After you have chosen the framing material and configurations for your new windows the next step to consider is the most suitable glass.
- Clear Float
- Toned Float
- Double-Glazed Units
The standard and cheapest option is clear float glass. Clear float glass is transparent and colourless, it provides minimal resistance to solar heat and glare transmittance. This glass will keep the wind and rain out of your home but thats about all.
Toned float glass is produced by the addittion of a colourant during the glass manufacturing proccess. It is designed to reduce solar heat gain and glare, this in turn will provide additional levels of comfort and reduced cooling costs and fading of furnishings.
Toughened glass is a saftey glass produced by passing float glass through a heat furnace. This process results in glass 4-5 times stronger than float glass. Whilst, toughened glass can still be broken, however if this does happen it shatters into tiny fragments, minimising the risk of injury caused by sharp glass fragments. The safety benefits of toughened glass make it suitable for use in bathrooms, doors, side-lites and window low-lites.
Laminated glass is another safety glass produced by adhereing two or more layers of float glass with a flexible interlayer. This interlayer prevents the glass from disintergrating when broken resulting in minimising injury risk. Security benefits are also a feature of laminated glass as when broken the glass will still be in place within the framing reducing risk of forced entry. Reduced noise transference is another reason for chosing laminated glass as the interlayer acts as a vibration dampener therefore increasing the sound proofing qualities of the glass.
Double-Glazed Units (also refered to as insulating glass units) consist of two panes of glass seperated by a spacer and sealed around the perimiter. The spacer contains a dessicant which eliminates moisture vapour within the cavity, the air-gap between the glass panes provides insulating qualities. Double-glazed units are available in almost any combination of glass types. The primary features of double-glazed units are to provide thermal benefits of keeping the interior of the building warmer in winter and cooler in summer, resulting in reduced energy costs and improved comfort. When laminated glass is used within the double-glazed units high levels of sound proofing is provided.