What is Tempered Glass?
When researching windows for tiny homes, tempered glass is a term which you will immediately come across. Heat treated, or chemically treated, tempered glass is nicknamed ‘safety glass’ for its ability to fracture into small blunt pieces.
[You are likely familiar with its broken form if you live in an area with sheltered glass bus stops. Or rather, did live in an area with sheltered glass bus stops. Before the footpath sparkled with pretty, fractured chunks of glass.]
It is is quoted as being four times stronger than annealed glass (‘normal’ glass) – an excellent selling point when considering the transportation of your tiny home.
Heated to an industry standard of 620 degrees Celsius, then air blasted to cool during a process called ‘quenching,’ the glass cools from the outside surface to the center, leaving the center in tension and the outer surface in compression.
Though this means little to me, it apparently creates a glass of such strength, that it gives even your parents enough peace of mind that they install it in their kitchen door on the off chance that a tickling war escalates once more. (True story.)
However, despite the glowing attributes, in typical fashion, there is debate over whether tempered glass is indeed necessary. The pros and cons are listed on many a website, and opinions range from ‘must have’ to ‘forget about it.’
Purchasing tempered glass windows will certainly increase your cost, and finding recycled tempered windows is apparently very difficult. Fortunately for me it’s early days, so I can sit on such decisions a while longer.
Though truth be told, before I can even make that call, I must remember that tempered glass is just one of the many considerations around windows. I haven’t even touched on other glass options, let alone style, frame material, energy efficiency ratings, or ventilation.
All in good time.