Glass - A sustainable building material

If you are looking at building, renovating or giving your home a makeover, using glass is definitely a product you should consider. And we're not just talking about windows. Glass has moved up from being just a pane in the wall, it now offers homeowners a wide range of options for using glass products in and around the home.

Fitting a painted or tinted kitchen backsplash allows a homeowner to not only have a practical finish for a backsplash, and one that is easy to keep clean, it allows for a wide selection of colours and decorative styles to add instant appeal to a boring kitchen, or a splash of colour without using paint.

But more than that, safety glass, tinted glass, etched glass and sandblasted glass can be cut to size and fitted with brackets designed for glass to replace kitchen doors. And toughened safety glass costs about the same as having a custom door made to order.

Fitting glass shower doors to a bathroom allows for the flow of natural light throughout the space and creates the illusion of space.

Mirrors and glass go hand-in-hand as the perfect accessories for any bathroom. We know that mirrors reflect light, so use mirrors to brighten up a dark bathroom.

Coatings and tints, as well as toughening and laminating options means that glass is suitable for a wide range of applications in any home. Glass balustrades and staircase safety panels keep your family safe and fit in with any modern or contemporary home.

Indoors and outdoors, glass seamlessly protects and enhances wherever it is installed. A glass fence for around the pool means that you still enjoy the full benefits of your gorgeous pool without the inconvenience of a fence, but children are safe from harm.

Types of glass for residential use

Toughened glass is as the name denotes... toughened. This makes toughened glass less likely to break that standard annealed (window pane) glass. Because of this, toughened glass is suggested for sliding and frameless glass doors, as well as shower doors.

Laminated safety glass is protected by a strong polyvinyl layer compressed between two layers of glass. Should laminated glass break, it is designed to break into small, relatively harmless pieces that remain attached to the polyvinyl lining and dramatically reducing the risk of injury. The vinyl layer allows laminated glass to be coloured or UV filtering added, which means it's an ideal product for large expanses of windows.

Screen-printed glass is manufactured by fusing a painted design onto toughened glass, whereas sandblasted glass is a process of using high-pressure sandblasting equipment to etch a design onto the glass.

An affordable and DIY option is to apply a durable vinyl to the glass as a decorative finish. Although not permanent, this latter option allows any homeowner to add a decorative effect or privacy to plain toughened glass. You will find instructions here for applying vinyl to glass.

Patterned glass, used for privacy in bathrooms, is where a pattern is impressed on the surface of glass after it exits the furnace.

Security glass has a high-strength film applied that allows this glass to withstand heavy blows.