How to Choose the Best Glass for Your Double Glazing

Hush the Hustle

Selecting Noise Reduction Glass

Traffic roar. Aircraft rumblings. Construction clatter. In urban areas, excessive exterior noise ranks among homebuyers’ top complaints. And with more employees working remotely long-term, interior peace and quiet becomes increasingly pivotal.

Double glazing alone dampens external sound better than single panes by trapping air between layers. But specialized acoustic glass takes muffling noise to the next level:

Noise reduction glass
acoustic glass

What is Acoustic Glass?

Acoustic double glazing utilizes laminated glass layered with sound-absorbing materials. An intermediate PVB or acoustic polymer interlayer “viscoelastically dampens” outside vibrations entering indoors. The stiffer this interlayer, the better for absorbing noise frequencies.

Specialised resin-based fills also get injected between glass panes during production. The denser molecular makeup better impedes soundwave movement.

Lower End
Higher End
How Well Does It Work?

Noise Reduction Ratings Explained

Acoustic glass earns noise reduction ratings based on decibel levels blocked. Think of it like a volume knob turning down background disturbance. The higher the dB rating, the more muffled the incoming noise.

Acoustic glass sound reduction rating

Acoustic glass earns noise reduction ratings based on decibel levels blocked. Think of it like a volume knob turning down background disturbance. The higher the dB rating, the more muffled the incoming noise.

  • 25-28 dB: Lowers volume akin to switching a radio dial from loud to moderate
  • 28-32 dB: Ambient noise now resembles soft background music
  • 34-38 dB: Only faint hints of muffled street noise enter the room
  • 38-45 dB: Virtual silence even bordering bustling urban corridors

To give you an idea of what decibel rating would work best for you, it is recommended that city dwellers, target 34 dB and above for noticeable everyday relief. Near airports, step up to 40+ dB models to dampen takeoff thrusts. For those living near Cornwall’s beautiful coastline, it’s worth noting that a seagull cry is around 75dB! The table below will give you a rough idea of the noise levels you can expect in Cornwall.

seagull bird animal transparent png
Type of NoiseApproximate Decibel Level Range
Traffic Noise
– Busy Road TrafficAround 70-85 dB
– Highway Traffic70-90 dB or higher
Seaside Sounds
– Waves crashingTypically 60-80 dB
Events and Festivals
– Music festivals/events80-110 dB or more
Agricultural Activities
– Farm machinery80-100 dB
Natural Sounds
– Bird Calls40-80 dB depending on species
– Rustling LeavesGenerally below 40 dB
Construction & Industrial
– Construction Sites80-100 dB
– Industrial Machinery70-120 dB or higher
Public Transportation
– Trains70-90 dB or more
Urban Sounds
– Urban Street NoiseAround 60-80 dB

Please note that the decibel levels provided are approximate and can vary significantly based on various factors.

is it worth it?

Costs & ROI

Incorporating dense acoustic laminates bumps glass expenses 15%-50% over standard double glazing. But the boost in home enjoyment and productivity quickly offsets upgrade costs. With external volumes physically barred from intruding indoors, you’ll entertain more, relax better, hear clearer on calls, and truly unwind in your own oasis of calm.

roi costs

Privacy Glass

privacy glass
Balancing Light and Privacy

What is Privacy Glass

Picture windows beautifully frame trees swaying and clouds drifting by. Yet many homeowners hesitate incorporating large glazed panels. Why live squinting through small inelegant openings or constantly drawing curtains when better solutions exist? Privacy glass balances light-filled spaces and oversight control.

A closer look

Levels of Privacy Glass

When it comes to privacy glass, you can tailor the right balance of light transmission versus visibility protection for your comfort level. Frosted glass with diffused coatings creates softer, obscure transparency.

frosted glass

Frosted glass – Consistent opaque diffused coating eliminates sightlines and forms yet evenly fills rooms with soft natural light. Saves on lighting costs with wide appeal among homeowners. Upcharges of 25%-40%.

Tinted/Reflective glass – Tint depth determines the privacy/light balance. Subtle grey up to nearly opaque bronze or mirrored coatings upgrade style while managing heat/UV rays. Cost varies by tint level from 10%- 50% premiums.

Switchable smart glass – Electronically shift between transparent and opaque states. Features automatic timers or manual remotes. Installation runs 1.5X-2X standard double glazing. ROI in ~5 years through energy savings.

frosted glass windows over bathtub


Why limit home design or enjoyment due to privacy concerns? Contemporary window glass technology allows you to thoughtfully filter light and oversight to suit your family’s lifestyle. Mix and match clear and privacy panels across openings to find the perfect balance.

keep views pristine

self cleaning glass

Wouldn’t it be nice if cleaning grimy windows became a chore of the past? Stop dreading wash days thanks to specialized self-cleaning glass for low-maintenance, sparkling clarity year-round.

wood floor home loft rug property 943609
The Secret Revealed

Photocatalytic Coatings

Specially formulated photocatalytic coatings leverage UV rays to breakdown and loosen organic dirt. The finishes essentially digest grime so when rain strikes, it sheets away any loosed particles.

This chemical reaction relies on titanium dioxide and other catalytic additives. Sun exposure activates the cleaning action. On cloudy stretchs, spray windows down manually every 2-3 weeks.

Measuring Effectiveness

Self-cleaning formulations often promise a year or more between manual washings. But longevity depends on:

  • Which direction your windows face – South and West exposures capture the most UV light
  • Local climate and rainfall – Wetter regions assist passive cleaning
  • Overhangs like awnings that might limit light exposure

Also consider glass square footage, placement, and coating type selected from the options below when setting expectations.

Glass TypeEffort SavedCost Increase*
Standard Self-Cleaning10-30%25-50%
Advanced Hydrophobic40-60%80-150%
Biosafe Protection80-90%300-600%

*compared to conventional double glazing unit

harness the suns power

Solar Control Glass

Cornwall basks in over 15 hours of daily sunshine in summer. Along with sparkling seaside views comes intense solar heat streaming through windows. Too much UV exposure stresses homes and occupants. The solution? Solar control glass.

Specialised coatings filter out infrared rays and conductive heat gain to create cooler, balanced interior environments. This also reduces reliance on air conditioning for improved energy efficiency.

Understanding Ratings Three key metrics gauge solar control performance:

  • Visible Light Transmittance – Percent of visible light allowed to pass through. Higher numbers indicate more light gets inside.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – Measure of solar radiation blocked from transmitting indoors (0 = total blockage and 1 = uncontrolled gain). Lower SHGC better for managing heat.
  • U-Value – Speed heat escapes through the glass. Lower U-values resist conducted energy transfer better forefficiency.

Aim for double glazed units with High VLT (>60%), Moderate SHGC (30%-60%), and U-Values below 1.4. Installed costs run 10%-30% over standard glass.

express yourself

decorative glass

Beyond smart functionality, window panes craft first impressions curbside and set interior design tones room-by-room. Decorative glass options transform standard double glazed units into true artistic statements.

Types of Decorative Glass

  • Etched Glass – Delicate matte frosted patterns sandblasted onto glass panels. Commonly geometric shapes or typographic lyrics.
  • Stained Glass – Vibrant colored sections of glass soldered together into custom designs. Hand-crafted accent pieces.
  • Leaded Glass – Intricate additions of lead caming strips divide individual pieces arranged into signature motifs. Adds dimensional depth.
  • Colored Tints – Full panels colored or tinted transparent hues like aquamarine, bronze, rose and smoke through specialty coatings and thermal bonding.

Design Considerations

  • Etched patterns and leaded styles diffuse incoming light somewhat. Supplement with strategically placed lighting.
  • Ensure adequate exterior overhangs so UV rays don’t damage colored sections over time.
  • Work with experienced art glass fabricators and installers, all good double glazing installers will be able to provide decorative glass options to suit your needs.
safety first

Enhance Safety and Security with Laminated Glass

Double glazing alone deters forced entry far better than single panes. But homes desiring rigorous security against intruders or vandals often opt for laminated glass. In addition to adding durability, specialized interlayers absorb shock waves and help hold fragments in place if shattered.

How Laminated Glazing Performs

Laminated glass utilizes a tough PVB or resin interlayer sandwiched between two or more glass sheets bonded together under heat and pressure. The internals flex and stretch together. This structural rigidity translates into:

  • 4X harder to break than conventional double glazing
  • More time needed to penetrate by intruders
  • Reduced risk of injuries from shattered glass shards

Laminates meet stringent EU and UK safety standards. Many configurations also achieve Secured by Design certification.

Security Rating Comparison

Glass TypeTools WithstoodNoise LevelDelay TimeCost vs Standard Double Glazing
PVB LaminateHammer, AxeAlerts household2-5 minutes+35%
Acoustic PVBQuieter hammer blowsMay not alert household6-10 minutes+50%
Security FilmMost manual and power toolsTypically alerting8-12 minutes+25%
All figures correct at time of publish 2023

Gauging Quality

Making Sense of Glass Grades

Not all double glazing offers equal levels of purity, clarity, and durability. Several grading systems benchmark the defects level present. Understanding these labels helps ensure you select long-lasting, visually appealing panes.

Prevalent Rating Systems

The two common standards for gauging glass quality include:

European Standard – EN 1096-1 This rating method reports on the frequency of scratches, bubbles, tin spots, and other visible flaws based on the quantity in a given area. Grades include:

  • A+ for exceptional quality with barely any marks
  • A, B, C descending in overall aesthetic consistency

United Kingdom Standard – BS EN 1279 This pass/fail criteria certifies glass is fit for the intended purpose rather than grading for appearance. Key benchmarks evaluated cover aspects like:

  • Weather resistance and durability
  • Safety and security performance
  • Thermal insulation capability
  • Tolerances during transit

The Right Balance for You Weigh glass grade options against your budget, priorities and planned design aesthetics with help from our experts. In many cases, functional double glazing needs align more closely with BS EN 1279 certifications, but special focal point windows merit higher cosmetic scrutiny.

Get the complete picture

pick the perfect glass

Whether soundproofing bustling roadways, upholding privacy, self-cleaning exteriors or artistically showcasing creative vision, specialty double glazing glass empowers homes better align with owners’ needs and desires.

By understanding the spectrum of high performance coatings and films now possible, you can tailor windows pane-by-pane to filter in optimal daylighting and enhance functionality room-by-room. Consult our experts with dimension specifics, efficiency goals, aesthetic interests and budget particulars in mind. We help match discerning homeowners across Cornwall to custom packages balancing unobstructed outward sightlines and controlled oversight inward.

Ready for beauty, security, conservation and comfort framed with intention? Let’s talk double glazing glass geared around how your household lives.

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