How to Choose the Best Glass for Replacement Windows

When a window in your home breaks, you might want to take the opportunity to consider the type of glass you choose for a replacement; if you have the budget, it's also a good chance to upgrade and replace all the windows of the home, so they're more energy-efficient, in good repair, and look very attractive. Note a few suggestions for the best glass for replacement windows in your home, along with some pros and cons of each choice.

Clear float glass

Clear float glass is very translucent so it allows in lots of sunlight, and will probably be the most affordable option. This is because clear float glass doesn't have anything added to it to make it stronger and more energy efficient. As it may be prone to breakage and may shatter when it does break, be cautious about this type of glass for first-floor windows and patio door walls; instead, you might opt for this glass for upper stories, where a window is less likely to get hit by gravel or stray toys.

Insulated glass units, or laminated glass

Insulated glass units are a type of dual-pane glass; two panes of glass are bonded together to create a tough, thickened sheet of glass. This bonding material provides insulation between the panes, and keeps those panes firmly adhered to one another.

Insulated glass units are good for when you need maximum insulation, such as for very draughty homes, basement windows, a full wall of windows, or oversized windows. They're also good for noise insulation, so you might choose these for a nursery or bedroom, or for any windows that face neighbours, a roadway, and other such source of noise.

Tinted glass

Tinted glass is good for adding visual interest to the glass from outside the home; the added tint colour can make your windows look very unique. Tinting can also block out sunlight and add shade to the interior of the home.

However, don't confuse tinted glass with reflective or low-e glass; the tint may darken the windows and add shade, but may not bounce or reflect sunlight back off the windows, so these may offer your home minimal protection from summer heat. Low-e glass doesn't allow heat to pass through the glass and offers even more protection against a space becoming stuffy and uncomfortable. If you need just slight shading, such as for an office or home theatre where screen glare is a problem, opt for tinting; for maximum comfort from heat, choose reflective or low-e glass instead.