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Pros and Cons of Laminated vs. Tempered Glass

Safety glass is essential for all kinds of projects, from patio furniture and shower doors to business storefronts. There are two different types of shatter resistant solutions—laminated versus tempered glass. Learn more about how each type of glass is made and what happens if it breaks.

When glass is made, it goes through a cooling process. When glass is cooled rapidly, it gets stronger. When you need safety glass, you have a couple of choices. Laminated glass and tempered glass are both strong, but they work in different ways.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is actually made of two or more panes of glass that are joined together by a layer of plastic, or polyvinyl butyral (PVB). The plastic comes in varying sizes, and it can be clear or tinted.

You’ll almost always see it inside skylights, because it’s more energy efficient and can screen out ultraviolet radiation. The lamination process can also help with soundproofing. One of the biggest benefits of laminated glass is that if it does break, the broken glass sticks to the plastic rather than falling to the floor and potentially creating a mess.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass cools quicker than most other types of glass, and that makes it stronger. It’s made by reheating basic annealed glass and then cooling it rapidly. This is called “air quenching” and makes the glass about four times stronger than annealed glass of the same size and thickness. Tempered glass has more tensile strength—meaning it can bend easier without breaking. It’s often used in big windows or skyscrapers, since it’s more wind resistant. If tempered glass breaks, it shatters into rounded cubes rather than shards.

Uses of Laminated vs. Tempered Glass

If you’re looking for security, laminated glass is a good choice—especially for commercial glass doors. The extra layer of vinyl between the panes creates a barrier that is difficult to break through, thus keeping your business safe from intruders and harsh weather.

If you want something safe within your home, consider using tempered glass for tub shower doors or bedroom windows. It’s easy to clean and often times cheaper than laminated solutions.

For your car, Glass Doctor can replace, repair or install tempered or laminated solutions for your windshield, windows and other auto glass issues.

Call Glass Doctor Today

At Glass Doctor®, we know all about glass. We have extensive knowledge and experience working with laminated and tempered glass, and we’ll help you decide which one is right for your home or business. Whether you’re replacing windows, building from scratch or designing a custom solution, call us today at 855-603-1919.



Scientific American: