass

We’ve got some awesome statistics for you San Antonio residents!

Did you know that the window installation industry has grown by 3.4% over the last 5 years? It saw revenues of $5 billion in 2018 alone. And not included in that is the almost 3% increase in the number of window-specific businesses.

When it comes to home remodeling, consider making window replacement a priority.

It does more than provide a beautiful new view. It increases your home’s value by making it more energy-efficient. It cuts down on HVAC wear-and-tear by keeping you cooler when it’s hot out and warmer when it’s not.

Are you ready to upgrade your home’s look with some new windows?

Here, we cover the different types of window glass – because there are options galore.

Keep reading to find your perfect fit!

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How to Rate Window Glass

The perfect window is about more than its aesthetic (although that’s important, too). It’s about making your home more cost-effective. It’s about keeping you comfortable and safe.

There are two main ways that window glass gets rated:

  1. R-Values
  2. U-Values

When you think of “R,” think resistance. R-values measure a product’s thermal resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more energy-efficient the material is.

This means that during the winter, heat will stay indoors. And during the summer, a/c will, too. This makes regulating your home’s temperature easier.

U-values measure the rate of heat transfer. For U-values, you want the number to be low because that means it’s more energy-efficient. In effect, it expresses the window’s thermal efficiency.

So, to keep it simple.

High R-values are good. Low U-Values are good. The combination of these two results in high-quality window glass.

Beyond these factors, your next thought should concern glass material. Different materials have different pros and cons, from price and appearance to efficiency. We’ll cover the different types of window glass next.

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1. Float and Annealed Glass

Float glass is an extremely flat, almost blemish-free piece of glass. It gets manufactured when molten glass gets poured onto a surface of molten tin. This process produces a piece of glass free from distortion.

Annealed glass is float glass that has slowly cooled to room temperature. By avoiding a quick cooling, the glass is less stressed and thus sturdier.

These types of glass are preliminary, before cutting and laminate. To be safer and more efficient, they’ll need to get laminated for reinforcement first. Without laminate, their shatter-power is high, making them dangerous.

2. Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is a reinforced glass, usually double-paned. Sometimes it’s even triple-paned. This type of glass is strong, durable, and shatter-resistant.

Between two pieces of glass lies a protective layer of vinyl. Like safety glass, its vinyl inside holds the glass together. This prevents scattering shards of glass in the event one layer gets broken.

It also has the added benefit of reducing UV rays in your home. It can block up to 95% of UV light, which fades furniture, artwork, carpet, and more.

This is one of the safest, most efficient types of glass for residential homes.

3. Obscure Glass

Obscure glass accomplishes exactly what the name suggests: obscurity. This is the type of cloudy glass that is commonly used in bathrooms, showers, and the like.

There are different levels of privacy offered depending on the type of obscure glass. Some are blurrier than others. The embedded pattern can get used as decoration and for privacy reasons.

This type of glass is ideal in areas where you’d want improved privacy. Not necessarily in places like your kitchen or living room.

4. Tinted Glass

Like obscure glass, it’s all in the name.

Tinted glass undergoes a tinting process, leaving it any number of different colors. Tinted glass offers enhanced protection from light and heat, making it pretty energy-efficient.

If you’re a fan of looking out your window, then tinted glass may not be the best for you. It reduces light and visibility – not ideal for someone who loves natural light. But great for someone who relishes their privacy.

5. Tempered and Heat-Strengthened Glass

Tempered and heat-strengthened glass is the last step for annealed glass. Tempered glass can’t get cut, while annealed can. Annealed glass gets cut into a desired shape and size, and then it undergoes heat treatment.

Annealed glass gets heated to about 1,200°. It is then cooled in a rapid manner, getting dropped to 400-600°.

This process makes the glass less prone to breaking. And if it does break, it doesn’t shatter in large bits, like annealed glass.

6. Low-Emissivity (Low-E) Glass

Reducing your window’s heat emittance results in improved insulation.

Standard glass has an emittance of 0.84. In comparison, Low-E glass can have an emittance as low as 0.04. This means that 96% of longwave, infrared radiation gets reflected.

You can find out what glass has low-emissivity by observing its U-value.

7. Insulated and Gas-Filled Glass

Insulated glass is almost one and the same as gas-filled glass. It is also referred to as “double pane” glass; no insulated glass is single-paned.

The two glass planes get separated by a small space and sealed. That space is then filled with dehydrated air or gas like argon or krypton.

This type of glass gets great energy conservation. Some commercial and residential building codes even require it.

Insulated glass cuts the number of UV rays that get into your home. Argon and krypton also work to decrease the movement of heat through space.

Insulated glass is a great option for homes, but be aware of one thing. If one of the panes becomes unsealed, moisture may enter the gap and produce condensation. This is why it’s important to go with a reputable window replacement contractor.

To the Window!

San Antonio residents are at no loss for options when it comes to window replacement. There are plenty of ways to cater your windows to your home and your desires.

Once you’ve decided on your window glass, implementing it is next. Here are 5 unique window designs for your Texas home!

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