What is Commercial Glass? Springfield Glass Explains

Glistening, beautifully reflected and well-crafted glass can be seen while walking past boutique storefront windows or while looking up at a commercial skyscraper building. But what makes commercial glass so diverse, strong, and commonplace? Let’s find out.

In today’s blog, Springfield Glass explains what commercial glass really is, including how it’s made and its various uses. 

What is Commercial Glass?

Commercial glass is any glass type that is used for non-residential architectural purposes, including windows on storefronts, bank teller stations, high-rise buildings, and more. This type of glass has more panes and allows more light than residential glass would. 

Commercial Glass Doors and even Commercial Glass Windows consist of laminated or tempered glass that has been strengthened. It can have multi-layered glass panes for added durability. Commercial Glass Garages consist of many glass panes fitted within a light aluminum frame like you would see at fire departments.

Types of Commercial Glass

Glass for commercial buildings comes in a variety of different styles and types.

  • Flat 
  • Plexiglass
  • Tempered 
  • Laminated
  • Wired (wire mesh)
  • Tinted
  • Insulated
  • Security
  • Spandrel

Clear glass is the most common. Extra clear glass is free from iron and other impurities but is namely used for tabletops and fine-wear items with a sparkling display.

Tinted glass is float glass. Metal oxides are added for tinting and heat protection. Tints come in many colors: blue, green, grey, black, and more. 

Tempered glass is commonly seen in cafes, airports, sports stadiums, and store shop windows. If broken, it doesn’t fall apart into shards, but crumbles.

Heat-strengthened glass safeguards against thermal breaks and is used during structural glazing (a strengthening process). 

Insulated glass is used in buildings that require high levels of heating and cooling. 

Ceramic printed glass is used for privacy, like showers, stair rails, or conference rooms. 

Lacquered glass is decorative, containing a layer of lacquer for added durability and paint coating for stylization. 

Laminated glass consists of two strengthened glass panes sealed together with a film.

Frosted glass is used decoratively in shower rooms, dressing rooms, and more.

How is Commercial Glass Made?

There are so many varieties of commercial glass, but how are they manufactured? All float glass (flat sheets of glass) is created through the same process. 

  1. Molten Furnace – a mix of materials (sand, soda ash, limestone, etc.) are melted into a molten-hot liquid.
  2. Forming – this molten material is poured on top of molten tin metal, making flat sheets.
  3. Annealing – glass is put into a lehr (a long kiln) and is cooled gradually (20-60 seconds).
  4. Coating – typically two coats are applied, one before heating and the other before cooling.
  5. Inspection – due to automation, inspecting and sorting through defective glass is lightning fast.
  6. Cut & Package – Glass is then cut into specified shapes, packaged, and made to order for market.

How is Commercial Glass Replaced or Repaired? 

Our seasoned team of project managers, glazers, and project estimators can tackle most commercial glass installations and repairs, no matter the project’s scale and scope. Whether it’s a brand-new installation or remodeling work, we can do it. 

When it comes to replacing glass, be it a door or window, a few basic things come to mind. ​​

Replacing a glass door or replacing a storefront glass window both require the same basic tools: a putty knife or chisel, pry bar, tarp, or drop cloth, and a gasket or caulk.

First, remove the glass stop, which is the aluminum extrusion designed to hold the glass into the door or storefront window frame. If it’s caulked, cut through it. 

Before replacing the glass pane, make sure the glass is securely in place from the other side, and remember not to apply too much force. 

How to Remove a Commercial Glass Window?

Much like a commercial glass door or storefront window set, removal starts with stripping the vinyl trim off the parameter. Pry loose and remove the stop, then the adhesive tape, and the glass pane. Finally, install the new glass panes. If one pane is broken, you’ll need to remove and replace them both. 

How to Clean Commercial Glass?

It depends on the infrastructure. For commonplace storefront glass windows, an applicator is used to wet down the windows. A squeegee is used to clean them from top to bottom. Lastly, a cotton rag is used for detailing — to wipe away the remaining wetness

We Can Handle All Your Commercial Glass Needs

Our passionate and dedicated professionals at Springfield Glass are here to make your life easier. We inspect, replace, repair, and install residential and commercial glass. For more information, or to receive a free quote, call us at 417-883-6555 or contact us online today! 

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