Glass Railing Systems: Is Tempered or Laminated Glass Better?

Are you looking for the best-quality exterior glass railing in Toronto? When it comes to installing a great glass railing system, two glass types are considered the most suitable options. Whether it is for your balcony, exterior porch, or interior, tempered or laminated glass can create a durable glass railing system.

Each glass type provides both safety and beauty to a railing structure and can be used in both residential and commercial spaces. Their flexibility makes them perfect choices for both traditional and modern decor. However, each has its pros and cons, although it’s not easy to differentiate between the two.

In this post, we will discuss each in detail so you can make an informed decision on which one you want to use for your glass railing system.

What Is Tempered Glass? (A Brief Guide)

If you own a car or truck, you are likely familiar with tempered glass. It is one of the strongest glass types, resilient as it is to breaking or cracking. In fact, it is approximately four times stronger than annealed glass of the same thickness and configuration.

Tempered glass is heated to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and then force-cooled to create surface and edge compression in the glass. This heat treatment increases the glass’s strength to resist external stresses so that it meets safety glazing requirements. As a result, tempered glass is less likely to experience a thermal break.

Even if tempered glass does break, it does not just crack like ordinary glass but shatters into tiny pieces to reduce the probability of serious injuries. If you are using tempered glass for your railing, the glass panel should be at least 6 mm (¼”) thick to handle load requirements. When using tempered glass, you can use a framed glass system that utilizes a handrail attached to posts to ensure extra safety.

The Benefits of Tempered Glass

  • It can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • The glass panels and aluminum rail posts are resistant to rust.
  • It does not require frequent maintenance.
  • It is easy to customize and assemble.

What Is Laminated Glass? (A Brief Guide)

Laminated glass is one of the strongest and safest glass panel options in the architectural railing market. It is constructed of two plies of glass bonded together under heat and pressure to create a single, strong construction.

It can be used in a variety of applications. This includes glass floors, glass stairs, and glass roofs in buildings where storms or other natural disasters create high risks. The robust nature and thickness of laminated glass make it almost impossible to break. It also reduces heat gain from the sun, which means air conditioning can be used less frequently and emissions are reduced. Laminated glass can be made in a variety of colours, tints or tones and manufactured straight or curved for increased aesthetic adaptability.

The Benefits of Laminated Glass

  • It provides enhanced UV filtration.
  • It can increase security with more robust PVB interlayers.
  • This impact-resistant glass can be cut and polished even after lamination.
  • It reduces sound.

Now you have a fair understanding of both tempered and laminated glass. If you are looking for a strong and break-resistant glass railing, choose tempered glass over anything else. If you have priorities like flexibility, UV resistance, and sound blocking, consider laminated glass. Whether you are looking for an interior or exterior glass railing system, look at your requirements to determine the glass type that will give you the most satisfactory results.