Glass is one of the most popular materials used in architecture and interior design. It has a wide variety of applications in everything from traditional to modern design, from floor-to-ceiling glass windows, or sliding glass doors, the options are limitless! Not surprisingly, there are several types of glass finishes available that can fit your requirements in terms of natural light, privacy, security, energy efficiency, and aesthetic quality.
In this article, we feature the most common glass finishes and their pros and cons when used in residential homes. Let's get started!
1. Frosted or Translucent Glass Finish
Translucent or frosted glass finishes are made from clear sheet glass that went through sandblasting or acid etching. In some cases, the frosted glass finish can also be achieved by applying a vinyl glass film.
It's one of the many glass finishes that is frequently used on glass windows or glass partitions in family homes. It brightens up any space by allowing diffused light while still providing privacy by blurring the other side's reflection.
2. Textured Glass
Textured glass finishes have a unique decorative effect because they come with patterns embossed onto the panes' surface. This finish comes in a variety of distinct designs such as geometric patterns, bubble effects, florals, or rainwater effects. Like frosted glass, the textured glass finish obscures or distorts the interiors' image while increasing the natural light coming into your home.
3. Coloured or Tinted Glass
Coloured or tinted glass finishes are produced by adding metal oxides to standard float glass. However, there are now commercially sold self-adhesive glass films that you can use to create DIY stained glass windows for your home. This historically-rich glass finish is still commonly seen in ornate stained glass windows of ancient European cathedrals but was later on popularized in Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic abstract glass compositions popularized during his rise in architecture in 1912.
Tinted glass tends to have a lower energy efficiency rating because it prevents heat transmission and absorbs solar energy. There may also be a question of safety and security with tinted glass in its raw form. In the case that you’re interested in incorporating stained glass in your home, you can always ask your glass supplier or window specialist for tinted glass windows that have been tempered or laminated to make sure they can withstand brute force or strong winds from weather disturbances.
Tinted glass finishes offer less privacy because you can still see through the coloured glass. If you’re concerned about privacy, we suggest enhancing your property's curb appeal with exterior windows using a tinted glass finish for your upper floors. Tinted glass can also come in a single panel for a more contemporary look as internal partitions.
4. Switchable Privacy Glass
If your property has breathtaking views but you’ve been holding back on installing floor-to-ceiling windows due to privacy concerns, you can have the best of both worlds with switchable privacy glass. As one of the most impressive glass finishes in glass technology on our list, it can conveniently change back and forth from transparent to an opaque window panel. Switchable privacy glass is made with a polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) window film powered and controlled by electricity.
5. Acoustic Glass
The acoustic glass finish is ideal for residential and commercial buildings where noise pollution is an issue, such as highly-populated locations where everyday traffic or flight path areas can disrupt the quality of living.
This finish comprises two or more sheets of glass attached with one or more acoustic layers. Noise reduction glass windows or doors are laminated with a polyvinyl butyral layer (PVB) that provides insulation against outdoor noises, dampening and weakening its effect as it passes through the glass.
6. Spandrel Glass
The Spandrel glass finish can be cleverly used to conceal unappealing structural elements in architecture like walls, beams, HVAC systems, and electrical wiring. It's also used as low-maintenance walls or splashbacks for contemporary kitchens, instead of the typical tiles. This glass finish can be incorporated into many modern window designs.
Spandrel glass can be produced in a variety of different colours, giving you many options to use in your home's interiors. Being opaque and reflective, it makes it an excellent choice for rooms that require privacy and security as it is five times stronger than traditional glass and annealed glass.
7. Mirrored Glass
Mirrored glass, also known as reflective glass, is typically seen in interview or interrogation rooms, offices, or skyscrapers. During the day, this glass finish acts like a mirror on the outside while maintaining privacy indoors. However, you still need some form of window treatment for mirrored glass windows or doors because the mirror effect gets lost in the evening once it gets dark, and it's brighter inside.
In terms of energy efficiency, the mirrored glass would work wonders for you if you live somewhere where it's always hot and humid because it can keep the internal temperature cool.
Elegant and Functional Window Designs by Clera
Clera Windows + Doors manufactures premium-quality products using the latest glass finishes to fit each client's unique requirements. We have an extensive selection of stylish windows and doors suitable for both classic and contemporary homes.
Why choose Clera Windows + Doors?
- Over 41 years of experience
- Professional installation by our Window Wise certified team
- ENERGY Star certified windows and doors
- True lifetime warranty
To request a free home estimate, please contact us today! A member of our team will be happy to assist you.