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What is a window glass?

Mar. 07, 2024
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You usually start by thinking about color, frame, hardware, and overall appearance when shopping for new windows. But the type of window glass can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency, protection, and views.

This guide details six different types of window glass, including the pros, cons, and cost of each, so that you can make the right choice for your home.

What Are the Different Types of Window Glass?

Whether you’re looking for replacement windows in your kitchen or want to update the ones in your living room, it’s essential to consider the different window glass options. The below chart breaks down the different types of window glass, complete with some key information to give you an introductory overview.

Type of Window GlassProsConsCost Range per Window*Best ForAnnealed GlassLess expensive, Good visibilityWeaker, breaks in big shards$150 to $350Homeowners on a budgetLaminated GlassStrong material, shatter-resistant glassPricier$255 to $600Homes with skylights, roof glazing, balustrades, or curtain wallsLow-E GlassEnergy-efficient, thermal coating that lasts 10 to 15 yearsRequires a large investment upfront$350 to $840Homeowners looking to increase energy efficiencyTinted GlassPromotes greater privacy, heat transfer resistantReduced visibility for homeowners$250 to $750Homeowners looking for privacy or a colorful aesthetic for the homeTempered GlassDurable enough to withstand storms, safety-conscious materialCan’t be repaired$200 to $650Houses in stormy or windy areasKrypton or Argon GlassLong-lasting, energy-efficientExpensive$250 to $1,100Homeowners looking to invest in durable, energy-efficient windows

*These average costs are only rough estimates of standard window installations; these figures are meant to provide a starting point for budgeting window costs, which vary significantly and depend on a variety of factors. Learn more about our Cost Analysis Methodology here.

Annealed Window Glass

Credit: Adobe Stock

Annealed glass is also known as standard glass, float glass, or strengthened glass. Annealed glass is formed through annealing, which is the process of heating glass to a very high temperature and then cooling it slowly to reduce the internal stress on the glass unit.

This heat-strengthened glass is usually less expensive than other types of glass since it often goes through less processing. However, it’s a weaker material, putting it at a higher risk of breaking (which it does in large, jagged shards).

Where To Use Annealed Window Glass

Annealed glass is more fragile than other types of glass, so it’s best used in low-traffic areas protected from wind and storms.

Annealed Window Glass Costs

Annealed glass is inexpensive and typically costs between $150 and $300 per window.

Low cost

Good visibility

Not as strong as other types of glass

Leaves big, sharp pieces of glass when broken

Laminated Window Glass

Credit: Canva

Laminated glass, also known as safety glass, is an excellent choice if you want to fortify your home with a stronger type of glass.

This type of glass is created by fusing two panes around a layer of polyvinyl butyral with high heat and strong pressure. The result is a solid, shatter-resistant glass that’s often used in vehicles to minimize the risk of the window breaking from flying objects.

Where To Use Laminated Window Glass

Laminated glass is ideal for roof glazing, curtain walls, skylights, and balustrades because it’s less likely to break, reducing the risk of falling glass on residents in the home.

Laminated Window Glass Costs

Laminated glass costs $255 to $600 on average per window replacement.


Less prone to shattering and falling

Noise-reducing due to thick glass

More expensive than other choices

Low-E Window Glass

Credit: Canva

Low-E glass is a reliable type of window glass that will help improve your home’s energy efficiency. These windows have a special type of Low-E coating on the glass that reflects thermal radiation and UV rays. This coating reflects heat during summer and keeps heat from escaping during winter. Over time, Low-E glass can lead to lower energy bills.

Additionally, it can effectively reduce outside noise, providing a quieter and more serene living environment. Low-E glass allows ample natural light to enter while reducing glare, creating well-lit and inviting living spaces.

In summary, Low-E glass is a smart and sustainable choice, contributing to improved energy savings, interior preservation, noise reduction, and overall comfort in homes and buildings.

For a better understanding, we suggest you refer to our comprehensive guide outlining the benefits of Low-E glass.

Where To Use Low-E Window Glass

Low-E glass is ideal for windows that receive a lot of sunlight since it can keep your home cooler during summer and warmer during winter, thanks to its thermal coating.

Low-E Window Glass Costs

Low-E glass costs $350 to $840 per window replacement, putting it on the more expensive side when it comes to window glass.

Reflects thermal radiation


Coating lasts 10 to 15 years

Requires a significant investment upfront

Tinted Window Glass

Credit: Canva

Any type of glass with added color is considered tinted. Typically, the tinting process adds metal oxides to the window, creating colorful tints in shades like green, blue, gray, or bronze.

Tinted glass is an excellent option if you seek privacy from neighbors and traffic around the home. Some darker tints can also protect your home from heat transfer.

Where To Use Tinted Window Glass

Tinted glass windows are ideal for areas that receive a lot of sunlight or face high foot traffic because the tint protects from the sun and offers privacy. Skylights and decorative panels are just a couple of the places you can install this type of glass.

Tinted Window Glass Costs

Tinted glass costs $250 to $750 per window replacement.

Increases privacy

Protects against harmful UV rays

Aesthetically pleasing, colorful look

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Reduces homeowners’ ability to see outside, especially when it’s dark

Tempered Window Glass

Credit: Canva
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Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that can be four times stronger than untreated glass types. This type of glass is ideal if you worry about broken glass, as tempered glass shatters into rounded pieces, which reduces the risk of injury. Additionally, some areas require tempered glass to meet building codes or specific safety standards.

Where To Use Tempered Window Glass

Tempered glass windows are durable options that are optimal for homes in climates with strong winds or big storms, as well as high-traffic areas of the house.

Tempered Window Glass Costs

Tempered glass is a strong safety glass that costs between $200 to $650 per window.

Extremely durable

Strong enough to withstand high winds and big storms

Thermal shock and heat resistant

Can’t be repaired

Krypton or Argon Window Glass

Credit: Adobe Stock

Gas-filled glass types like argon or krypton glass are insulated windows with space between the panes. This space helps to minimize heat transfer because the krypton or argon gas in this gap is denser than the air surrounding the window, leading to better heat dissipation.

If possible, opt for a triple-pane, gas-filled glass over a double-pane option because this can minimize the risk of gas leaks. We also recommend looking for a no-leak guarantee when shopping for these types of windows.

Where To Use Krypton or Argon Window Glass

Homeowners usually opt for krypton or argon window glass when looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency, so anywhere that’s regularly hit by sunlight is a great location for these windows.

Krypton or Argon Window Glass Costs

Gas-filled glass costs between $250 to $1,100 per window.


Lasts up to 20 years before gas needs to be refilled

Keeps the window’s temperature close to room temperature

Failed seal could eventually lead to condensation

One of the most expensive types of window glass

Gas can leak from the window

What Type of Window Glass Is Best for Energy Efficiency?

The best type of energy-efficient window glass is a window with double or even triple-panes, argon or krypton gas filling, and a low emissivity glass coating. This combination helps reduce energy bills, making the initial higher price point worthwhile in the long run for many homeowners.

Is Window Glass Replacement Worth It?

Now that you know all about the most common window glass types, you can weigh your options by assessing your budget and needs. We recommend collecting quotes from multiple trusted window experts like Champion, Renewal by Anderson, and Window World before you commit to one window brand. These trusted window experts offer the best window selections and top-notch customer service.

Ready to buy home windows? Get a free estimate from one of the industry’s best window providers below:

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FAQs About Different Types of Window Glass

What Is the Most Commonly Used Window Glass?

The most commonly used window glass is tempered glass. This is because it’s exceptionally durable, strong enough to withstand high winds, and is one of the more energy-efficient options.

What Kind of Glass Doesn’t Break?

Laminated glass, or safety glass, is one of the strongest types of glass that doesn’t break easily. It’s shatterproof and recommended for areas with strong winds or big storms because of its durability.

What Type of Glass Is Used for Residential Windows?

Annealed glass is the standard type of glass for residential windows. It’s created using the standard float glass process, including a heat treatment, and is more affordable than different types of glass. Unfortunately, it can break into sharp, dangerous shards of glass, making it a possible safety concern.

All About Window Glass

Home, business or auto – your windows work hard to regulate temperature, provide privacy and save energy. At Glass Doctor®, we pride ourselves on being your go-to for all things window glass.

From single pane window replacement to double pane window condensation, we have the expertise to help you tackle your biggest window dilemmas.

Use the resources linked from this page to learn about your options for window glass installation, repair and replacement for your home, office or vehicle.

Need window glass repair or window glass replacement now?
Call 855-603-1919 for 24/7 emergency service.

Window Glass Types

Modern-day windows are predominantly double pane and are either simple insulated glass units (IGUs) – double pane windows with air inside a hermetically sealed spacer – or more specialized IGUs called “gas fills” that are filled with krypton or argon gasses instead of air for additional insulation.

Both types of IGU are also known as thermopane glass. There are further variations: IGUs can be constructed of low-emissivity (Low-E) glass, glass coated with a heat-absorbing tint, or glass made with reflective or spectrally selective coatings.

Learn more about these popular types of window glass.

Most modern window glass, including IGUs, is either made of annealed glass or tempered glass. Tempered glass, also known as safety glass, is stronger than its annealed counterpart. When it breaks, it tends to break in smaller, duller pieces with more rounded edges than the large, sharp shards we associate with annealed glass windows.

Learn more about tempered glass windows.

Window Styles We Service

Windows come in many styles, shapes, and sizes, and at Glass Doctor, we love them all. From bow windows to casement windows and sliding glass doors, we service windows of all shapes, sizes, functions, and designs. We commonly repair and replace panes in windows including:

Click to enlarge

Looking for information about a specific type of window? Check the links below to learn about double pane windows, single pane windows, car windows, bay windows, and picture windows:

Window Glass Repair and Window Glass Replacement

Our technicians understand the importance of keeping your home safe and secure. Glass Doctor is proud to offer window pane repair and replacement services at locations throughout the US and Canada.

Window Glass Repair

Before you resign yourself to replacing your home or businesses windows, consider Glass Doctor window glass repair. Glass Doctor window glass repair services can preserve your home’s window frame, hardware and even one pane of a double pane window.

24/7 emergency glass home window repair is available via many of our Glass Doctor locations.

Learn more about Glass Doctor window glass repair by navigating the links below:

Window Glass Replacement

Whether you’re replacing a broken pane or looking to upgrade your home’s windows with more stylish or energy-efficient models, Glass Doctor is your go-to company for all things window glass replacement.

Like our window glass repair services, many Glass Doctor locations offer 24-hour emergency window replacement.

Learn everything to know about window glass replacement and window pane replacement via the links below:

Dealing With Condensation Between Window Panes

Condensation between window panes is one of the most frustrating issues that home and business owners face. When condensation forms between your panes, it’s never a good sign because it means that the structural integrity or seal of your double pane window has been compromised.

Check out the links below to learn more about ways you can fix or mitigate the amount of condensation and damage to your IGUs:

Choose Glass Doctor for Window Glass Repair and Window Glass Replacement

At Glass Doctor, we strive to help you see glass window prices clearly. Finding a window company you can trust shouldn’t be difficult, and with over 250 locations in the US and Canada, your local Glass Doctor is just one phone call away. Let Glass Doctor fix your window panes. Schedule an appointment online or contact the Glass Doctor nearest you to get started.

What is a window glass?

All About Window Glass

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