The Case of the Broken Trellis Glass

Question regarding broken trellis glass

Dear Glass Detective,

My glass subcontractor has been laying laminated glass on a trellis with standoffs. The glass keeps breaking. The standoffs are approximately 24 inches apart. What is wrong?

San Diego, CA

Answer to question regarding broken trellis glass


Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective with your concerns over a continuing glass breakage problem you are having with glass being installed in a trellis using “standoffs” for attachment. You don’t state the type of standoff being used or the thickness of the glass being used but with the information you have provided I am going to make a bit of a jump to a conclusion as to the problem with the ongoing glass breakage. There are a few different types of standoffs but whether you are using a glued on standoff or one that requires a hole be drilled in the glass, you should be using a tempered glass product, not laminated glass. If you want (or due to code requirements) need to go with laminated glass compositions, still use tempered glass (2 pieces of tempered laminated together). Based on my interpretation from the information you have provided, you will not get the laminated glass (non-tempered) to work long term. It is not strong enough. I hope this is of some help to you.


The Glass Detective attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.

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Lyle Hill

By Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management.

Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon.

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