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FAQ

Below is a listing of the most frequently asked questions we encounter. Please click the specific question to see the answer.

Residential / Commercial

  1. What is safety glass and why do I need it in my home or office?
  2. What is Laminated Glass?
  3. What is Tempered Glass?
  4. What are dual pane/insulated units?
  5. Only 1 side of my dual pane window broke, so why do I have to replace both pieces?
  6. Are all dual pane/insulated windows Argon filled?
  7. What is low-E and what does it do for my windows?
  8. I have a standard 1/4″ shower door. Can I replace it with a heavy plate door?
  9. I have a piece of tempered glass that I want cut down. Can you do that?
  10. What kind of glass do I need for a table top to protect my table’s wood finish?
  11. I’ve noticed that most glass has a slight green tint. Can I get glass that is totally clear?
  12. I have a table top that is chipped. Can you cut it down for me?

1. What is safety glass and why do I need it in my home or office?
“Safety glass” is a term given to specific types of glass that when broken will break in such a way as to minimize potential injury to people. This is in contrast to standard “plate glass” which can be deadly due to the large sharp spear-like pieces that are created when broken. Safety glass comes in all types, sizes, colors and shapes depending on the application. The most common types of safety glass are Tempered, Laminated, Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Uniform building codes have been created that address specific applications for residential and commercial buildings and assure the public’s safety when followed. Be sure to use a licensed contractor who is aware of all building codes when having glass replaced in your home or office.Back to Top

2. What is Laminated glass?
Laminated glass is a form of Safety Glass that is manufactured by sandwiching a layer of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) between two pieces of glass. It then goes through a heating and pressure process in an autoclave to firmly adhere the glass to the inner layer. This is the same type of glass used in the windshield of your automobile. If broken, the glass is held together by the inner layer and provides a high level of both safety and security.
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3. What is Tempered glass?
Tempered glass is a form of Safety Glass that is manufactured by heating flat glass to approach its softening temperature and suddenly chilling with jets of cold air, which distributes compression stress on the glass surfaces while tensile stress in the center. The counteraction of compression stress and tensile stress provides tempered glass times strength than normal glass. When broken, tempered glass forms oblique bean size granules to reduce damage to human bodies. Tempered glass also withstands quick temperature changes.
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4. What are dual pane/insulated units?
Most new homes being built today are built with dual pane or insulated windows. These terms are typically used interchangeably. Dual pane windows are composed of 2 pieces of glass joined by a spacer, which creates an “air-space” between the two panes. It’s this air-space that creates the insulating properties that makes these units so energy efficient. The size of the air-space determines for the most part how efficient the window will be. For instance, a unit with a 1″ air-space will be much more efficient than a unit with a ½” air space. Other factors like “Low-E” or tinted glass can also increase efficiency.
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5. Only 1 side of my dual pane window broke, so why do I have to replace both pieces?
Dual pane windows are manufactured as airtight units that are able to resist fogging due to a material in the spacer called desiccant. When either the inner or outer piece of glass breaks, the desiccant becomes saturated and ineffective which requires replacement of the whole unit. Although insulated units are more expensive to replace than single pane windows, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Besides the obvious energy savings benefits, insulated units also provide some important security benefits. Usually when a dual pane window breaks, one side stays intact keeping air conditioning or heat from escaping. Unlike single pane windows, it also keeps your home secure until the new window can be installed.
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6. Are all dual pane/insulated windows Argon gas filled?
No. Most dual pane windows are filled with air or nitrogen. This provides what’s called a dead air space which reduces heat transfer. Argon gas is less conductive than air and nitrogen and in extremely cold climates can result in a noticeable difference in heat transfer. In warmer climates however, the additional cost of Argon gas is not as beneficial.
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7. What is Low-E and what does it to for my windows?
Low-E stands for Low-Emittance.  Low-E coatings are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window or skylight glazing surface primarily to reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow. By purchasing windows with a low-e coating you can allow all the light into your house without all the heat that goes along with it.
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8. I have a standard 1/4″ shower door. Can I replace it with a heavy plate 3/8″ or 1/2″ door?
Yes, but it will depend on how the door will be mounted. Due to the increased weight of 3/8″ or 1/2″ glass, it will be necessary to have a stud or other reinforcement behind the wall that the hinges will be mounted to. Other options are also available including top and bottom pivot mounts or even sliding hardware. An inspection of the existing opening will be necessary to determine the proper mounting.
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9. I have a piece of tempered glass that I want cut down. Can you do that?
Unfortunately, no we can’t. Tempered glass is manufactured in such a way that once it is heat tempered the molecular structure is changed allowing it to break into tiny pieces. This makes it much safer in the event of breakage but does not allow it to be cut.
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10. What kind of glass do I need for a table top to protect my table’s wood finish?
The standard glass used for protecting table top finishes is 1/4″ annealed glass. Many people mistakenly think that tempered glass is necessary. While it’s true that tempered glass will take more of an impact than annealed glass if something is dropped directly onto the surface, it is also prone to shatter if hit directly on the edge of the glass. Also remember that clear buttons should be used to raise the glass off of the surface of the table to allow for airflow.
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11. I’ve noticed that most glass has a slight green tint. Can I get glass that is totally clear?
Yes. It is manufactured under a number of trade names but is typically referred to as low iron glass. Normal float glass has a slight green tint which is especially noticeable from the edge due to it’s iron content. Low iron glass is virtually clear and doesn’t dull or distort the true color spectrum. This can be especially important in certain designer applications.
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11. I have a table top that is chipped. Can you cut it down for me?
Absolutely. Depending on the thickness of the glass we will need to remove anywhere form 1/2″ to 3″ from the edge of the glass to provide a straight smooth edge. We are also able to cut customers mirror. Need holes drilled or a pattern cut in your glass? We can do that too! Bear in mind that we cannot guarantee breakage on customers glass.
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