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Toughened and Laminated Glass Explained

Popular for their strong, reliable qualities, toughened glass and laminated glass have both been specially treated to offer the ultimate in safety and standards for both domestic and commercial properties.

However, the difference between the two types is often unknown and they can both be grouped into the same categories when in actual fact, they each offer different benefits and are better suited for different things.

What is toughened glass?

Toughened glass – also known as tempered glass – is up to five times stronger than regular glass. This is achieved by heating regular glass at high temperatures (650°C) and then cooling very quickly. This process makes it tougher (hence the name) and up to 400% or 500% more resistant to heat and shock than ordinary glass.

The aim of the toughening process is to primarily improve the structural durability and thermal strength of the glass, in turn increasing its resilience and ability to withstand heat. It’s worth noting that this type of glass cannot be re-cut after it has been toughened; it must be cut prior to the toughening process.

Toughened glass is specially treated so that it will break into small, blunt pieces under pressure, making it much safer than shards of normal glass.


What is laminated glass?

Laminated glass technically has the same strength as regular glass but has a plastic interlayer between two panes of 3mm thick glass, holding them together. The PVB plastic interlayer is a tough resin which will hold the shards in place should the glass break, providing a safe double-layered design.

For safety reasons, laminated glass must comply with EN ISO 12543 specifications, and the transparency of the glass won’t be altered during the laminating process.

How are toughened glass and laminated glass different?

After looking at the differences between toughened and laminated glass, it’s clear that both types can endure greater impact and stress, withstanding high and low temperatures also. This makes them the perfect option when it comes to health and safety standards.

Due to the layers, laminated glass is thicker than toughened glass and, therefore, offers better insulation and resistance against any shock or damage, whether it be accidental or intentional. That said, laminated glass is heavier and more costly than toughened, so it’s important to weigh up what is most important to you prior to purchasing anything.


The benefits of toughened and laminated glass demonstrate the main differences between the two:

Toughened Laminated
The thermal or chemical methods used during the toughening process increases strength, resilience and the ability to withstand high temperatures. Features a plastic middle layer between two panes of glass which holds the shards in place should the glass get broken.
It is at least five times as strong as normal glass, meaning a huge amount of force is required for it to break. As it is less likely to break, replacement costs will be kept to a minimum or reduced.
If broken, it will shatter evenly into small pieces so there are no shards or splinters of glass. Can withstand changes in temperatures, improve sound insulation and reduce the effect harmful UV rays.
Structurally and thermally better than standard glass. Easy to apply colouring.
During the toughening process, the colour, clarity, composition, light transmission and hardness do not change. If the glass is used externally e.g. for shop windows, it can act as a protective barrier against strong winds and heavy rain.
Glass can be painted to a RAL colour. Can improve your green credentials and energy efficiency as the layered design provides better heat insulation.

Where are they most commonly used?

Toughened Laminated
External and internal doors
Vehicle windscreens
Security glass
Glass floors

How can you tell which one you have?

To identify whether your property has laminated or toughened glass, you will need to look for a printed kitemark code in the corners of the glass:

  • BS EN 14449 – laminated glass
  • BS EN 12150 – toughened glass

Why choose Stevenage Glass?

Here at Stevenage Glass Company, we provide both toughened and laminated glass, made to order for our customers throughout Stevenage, London and the surrounding counties. We will work closely with you to understand your exact requirements to provide you with a no-obligation quote to suit your budget.

If you’d like to know more about the toughened and laminated glass we produce, or how it can be used either at work or home, then please feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions. Click on the links below to find out more:

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Opening Times: Monday - Friday: 8am to 5pm, Saturday: 8am to 12pm, Sunday: Closed

Christmas Opening Times: We will be closed for Christmas from 11am on 22nd December until 2nd January 2019. We are also closed on the afternoon on 21st December. Please use our contact form for any enquiries during this time

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