Toughened & Laminated Glass Simply Explained

Are you looking for safety glass? When it comes to finding the best safety glass, typically there will be two main styles to choose from, toughened or laminated. What exactly are these two styles of glass, though, and what are the benefits they provide? We thought we would take a closer look. 

What is toughened glass?

Toughened glass, or tempered glass as it is otherwise known, is an incredibly durable material that is up to five times stronger than a traditional pane of glass. In order to achieve this, the glass is heated at 650°C and then cooled incredibly quickly, resulting in much higher heat and shock resistance. 

Example of toughened glass

What are the benefits of toughened glass?

Toughened glass is incredibly durable and is able to offer a wide range of benefits, including: 

  • Far higher strength and resilience to cracking and damage. 
  • Greater ability to withstand high temperatures
  • Requires much greater force to shatter
  • If it does break, it will shatter into small, even pieces, ensuring there are no shards or splinters. 
  • Does not lose any colour, clarity or composition, making it perfect for use in windows and doors. 

What is laminated glass?

Laminated glass has essentially two pieces of glass (most of the time the glass is toughened glass) that have a plastic interlayer between them. This interlayer of tough resin not only holds the two panes in place, but it will also keep all of the shards together should the panes become shattered. All laminated glass must be compliant with EN ISO 12543 specifications while the overall transparency of the glass can also not be altered.

Example of laminated glass

What are the benefits of laminated glass?

As with toughened glass, using laminated glass is able to provide you with a wide array of benefits, including:

  • The glass is held together when broken, ensuring there are no sharp shards and thieves cannot gain access. 
  • Can withstand changes in temperature, ensuring it can be used internally and externally. 
  • Offers very good sound insulation 
  • Can reduce the impact of UV rays 
  • Provides fantastic heat insulation, reducing your energy bills.

What’s the difference between the two?

The primary difference between the two is how they are constructed and used. Toughened glass is typically utilised when there is a need for high strength and heat resistance, such as a vehicle window, shower door or protector screen. Laminated is typically used in areas where you need high security. As when the glass breaks, the glass stays in place, it prevents anyone from gaining access, making it popular for use on ground floor residential and commercial buildings or where security is essential. Due to its construction, laminated glass is thicker and heavier than toughened glass. 

To identify which style of glass you have, you should look for the kitemark code, with laminated being BS EN14449 and toughened BS EN12150. 

Where can toughened and laminated glass be used?

Toughened and laminated glass has a huge array of uses and some of the most common include:

Toughened glass 

  • Kitchen worktops
  • Table tops
  • Greenhouses
  • Shelves
  • Kitchen splashbacks
  • Internal partitions 
  • Balustrades
  • Glass flooring 
  • Ground floor balustrades 

Laminated glass 

  • Shop fronts
  • External and internal doors
  • Vehicle windscreens 
  • Shelving
  • Partition walls 
  • Shower screens 
  • Security glass 
  • First floor and above balustrades 

Looking for glass for your property?

Are you looking for safety glass for your home or workplace? Here at Me and My Glass, we provide a wide array of options for our clients, so get in touch today to find out how we can help you.

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