laminate or double glazed for stained window?
March 1, 2020 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Niche question: we are having a pane of stained glass made to replace a current window. Right now there is an ordinary double-glazed window. We have the option of putting the new stained glass inside double glazing or use attach it to laminate glass instead. Thoughts?

It's more expensive to do the double glazing (seems like it will be a lot harder) and also possible less attractive (i.e., glass would be encapsulated between other glass.) We live in a fairly high-crime area, but I don't think this would make a huge difference either way. There is a small risk of trapped condensation with the laminate glass, and double glazing would be more insulating (though how much I don't know . . .)

I have no idea how to make this decision or how much I'll care. If anyone has any thoughts I'd love to hear them!
posted by caoimhe to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Double glazing makes a big difference in cool/cold winter climates. If all your windows etc are double glazed, 'losing' one will probably not make a huge difference, but it might be noticeable in that room. Placing the stained glass panel inside the double glazing is going to be a custom job, that will inevitably cost more. I doubt that visually you would lose anything by doing it that way.

Did you know that (at least here in Oz) you can choose from many glass coatings/formulations, ditto the laminate that is used? In a high crime area, you can specify a thicker, tougher laminate to make the window more impact resistant. Note that none of these are mutually exclusive - you can have a DG window panel with one plain glass, one laminated, AND have the stained glass inside. This will be heavier, and probably require a stronger frame, especially if it is an opening window.

Finally, big plus for laminated glass - it kills the UV, and virtually eliminates fading of curtains, carpets, books and prints.
posted by GeeEmm at 2:17 PM on March 1, 2020

As GeeEmm mentions and you probably know already, double-glazing does make a big insulation difference, so you should consider the location of the window when you decide. If the window is, for example, just by a bed or a chair, then I'd go for double-glazed. Sitting beside a single pane is noticeably less comfortable on cold days.
posted by anadem at 9:19 AM on March 2, 2020

I would install the stained glass pane fully inside a double-pane insulated unit. You get the thermal performance you want, plus 2 panes of glass between a vandal and the stained glass. And you get the full visual impact of the stained glass On the interior without a layer of glass covering it. Whoever installs it can make sure to provide channels to avoid an airtight space between SG and insulated unit, to prevent condensation concerns.

And as GeeEmm states, you can also get a double-pane unit where one pane is laminated glass.
posted by misterbrandt at 3:34 AM on March 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

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