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Dear Glass Detective,
What is the best glass for a front door?
Thank you for reaching out to the Glass Detective at Glass.com with your question regarding the best choice for glass to be installed in your front door. While you were not too specific as to the type and location of the door you are planning to put this glass into, I am going to assume it is the front door of your home. Such a selection is important for several reasons, and I will do my best to touch on each of them in this response.
Our first consideration is going to be safety. An entrance door, whether in a home, school or business, serves as the primary means of entry and exit to and from a given building. Therefore, it gets a great deal of traffic. Building codes and federal safety regulations will require that the glass in your front door, and for that matter all doors, uses a safety glazing product, such as tempered or laminated glass. The reason being that if the door glass happens to break on accident, you don’t want the glass to injure someone.
There are a few exemptions to this safety glass requirement but I am going to assume for our discussion here that you will be dealing with a safety glass product. We have other blogs in our Glass.com system which further defines “safety glass” and “safety glazing codes” if you want to dig deeper into that topic.
The second consideration is appearance or perhaps the word “image” would be more appropriate. What do you want the glass in your door to perhaps say about you? Because of the great variety and versatility of glass products, you have a wide array of options. Numerous colors, patterns and textures are available. You could even have your name or perhaps a personalized image etched or sandblasted into the glass. The possibilities are almost endless.
It might prove helpful to find a reputable glass shop in your area that can provide samples for you to consider. The shop could also advise you on what options are to be considered based on the size, type, and style of the door you are working with. Pricing and lead time information will also be available from a glass shop in your locale. If you have any difficulty whatsoever in finding a reputable glass shop in your area, please feel free to reach back out to us and we will assist you with this.
The third consideration we must deal with is security. This differs from safety in that we want to ensure the glass is secure enough that it resists forced entry. We have produced a fair amount of information in our other blog posts that talk about tempered versus laminated glass which you might want to look at also.
I will admit to you that I am partial to laminated glass products in entrance doors because if the glass does get broken, it will tend to hold together in the opening which may help to keep weather, intruders and even animals from getting into your home until the glass can be replaced or at least reinforced in some manner.
The fourth consideration will be energy. With this in mind, you will most likely want to use an insulated glass unit (IGU). An IGU is comprised from two or more glass panels with sealed air spaces between the frames. These air spaces act as insulation to help keep constant temperatures inside your home. Additionally, an insulating unit with a Low Emissivity (Low-E) coating will likely save you money during both the heating and cooling seasons. Low-E coatings are coatings applied to the glass that further reduce energy costs.
The fifth and final consideration I want to discuss is maintenance. Glass products are incredibly easy to maintain in most situations. If keep clean and not abused, glass can provide many years of outstanding performance and reliability. There are few products that match the overall versatility and longevity of glass.
I hope that this information is of value to you and as always, thank you for making contact with the Glass.com Glass Detective with your question. I also wish you good luck with your project.
-The Glass Detective
Glass.com 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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