There are 3 main types of glass in common use today.
Float glass – more commonly used in bottle glass, wine bottles, milk bottles etc.
Laminated glass – commonly found in double glazed windows, vehicle windscreens and some shop fronts.
Toughened glass – also referred to as tempered or safety glass, but basically the same thing, usually found in vehicle side or passenger window, and most single glazed window or door units.
How can I tell? – The best way to check which glass you have is to look for a Kite Mark in one of the corners of the glass. Type your Kite Mark digits into Google and you should find your glass type very easily. Most glass used in modern construction should carry a Kite Mark, but in its absence always assume that the glass is laminate.
A quick note about Kitemarks – According to the NHBC: All IGUs (Insulated Glass Units) are now required to have third party certification (e.g. Kitemarking). This applies to IGUs installed in all types of frame, including timber windows and windows fabricated under a BBA certificate.
Our DIY scratched glass repair kits will work with all types of glass, but different glass types react differently to polishing so you should keep a few key points in mind.
Float Glass – It is unlikely that you will be repairing float glass, but if you are, slow and gentle is the key. Unlike laminated or toughened glass, when float glass breaks, it shatters into jagged pieces and is not designed to hold its form. A jagged piece of glass propelled by a polishing head moving at 2500 rpm could do a lot of damage. Extreme care is called for. We would not recommend repairing float glass with a DIY Scratched Glass Repair Kit.
Laminate Glass – is softer than toughened glass and so does not always require the same level of abrasive to achieve your initial ‘bite’ into the glass. It is also the easiest glass to polish. Having said this, care must be taken not to put too much pressure on to the glass or to generate too much heat. Too much of either can cause the glass to crack. Unlike float glass, laminate is designed to hold its form when damaged so it will crack rather than shatter. Extra care should be taken around the edges and corners of laminate glass in relation to heat and pressure. Having said this, do not let it put you off repairing your own scratch damage. If you follow the instructions included with your DIY kit carefully, you should avoid any nasty surprises.
Toughened Glass – As the name suggests, toughened glass is often harder to achieve the initial ‘bite’ and may require a harsher level of abrasive to begin with. Unlike float or laminate, heat and pressure are not really an issue when polishing toughened glass. It is almost impossible to put enough heat into the glass to make it crack, but for those of you who like to prove a point, the key word is almost! When toughened glass breaks, it is designed to shatter into small pieces but to absorb impact. When it shatters, the complete unit will shatter.
Other Glass Types – Glass polishing works for all types and make-up of glass. No matter what the glass is called, Smart Glass, Tempered, even bulletproof glass, it is all basically constructed of either laminate or toughened.