Is 8mm or 10mm tempered glass better?

Written by tallulah roberto
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Is 8mm or 10mm tempered glass better?
Does thickness matter? (tape measure image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com)

Tempered or toughened glass is heat treated so that it is stronger and more resilient than untreated glass. Glass that is 8mm thick weighs 20kg per square meter, and is perfectly adequate for use in double glazing, shower screens and general household use. If it is broken, it will shatter into small pieces rather than dangerous shards. Its lighter weigh means it is easier to install and handle. Glass manufacturers Pilkington recommend that 8mm glass should not be used in panes that exceed 1100mm square.

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Bigger panes need thicker glass

Thicker, 10 mm (3/8 inch) tempered glass is larger and still as strong. This thickness of glass weighs around 25 kg per square metre (5.5 lb per square foot). Tempered glass that's 10 mm (3/8 inch) thick can be used in panes up to 2250 mm (88 1/2 inches) square. Larger glass panes allow more natural light into the area.

Large expanses of glass must be thicker.
Large expanses of glass must be thicker. (office building image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com)

Bottom line

With toughened glass around five times stronger than untreated glass, tempered or heat-treated safety glass is the only sensible option. It's only necessary to consider the merits of 8mm (5/16) versus 10mm (3/8 inch) tempered glass only when a pane of glass comes close to exceeding the advised size.

8mm for small windows

Tempered or toughened glass is heat treated so that it is stronger and more resilient than untreated glass. Glass that is 8mm (5/16 inch) thick weighs 20 kg per square metre (4.4 lb per square foot), and is perfectly adequate for use in double glazing, shower screens and general household use. If it is broken, it will shatter into small pieces rather than dangerous shards. Its lighter weigh means it is easier to install and handle. Glass manufacturers Pilkington recommend that 8 mm (5/16 inch) glass should not be used in panes that exceed 1100 mm 43 1/3 inches) square.

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