With a wide range of systems on offer the requirement for glass in Domestic situations changes to meet UK Building Regulations as well as by personal choice for the appearance and by way of economy.
Standard toughened glass has a slight green tint when viewed through the flat surface with a darker green to the outer edge, especially for the thicker panels. Toughened glass is available in 10mm, 12mm, 15mm and 19mm thicknesses. 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 reduced risk to that of annealed glass which breaks into shards.
Low Iron toughened glass such as Pilkington Optiwhite™ gives a truly clear appearance with an almost perfectly clear surface when viewed through the panel surface and a slight green tint to the outer edge in comparison to standard glass. This is an upgrade option available in 10mm, 12mm, 15mm and 19mm thicknesses. Low Iron glass is widely used in Residential appications for staircases, balustrades and balconies where the desire is to not see the glass at all.
Toughened laminated safety glass brings an additional level of safety and also security. This is made up of thinner sheets of standard or low iron toughened glass which are laminated together with an interlayer trapped between the panels This allows it to remain intact when broken as the plastic interlayer prevents the panel from falling apart, much the same as a car windscreen when cracked. 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. It also adds to the security aspect given that it prevents access through the panel which remains in place when broken. Toughened laminated glass is more suitable for high level and higher height glass applications where the integrity of the panel is required. It is also a must 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 thicknesses.
All of the above types of glass can be clear, frosted or 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 as they are trapped between the glass panels.