With a wide range of systems on offer the requirement for glass needs to change to meet UK Building Regulations as well as personal choice by way of look and by way of economy.
Standard toughened glass gives a slight tint to the glass surface with a darker green to the edge. This is available in 12mm, 15mm and 19mm thickness. Toughened glass is up to 5 times stronger than standard annealed glass making it much harder to break. If it does break the glass shatters in very small pieces posing a minimal risk.
Low Iron toughened glass such as Pilkington Optiwhite™ gives a truly clear appearance with a clear surface and slight green tint to the edge. This is an upgrade option available in 12mm, 15mm and 19mm thickness. This is widely used in internal stair cases and frameless balustrades where the desire is to not see the glass at all.
Toughened laminated safety glass brings additional safety. This is made up of thinner sheets of standard or low iron toughened glass which are laminated together allowing it to remain intact when broken as the plastic interlayer prevents the panel from falling apart in the same way as a car windscreen. With the advantage of being made up of toughened glass panels it is ideal for applications where the mess caused by broken glass poses an additional risk. This is more suitable for high level applications where the integrity of the panel is required or for swimming pools and food courts where small pieces of broken glass are a serious hazard in themselves. Laminated options are available in 13.5mm, 17.5mm, 21.5mm and 25.5mm thickness.
All of the above types of glass can be fully frosted or clear with grey and bronze tints also available. The use of vinyl manifestation to sections of glazing can also be applied for privacy or for safety. Laminated glass has the advantage of being available with frosted and coloured interlayers between the glass panels which cannot be scratched or marked.