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The Case of Laminated Glass Cutting

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Question About Cutting Laminated Glass

Hello Glass Detective,

We have several pieces of laminated safety glass that we are rejecting from a manufacturer and they are trying to tell us laminated safety glass is very difficult to cut and get a perfect edge. So they are saying these chips on the edges and wavy edges are not a cause for rejection. We have never used laminated safety glass, only tempered glass so we expect nice, clean, straight edges. Are good edges with laminated glass a problem or are we being fed a bunch of baloney?

Thank you for your assistance.

-Jessica B.

Answer to question about Laminated Glass


Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective regarding your request for some possible information regarding the cutting of laminated glass. Specifically, I think you want to know what an acceptable level of quality might be for a cut piece of laminated glass.

So without seeing the glass in question and attempting to understand and respond to your concerns, here we go: laminated glass is harder to cut than non-laminated glass. This is because you are cutting through two pieces of glass and a polyvinyl interlayer. Typically, this means you have to cut the glass from both sides (faces) and after “running” the cuts out, you then have to cut through the center interlayer to complete the cut. There are different methods of doing this but I don’t think you are too concerned about that…you just want to know if the glass you received is acceptable.

Often, the complaint with laminated glass is that the interlayer sticks out past the cut edge of the glass. This is easily remedied with a little time and effort. As for the chips you are referring to, for the most part, there may be some very minor chipping (sometimes caused by the cutting of the interlayer) but if it gets really bad, this can be smoothed out with various sanding/polishing techniques. However, the overriding issue to me is…you are the customer and you had certain expectations that apparently were not met.

You have a right to question the finished product and I think you have a right to ask for it to be fixed or your money returned. There is a chance the supplier gave you what they thought you wanted (or would be acceptable) and either way, you should be able to come to an acceptable agreement.

And to answer your very last sentence in your memo to us– Yes, good edges on laminated glass are being produced all over the country every day. I hope this Information is of some benefit to you. If you need us to recommend a reliable and quality glass supplier in your area, please let us know and we will try to assist you.

-The Glass Detective

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Copyright © Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact 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

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. Find out more about Lyle on Linkedin.

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