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Question DetailsAsked on 2/12/2018

Is tempered glass a better choice than other types of glass?

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1 Answer


Depends on for what use - tempered glass is NOT safety glass (like is used in cars) which breaks into tiny pieces which are (relatively speaking, for glass) not going to cut you terribly and has a plastic film in the middle of two glass layers to hold the pieces in place so unless you actually pass a body part THROUGH the window usually does not cause deep cuts.

Tempered glass is heat treated so it breaks in small pieces with less angular and less arcuate (curved) shards like normal glass breaks with, and is required for locations close to the floor or next to doors, sliding glass doors, glass in doors including sliding glass and closet doors, shower doors (if not plastic), etc - with some exceptions for very small windows.

Below is an extract from the 2012 building code (does not change much from versio to version) applicable in essentially all areas FYI - in those locations it is REQUIRED by law as per the extract, and if a home inspector happens to flag non-tempered or non-safety glass in those locations you will probably have to replace the glazing unit (glass and glass-holding metal frame) before house sale closing, at typically $200-1000 per window for normal size household windows, so get it right. Most Glass and Mirror places will, if doing a replacement for you, get it right. Tempered and Safety glass is stamped with those words (usually in white at a lower indoors corner).

Some people use it in glass tabletops too, though normal thick plate glass is msot commonly used for that and shelves - safer to use tempered, or for real safety plate glass, but a lot more expensive. Glass top ocffee and dinging room tables and such should require it, byt the manufacturers carry more weight with Underwriters Labs than common sense. Neither tempered nor safety glass can be scored and snapped to size like normal glass, so more expensive to fabricate and commonly longer lead time.

Here are a couple of related previous questions with answers FYI:

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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