Do I Need Toughened Glass in My Windows? [2024 Guide]

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Did you know that every year, several accidents occur due to glass breakage in windows and doors? The risk of injury from shattered glass is a significant concern for companies. As a safety-conscious organisation, you should pay attention to the use of glasses in critical locations.

In your efforts to ensure workplace safety, you must have wondered: Do I need toughened glass in my windows?

In this blog post, we’ll answer your questions by delving into the world of toughened glass, exploring its benefits, and seeing how GLRE can help companies with the best solutions for their windows. First, what is toughened glass, and why is it becoming a must-have for windows?

What Is Toughened Glass?

Toughened glass, also known as tempered glass, is a type of safety glass that has been treated to increase its strength. It’s created by heating regular glass to a high temperature and then rapidly cooling it. This process alters the structure of the glass, resulting in a product that’s several times stronger than standard glass.

The main characteristic of toughened glass is its ability to shatter into small, granular pieces when broken, rather than sharp shards in the case of ordinary glass. This makes it a safer option, as the risk of injury from glass fragments is greatly reduced. Toughened glass also has a lot of benefits, making it an ideal choice for building windows.

4 Benefits of Using Toughened Glass in Windows

Below are the perks of using toughened glass in your building’s windows:

  1. Safety: Toughened glass is a much safer option compared to regular glass. Its safety is rooted in its structure — following breakage, it shatters into small, granular pieces instead of sharp shards, greatly reducing the risk of injury. This is especially important in buildings where there is a higher chance of impact.
  2. Higher Resistance: Toughened glass is more resistant to thermal stress and temperature changes. This means that it can withstand rapid temperature fluctuations without cracking or yielding to glass spontaneous breakage. For example, if your building is located in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as hot summers and cold winters, toughened glass will be able to handle the stress caused by these temperature changes.
  3. Long Lasting: Toughened glass is stronger and more durable than regular glass, influencing how long your windows last. It’s less likely to break or shatter upon impact, making it a great choice for windows in high-traffic office areas or places prone to accidents.
  4. Improved Insulation: Toughened glass provides better insulation, reducing heat loss through windows and noise transmission.
Benefits of Using Toughened Glass

Overall, toughened glass offers improved safety, durability, and energy efficiency for your windows. One major application of toughened glass is in double glazing, and we’ll explore this in more detail in the next section.

Understanding Toughened Glass Double Glazing

Toughened glass double glazing is a combination of double glazing and toughened glass. Double glazing refers to windows that have two layers of glass with a gap in between. This gap is typically filled with air or an insulating gas, such as argon, to improve thermal insulation.

The use of toughened glass in double glazing offers even greater strength and safety. The two layers of toughened glass provide an extra barrier against impact and breakage, while the air or gas-filled gap helps to reduce heat loss and noise transmission. This combination is particularly beneficial in areas with harsh weather conditions or high noise levels, as it provides enhanced insulation and security.

Toughened Glass Double Glazing

In a nutshell, toughened glass double glazing is a popular choice for buildings. It offers the advantages of toughened glass, such as increased strength and safety, and provides the added benefits of double glazing, such as improved insulation. Contact the GLRE team today if you are considering upgrading your building’s windows. But when exactly do you need to opt for toughened glass options?

When Is Toughened Glass Required?

Toughened glass is required where greater strength or safety is ideal. It’s great for doors, windows near doors, or windows at low levels. Your chosen location will benefit from enhanced durability and safety compared to ordinary glass.

Do I Need Toughened Glass in My Windows? [The Verdict]

You need toughened glass in your building’s windows as a form of safety glass for glazing below 800 mm from the floor level. For glass panels narrower than 250 mm, 6 mm glass or laminated glass may suffice instead of toughened glass. Additionally, doors with glass positioned within 1,500 mm from floor level must adhere to these regulations.

Do I need Toughened Glass

With an extra layer of security, toughened safety glass ensures workplace serenity while maintaining transparency and aesthetics. It’s always best to consult with a professional like GLRE to determine what safety glass is required for your building’s windows. We can guide you through the process of selecting the correct safety glass for your windows and doors, taking into account factors such as location, size, and specific requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does window glass have to be toughened?

Yes, window glass must meet building regulations for safety glazing, ensuring it either doesn’t break or that it breaks safely—as in a car window—to prevent the formation of sharp shards in critical locations. Toughened or tempered glass is commonly used to comply with these safety standards.

When is safety glass required in windows?

According to safety glass regulations, the following guidelines apply:

  • Glazing in Doors: Glass that is wholly or partially within 1,500 mm from the floor level indoors requires safety glass.
  • Glazing Adjacent to Doors: Windows or door side panels within 300 mm of the edge of a door and wholly or partially within 1,500mm of the floor level also require safety glass.
  • Low-Level Glazing: Any glazing wholly or partially within 800 mm of the floor level falls under the low-level glazing category and must use safety glass.

The different types of safety glass that may be used in the above critical locations include toughened glass, wired safety glass, laminated glass, and heat-strength glass. These critical locations are areas with a risk of accidental human impact, such as doors, low windows, and glass partitions.

When did toughened glass become law in the UK?

The requirement for toughened glass in the UK became law in 1996 with the implementation of Regulation 14 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. This regulation mandates safety glazing in accordance with BS 6262 and applies retrospectively.

Where must toughened glass be used?

Toughened glass must be used in all doors and windows or glazed areas situated lower than 800 mm from the floor level to comply with safety regulations.


Toughened glass is a highly recommended option for a building’s windows due to its increased safety, durability, and energy efficiency. It’s particularly important in critical locations, such as doors and low-level glazing, where the risk of impact and injury is higher. Apart from complying with certain safety glass regulations, toughened glass offers peace of mind and added protection for your building.

If you need safety glass—such as toughened glass—for your building’s windows and doors, contact GLRE today. Our team of experts are able to provide expert advice, exceptional service, and innovative solutions for all your glazing needs.

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