Seven Key Differences Between Tempered Glass and Regular Glass

An image of a regular glass and a tempered glass.

While a rose by any other name may still smell sweet, glass by another name is not the same. Tempered glass, for example, is safer and stronger than regular glass. It is heat and shock-resistant and can be used for a large variety of applications.

What is Tempered Glass?

To best understand what tempered glass is, it is best to compare it to regular glass, which is made in a variety of shapes, colours, and patterns. However, all regular glass, whether blown, sculpted, or formed into sheets, is created by combining materials (sand, soda ash, limestone, etc.), melting them together, forming them, and then slowly cooling and reheating them. Glass that is made this way is called annealed glass, but many tend to call it standard or regular glass.

In contrast, tempered glass is heated to an extremely high temperature and then rapidly cooled with blasts of high-pressure air. This creates tension inside the glass, which makes it stronger and creates a stress pattern that causes the glass to break into safe pebble-shaped pieces instead of sharp shards and jagged pieces like regular glass. Tempering glass also leaves a smooth edge around the glass, which adds to its strength. Other differences resulting from the manufacturing process are:

The Safety of Tempered Glass

Because tempered glass is stronger and breaks into round, cube-like pieces rather than sharp, pointy shards, it is safer than regular glass. Its shock resistance and higher heat threshold also add to tempered glass’s safety. For this reason, it is often used:

Comparison Between Tempered Glass and Regular Glass

To make it even easier to compare tempered glass and regular glass, we have prepared the following chart.

Difference Tempered Glass Annealed/Regular Glass
How It’s Made rapidly cooled slowly cooled
Edge smooth rough
Corner often has a mark, called a bug, in the corner doesn’t usually have a bug
Cost more expensive base price
Cutting cannot be cut after manufacturing often cut
Breaking Pattern pebble-sized pieces shards, pointy and jagged pieces
Strength four to seven times stronger than regular glass; can withstand temperatures up to 470◦F can withstand 6,000 psi; may crack in response to quick temperature changes of 60◦F and more; break at 302◦F to 392◦F

Where to Find Tempered and Regular Glass in the GTA

Whether you’re looking for glass for home or work, Verrage Glass and Mirror Inc. in Vaughan has you covered. We’ve been providing an array of annealed and tempered glass products to communities throughout the GTA since 1989. Contact us today to find the glass or mirror that’s right for youin Woodbridge, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Markham, Vaughan, and the surrounding areas.