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Window Glazing | What It Is, Benefits, Pros and Cons, & More

Window Glazing | What It Is, Benefits, Pros and Cons, & More

What the heck is window glazing? And what exactly does it do? If you’re asking either of these questions, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn about window glazing, its benefits, pros and cons, and more.


Disclaimer: The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.


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What Is Window Glazing?

In short, window glazing is a piece of glass inside the window. While some windows use alternative materials like plexiglass or acrylic, glass is the most common. Mounted in the window with glazing putty, you may also hear window glazing called the “pane.”

When you hear that a window is called a single, double, or triple pane, remember that “pane” refers to the window glazing. Window glazing can also refer to the glazing putty used to seal the glass of a window to the frame, but that’s usually just called “putty.”

A solid piece of glass:

  • Reduces sun and weather damage inside your home
  • Improves the environmental impact of your home
  • Creates an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere in your home
  • Makes life easier with effortless cleaning 
  • Insulates your home from the heat, cold, and noise

These simple, palpable benefits make all the difference in the comfort level of your home.

Window Glazing Basics

Window glazing with putty and a knife on an old window

Garreth Brown/Shutterstock

The question we must ask to begin seems straightforward: is there more to window glazing than just the glass? The answer, of course, is yes! While glass is the main component, the processes and the functions are just as essential for you to understand.

Different Kinds of Glazing

Window glazing does not refer to one specific type of window glass. As you may have guessed, there are many types to choose from:

  • Tempered: If you have children with a penchant for throwing baseballs through windows, you might pick tempered glass. Specially treated for strength, tempered windows are difficult to break. In the unlikely occurrence that they do shatter, they shatter in big pieces that are much easier to retrieve than tiny shards.
  • Laminated: With a protective layer of vinyl between the two sheets of glass, laminated windows offer an extra layer of protection.
  • Insulated (thermal or sound): You might pick thermal insulation for energy efficiency. Insulation for sound could help keep pesky neighborhood noises out of your house. 
  • Tinted: Tinted windows help control solar heat in the home.

Designed to solve common issues that homeowners face, each type of window glazing meets a specific need.

Window Glazing and Your Energy Bills

To illustrate the benefits of window glazing, a hand points at a window seal that reduces the energy efficiency

Pegasene/Shutterstock

We all know that poor windows play a huge role in the comfort of the home. It doesn’t matter if your house gets too hot in the summer or too cold and drafty in the winter. The connection likely traces back to your windows.

Most people who replace their windows, especially using double or triple glazing in place of basic builder-grade windows, notice a significant decrease in their heating and cooling costs.

Because of the added layer of protection between you and the outside world, it should come as no surprise that the right window glazing could dramatically increase the energy efficiency of your home. Over time, windows tend to deteriorate.

Builder-grade windows are especially susceptible around 8-12 years after their initial installation. Deterioration can lead to any number of issues that you will undoubtedly feel inside your home.

  • Gaping: Gaping can occur around the window frames when the frames separate from the house as the foundation settles. 
  • Seal failure: Seal damage on the window’s sashes can let moisture in between the panes, completely ruining any energy efficiency you might have had. 
  • Solar flare: Since most builder-grade windows have inadequate UV protection, solar flare can wreak havoc on anything in the house that’s in direct sunlight.

These issues affect more than the curb appeal of your home. These structural damages create real problems for homeowners like increased energy bills and sun-damaged rugs and flooring. That’s why having the right kind of window glazing proves so vital for the overall function of your home. 

While all of these problems sound bad, there’s a simple solution — replace your old windows with a more durable option. Simple improvements and upgrades will help negate the impact of these downsides. You’ll notice a difference in your home, and you’ll see a difference in your checkbook. 

Home Security Considerations

Burglars with crowbars break the safety glass of window glazing in a burglary

Robet Kneschke/Shutterstock

When considering the benefits of double, even triple glazing for your windows, you must recognize the added security of having more than just a single pane of glass between you and the outside world.

Some manufacturers even offer a “safety glazing” feature that increases the strength of your windows. Because the windows have a tighter seal, they’re harder to break, providing a simple and obvious advantage for the homeowner.

If you’ve ever sold a home, you know the hassle involved. The minute it goes on the market, your house immediately becomes the center of attention for any potentially interested party. When that happens, inspectors insist on carefully examining every single detail.

When someone decides to make a significant investment (like buying a home), it’s perfectly reasonable to assume they’ll do all the digging they can to make sure that they’re making the right choice. So, where does window glazing fit into this scenario?

It’s no secret that new windows increase the property value of a home. But you can’t simply replace your old windows with the same kind of window you had before. You must find good windows.

People want the windows of their prospective home to impress them. That’s why pickiness and a little stubborn streak are necessary when it comes to choosing your window glazing. It ought to be sleek and easy to keep clean, with the look of something designed to keep weather and pestilence out of a house.

When you have a good product, it doesn’t show signs of rapid aging or deterioration, and it makes a great home look even better. Cheap glass isn’t difficult to spot, even to an untrained eye, and it can severely impact the buying potential for a house.

After all, no one wants to go through the trouble of buying a house that will need new windows in six or seven months. Quality, durable double or triple pane windows tell a different story. 

Are There Other Kinds of Window Glazing?

Guy glazing a window with caulking and rubber gloves

Giedriius/Shutterstock

Some confusion may arise when talking about window glazing. While primarily used to refer to the window glass, glazing can also describe the putty that holds the window in place within the frame or the actual process of installing or reinstalling the window glass. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The world of window glazing reaches far beyond the basics. Here are some essential things to consider before buying:

What Does it Mean to Re-Glaze a Window?

Re-glazing a window usually consists of replacing the actual window glass. It can also refer to applying more glazing putty around the frame of the glass or coating window glass with a glazing agent. 

How Much Does It Cost to Re-Glaze a Window?

Depending on the type of window you have and what warranties came with it, the price varies greatly. Without a warranty, window repairs can range anywhere from $100 to $600, even more sometimes. A warranty should cover part or all of the process. 

Do You Paint Over Window Glazing?

Referring to the glazing putty used for windows, you will most likely want to paint it to match your window frames and home. The choice, however, is entirely yours.

How Do You Remove Hardened Window Glazing?

Also, referring to the glazing putty, removing any putty that seems old, damaged, or cracking is effortless. Grab a plastic scraper, the same you would use for paint or wallpaper, and gently work at it. Be careful not to scratch your glass! Those damages are a little harder to repair yourself.

How Do You Fix Window Glazing?

While you can undoubtedly choose thriftiness and do it yourself, it’s much easier and more advisable to hire a professional or contact the original manufacturer to see if your windows have warranties. A good warranty will cover part, if not all, of the replacement.

What Is the Difference Between Glass and Glazing?

The primary difference between the two is in their formation and use. While certainly used in various objects, glass can only exist as glass. While usually made from glass, glazing can also come from other translucent materials.

So, What’s the Deal With Window Glazing?

Window glazing is more than just the glass in your window. It’s a crucial part of your home life that impacts your energy bills, comfort, safety, and property value.

For all the information that we covered, it barely scratches the surface of everything there is to know about window glazing. One thing that we can say with absolute certainty: it’s more important and more valuable than we probably realize.

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