How Frosted and Textured Glass Can Increase Privacy Without Blocking Light 

Using frosted glass is an excellent way to preserve the natural light in your home and maintain nighttime and daytime privacy. This is especially important in the most personal rooms in your home, like the bathroom. Obscured glass is also a great way to avoid needing curtains or blinds on windows that may not be well-suited for window coverings. These days, textured glass window treatments aren’t just for the bathroom. Opaque glass can be used in virtually any room in your home or business, to add a hint of style, while obscuring the view from the outside.

What is Frosted Glass?

Frosted glass is regular glass that has been treated either by sandblasting or acid etching. This makes it so it is no longer see-through and has a semi-opaque white finish. Window frosting distorts the light coming through the glass enough that it blocks visibility, making the things behind it look blurred or shadowy.

Textured glass can come in many designs. It can be used across the entire window, in a pattern such as stripes or checks, and can even be made to look like a logo, which looks fantastic in corporate settings. These custom designs work very well for boardroom privacy screens, storefront windows and more. We’re pleased to be collaborating with local glass artist, Grete, with Grete’s Carved Designs. Grete is a truly talented sandblasting artist who creates absolutely stunning designs for glass panels, windows, doors, mirrors and more.

Another type of glass that obscures vision is textured glass. This is slightly different from frosted glass as it has a pattern in the glass itself that distorts the light as it passes through. This results in a fractured, pixilated or blurred image, depending on the texture chosen.

What Are the Benefits of Using this Specialty Glass?

Choosing frosted glass has many benefits:

  • Increased level of privacy. Because frosted glass doesn’t allow a clear view of what’s inside, it’s perfect for anywhere that extra privacy is required.
  • Allows natural light in. Frosted glass is not completely opaque which means the sunlight can still come through, only softly, which prevents the harsh glare caused by direct sunlight.
  • Provides UV light protection. Although light can still enter the room, frosted glass filters the UV rays, which prevents fading and sun damage to furniture and other surfaces over time.
  • Is energy-saving. With more natural light in the room, less artificial light is needed. Being able to keep more lights turned off will help reduce electricity usage. Frosted windows can also help to keep extreme heat out in summer months, reducing the need for air conditioning or fans.
  • Provides better security. Frosted glass prevents anyone who is outside from seeing who and what is inside. This is especially helpful on front doors or rooms close to busy streets.
  • Creates a no-fuss finish. Window frosting is an ideal alternative to blinds or curtains when a simple, no-fuss solution is desired. 
  • Is a great design feature. Choose a window frosting that adds style and visual interest to your home.
  • It’s durable. Frosted glass is very durable and easy to maintain. It won’t scratch or mark easily and just needs a quick wipe down to clean.

Where Can Obscured Glass Be Used?

Frosted or textured glass is a good option wherever additional privacy is desired. Some suggestions include:


  • Bathroom windows 
  • Bedroom windows
  • Basement level apartment windows
  • Living areas facing busy streets
  • Commercial / office building frontages 


  • Front doors and French doors
  • Secondary or in-law suite entrances
  • Patio doors
  • Garage door panels


  • Shower doors
  • Privacy screen between toilet and bathtub/shower

Commercial Glass Features

  • Internal office walls and doors
  • Space dividers / cubicles

Does Frosted Glass Also Work at Night?

Frosted and textured glass windows continue to offer some privacy at night when indoor lights are on. They certainly work better than frosting films and one-way reflective films, which only work when it is lighter outside than inside.

With frosted and textured glass, the obscuring feature is part of the glass so it will never become fully see-through. However, a light in the room may reduce its effectiveness. It may also allow people outside to see more definition and colour at night.

Only glass which has a complete black-out frosting or coating will fully prevent anyone from outside seeing in. Of course, this would completely block vision and light in the daytime.

If you feel that your frosted window isn’t offering strong enough protection at night, the best solution is to add another layer of window covering such as blinds or curtains.

Are There Any Alternatives to Installing Textured Glass?

As mentioned, some people who are looking for a quick, easy and more temporary solution may consider using a frosting window film or frosting spray. These kinds of products are:

  • Relatively cheap and easy to find
  • Can all be self-applied – be careful to ensure you follow application instructions for a good seal
  • Come in many designs, patterns, densities and can be created with mirrored or UV filtering

Films and sprays won’t be as effective as an actual frosted or textured glass as they just sit on the glass rather than being part of it. They are also less effective at night when internal lights are on, in fact, film that creates a one-way mirror effect actually works the opposite way at night.

Films and sprays are, however, a good way to find out what kind of obscure glass or design offers the mix of privacy and light that you prefer. This will be useful if you decide to install frosted or textured glass in the future.

Budget Glass Can Help with All Your Specialty Glass Needs

Making the decision to install frosted glass is a good investment since frosted glass is long-lasting and easy to maintain.

To find out more about the options for frosted glass around your home or office, contact our team at Budget Glass. Our glass specialists can help you determine the right window and glass for your space, whether it’s for windows, shower cubicles, commercial use, or anything in between. Based in Nanaimo and serving the Mid-Island region, Budget Glass is always here for all your residential, auto and commercial glass needs.