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Can Low-E Glass Be Laminated?

Many homeowners are switching to low-e glass — also referred to as low-emissivity glass—when upgrading their home’s windows. With low-e glass, you can reduce the amount of harmful ultraviolet light entering your home, improve energy efficiency efforts, save on annual heating and cooling costs and create a more comfortable indoor environment for you and your family. While low-e glass has many benefits, does it mean that you can’t add any other features or upgrades to your window’s glass, like lamination? Let’s find out.

Can Low Emissivity Glass Be Laminated?

Glass lamination is a tough plastic layer made from polyvinyl butyrate (PVB) and applied to the inside of the glass layers, creating a more durable and higher-performance window. Laminated glass is an especially useful upgrade if your home is located in an area with severe natural disaster occurrences like hurricanes or earthquakes.

low-e-laminated-glass

If you’re looking for the most efficient and dependable window glass available, you’ll be happy to know that you can add lamination to your low-e coated glass. When perusing the various kinds of laminated low-e glass, you’ll see two different glazing types:

  • Standard, single-glaze lamination: With this technique, the laminated layer is sealed between only two layers of glass.
  • Insulated glass with lamination: Windows that are insulated have multiple layers of glass that are sealed together with very small gaps between each pane. These added layers provide even more efficient insulation in the window, preventing heat loss.

Both types of laminated glass improve the functionality of a low-e coating, and which kind of lamination works best for you depends largely on your budget, expectations and needs. A window featuring insulated glass with a low-e coating and lamination is ideal for homes located in warmer climates and will have even more thermal insulation capabilities, exceptional solar heat control and better energy efficiency.

low e laminated replacement home windows

Why Upgrade Your Windows to Laminated Low-E Glass?

When you go the extra mile and select low-e laminated glass for your windows, you’ll benefit from the following:

  • Sound reduction: Glass without added layers is a poor defense against outdoor sounds, but the PVB layer inside the glass features sound-dampening attributes that can reduce unpleasant outside noises infiltrating your peaceful interiors.
  • Elimination of UV exposure: With a low-e glass, you benefit from reduced UV light exposure that can damage your interiors and furnishings, but with the added lamination, you can have nearly total UV elimination. Laminated windows eliminate 99 percent of UV rays from entering your home.
  • Better energy efficiency: Low-e coatings alone have exceptional energy efficiency qualities, reducing the effects of radiant heat transference, but added lamination will enhance the glass’s ability to reflect heat back inside or out and away.
  • Increased security: When you take advantage of added layers, you’ll not only have superior efficiency and overall convenience, but you’ll also find that the glass is more difficult to break. This factor is especially useful for preventing unwanted intruders from breaking the glass to enter your home.
  • Improved safety: Like most types of glass, laminated glass can crack or break in instances of extreme impact. However, the glass won’t shatter and break into shards that could injure someone. Instead, the broken glass will remain stuck inside the plastic layer instead of falling out of the window.

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For advice on which type of glass is best for your home, consult the experienced professionals at Glass.com. Reach out to us today by calling 816-945-2778 or filling out our online contact form.

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  • Could the coating be on the inner side of glass next to lamination, or the outer side of glass opposite to the lamination, for the single layer lamination glass?

  • What would be an average STC rating for a double pane window with low-e and one pane of lamination (if there is such a thing)?

    • Hi Bob,

      Thanks for the question! The average STC would be 39. And yes, there are units made this way quite regularly. As an aside, the low-e coating has no effect on STC for all practical purposes.

      -Glass Detective

  • Is the low E layer between the two sheets and so protected from any cleaning products when the window is cleaned from either side or is it exposed on the inward facing glass sheet?

    • Hi David,
      Great question! The placement of the low-e surface for insulating glass windows actually depends on the primary goal of the window. If the goal is to minimize exterior heat gain, the coating will be on the outward pane. If the goal is to minimize heat loss, the coating will be on the inward pane. However, whichever piece of glass the coating is on, it will typically always be located on the inner side of the pane, inside the sealed section of the window. Therefore, it remains protected from cleaning products and other elements. For more information, check out our Double Pane Window Upgrade blog article.

  • Hello, I am looking at windows here in s florida. A dealer installer says that impact, high performance low e with aluminum frame is all I need. I felt the inside of one of these windows and it gets quite warm when sun hit it. How much of this heat do you think actually transfers into total room? I wonder if I should get low e with argon gas insulation to stop window with just low e from getting so warm?. What do you think?

  • I live in Colorado. My windows are in excelent shape but over the years the seals have been comprimised. I am looking at replacing the double pane glazing. My goal is to get the best R-value, noise reduction and clearity. One choise is a double pane 272 low-e with one pane laminated. Is the laminated glass thicker than a single pane? If it is, does reducing the width of the gap reduce the r-value? I have 24 windows and want to do this right. What is your opinion and advice?

    • Steve, Thank you for your question. The configuration you are considering for replacing your existing “failing” insulated units is an excellent one and I think will give you what you are looking for. Additionally it should also give you a small amount of security from break-ins and will block UV penetration. Your primary concern is with what you refer to as the “gap” or thickness allowance. Specifically, will the new glass you want fit into the existing frame? The good news is that laminated glass comes in a range of thicknesses and assuming the glass (each pane) you have in your units now is at least 3/16” thick you should be ok. You want to maintain the largest air space practical between the panes for insulating purposes but the glass has to be thick enough to handle whatever wind loads you may experience and also be able to be cleaned without worrying about breaking it. The “R-Value” will be dependent upon the glass make-up and the air space sizing. The supplier will have that data available for you. What I want to suggest is that you have a competent glass shop or glazing contractor look at your existing frames to determine overall glass sizing (including thickness) and then you can make an informed decision. For instance, if your existing glass units are 1” overall in thickness, you pretty much can go with what you want as long as you maintain a ½” air-space. If they are less than this, you will most likely have to play around just a little bit to get what you want. However, based on what you are thus far providing in the way of information, I think you are on the right course. Good luck with your project.

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