Call Now Book Now
5 Major Differences  Between Residential and Commercial Glass
Apr 17,2024

5 Major Differences Between Residential and Commercial Glass

Residential and commercial glass are made in a different way and designed for different environments. It is necessary to select the right glass for your project, though it may be tricky and varied options available. You may not know which glass type to use for which application.

Installing residential and commercial glass windows will depend on some factors including:

  • Selecting the right materials
  • Building codes
  • Construction equipment
  • Time for construction
  • Cost factor

Residential glass is made of vinyl framing and has been crafted with thinner glass. Commercial glass, on the other hand, has is aluminum frames which are durable with stronger glass.

5 Differences between commercial and residential glass

1. Know the strength and longevity

Commercial glass has to be stronger when compared to residential glass.

This is because commercial buildings have been built high so they can withstand stronger force of winds. It also needs to withstand structural loads reinforced glazing and with heavy-duty framing.

Residential buildings do not worry about pressure or high winds from the structural loads. So, residential glass is usually thinner having less reinforcement.

Commercial glass is difficult to replace in comparison to the residential glass and it will last for a long time. Otherwise, it will not be possible to use.

2. Difference between glass materials

The difference between residential glass and commercial glass materials will depend on the requirements of building. The materials used and composition of glass in framing will differ.

Commercial glass is generally made of tougher materials such as tempered or laminated glass. The frames seem to be made of aluminum for improved strength and better durability. Though modern windows are made with vinyl frames and thin glass, it is be strong enough to keep elements out. Both kinds of glass have been made to excel better in specific areas for their desired purposes.

Another big difference is aesthetic. Modern houses with many windows will have wall to wall windows or for a home exposed to the coastal elements, commercial glass is certainly worthy enough due to its additional strength.

3. Glass Designs and Uses


Commercial glass has simpler design because they are made from essential function over the complex aesthetics. The commercial storefront glass should allow more light for the larger business spaces.

This is applicable with storefront windows in the places like retail stores where you want customers to do window shopping and feel tempted to go inside. Also, there is the need to let in light into the larger spaces so that you do not see much paneling on commercial windows than on the residential windows.

At SG Commercial Glass, we will design as well as install automated glass features for your business, from doors and windows to the curtain walls and office partitions.


Residential buildings have smaller spaces that are designed for the windows so you will find more framing and less glass. Residential glass will have other effects like tints, frosting, geometric designs or many textures.

This is applicable for the commercial glass too as plate glass items like glass doors or dividing walls may be designed with frosting and texture for better privacy.

Residential glass may be used for the showers, railings, mirrors, patio covers, backsplashes, sunrooms and more.

4. Cost of Residential Glass versus Commercial Glass

Commercial glass will require heavy-duty machineries such as scissor lifts and cranes for the installation in high-end areas. Due to more difficulty in the installation process, there is a major difference between residential and commercial glass. It takes some time for installing commercial glass and this brings the costs higher. Residential glass is easy to replace and overall materials and cost of installation is lower.

Another factor in higher cost of commercial glass is the energy and time it requires for crafting specialized glaze and stronger materials required.

Residential glass is made of thinner glass material but the choice will be between tempered or laminated glass.

Difference between tempered or laminated glass

Laminated glass:

  • The strength comes from glass layers resin
  • It is made of compact glass that will not shatter easily
  • It is suitable for the prevention of forced entry

Tempered glass:

  • It includes high pressure, chemical procedure and heating
  • It is better for interior applications due to safety reasons
  • The strength comes from pressure and heat stages

Tempered glass seems to be durable when compared to laminated glass but with extreme force, it may possibly shatter from the impact. Laminated glass has been designed to remain in place and do not shatter. The price of laminated glass is higher than the tempered glass. Unlike most construction projects, your windows should fulfill the requirements of your building.

Replacing residential glass will need proper communication between the homeowners and the glazing experts. On the contrary, replacing commercial glass means a contractor who will handle the entire project. Another reason why you select commercial glass is cost factor when compared to residential glass.

5. Energy Efficiency and Safety

Commercial windows have been designed to remain shatterproof in the case of an accident or forced entry, due to safety reasons. This can prevent possible danger or injury to anyone inside the building. Residential glass will shatter though it has been designed to be safe for the family.

Another difference is how both the kinds of glass will be able to handle energy. Commercial buildings seem to be larger and they build up heat quickly with body heat and sunlight. Without glazing and using the right materials, commercial buildings will heat up and lead to major spike in the cooling systems. This can be the reason for high cause energy bills. Residential buildings, on the other hand, are smaller, with lesser footprint. This makes them easy to heat and cool and is applicable for the sealed double-glazed windows.

Both residential glass windows and commercial glass windows have been crafted to work in their placements. At SG Commercial Glass, our residential and commercial glass is made from quality materials and both of them excel in their respective areas.

Whether you are planning to install new or replace old glass, the success will depend on the quality of products you choose and experience of the installers. At SG Commercial Glaziers, our commercial glazing experts are dedicated to fulfilling your needs and get the perfect fit for your home or office.