FC WINDOWS- Styles and Types of Glass

Glass is a versatile element that is integral to the structure of contemporary buildings. It is both a vector of light and a decorative accent when combined within a door frame. There are six basic applications applied to glass; tempering, lamination, tinting, frosting, Low-E film, and insulation.


Let’s look at these modifications and how each one will help you choose the best kind for your home.

Forest City Window & Door Ltd carries all contemporary and classic door and window options to suit the style of your home and we’ve been professionally installing all of it since 1993.

Visit our door page, or window page, and if you would love visual inspiration and practical design advice, please read our article ‘How to Choose an Entry Door’


What is glass?

The common type of glass seen in most residential areas, as well as for beverage containers, is referred to as ‘float glass’ or ‘annealed glass’. This glass is characterized by its mundane nature, as well as its tendency to shatter into sharp tiny pieces if accidentally dropped. Sand, sodium carbonate, and limestone are heated and poured onto a sheet of molten tin. Due to their own respective chemical properties, glass forms and ‘floats’ on top of the molten bath much like oil floats on top of the water.

Annealed glass creates the same end-product; the glass cools off gradually preventing cracks from the heat-stress caused by the forging process.


Which types of glass are the hardest to break and can take the most stress?

Tempered glass is specially treated float glass, which makes it better suited for use as shower doors, car windows, and, even diving masks. The notable feature of tempered glass is its response to stress which allows it to shatter into small squarish chunks theoretically causing less damage. 

Laminated Glass is similar to tempered glass in its ability to minimize damage caused by stress. However, its composition is slightly different from tempered glass. Laminated glass features two panels of glass which are held together by an internal plastic sheet (Polyvinyl butyl) which prevents the glass from shattering. When smashed it creates a spider-web look, regularly used for vehicle windshields. This glass was designed with high-speed impacts in mind. 


Which types of glass are the best for privacy applications? 

Tinted glass is known for what it does best. The science behind this glass is not complicated, as it is made by applying a thin film of various colouring to a piece of glass. 

Some other unique benefits of tinted glass include the ability to deflect UV rays (depending on the film), and extra insulation to the window.

A similar smart-glass film that is uniform in colour has microscopic dimensionality that displays instant clarity or privacy with a flip of its switch; perfect for bedrooms and bathrooms.

Frosted or opaque glass panels are those most commonly used for entry door or bathroom window applications. There is varying degrees of opacity, patterning, and distortion available that still allows light to pass through. The frosting effect is created by either sand-blasting or by using acid to etch out patterns, carving and fracturing the sheet of glass. 


Which types of glass are most energy-efficient?

Low-E glass solves the paradox of an energy-efficient glass. It reduces the amount of heat, cold, and UV rays that pass through the glass, while maintaining its transparency.

Low-E films are made as hard or soft coated films. Hard-coated films are best for cold climates since they are more durable and soft-coated films are slightly more reflective so heat is mirrored away from the glass. Low-E film is manufactured to be extremely thin to help deter temperature transference. 

Insulated glass is achieved with two glass panes on either side of an air space. This unit is factory sealed; the space between the glass panels holds compressed gas, know for its insulative qualities. Argon gas is used for most North American sealed units. The outer layers are usually also laminated for extra UV protection. Both of these components helps to prevent heat transfer that a single pane of glass can only hope to achieve.

If you would like to learn more about the insulative qualities of the materials that make up doors and windows, please read our article ‘Insulating Your Windows and Doors – Before or After’        


Like all any other technology, advancements and changes are always occurring so products increase their efficiency to reflect their utility. And we’re all about the utility at Forest City Window & Door Ltd.

And the service. And the quality installations.

Please call us below when you’re thinking about new doors and windows in London and southwestern Ontario.