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Glass Types

Glass is a versatile product suited for many applications in residential and commercial projects.  Choosing the right type of glass is important, so here are some of the main options that are available:

Annealed Float Glass

Glass factories initially produce a product called Float Glass.  Float glass is the most commonly used form of glass today.  It is produced by a process of floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal (usually molten tin). It floats on the surface, hence the name, and spreads out to form a level, uniform surface.

Annealed glass is also known as a standard sheet of Float Glass. Annealing is actually a process of slowly cooling glass to relieve internal stresses after it is formed.  Annealed Float Glass often goes on to get further treatments or coatings to become different types of glass.

Annealed Float Glass is the most commonly used type of glass in New Zealand homes. It allows the easy transfer of heat, light and noise, breaks easily on impact and shatters into large sharp pieces.

Laminated Glass

Laminated Glass is made from two sheets of glass that are joined with a plastic or resin interlayer. Laminated Glass provides many benefits, noise reduction, minimizing fading (99%UV blocked), safety and security. Laminated Glass absorbs damaging ultraviolet light and reduces noise, and has a similar impact strength resistance to Annealed Float Glass. However, it does not shatter and spread when broken, instead remains intact on its plastic or resin interlayer. Because Laminated Glass provides a higher level of safety it can be used in most situations.

Toughened Safety Glass

Toughened Glass (sometimes called tempered glass) is much stronger than standard glass. It is also up to five times stronger than Annealed Float Glass, offering the highest impact resistance. It can withstand strong direct impacts and if it does break, it does so into relatively safe, blunt granules. 

Mirror Glass

The mirror effect is produced by applying a silver metal coating to one side of the glass and sealing it with a protective layer. In some situations, a vinyl backing can be used for additional safety. This type of glass is reflective and primarily used for all kinds of mirrors.

Low Iron Glass

As the name suggests, Low Iron Glass contains less iron content than standard Clear Float Glass (approximately one quarter). Low Iron Glass has an extra clear appearance and offers more transparency than the slightly green-tinted clear glass. The crystal-clear appearance of Low Iron Glass allows true colour display and greater clarity. It is a perfect option for use over light coloured paint for kitchen splashbacks.

Low-E Glass

Low-E Glass involves a transparent coating that is applied to the inside pane of a Double Glazed Unit to increase thermal performance. Low-E (Low-emissivity) glass has a surface that gives off low levels of radiant heat.  Therefore, a glass window with a Low-E coating will reduce the amount of heat transfer.  This makes your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  This glass is perfect for use in double glazed window units to increase insulation.

Tinted Glass

This type of glass dims the brightness of direct sunlight, therefore reducing heat and fabric fading (79%-94% UV blocked). If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a high number of annual sunshine hours, choosing this glass option will also help keep out the Summer heat, making your home more comfortable on hot days.

Obscure/Privacy Glass

This type of glass is patterned or frosted, creating a blurred effect and preventing it from been clearly seen through. It is used where light but not transparency is desired, helping to maintain privacy. It can be utilised in a number of areas including bathrooms, office partitions, exterior doors and windows.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Under the Building Code, safety glass is required to be used in some areas. If you are unsure about the requirements of your job, please contact us.