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The Differences Between Tempered, Laminated & Hurricane Impact Glass

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Apr 1, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Living in Florida, you probably already know the importance of having impact-resistant glass windows for your home or business.

What you might not know, though, is the difference between all the various types of glass. You may also need help choosing the right hurricane-safe solution. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt if your new impact glass windows were stylish and energy-efficient, too!

We get a lot of questions about the difference between tempered, laminated, and impact glass, and what you should know when shopping for windows with impact-resistant glass, so we’re here to address some questions.

tempered glass


1. What Makes a Window Impact Resistant?

Impact-resistant glass is typically tempered glass. This means the glass has been treated with heat, in order to make it stronger and more resistant to temperature changes. The heated effect of tempered glass can be combined with laminated annealed to create a hybrid window, as well. With the strength and resistance of temperament and the shatter-resistance of lamination, these windows are often called impact-resistant windows -- though some places label solely laminated windows as such, too.


2. What is Laminated Glass?

While you might think that laminated glass is synonymous with tinted glass, it’s not. Whereas homeowners typically tint windows to cast a room in a certain color, to add privacy or shade, or to block UV rays, laminated glass windows are more similar to tempered glass.

Instead of being heated like tempered glass, though, laminated glass is created by bonding together two or more panes of glass with a thin layer of film or vinyl in between. This inner layer works as an adhesive film and holds the glass together if it breaks or cracks. That makes the structure of the window more stable, so broken glass doesn’t fall everywhere!

laminated glass


3. How do Tempered & Untempered Glass Differ?

Tempered glass is glass that has been heat-treated, and is sometimes referred to as “safety glass.” These high temperatures make the center of the glass very hot, and when the glass eventually cools, the surface and edges of the glass become compressed. In this way, the tempered glass becomes approximately 5-10 times stronger than traditional glass.

Another perk of treating glass with heat is that it changes the way it shatters. Whereas traditional glass can break into large, sharp pieces when broken, tempered glass shatters into small pebble-sized bits without dangerous edges that can cut or damage. For this reason, many Florida homeowners choose tempered glass windows. However, oftentimes, they also opt for laminated glass.


4. Are Impact Windows Required in Florida?

Impact-resistant windows typically combine tempered and laminated glasses, creating a safe impact glass to withstand blunt force. Whether this is to stop burglars, whipping winds, or debris from natural disasters like hurricanes, this glass is designed stronger and with a different way of breaking than traditional glass.

These kinds of impact-resistant windows, though, rarely have only stronger, break-safe glass. They also are comprised of heavy-duty frames, designed to keep this glass in place beyond a traditional window frame structure. These kinds of windows aren't required in Florida homes or most businesses, but it's definitely better to have them!

  1. Why do You Board up Windows in a Hurricane?

In a hurricane, most people board up their windows. They do that to reduce the chances that the glass will get broken from the storm. Flying debris can break the windows, allowing wind and water to get inside. But with impact-resistant glass, there's a lot less of a chance of that happening. You can still board up your windows if you want, but you'll be a lot more protected if you don't.


Our Hurricane Impact Windows

Here at Storm Solutions, our windows can be customized to your specific needs. Want glass that’s both tempered and laminated? No problem. We can even add energy-efficient tints and UV-resistant films, combining safety with a reduction of your electric bill!

Explore all the reasons why people all across SWFL trust our hurricane windows for both their homes and businesses.

Then, give us a call for more information at (239) 431-3190. We’d be happy to help you get a quote, and install a beautiful set of impact-resistant storm windows in your business or home for added security and peace of mind you can enjoy and appreciate for the long term.


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Topics: Hurricane Impact Glass, Laminated Glass, Tempered Glass