News & Media

Tempered vs. Laminated Glass

March 6, 2019 | General Info

  There are many choices to make in the process of purchasing a skylight. Choosing between tempered and laminated glass is one of the crucial first steps. Both types of safety glass perform well and excel in different environments. This article will break down the specific strengths of each type of glass in different situations. With this information, you will be able to identify which glass best suits your home, and install the best TAM Skylight for you.

Tempered Glass

  Tempered glass is known for its immense strength and durability. The glass is strengthened in extremely hot temperatures and then cooled down quickly. Tempered glass is stronger than the typical glass you would find in a window in your home, which uses annealed glass. This heat strengthening ensures the skylight will last longer and be less likely to break. Additionally, if the skylight were to break, it would shatter into many tiny pieces, rather than big shards of glass. This is similar to the glass that is used in car windows, the small pieces are safer than a large, sharp shard of glass. The standard glass we use for our skylights is tempered glass to ensure our units are both strong as well as safe. With these measures put in place to mitigate cost and damage, tempered glass is a safe choice.

A corner sample of a TAM tempered glass skylight

Laminated Glass

  Laminated glass is an even stronger and resilient piece of glass we install in our skylights. A single pane of laminated glass is comprised of two panes of glass that are adhered to both sides of a panel of acrylic. A common application of laminated glass is the glass used in a car windshield. When impacted by something, the glass cracks, but does not break. The glass is held together by the acrylic inner layer, providing an extremely safe layer between drivers and road hazards. Laminated glass has many other benefits as well. Due to its increased thickness and layers, the glass dampens sound effectively.. Therefore, if your home is near construction, airports, or any source of loud noise, laminated skylights are the way to go. Not only does it reduce sound, but it also reduces the UV light that enters your home. Because there is an acrylic layer inside the laminated glass, it can block ninety nine percent of UV rays from entering your home through the skylight. This will mitigate furniture fading, prevent drastic temperature changes, and much more. All in all, laminated glass is a heavy duty piece of glass, but tempered glass remains a fantastic and economically friendly choice as well.

This large skylight was high enough that building code required that we use laminated glass.

  Certain building codes require skylights to utilize laminated glass over tempered glass. Please check the building codes in your area to see if your skylight needs be glazed with laminated glass. In the Seattle area, if the skylight is over twelve feet off the ground or the size of the skylight is greater than fifteen square feet, building code requires that the glass be laminated. Both tempered and laminated glass are equally exceptional, but their strengths are highlighted in different circumstances.

  Overall, TAM Skylights uses two panes of glass in each skylight we manufacture. As the homeowner, you can choose between tempered over tempered glass and tempered over laminated glass. With the understanding of the differences between tempered and laminated glass, you can now make the right choice, and TAM Skylights will provide the resources to improve your home. If you have further questions,  call 206-763-6868 or email us at

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