The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Glass is an important building material for our homes. Our window panes are typically made of glass, and more and more homeowners are becoming partial to having glass doors, walls, and even stair rails.
When they need glass installed in their homes, homeowners often have to choose either annealed or tempered glass. Annealed glass is standard or plate glass, while tempered glass is a basic form of safety glass.
Both types of glass are suitable for use in homes, but if you had to choose, here’s a comparison that can help you make a more informed decision.
The thermal treating process that creates annealed glass is called “annealing,” which gives the end product its name.
The annealing process heats glass at over 600 degrees Celsius, then cools it slowly. The result is a strong and durable glass that can withstand the cutting, drilling, and polishing required when preparing it for commercial availability.
Creating tempered glass also requires heating it to more than 600 degrees Celsius, but it’s cooled much more rapidly and at a higher pressure in a process called “quenching.” Quenching is often credited for tempered glass’s enhanced strength.
Now let’s compare annealed and tempered glass.
Annealed is generally cheaper than tempered glass because fabricating the former is easier and takes less time.
With its more affordable price tag, annealed glass has proven to be a popular choice among homeowners.
With a breaking point at around 24,000 pounds per square inch (psi), tempered glass is a lot stronger than annealed glass, which breaks at 6,000 psi.
The strength of tempered glass also makes them more durable and much better at withstanding strong winds, extreme temperatures, and wear and tear.
Sharp and jagged shards that could cut skin and cause serious injuries are the typical result of breaking annealed glass.
When tempered glass breaks, you won’t get deadly pieces of broken glass. What will happen is that the glass will shatter into hundreds of pebble-like pieces, all of which are dull and harmless.
Cleaning up the mess is also easier and safer, as the pieces interlock with each other.
If you have spirited kids running around at home, tempered glass would be a more sensible choice for you.
Exposure to high temperatures can bend annealed glass out of shape or even break it.
On the other hand, tempered glass can withstand temperatures of up to 243 degrees Celsius, mainly due to the unique process it undergoes during production.
Its higher tolerance to heat makes tempered glass a wise choice for the kitchen, bathroom, and other parts of your home that are hotter than usual.
Annealed glass is prone to scratches, and visible scratches on your glass window, door, or display cabinet can be such an eyesore.
The scratch resistance of tempered glass is better because, again, of the process that makes it thermally tough.
And while annealed glass can be just as crystal-clear as tempered glass, the latter’s improved scratch resistance helps it stay that way for a longer time.
Both annealed and tempered glass can come in various designs, patterns, colors, and styles.
You can go for tinted, frosted, and even tinted varieties of both types of glass if you want.
Whatever your preferences, you can be sure that there are annealed and tempered glass panes that are just right for you.
Annealed glass is already commonly used for windows, especially for basements. It is also quite popular as tabletops and cabinet doors.
Because of its enhanced strength and safety, tempered glass is perfect for walls, balcony enclosures, and stairway landings.
With the higher risk of slipping and falling in a bathroom, a bathroom door or shower partition made of tempered glass would be ideal for use there.
The lower price of annealed glass has made it a popular choice for years. However, with the strength, durability, and safety that tempered glass provides, it is slowly but surely becoming a favorite building material among homeowners as well.
Whatever type of glass you decide to go for, make sure that it perfectly serves your needs and budget.