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    A Guide to Tempered Window Glass

    We all know the old saying: it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. The phrase might be cliché, but it’s also true, especially when it comes to your home’s windows. One minute your kids are playing a charming game of baseball in the backyard, and the next there’s a ball flying through your back window and a pile of dangerous glass shards heaped on the floor. Luckily, this kind of situation can be avoided by installing tempered glass panels, a tougher kind of glass that can withstand more force than conventional glass and keep your home safer.
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    Tempered glass panels are created through a process of rapid heating and cooling, making them four to five times stronger than conventional glass. Tempered glass panels are crafted so that when they break they do not shatter like conventional glass. Instead, this type of glass will crumble into relatively harmless and small pieces, rather than jagged shards.

    Usually, tempered glass panels are used in places that they’re likely to be broken, such as car windows or public buildings. However, tempered glass panels can be a great choice for your home’s windows. Tempered glass is an excellent choice for areas requiring safety glass, or simply any area in your home where you desire more protection.

    For the full story on tempered glass panels, take a look at our basic guide below.

    Tempered glass panels break crumble into relatively harmless pieces rather than dangerous shards. | @ fotolia.com / unclepodger

    Benefits of Tempered Glass Panels

    When intact, tempered glass panels look just regular glass. Since tempered glass panels will not shatter into dangerous shards, they’re much safer than conventional glass. Tempered glass is the strongest form of glass, and is five to eight times more impact resistant than conventional glass. Because tempered glass panels are stronger than normal glass, a lot more force is required to break them, ensuring that your windows have a longer lifespan.

    They are also a good choice for backup window protection for homes in areas prone to intense storms such as hurricanes. If you live in a hurricane-prone region, however, be sure to primarily protect your windows with exterior or interior storm windows.

    Finally, tempered glass panels are highly resistant to heat and can withstand temperature of up to 320 degrees Celsius. This quality makes them ideal barriers to fire hazards.

    For safety reasons, this home's window wall panels were built with tempered glass panels. | © CC BY-SA 2.0 flickr.com / Pat Hayes

    Costs for Tempered Glass Panels

    Because tempered glass provides your home with extra protection, it tends to be expensive. Depending on the size, expect to pay between $100 and $400 for each tempered glass panel.

    Building Codes for Tempered Glass Panels

    There are building codes in place that require tempered glass in areas that might benefit from extra protection. The full list of codes are lengthy, but in general you should know that tempered glass panels are required in:

    1. 1) The area surrounding bathtubs or showers.
    2. 2) Doors with glass window insets.
    3. 3) Any glass next to a door, such as sidelights and transoms.

    For a full list of building requirements, work with a professional in your area and consult the rules in your region.

    Bottom Line: A Safe Choice for your Home

    While tempered glass panels will add extra costs, the extra security they provide make them worth it. Tempered glass is strong and safe, and it will help keep both your home and your family secure for many years to come.

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