The 9 Most Common Glass Types: Pros & Cons

There is a range of glass types used in the construction industry. It is one of the most fascinating building materials to mankind. Glass adds beauty and elegance to the appearance and feel of the building, and over the years, has proven to be one of the most versatile building material in the world of construction.

Glass has various properties and uses, but it is commonly used in windows, doors as well as office partitions. It provides architects with a range of new designs and ways to beautify the looks and features of the building.

How To Choose Right Type of Glass? Various Types of Glasses Details

The most common glass types used in the construction industry include:

Float or Annealed Glass

Float or annealed glass is made from calcium and sodium silicate, and sometimes it is also referred to as soda-lime glass . It is flat and tends to typically break into large serrated spikes.

Annealed glasses are usually used in end products such as double-glazed windows. When further processed, this type of glass ends up producing advanced products such as coating, laminating, and toughening, among many others.

These glasses are known for their flatness and optical clarity and comparatively inexpensive as compared to other types of glasses.


    o It is clear
    o Commonly available
    o It is affordable
    o High light transmission degree
    o Comes in different colors
    o Can be created in different opacities


    o When they break, thy usually shatters into sharp spikes, thus becomes dangerous to install in certain areas, for example, indoors and kitchens.

Toughened Glass

While float glasses break easily, toughened glasses are far more strong and resistant to breakage. And when they do break, they are usually doing so in a more predictable way and therefore easy to avoid injuries.

These glasses are made from float glasses after undergoing the thermal process. During cooling, the surface is rapidly cooled at a higher rate than the inner layer, giving these kinds of glasses different physical properties.

It is the counteracting stresses that give toughened Glass its low breakage qualities.

Toughened glasses are commonly used in building façades, sliding doors, as well as office and home partitions.


    o They have increased resistance to breakage
    o Have a wide range of application
    o High quality


    o Hard to clean
    o Susceptible to fingerprints
    o Has low visibility

Laminated Glass

Just as it is in the name, laminated glass has two or more layers bonded together in the middle by polymeric materials.
The windows with laminated glass have a layer of protective vinyl to increase its strength.

These types of glasses deliver lots of advantages to architects, such as safety and security. When laminated glass breaks, it doesn’t shatter into jagged shards; instead, it is held together by the protective interlayer.

The interlays does not just provide safety measure from shattering, it offers resistance to fire, provides ultraviolet filtering, and sound dampening.

Laminated glass can be found commonly in car windows and windscreens, as well as building façades.


    o They don’t shatter into dangerous spikes when they break
    o They are relatively harder to break
    o Offers noise resistance
    o Reduce ultraviolet fading of your carpets, curtains, and furniture


    o Does not let inadequate air
    o It requires qualified professionals to install the windows
    o They are expensive (look at car windshields)

Coated Glass

Coated or anti-reflecting glasses are usually used in car and home mirrors. Any glass can be coated to change its appearance.
The coating can be applied to either in front, at the back, or both sides for maximum usage.


    o They last longer than regular glasses
    o The coatings offer the glass some sorts of protection
    o It looks beautiful with a coating


    o They are expensive

Shatterproof Glass

These types of glasses are commonly used for flooring, windows, and skylights. They are made from regular glasses with plastic polyvinyl butyral. Due to the added elements, it cannot shatter into pieces when it breaks.


    o It is durable
    o Does not shatter when broken


    o They are expensive

Glass blocks

Glass blocks are made from glass and can vary in color, texture, size, and form. They are used commonly for architectural purposes in the construction of skylights, walls, and windows, among other applications.

Glass blocks provide aesthetic appearance when rays of light pass through them.


    o They have aesthetic effects
    o They are strong
    o Comes in a range of colors


    o They are expensive
    o Heavy

Low-iron/ Extra Clear Glass

These glasses have two significant advantages; first, they are highly photocatalytic, and second, they are hydrophilic. For these reasons, these glasses are typically stain proof and provide stunning appearances. Besides, cleaning them is also a walk in the park.


    o Stain-proof
    o Easy cleaning
    o They are recyclable
    o Can be reshaped


    o They are not secured
    o Broken pieces are hazardous
    o Can act as a greenhouse in hot climates

Textured Glass/Patterned Glass

It is more translucent and decorative than most on this list. They have a variety of beautiful patterns and textures on its surface that helps it diffuse lights as well as obstruct visibility from the outside. This type of glass is used in many cases in interiors of the house to provide privacy.


    o They are beautiful when used on windows
    o They provide privacy
    o They prevent heat from escaping


    o They can be pricey to install

store front glass dseign

Wired Glass

This is just a textured glass with wire mesh inlaid to increase its strength and protection from breaking and shattering under stress.

Wired glass is usually used to protect against smoke and fire because of its fire resistance feature. The wired glass can also prevent the fire from spreading further even after it cracks.

Wired glass is used in public buildings and offices. It does not shatter into pieces when it breaks due to the wire mesh holding the small fragments together.


    o The best feature of wired glass is fire resistance
    o It can withstand extreme degrees for over an hour without breaking
    o Holds together when shattered


    o Not very durable in places with high humidity, since the wire in the glass will rust
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