The uses of glass

Because glass is so versatile, it has uses beyond just providing a view. Glass also plays a significant role in the function and design of a building.




Balustrades Glass balustrades are ideal for contexts in which a barrier is required and visibility is preferable, such as on balconies and staircases, or around pools. They are available with framing or as a freestanding system.
Bathroom vanities Glass bathroom vanities give a bathroom a contemporary look.
Benches and table tops Glass benches and table tops give a room a sleek, modern look.
Decorative glass Glass can be patterned, textured, frosted or screen printed in different colours to function as a design feature in buildings.
Double-glazed units or insulating glass Double-glazed units are made up of two or more panes of glass separated by an air- or gas-filled cavity, in order to provide thermal insulation.
Energy-efficient glazing Energy-efficient glazing solutions reduce the amount of heat entering a building through its windows, also providing thermal insulation.
Glass staircases Advances in glazing technology and engineering have allowed glass much more innovative uses, such as staircases and footbridges.
Noise-resistant glass This glass reduces unwanted external noise by being thicker, laminated, or having a secondary glazing with an air gap of 100 mm to 200 mm.
Partition walls Partition walls are made from toughened or laminated safety glass. Clear glass partitions create separate living spaces while maintaining an overall sense of the internal space, and allowing light through. Coloured, opaque or frosted glass ensures privacy.
Safety glass Safety glass is either toughened or laminated. Toughened glass shatters into small fragments, minimising the chance of injury, and laminated glass prevents the glass from shattering at all.
Shower screens Laminated or toughened glass is often used to make framed or frameless glass shower screens. The screens have a modern, clean look, and are easy to maintain.
Storm-resistant glass Storm-resistant glass provides protection from extreme weather conditions because it is made from extra thick laminated safety glass which withstands extreme pressure and resists penetration from flying debris.
Switchable glass Switchable glass transforms clear glass into an opaque screen at the flick of a switch. When the crystals within the interlayer of this laminated glass are inactive, they scatter and render the glass non-transparent. When active, the crystals realign, allowing light through the glass. Switchable glass provides instant privacy without curtains.
Wardrobes Framed or frameless glass wardrobe doors in a range of finishes, such as mirrored or with a painted finish, are a stylish and practical addition to a bedroom. They also enhance the sense of space in a room.

Compiled by Daniella Favis for Builders’ Space. Source: SAGGA.

For more information on the different types of glass mentioned above, see Types of glass.