Which type of glass should you choose for your home if you’re planning to get double glazing installed?

That’s one of the many questions you need to ask yourself before you get an installer around. Just as with anything in life, the more you know about something, the better choice you’re able to make.

In this article, we’re looking at laminated glass, sometimes called “safety glass” or “security glass”. It’s one of the eight main types of glass manufacturers use when they’re building double glazing frames.

So, what do you need to know about laminated glass?


Introduction to laminated glass

Laminated glass is just as strong as toughened glass but It has a number of other important qualities that homeowners consider important when choosing the type of glass for their double-glazing installation.

It’s strong, it’s versatile, and when it breaks, a special plastic interlayer in your double-glazed window holds the glass in place. Laminated glass is the type of glass you find on shop fronts and in your car windscreen.


How much does laminated glass cost?

Laminated glass is one of the more expensive options available to homeowners for their double-glazing.

It can work out at around 10% more expensive that toughened glass and up to 40% more than standard annealed glass.


How breakable is laminated glass?

Laminated glass can withstand up to 24,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, just like toughened glass. To put that into context, that’s like the weight of 120 manhole covers you see in the road loaded onto one square inch of your window pane.

In other words, it’s very very tough. If it does break though, the plastic interlayer on the pane holds everything in place so that little or no glass falls to the ground. It also means there’s no hole in your window so, if it was a burglar trying to gain entry, there would be nowhere for him to climb through.

It’s also considered a form of safety glass too. That’s important because of Building Regulations in the UK. If you have:

• a window that’s 800mm or less from floor level,
• a window that’s 300mm or less from a door and up to 1500mm from the level of your floor, or
• a glazed door where the glass is up to 1500mm from the level of your floor,

…you have to use a stronger type of glass that does not shatter into large shards. Laminated glass qualifies under those rules.


Anything else I need to know about laminated glass?

The reason that, if it’s broken, laminated glass holds together is that it’s held in place by something called an interlayer. The interlayer is made out of either polyvinyl butyryl or ethylene-vinyl acetate. When it is broken, it creates a spider web-type pattern of cracking.

Certain types of laminates also improve your new window’s sound insulation and block out UV rays. UV rays not only make the lifespan of your carpets and furniture shorter, they’re also a known risk for skin cancer.

When speaking with your installer, make sure you get as much information as you can about the type of laminate they would use and don’t forget to let them know what’s important to you so they can buy in the right type of glass.