Laminated Glass vs. Tempered Glass

Laminated Glass vs. Tempered Glass: Which Is Better?

Posted by | 13-01-2020

Glass offers a surprisingly innovative material with a number of very attractive applications. From stunning shower enclosures and decorative partition walls to impressive stairways and gleaming kitchen backsplashes, glass can be used for both functional and decorative purposes. Because of its fragile nature, glass must be treated to reduce the risk of breakage. Laminating and tempering are the two most common types of glass treatments used for both residential and commercial applications. Here, we explore the pros and cons of each to help you decide which is best for your needs.

What’s the difference between laminated and tempered glass?

Laminated glass provides added strength using a thin, clear layer of plastic sandwiched between two layers of glass. Should the glass be shattered, the damage is minimized as the glass remains in its frame. This creates a highly durable glass ideal for many uses, including the windshield in your car. Tempered glass, on the other hand, is strengthened through a controlled thermal or chemical treatment to increase its durability and is safer if broken.

The Pros and Cons of Tempered Glass

Tempered glass has many pros, including:

  • Safety: When shattered, tempered glass reduces the risk of injury as it “crumbles” into small, smoother pieces, as opposed to untempered glass, which tends to have larger, jagged, and sharp pieces. Tempered glass is often the glass of choice where damage due to vandalism is possible, such as in public spaces, for decorative windows in shop fronts and revolving doors.
  • Fast Clean-Up: Tempered glass makes cleaning up not only safer but also faster. The small pieces can be swept up without the fear of injury, and the remaining pieces can then be vacuumed.
  • Strength: Tempered glass is very strong due to the process used to make it.
  • Resistance to Heat: Tempered glass is more heat resistant than other forms of glass as the process used to make it allows it to withstand higher temperatures. It’s a common choice for areas where heat might be a factor, such as labs and buildings with strict fire codes. Tempered glass can resist temperatures of up to 200–300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mitigates Risk: Because tempered glass is designed to avoid injuries, using tempered glass can mitigate risk for lawsuits, as it reduces the chance of serious injury from broken glass.
  • High Quality: Tempered glass is clear, and the process to temper it doesn’t interfere with its transparency.
  • Design Friendly: The nature of tempered glass allows us to use it in several designs that help enhance your home or business. From colour application to etching, we can create customized tempered glass projects for a wide variety of uses.
  • Affordable: Tempered glass tends to be more affordable than laminated glass, depending on the design, size, and thickness.

Just keep in mind when purchasing tempered glass, all design and functional features must be included at the time the glass is prepared, such as holes, sizing, etc. This means that should adjustments be required, the glass must be made again from scratch.

The Pros and Cons of Laminated Glass

Laminated glass has some different advantages from tempered glass, including:

  • Security: The glazing material used for laminated glass makes it very durable. Because it remains in its frame when smashed, it offers added security, making it an ideal choice for main levels in homes and businesses.
  • UV Protection: The versatile glazing material provides 99% UV protection, which is perfect for rooms in homes or businesses with direct sunlight. The protection can help reduce or even eliminate the fading of furnishings and carpets.
  • Sound Proofing: Laminated glass offers additional soundproofing and can be even more effective with double glazing. It’s ideal for businesses that might want to reduce sound travel, whether it is from outside sources or noise coming from their business.
  • Harder to Shatter: As mentioned, laminated glass is used in car windshields as it does not shatter. This reduces the risk for injury and makes it an excellent choice for many applications, including buildings in areas prone to severe weather conditions, as well as protection against break-ins or vandalism.

A downfall, however, of purchasing laminated glass would be the price point and not as design-friendly. Depending on the budget and the use of the glass, it might make more sense to go with tempered glass.

How to Choose Between Tempered and Laminated Glass

As you can see, both types of glass have their advantages. Looking at their similarities, both types of safety glass are available in a variety of thicknesses and colours/tints, offer pristine clarity and durability, and are easy to clean up when shattered. On the negative side, laminated glass tends to be more expensive. When choosing between the two, you need to consider how the glass will be used.

Laminated glass is recommended when:

  • The size of the glass does not allow for tempering.
  • Additional safety and UV protection is required.
  • The glass is forming a structural element of the project, such as glass flooring.
  • Price is not as much of an issue.

Tempered glass is recommended when:

  • Your budget is limited.
  • Quick delivery is not an issue.
  • The glass is not necessarily needed for structural support.
  • UV protection is not an issue.
  • The size of the glass panel is available in tempered glass.

Both types of glass can be used for a variety of applications. However, if you’re considering getting glass for your home or business, tempered glass might be the better option. It’s more affordable overall, still provides security, doesn’t leave sharp edges once broken, and can be used for a variety of designs. At Glass Showers and More, our team of glass experts can recommend the best product for your needs. Click here to contact us today.

Leave A Comment

  • Need a shower enclosure, use this company. Incredibly fast delivery and installation. Took about 3 days after they measured for my enclosure to be ready. The glass panels were dead on perfect.
    J. B.
  • Glass Showers and More did a fantastic job on my two shower doors I had them custom create and install. I had called several other custom glass companies within the GTA. Some simply didn’t call me back, others quoted and then said I had to pick up the product and install myself.
    Jason Foroglou
More Reviews
Request Information

Preferred contact

Preferred contact time

Proudly serving the GTA for over 35 years

Glass Showers and More is a leading provider of custom glass and mirror products serving home builders, contractors and home-owners in the Greater Toronto Area. With our in-house fabrication capabilities, we are able to provide our customers with highly customized solutions for all of their glass needs. Our team of product experts and installers allows us to provide a truly turn-key glass solution to our customers.