When it comes to choosing glass for various applications, understanding the differences between tempered and regular glass is crucial. In this post below we explore the five key distinctions. 

The techniques for glass manufacturing or glass repair have evolved significantly since it was used for the first time in 3500 BC. The advancement in technology today has enabled the creation of a wide range of glass that you can choose to fit your specified needs.

One thing our glass experts get asked the most is to describe the difference between regular, standard glass and tempered, laminated glass. The difference can be understood by looking at the different manufacturing procedures of the two glasses.

The tempered and the regular glass are manufactured with the same materials. The glass panes are made up of limestone, sand, soda ash, and recycled materials. These glass panes are what we place in our window and door frames.

The prime difference between the two is how the two glasses are made. This will also help you decide which one would suit your residential or commercial needs better.


Regular Glass

Regular glass is made by using a heating technique. This technique allows the glass to cool down very quickly as it softens, allowing rapid production of the glass in a shorter time for the manufacturer. Regular glass is also the preferred choice for manufacturers because they can rework it according to their needs.

This means that customizations like reshaping, drilling, and polishing edges are possible without shattering or breaking the standard glass. The disadvantage is that the glass is substantially more fragile due to the rapid heating process.


Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is four times more powerful than standard glass. This is because, during its production, the glass goes through an additional process compared to the standard glass. The glass is passed through a high temperature and then left aside to cool down slowly, using air pressure.

This helps give the glass strength and makes it sturdier for more safety. Tempered glass can’t be reworked like regular glass. This means manufacturers can’t cut, drill, reshape, or polish it.


Key Differences between Tempered and Regular Glass

Following are some of the most prominent differences between tempered and regular glass:

  • Tempered glass breaks into small harmless pieces. Whereas regular glass may break into irregular shards that threaten people’s safety.
  • Tempered glass is stronger than regular glass.
  • Tempered glass is sturdy and scratch-resistant. In contrast, regular glass is soft and prone to scratches and damages.
  • Visually, tempered glass is smooth on the edges and may appear seamless. In comparison, standard glass looks rough from the corners due to the rework procedures.
  • Tempered glass is best used in cars, doors, and bathrooms. Standard glass is ideal for shelves, photo frames, and tabletops.


Strength and Durability Differences between Tempered and Regular Glass

  • Tempered Glass: Also known as toughened glass, tempered glass is significantly stronger than regular glass. It undergoes a thermal or chemical treatment that increases its strength and makes it more resistant to impact and thermal stress.
  • Regular Glass: Often referred to as annealed glass, regular glass is more prone to breaking under pressure or impact. It does not go through the strengthening process that tempered glass does, making it less durable.


Safety on Breakage Differences between Tempered and Regular Glass

  • Tempered Glass: One of the most significant advantages of tempered glass is its safety feature. When broken, it shatters into small, blunt pieces that are less likely to cause injury. This makes it ideal for use in environments where safety is a priority, such as in cars, showers, and storefronts.
  • Regular Glass: When regular glass breaks, it shatters into large, sharp shards that can cause serious injuries. This type of breakage makes it less suitable for areas where human contact is frequent or where safety is a major concern.

Thermal Resistance Differences between Tempered and Regular Glass

  • Tempered Glass: Tempered glass can withstand higher temperatures and sudden temperature changes without breaking. This property makes it suitable for use in ovens, stovetops, and windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Regular Glass: Regular glass has a lower thermal resistance and can crack or break when exposed to high temperatures or rapid temperature changes.


Manufacturing Process Differences between Tempered and Regular Glass

  • Tempered Glass: The manufacturing process for tempered glass involves heating the glass to over 600 degrees Celsius and then rapidly cooling it. This process, known as tempering, creates internal stresses that give the glass its enhanced strength.
  • Regular Glass: Regular glass, or annealed glass, is slowly cooled after being formed. This gradual cooling process does not create the same internal stresses, leaving the glass in a less durable state.


Differences between Tempered and Regular Glass in the Real World

  • Tempered Glass: Due to its strength and safety features, tempered glass is widely used in areas where safety and durability are crucial. Common applications include automotive windows, glass doors, shower enclosures, and as protective covers for smartphones and tablets.
  • Regular Glass: Regular glass is often used in applications where high strength and safety are not as critical. Examples include picture frames, some windows, and applications where glass is less likely to be subjected to high stress or impact.


a glass being produced through the heating process


Get a Glass Replacement Quote

Crystal Glass is a glass manufacturing company and an auto glass shop in Edmonton that offers glass repair and glass replacement solutions for all residential and commercial units.

We’re experts in auto glass repair. So, whether you need tempered or regular glass or any other customization in Edmonton or Calgary, we’re ready to help.

Contact us today and learn more about our offerings and services.