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Regular Glass vs Tempered Glass

The history of glass-making goes back approximately 5000 years, to Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. In the early 1900s, glass innovation was booming at the hands of Henry Ford, and in 1923, Ford Motor Company established an innovative plant for producing glass at lower costs. While a lot of glass-making history was made in between, and a lot has been made since; we can thank Mr. Ford for the sheer volume of glass products we have available today.

More modern technologies, however, have given us the variety of glass options we now have. From float glass to glass wool to tempered glass, it can be difficult to determine what type of glass is right for your needs.

Regular glass, also known as annealed glass, is commonly used for things such as mirrors and windows. During manufacturing, it is cooled very slowly, as to not create tension or compression. Cooling the glass slowly also allows it to be easily cut, reshaped, drilled, and polished. However, regular glass is very fragile and breaks into large, sharp pieces, which can be dangerous.

Tempered, or toughened, glass has become increasingly popular over recent years due to its use in cars, cookware, and mobile devices. Tempered glass is just annealed glass that has been cut to size, reheated, and cooled rapidly. This process makes it much stronger than other types of glass. Although tempered glass cannot be easily cut or reshaped, it is considered safer than regular glass because it shatters into many, many small pieces with more rounded edges. If you’ve ever shattered your smartphone, you can picture the spider-web qualities of broken tempered glass.

Tempered glass is more scratch resistant than regular glass. It is usually the medium of choice for glass tabletops, patio furniture,  glass shelves, and skylights because its shards do not commonly cause serious injury. However, because of the extra steps in the manufacturing process, tempered glass is more expensive than regular annealed glass.  

Atlas Glass and Mirror is proud to provide full glass sales and installation services to the metro west and eastern Massachusetts areas. During our 27 years of business, we have earned a reputation as a trusted contractor for residential and commercial clients. Call us at 508-879-6087 or fill out our contact form to request a quote or learn more about our services.