When it comes to choosing the right type of glass for your home windows, two popular options often come up: safety glass vs. tempered glass. Both offer various benefits and are commonly used in residential properties. 

However, many homeowners struggle with understanding the differences between these two types of glass and which one would be more suitable for their needs.

In this article, we will break down the differences between safety glass and tempered glass, to help you make an informed decision when selecting window glass for your home.

What is a Safety Glass?

What Is Safety Glass

Safety glass windows are also known as laminated safety glass and are designed specifically for safety purposes. It is made by sandwiching a layer of clear polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between two layers of regular glass. 

The PVB interlayer holds the glass together when it breaks, preventing it from shattering into sharp pieces that can cause serious injury. It is commonly used in areas where there is a higher risk of accidents, such as windshield cracks, skylights, and buildings. 

For Which Purpose Safety Glass Is Used?

Safety glass is primarily used for safety and security purposes. Some specific safety glass uses include:

  • The main purpose of safety glass is to prevent injuries caused by broken glass. 
  • Safety glass film also offers added security as it is difficult to break through compared to regular glass. 
  • The PVB interlayer in safety glass can help reduce noise transmission. 
  • Safety glass can also protect against harmful UV rays. 
  • Some types of safety glass, like tempered and wired glass, have safety glass properties like fire-resistant.

What is Tempered Glass?

What Is Tempered Glass

Tempered glass windows are also known as toughened glass that has been treated with heat or chemicals to increase its strength and durability. It is about four times stronger than regular glass and is designed to break into small, rounded pieces instead of sharp shards when shattered. 

This makes it less likely to cause injury in case of an accident. Tempered glass is commonly used in car windows, shower doors, and electronic devices as well as in buildings for its safety properties. It’s necessary to have a tempered glass cleaner for best results. 

For Which Purpose Tempered Glass Is Used?

Although the usage of tempered glass is the same as safety glass, due to its additional safety, it’s widely used for:

  • Despite its heat resistance, it is very light in weight
  • It increased strength and durability
  • It’s ideal for commercial buildings to prevent burglary
  • Reduces the risk of injury in case of accidents
  • Commonly used in buildings for its safety properties.

What Is The Difference Between Safety Glass Vs. Tempered Glass?

What Is The Difference Between Safety Glass Vs. Tempered Glass

Although both glasses prioritize safety, there are notable differences between the two. Here is the major difference between the two glasses:

  • Composition

Safety Glass: Laminated glass consists of two or more layers of glass bonded together with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer. This composition allows the glass to remain intact even when shattered.

Tempered Glass: Tempered glass is a single sheet of glass that undergoes a heating and rapid cooling process, which strengthens it and makes it more resistant to breakage.

  • Breakage Behavior

Safety Glass: When safety glass breaks, the interlayer holds the shattered pieces together, preventing them from dispersing.

Tempered Glass: Tempered glass breaks into small, rounded pieces when shattered, reducing the risk of injury from sharp shards.

  • Strength

Safety Glass Standard: Laminated glass provides excellent resistance to impact, making it highly durable and difficult to break.

Tempered Glass: Tempered glass is four to five times stronger than regular glass, offering superior resistance to external forces and thermal stress.

  • Applications

Safety Glass: Laminated safety glass is commonly used in windshields, skylights, and buildings where increased security and protection are required.

Tempered Glass: Tempered glass finds its application in car windows tinting, shower doors, electronic devices, and buildings where safety is a priority.

  • Repairs

Safety Glass: In case of damage, laminated glass can be repaired by replacing only the damaged layer without the need to replace the entire glass panel.

Tempered Glass: Once the tempered glass is damaged or broken, it cannot be repaired. It must be completely replaced.

Also Read: How to Remove Window Tint

Pros And Cons Of Safety Glass Vs Tempered Glass

Here are some pros and cons of laminated safety glass vs tempered glass:

Safety Glass Tempered Glass
Increased security and protection   Increased safety
Can be repaired by replacing only the damaged layer  Cannot be repaired, must be completely replaced
Used in windshields, skylights, and buildings Used in car windows, shower doors, and electronic devices
More expensive than tempered glass Less expensive than safety glass
Shatters into small, dull pieces when broken Breaks into small, sharp pieces when shattered

Tempered glass Cost Vs.  Safety Glass Cost

Tempered glass Cost Vs. Safety Glass Cost

The cost of safety glass and tempered glass can vary depending on various factors such as size, thickness, and any additional features or customization.  However, in general, safety glass tends to be more expensive than tempered glass. On average safety glass costs between $12 and $50 per square foot, excluding safety glass window replacement and repair. The tempered glass cost is between $19 to $24 per square foot, also excluding tempered glass window replacement and repair costs.

It’s important to note that the exact cost of these glasses can vary depending on the supplier and other factors, so it’s best to consult with a glass specialist or manufacturer to get accurate pricing information.

Safety Glass Vs. Tempered Glass: Which one is Best?

Safety Glass Vs. Tempered Glass_ Which Is Best

When it comes to choosing between safety glass and tempered glass, determining which is best depends on various factors. This includes considering factors such as security, repairability, and cost.

The answer to which is best ultimately depends on your specific needs and priorities. Personally, tempered glass is the best choice for office, residential, and commercial tinted buildings. 


The discussion between safety glass and tempered glass revolves around the core principles of protection, durability, and functionality. Understanding each type of glass empowers consumers to make informed decisions based on their specific needs and preferences.

Tint-On-Wheels provides expert window tinting services that complement the protective properties of safety glass and tempered glass. Our mobile window tinting services enhance privacy, protect against harmful UV rays, and improve aesthetics for automotive, residential, and commercial properties.

Contact us at 956-682-2915 to explore our comprehensive window tinting solutions and elevate the safety and functionality of your spaces.