3900 N Island Hwy, Nanaimo
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27 Mar 2020
unbreakable glass

Understanding Unbreakable Glass

Can Glass Ever Truly be Unbreakable?

At Budget Glass in Nanaimo, we constantly get asked the question, “Does unbreakable glass actually exist?” The short answer is no, it does not. But there are products on the market that come very, very close. Below is our longer, more in-depth answer to the question, “Is there glass out there that can ever be truly unbreakable?”

Whether you’re upgrading all the windows in your home, building your dream home from the ground up, or you’re replacing a shattered storefront window at your business, chances are good that unbreakable glass is something that has crossed your mind. A type of glass that cannot be broken is an intriguing concept, and so is the idea of switching to unbreakable glass to strengthen the security of a building and protect the occupants inside from broken glass.

If you’ve even suffered through a break-in at your business or your home and have had to deal with getting a window replaced, your first thought might be making sure the next panel of glass you get installed is unbreakable!

Is Unbreakable Glass Truly Unbreakable?

First, let’s get this fact out of the way: there is no type of glass out there on the market that is truly unbreakable. However, there are two common window materials that are marketed as such: laminated windows and polycarbonate windows. While these materials can still break, they significantly help to keep your home, business, and family safe from shattered glass, home invasions, and stormy weather.

Two Types of Unbreakable Glass

Both laminate and polycarbonate windows are two very popular types of super resilient glass that are stronger and more durable than normal glass windows. They are also lightweight while being excellent insulators at the same time.

Laminated Windows

Laminated windows have a thin piece of transparent plastic – usually either polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) – manufactured in between two thin sheets of normal glass. During impact, the plastic layer stays in-tact and bonds the broken pieces of glass, resulting in a shatterproof product.

The glass of a laminated window will break, often creating spiderweb-looking cracks, but there won’t be piles of glass on the ground. Having the window in place is enough of a barrier to:

  • prevent a thief from entering
  • prevent a tree branch from crashing through
  • prevent occupants of the home from being struck by shards of broken glass
  • keep your home or business sealed up until a repair can be made.

Laminated windows are commonly used for windshields, skylights, and curtain walls. And when you take several layers of laminated glass and add them together, the result is bulletproof glass.

Polycarbonate Windows

Polycarbonate windows are made of fused panels of thick, sturdy, flexible polycarbonate (a type of plastic). There is no glass involved with polycarbonate windows. Given that these windows are actually plastic and not at all glass, a polycarbonate window is a lot more difficult to break than a standard glass window. The plastic absorbs the impact of whatever is coming for it, making it another great material that protects against break-ins, baseballs, birds, and branches.

It’s important to note that while they are marketed as being unbreakable, these two types of glass products cannot always stop a thief from entering your home or business. Determined thieves can always find a way in beyond windows, but specially reinforced windows such as the ones mentioned here go a long way in slowing down entry into the home, oftentimes until the would-be thieves either give up and move on to the next property, or law enforcement shows up.

A Note on Safety Glass

There are other types of glass on the market, such as tempered glass, toughened glass, and wire mesh glass, that are deemed or marketed as “safety glass”.  While stronger than normal glass, these types of glass should not be mistaken as unbreakable glass. The reason is because these products are designed to crumble upon impact.

Such crumbled glass is safer than jagged sharp edges, so these types of glass are indeed safety glass, but since the glass falls to the ground, safety glass certainly breaks. In the case of tempered passenger windows in a vehicle for instance, the desire would be for the window to break apart safely (crumble to pieces rather than shards). Tempered glass cannot provide protection against thieves, so if this is your goal, make sure you’re shopping for unbreakable glass and not safety glass.

Installing Unbreakable Glass Products

If you’re unsure if unbreakable products are right for you, consider the fact that both laminated glass and polycarbonate windows work double duty by increasing the security of a residence or business while also increasing energy efficiency and adding some sound deadening. They are also just as effective at reducing break-ins as they are at toughening up windows against stormy weather.

Such glass products should be considered by consumers looking to not only increase the security of the property, but also to protect occupants from injury resulting from broken or shattered glass. They are also perfect for storm-prone regions as well.

Two Ways to Switch to Unbreakable Windows

Looking for unbreakable glass for your home or business in the Nanaimo area? At Budget Glass, our professional glass and window installers have you covered. We can replace your existing windows with all-new unbreakable glass, or we can add layers of glass polycarbonate over top of your existing windows.

This simple addition to your existing windows is a more budget friendly way of increasing the security of your existing windows, without having to replace the entire unit. How does it work? We simply adhere polycarbonate products to your existing glass windows. These products reinforce your home or storefront’s existing standard windows while providing additional shatter-resistance without affecting your view outside!

Call Budget Glass for Unbreakable Glass Guidance & Installation

If you are currently dealing with broken glass or a shattered glass window affecting the safety of your home or business, call Budget Glass on our emergency line at (250) 755-6901 for immediate assistance in the Nanaimo, BC area.

Read More: Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

If you are not sure what type of glass upgrades are right for you, our window experts can guide you through the process. To learn how the glass professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help increase the strength and security of your windows with unbreakable glass, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

21 Jan 2020
Budget Glass - Plate Glass on Live Edge Table

Plate Glass Uses & Benefits

10 Ways to Add Plate Glass to Your Home or Business

If you’ve ever window shopped around downtown Nanaimo, or browsed through Woodgrove Mall, you’ve likely peered through a plate glass storefront or two, installed by the glass professionals at Budget Glass. Plate glass, also called flat glass or sheet glass, is commonly used for everything from windows to windscreens.

What is Plate Glass?

Plate glass is a common type of glass used for commercial purposes such as storefronts, restaurants, and offices. It is also used around the home for things like large windows, glass doors, skylights, display cases, mirrors, and glass table-tops. It is unstained and single-pane, and each piece or sheet has a uniform thickness. Plate glass is most often flat and smooth, unless it is deliberately curved or etched during the manufacturing process. It is a soda-lime-silica glass, meaning it’s made of a combination of sodium carbonate, calcium oxide, and silica.

Plate glass is considered by many to be the first truly flat glass that was created (centuries ago!). The name plate glass refers to how the glass was originally manufactured. The process involved spreading molten glass across a solid, flat metal plate or table (cast iron and lead were both commonly used back in the day) and rolling it while it slowly cooled and a uniform, desired thickness was formed. The product was then sanded down as necessary.

In the 1950s a new manufacturing process was developed called the float glass method, which involved floating molten glass on top of a “bath” of molten metal (usually tin). The molten glass floats to the top as it dries, resulting in a smooth, immaculately flat piece of sheet glass without any additional grinding and sanding.
Although the float glass method has more or less taken over the plate glass manufacturing method, many builders and glass professionals still refer to the resulting product (float glass) as plate glass. The manufacturing methods and end product are more or less the same. Flat glass and sheet glass are additional terms that are often used interchangeable with the term plate glass.

Benefits of Plate Glass

Plate glass has a wide range of benefits, such as:

  • It can be custom cut to any size and shape, including rounded edges.
  • It can be manufactured into custom thicknesses, based on your needs.
  • It can be kept shiny, frosted for privacy, or etched for decoration.
  • It is easy to clean and doesn’t retain odours.
  • It is mold and mildew resistant.
  • It is engineered for exceptional quality and clarity.
  • It can be bent or curved in a variety of ways.
  • It has a clean, slick, attractive, high-end look.
  • It is a sustainable building material as it is 100% recyclable.

The two main drawbacks of plate glass are that it is less shatter resistant than its tempered glass counterpart, and it doesn’t insulate very well, so you wouldn’t want your entire house done in plate glass windows. However, there are still many uses for plate glass. Check out our top 10 recommended ways to use plate glass:

  1. Room Dividers or Partitions – Transform open concept layouts using clear or frosted glass room dividers made of plate glass. The effect can work well in waiting rooms, lobbies, front counters, offices, and even residential properties.
  2. Storefronts – Many of the storefronts you see are plate glass, especially in shopping malls where the desire is to have the floor to ceiling look, but the insulating properties of a tempered, double-pane insulating window aren’t required.
  3. Restaurants – Large glass dividers made of plate glass can help section off portions of a restaurant without making the space feel small or cramped. The glass will add a modern touch and will fit in with any existing design choices and colour themes.
  4. Family Heirlooms – Use plate glass to create a shadow box for family heirlooms like pocket watches, metals of honour, silver spoons, and more.
  5. Child Artwork – Design a few custom frames or boxes for your children’s paintings, 3-D crafts, and trophies. Their creations and achievements deserve to be displayed!
  6. Display Cases and Counters – Install custom-built display counters in your next small business or storefront to give your shop a boutique feel while artistically protecting your products.
  7. Custom Tabletops – A custom-cut piece of plate glass can be added to many a sturdy object to quickly create a one-of-a-kind table using upcycled household items or reclaimed wood.
  8. Protecting Your Wooden Furniture and Antiques – A wooden desk, bedside table, or dresser made out of exotic or reclaimed wood can be protected using plate glass, which also gives the item a shimmery, refreshed, contemporary look.
  9. Works of Art – In some instances, plate glass itself isn’t used to display art – it becomes the art, based on where and how it’s installed, and any patterns etched into its surface, etc.
  10. Kitchen Cabinets – Replace your kitchen cabinet doors with plate glass to start showcasing your dinnerware and stemware.

Professional Plate Glass Installation & Replacement

Getting custom plate glass work done is easier than you think! All you have to do is provide the measurements of the glass you need, and our glass professionals will cut your glass to order. If you are not sure about the type of glass you need, or how thick it should be, our experts can guide you through your project, including suggested edge work to keep your project clean and safe.

To learn how the professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo, BC can help with your plate glass installation, repair, and replacement needs, give us a call at (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

23 Mar 2018
frosted-glass-budget-glass

Benefits of Frosted Glass in the Office

Office space design trends come and go. From the era of the cubicle, to full-on open-concept, and today’s newest trend is an amalgamation of the two. Frosted glass office partitions are the perfect way to offer both a private and open feel in your office space. Here are some of the benefits of frosted glass:

Openness and Natural Light
Frosted glass office partitions offer a happy medium between blocked off opaque walls and fully open clear glass. Frosted glass offers privacy and separation while still letting in natural light and maintaining a sense of openness. The more natural light coming into your office, the less artificial lighting you will need. This will save you money on your monthly utility bills and help boost the mood and productivity of staff.

Open Yet Private
Frosted glass office partitions give your office or cubicles privacy with a modern look and open feel, it’s the best of both worlds.

Low Maintenance
Frosted glass partitions are long lasting and low maintenance. With a simple glass cleaner and cloth, you can keep your office looking sharp with ease.

Protection
Frosted glass also has the added benefit of blocking harmful UV rays that will fade your furniture over time. If your office furniture is exposed to a lot of sunlight during the day, frosted glass will help protect the chairs, couches, and wood in your office space from fading.

Durability
While glass has a reputation for being fragile and breakable, frosted glass office partitions are made of sturdy tempered glass that is safe and durable.

Versatility
Frosted glass is a neutral, sleek, modern option that will complement any colour palette and interior design scheme.  

Whether you are designing a new office space or looking to spruce up an existing one, frosted glass partitions, doors, and walls will create that private, yet open concept design you’ve been looking for.

 

Contact Budget Glass for a frosted glass quote today!