When and Where Should Tempered Glass Be Used Instead of Annealed Glass?
There are multiple types of glass available at the disposal of the homeowners such as annealed, tempered, and laminated glass. Every glass type has its unique characteristics and is designed for specific purposes. Annealed glass is a technical word for the ordinary glass that is widely popular for its clarity and translucency though it is incredibly fragile and prone to breakage.
On the other hand, tempered glass is a modern, stronger, and durable alternative to the annealed glass and is renowned for its greater strength, safe breaking mechanism, and durability. For homeowners planning to renovate their interior space with the best type of glass, it is essential to know the key differences between the popular glass types. This knowledge helps them identify the right glass for the right place and helps the homeowner avoid common design mistakes.
Difference between Tempered and Annealed Glass
The key difference between the tempered and annealed glass is in its manufacturing process. Both the glass types are developed by a process of heating and cooling yet, their manufacturing methods differ. The standard or ordinary glass is cooled slowly after heating and this makes it lose the internal stresses. Due to the lack of internal stresses, the annealed glass has weak internal strength and is prone to breakage. Besides this, the glass also shatters into large sharp shards on breakage that are harmful and causes a safety hazard.
On the contrary, toughened glass or safety glass undergoes a process of extreme heating and is cooled rapidly. This makes it stronger and more durable than the annealed glass due to the presence of internal stresses. Also known as toughened glass, it is approximately four times stronger than the ordinary glass and has a unique breaking mechanism. Firstly, it is harder to break, and even on breakage, this glass doesn’t shatter into sharp shards of glass and breaks into thousands of pebble-sized harmless spherical pieces.
When to use Tempered Glass?
Tempered glass is a natural choice for any place where safety, strength, and durability hold the utmost importance. If you want to minimize the risks of damage associated with the fragile ordinary glass, it is best to opt for toughened or safety glass. There are no visual differences between the tempered and annealed glass and both the glass types are highly customizable and can be fashioned into any shape, thickness, color, and size.
From deck glass railings to shower enclosure, tempered or safety glass is a perfect alternative to the ordinary annealed glass, and it also helps significantly cuts down the glass replacement costs. You no longer have to worry about the baseballs, hails, or stormy winds breaking your home windows as tempered or safety glass windows are specifically designed to withstand such impacts.
In truth, the International Residential Code (IRC) has now made the tempered or toughened glass a norm for all residential doors, windows, stairways, shower, pool, and other home applications. Compromising on safety is never an option in home settings and that’s the reason why tempered glass is becoming more and more popular in today’s design world. Not to forget, a high-strength glass also minimizes the risks of break-ins and add in an extra layer of protection to your home.
Where Tempered Glass is Being Used in the Modern Era?
Tempered glass or safety glass can be used in any place where the normal annealed glass is used. These include shower doors, windows, staircase railings, mirrors, patio doors, skylights, and many other places. This is a perfect glass choice for homes with kids as they impose minimal safety risks and help you build a safe living environment for your loved ones. In addition to this, kitchen glass shelves, cabinets, backsplashes, and other decorative glass elements are also made with safety or toughened glass.
These are only the residential and home applications of the modernistic toughened glass. However, tempered or safety glass is also widely used in commercial and office settings. Office wall partitions, contemporary glass boards, and the majority of commercial glass elements are now made with the safety glass. In simpler words, it is a cost-effective design choice as it doesn’t break frequently and last longer than the annealed counterparts.
Tempered Glass is Expensive: Use it strategically
To know what is tempered glass and it’s benefits then this has myriads of amazing benefits and plays a key role in augmenting the safety and security of the home. However, all these benefits come at an added cost and this makes the safety glass more expensive than the ordinary annealed glass.
This is the leading reason why many homeowners still opt for the fragile and weak annealed glass as it costs less and perfectly fit into their design budget. This decision often comes back to haunt them as the annealed glass is prone to breakage and homeowners end up paying extra money in the form of glass replacement costs.
On the contrary, tempered or safety glass is expensive but when used strategically it can help homeowners save up a lot of money in the long run. That’s the reason why it is recommended glass type for all outdoor windows and doors and applications that are near to the ground and have an extra risk of damage and breakage.