Should You opt for Laminated or Tempered Glass Skylights?

If you've made the decision to opt for glass skylights over acrylic skylights, the next decision that you're faced with (or at least one of them) is what type of glazing to use. This glazing needs to be able to withstand anything and everything that Mother Nature could throw at it, which can be considerable in the Toronto area as we're sure you're only too aware. It also needs to be able to withstand any impacts that could occur as a result of human actions. In terms of glass skylights, the two main glazing options that are typically used are laminated glass and tempered glass.  Which one should you choose?

Introducing the Two Main Glazing Options for Glass Skylights


We're going to start by introducing laminated and tempered glass, briefly touching upon how they are produced, before going on to explain some of the main benefits of each.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is essentially a single block of glass that is heat treated to produce an end product that is much stronger and resilient than many traditional glazing options. Here are a few of the main benefits of choosing this option:

  • Strength - As already mentioned, glass skylights must be able to resist the worst of the Toronto weather, including large hail stones and storms that could cause debris to collide with the skylight and tempered glass offers a much better level of impact resistance than standard options, meaning damage is much less likely to occur.
  • Safety - When a standard piece of glass breaks, it splinters and large shards will often be created which are very sharp and represent a serious health and safety hazard to anyone in the property. Glass skylights that are fitted with tempered glass are much safer, however, since rather than splintering, the glass breaks down into thousands of tiny little ice cube shaped pieces that are not sharp. As well as being safer, this also makes clearing up the debris much easier.

Laminated Glass

There's one obvious difference between tempered glass and laminated glass; laminated glass features two pieces of glass as opposed to one and between those two layers of glass sits a plastic layer, which is designed to hold the glass in place if it breaks. Here are a few of the main benefits of laminated glass skylights:

  • No Falling Shards - Should the skylight become damaged and the glass be broken, it won't fall to the ground, since the layer of plastic prevents this from happening. This negates a significant health and safety risk since skylights are often located several feet from the ground level.
  • Increased Security - Windows are considered to be the most common point of entry for home intruders, but glass skylights are also weak points in a property's outer layer. Even after laminated glass has been broken by the intruder, it will continue to offer protection to the property.
  • Sound Reduction - Due to the several layers that combine to form laminated glass, it is very effective at blocking out outside noises, improving the comfort of your home environment.

Often, glass skylight contractors will install skylights that utilize tempered glass on the outer layer and laminated glass on the interior, as this offers maximum protection and minimum risk in terms of health and safety.

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