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Glass Basics

Recently, a client of Collums Construction ask us to do an estimate for glass shelves for a bay window to accommodate his orchids. We asked Zack Zoll of Standard Glass what type of glass was needed for the shelves, and we learned some glass basics. Here is a brief description:


  1. Not safety rated
  2. Comes in varies sizes, standard is 1/8” thick on up.
  3. Most common


An exampled of installed tempered glass


  1. Safety rated
  2. Comes in varies sizes, standard is 1/8” think on up.
  3. Tempered process means it has been heated up to 1300 or 1400 degrees then gradually cooled down to adjust the stress level.
  4. Lead time for tempered increases by a couple of weeks, glass made to size, not meant to be recut.
  5. Typically put in doors or windows. New codes say 18” from ground and 18” from exterior doors.
  6. Typically in side windows in cars
  7. When it breaks it shatters, therefore less likely to cause severe injury
  8. Best in horizontal applications


  1. Safety rated
  2. Standard sizes are ¼ and 3/8.
  3. Two pieces of plate glass bonded together
  4. Weaker than tempered glass
  5. Blocks UV light
  6. Sound blocking properties
  7. Difficult to break thru, when it is shattered it stays together
  8. Not best in horizontal applications
  9. Typically in car windshields

Thank you Standard Glass for the great information on windows.