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Glass & Windows

When it comes to windows, it helps to have the best window coverings for your home's location and climate. Seeing the outside is not the only reason to have the best window glass; glass windows often provide light, warmth, shelter from the sun and privacy.

With the purpose of providing light to a wall, door, roof or vehicle, glass windows are an important part of your daily life. Additionally, the right window coverings will enhance the decor as well as add privacy and more.

What are the differences in glass windows?

Window glass can be made from a variety of materials and comes in unique designs and styles as well as in a range of sizes. Some outstanding features of window glass can be:

  • Impact resistant
  • Great visibility
  • Beautiful design
  • Craftsmanship

These are qualities that you might consider when buy glass windows for your home. Additionally, there are many types of window glass to choose from. Among the types of window glass are:

  • Insulated glass
  • Safety laminated
  • Obscured glass
  • Annealed glass
  • Float glass
  • Tinted
  • Tempered
  • Thermal glass panes

Whether you are looking to replace glass windows or add new glass, it helps to know the basics. Here are some terms that you may find as you seek new windows for your home:

Insulated glass - two or three glass panes are sandwiched together; argon is between the glass panes. The window glass used in this type is usually laminated or tempered security glass.

Safety glass - an extra strong type, it is security enhanced. Made by fusing at least two glass panes around an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), this glass will remain in the frame if broken.

Obscured glass - this allows light to enter but cannot be completely seen through. Glass panes may be etched, frosted or coated; they are often used in doors or in bathrooms.

Annealed and Float glass - Annealing is the process of slow cooling to float glass. It is often not ideal for windows, as large shards remain if broken. Float glass is the basic material of window glass before it is treated, cut, upgraded and set into a frame to become a window.

Tinted - coloring has been added, either for privacy, design reasons or to reduce heat from sunlight. It also can protect against harmful Ultraviolet rays.

Tempered glass - it cannot be cut and is annealed, only with 4x the strength. This type is often used in a vehicle.

Thermal glass panes - Often used in replacement windows, they are energy efficient and conserve energy more than the typical standard single pane window. During summer months this type of window prevents heat from entering the house; during the winter months, less heat escapes.

What are the types of window coverings?

Among the choices of coverings for windows are:

  • Shutters
  • Venetian blinds

Windows can be covered with shutters to provide privacy. They also provide a decor look to the outside of the home. Shutters can be made from natural wood or vinyl and can be painted in a variety of colors. They are especially useful in warmer climates, as they offer a means to block the sun. Shutters can also be used inside the home as a decorative statement and can monitor the sunshine or offer privacy. Hurricane shutters are used outside to prevent windows from being broken during storms and are housed next to the window when not being used; these shutters unfold, accordian style, for use in preparation for a storm.

Homeowners that want privacy and sun protection for their windows will have Venetian blinds as a choice of interior window coverings. These horizontal slats can be adjusted with a cord or rod to permit the desired amount of light to come through. Made of metal, plastic or other material, blinds can also come in wood and bamboo; bamboo or wood blinds are not usually called Venetian blinds, however.

Venetian blinds come in a variety of widths, from 1 inch to 2 inches. They can also be vertical, as in those used for sliding glass doors. Mini blinds are 1 inch Venetian blinds that offers a more contemporary style for the modern home. Some types of Venetian blinds are blackout, light filtering and room darkening, so the amount of light permitted may be the major concern when choosing these window coverings for your home.

Choosing the right window glass and window coverings is especially important when constructing residential homes or apartment buildings. The climate is usually one of the deciding factors on the type of window to be used. Cost is also a factor; however, when installing windows and then using window coverings, the beauty and design of the structure should be considered. Knowing more about windows and window glass, you can make the best choices.