New Service

Elevate Your Safety Standards with Our New Heat Soak Glass

When it comes to glass installations in both domestic and commercial settings, safety is a top priority. Especially when fitting protective balustrades and above-ground barriers. But the risk of spontaneous breakage due to hidden nickel sulphide impurities is a constant concern. Hence why we’ve introduced a new heat soak glass service – a game-changer in improving the safety of glass structures. Read all about heat soak glass and its various benefits below.

What is heat soak tested glass?

Heat soaking is a process that involves subjecting toughened glass to high temperatures to check for the presence of nickel sulphide. Invisible to the naked eye, these tiny particles are sometimes formed during the manufacturing and tempering process.

A sheet of shattered toughened safety glass

The newly fabricated glass is cooled quickly and the nickel sulphide inclusions don’t have time to return to their original temperature. They therefore continue to expand, putting a strain on the glass which can lead to spontaneous shattering. 

Heat soak glass testing oven at abc Glass processing in Portsmouth

However, by heating the glass in a 290 degree oven for a few hours, 95% of defective panes can be identified. This is because the vast majority will break under the pressure of a radical temperature change. Those able to withstand the heat are much less likely to shatter later. In fact, the likelihood of a breakage is reduced from 1m² in 10,000m² to just 1m² in 1 million m²!

Why upgrade to heat soak glass?

British Standard EN12150 ensures that all toughened safety glass manufactured in the UK meets a minimum tolerance. This is designed to reduce the risk of injury if broken. However, it unfortunately doesn’t eliminate the risk posed by nickel sulphide impurities. The heat soak process involves more rigorous testing to highlight any weaknesses in the glass we supply.

Laminated glass floor panel above an indoor swimming pool

This ensures that only the strongest and most reliable pieces are used in your architectural designs. And that it has greater thermal resistance too. This makes heat soak glass ideal for applications where avoiding breakage is crucial. For example, structural glazing, high-rise buildings and glass balconies where a shattered barrier would pose a significant hazard.

Glass partition wall for an internal staircase

Additionally, if the positioning of the glass makes it tough to install, it’s worth opting for panes that are less prone to breakage to minimise disruption. For instance, if a crane is needed or other design elements are structurally reliant on it. The same goes for particularly large glass installations and custom panels due to the time and expense involved in replacing them.

The brand new abc Glass heat soak glass service

Given the usefulness of heat soak glass, demand for it is growing. With that in mind, we have recently finished commissioning a new soaking oven to meet the needs of our clients. This will enable us to test toughened glass panes of up to 2m x 3m in size prior to dispatch. What better way to offer customers added peace of mind when suggesting glass features?

New oven for heat soak testing of toughened glass panels at abc Glass Processing

Available products include bespoke heat soaked safety panes for glass stairs and floors, balustrades, frameless glass doors and much more. All of which can be manufactured in a range of 5-9mm thicknesses as required* to suit your specific application.

*Heat soak testing is not typically required for 4mm toughened glass, as panes would likely shatter during tempering.

The heat soak glass oven at abc Glass Processing can test sheets of toughened glass up to 2m x 3m in size

On top of that, we can also heat-test toughened, laminated glass. Fitted with a special interlayer to hold glass panes together in the event of a breakage, laminated glass has an even lower risk of shattering! These are perfect for homes with young children and pets, alongside business premises bound by strict health and safety policies.

How to order heat soaked panels from abc Glass

Whether you’re an architect, builder or a specialist shower screen installer, if you need heat soak glass cut to size, you’re in the right place. Simply give us a call on 023 92 678 222 or send us an email at [email protected] with your requirements.

Lead times vary depending on the complexity of the design – such as any unusual shapes, sandblasting, tinting or bevelling requests. However, we aim to deliver all heat soak glass panels within two weeks of you placing an order.

Better yet, delivery is free to postcodes throughout central south England. You can even double check whether your address is eligible before contacting us using the map below.

Laminated glass is one of the most popular products on the market—and for good reason. With its superior strength, variety of thicknesses and layers, and endless decorative options, laminated glass is the perfect choice for safety-first and decorative uses in all kinds of commercial and domestic applications.

That said, laminated safety glass isn’t for everyone. To help you decide whether this type of glass product is best for your project, we’ve put together a short guide. Read on as we explain what is laminated glass and some of the key features, including when to use it and how it differs from toughened glass.

How is laminated glass made?

Laminated glass is made by adhering two or more regular sheets of glass with a flexible PVB (polyvinyl butyl) interlayer. This is achieved by a heating and bonding process that conjoins the different layers to form a single glass sheet.

The main benefit of this type of glass is its strength. It is widely used for safety and security purposes, to the point where you’ll often hear it referred to as “laminated safety glass”. Because of the VB layers bonded to the glass, if the glass is somehow broken, it will still hold in place. As an added bonus, the PVB interlayer makes the glass hard to breach, even when broken.

At our glass processing plant in Portsmouth, we create laminated glass sheets using either PVB or EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) as the interlayer. Our technicians heat and compress the layers with a specialist machine that bonds the glass to the PVB or EVA—like a sandwich that turns into a toastie.

Large Pujol glass laminating machine at abc Glass Processing in Portsmouth

The beauty of this process is that it works for a variety of glass thicknesses and layers. This means we can create laminated glass for all kinds of applications, from glass partition walls and balustrades to glass staircases and floors.

How does it differ from toughened glass?

Laminated and toughened glass are both popular choices for safety. Both can be cut, shaped, and drilled (prior to toughening) to suit all kinds of safety-first applications. But toughened glass is processed differently, and as such, it behaves differently when broken.

Toughened safety glass is heat-treated not only for strength, but to ensure that, if broken, the glass shatters into extremely small pieces. UK safety standards for toughened glass dictate that the glass should break into parts no more than 5mm wide. This ensures that the small parts do not cause serious injury, unlike large shards.

Laminated safety glass is just as robust as toughened glass. However, it does not have to undergo a “toughening” process in the manufacturing stage. Instead, the PVB interlayer bonds the glass together, holding the panel in place when broken and preventing serious injury.

Laminated and toughened glass can also be combined for a maximum-strength panel. At abc Glass, we do this by laminating the glass “sandwich” in the normal way, but also using toughened safety glass either side of the PVB.

Popular uses for laminated safety glass

Frosted glass balustrades with handrail

The process of laminating glass has been widely used for safety applications ever since Henry Ford started adding it to Ford car windscreens in 1919. Nowadays, laminated windscreens are standard fitment for vehicles all over the world.

Laminated glass stair treads

As for domestic or commercial design uses, laminated glass crops up in virtually every application where safety is a priority: balustrades for balconies, swimming pools, and staircases; glass flooring; glass stair treads; glass canopies; glass partition walls; and windows and security doors. This is a testament not only to the strength of this product, but also its versatility.

Decorative mesh glass

Laminating glass with coloured, fabric or mesh interlayers also offers designers a chance to get creative. Coloured glass (usually blue, green, or grey) is popular with colour added either by using coloured glass panels or by adding a tinted PVB layer. We often recommend the latter, as a coloured interlayer provides many more colour and tint options than a regular glass panel.

Blue safety glass balustrades

Designers can also use frosting or sandblasting for a decorative effect. This comes in the form of a sandblasted PVB interlayer, which creates a layer of privacy in spaces such as bathrooms, private offices, or hallways.

Taking the decorative laminated glass theme further, our technicians can also add decorative mesh or fabric interlayers to accommodate an almost unlimited range of striking effects. This can take the form of swirling patterns, geometric shapes, nature-like textures, and more. This relatively new product allows designers to use glass panels to striking effect. Wall cladding, shower screens and glass partitions are just a few of the possible applications for this exciting product.

Examples of decorative mesh inter-layered glass

If you’re thinking about using laminated safety glass for your next project, abc Glass can help. We specialise in cutting and shaping custom laminated glass panels to suit all kinds of spaces, from glass balconies and floors to glass doors and partition walls. We also offer a decorated laminated glass service, with many patterns and textures to choose from.

For any questions about our laminated safety glass products, as well as pricing and delivery, please get in touch via phone or email.

Frameless glass showers are a showstopper in any bathroom, shower room, or wetroom. But keeping your glass in good condition can be tricky – especially if you don’t know how to clean shower glass correctly.

The good news is that there’s a simple way to prevent damage or permanent stains and marks: regular, light cleaning with a non-abrasive cleaner. In this article, we’ll explain the most hassle-free way to clean a frameless glass shower, as well as which products to use, which ones to avoid, and even how to make your own shower spray.

Preventative measures

Just like in medicine, prevention is the best cure when it comes to clean shower glass. In this case, prevention means wiping off any soapy build-up from the glass panels after showering. If left for extended periods, soap, and particularly calcium, can cause etching and even permanent damage to your shower glass over time. This risk is especially acute in homes with hard water – use this guide to check how hard the water is in your UK area.

Woman using a microfibre cloth to wipe and clean shower glass

To be on the safe side, you should wipe down once a day, and preferably clean shower glass after each and every use. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming ordeal – just a minute or two. The important thing to remember is that being disciplined with regular cleaning is the number-one way to prevent damage to your glass.

Using the right cleaning products

Using a non-abrasive cleaner is the safest way to clean shower glass. This is because abrasive cleaners – along with aggressive cleaning chemicals – can damage the glass and metal fittings, staining and scratching finished surfaces.

There are plenty of good non-abrasive cleaner options out there. We recommend one of these three:

  • Microfibre Cloths – You’ve probably seen these on supermarket shelves, often branded as an E-Cloth. Microfibre cloths are great for preventing water spots and soap build-up. They are the best way to clean shower glass and also provide advantages over other cleaners by locking in dirt and making hard-to-reach areas, such as corners and door handles, easier to clean.
  • Squeegees – A popular choice due to their size, firm handles, and ability to attach to walls using a suction cup. Their long, flat rubber blades usually cover a wider area than cloths, making them quicker to use.
  • Non-abrasive sponge – It doesn’t matter what kind of bathroom sponge you use to clean your shower glass – just so long as it is clearly labelled “non-abrasive”. Similar to microfibre cloths, sponges are more versatile than squeegees and are better for cleaning in awkward spaces.

Once you’ve found your weapon of choice, it’s time to pick a cleaning solution. These fall into two camps: off-the-shelf shower cleaners and homemade shower sprays.

Spray and microfibre cloth used to clean shower glass

For the former, simply use a branded or own-branded shower cleaner, available at any supermarket or corner shop. These don’t need to be specialist products or chemical-intensive cleaners – just a normal daily cleaner. (Please note: this is a general guide to cleaning shower glass. Always ensure chemicals are suitable for the intended use and check with the shower enclosure or fittings manufacturer how to clean components. Chemicals can mark and discolour metal shower fittings.)

If you’d prefer to make a DIY detergent spray to clean shower glass (do not use on metal component without first contacting the manufacturer), you’ll need four ingredients:

  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
  • ½ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon dishwasher rinse aid

Put your four ingredients into a 32-ounce spray bottle and fill with water. Gently shake the bottle to let the ingredients mix without creating a foamy mess. And that’s it!

Protecting your shower glass with Clearshield

Depiction of glass treated with ClearShield glass coating

For the ultimate easy clean shower glass, we can coat your shower screen glass with Clearshield. This is a special polymeric coating applied to the glass while it is being processed and is perfect for showers, balustrades or anywhere glass is exposed to moisture or weather. The coating helps to prevent contaminates from sticking to the glass and causes water to bead and run off. This drastically reduces the build up of soap, dirt and limescale.  While the glass and shower will still need to be cleaned, Clearshield makes cleaning much easier and will keep your shower glass looking like new for longer. For more information about Clearshield read our recent article.

What shower glass does abc Glass offer?

While we do not supply or fit complete showers enclosure or fittings, we do offer high-quality toughened glass panels cut to size in your specific dimensions. Using our CNC machines and water jet technology, we can cut intricate shapes and cut-outs for patch fittings, hinges and door handles. We supply clear, ultra-clear, and sandblasted glass for use in all kinds of frameless glass shower screens, doors and enclosures. Other customizable options include Clearshield glass protection, as well as grey and blue tinted glass. Our glass panels come in a choice of three thicknesses: 6mm, 10mm, and 12mm.

Water jet machine cutting shower glass at abc Glass Processing

If you have any questions about our glass processing service for frameless glass showers, feel free to reach out via the contact page. Our glass processing experts will guide you through each step and can produce stunning, custom glass shower panels that do justice to your next bathroom project.

With springtime officially here, many of us are already spending quality time in the garden. If you’re looking to jazz up your outdoor space, why not look beyond the usual garden design options (furniture, fire pits etc.) and invest in a garden mirror?

There are several great reasons to install garden mirrors, as this article will lay out. But tread carefully – with glass, some safety and practical considerations must also be followed. We hope you find some use in our quick summary of the benefits of garden mirrors and the practicalities to bear in mind.

Why put a mirror in your garden?

The main reason to install a garden mirror is to make an impact – whether perspective-wise or as a design statement. Most obviously, a garden mirror creates an obvious focal point to your outdoor space. It can help shift the perspective by making the garden look bigger and flooding the space with light. Take flower beds – by putting a large mirror on a wall behind the bedding, you can in one stroke “double” the amount of plants and flowers in your garden.

Rustic garden mirrors

This doubling up is a similar trick to one used indoors by interior designers, usually to make a small room appear twice the size or to increase brightness in a space. Likewise, outdoors mirrors tend to work best in smaller spaces such as shaded courtyards or compact gardens.

If your garden is saddled with large bland walls, a mirror can offer an instant remedy. For example, you can instantly transform any gloomy corner by using a mirror to reflect planting and colour from another part of the garden, a mirror. It helps to go big – full-height mirrors applied to a garden wall can create the illusion of a “secret garden” behind the wall.

Garden mirror used to create the effect of another garden beyond a wall

With any garden mirror, the framed vs unframed debate has no definitive answer. It all depends on your preferences. Generally, frameless glass lends itself to a “modern” style garden, especially when hung as a wall-mounted garden mirror. By contrast, framed mirrors lend more naturally to traditional garden stylings – but it is by no means a hard rule.

A few practical tips and safety advice for using garden mirrors

When using glass in the garden, certain rules must be followed that do not apply indoors. The first relates to direct sunlight: Do not place your garden mirror in direct sun. Reflected light and heat may present a fire hazard, particularly in summer.

Also be mindful of any children playing near the glass. A stray cricket ball, rock, or arrow can potentially crack or even shatter a garden mirror. At abc Glass, we can produce toughened garden mirror glass in our on-site toughening furnace, but inferior products may not stand up to abuse. As a rule, therefore, it is best to keep mirrors away from children’s play areas.

It’s not just children that can affect the placement of garden mirrors. Birds are another potential accident waiting to happen. Refrain from placing mirrors high up in your garden, as this may interrupt the flight path of our avian friends.

How abc Glass can help you

If you want to get creative with garden mirrors, you are in the right place. abc Glass can produce virtually any shape of unframed mirrored glass to suit your exact dimensions. While we do not sell garden mirrors “off the peg”, our experts can easily craft mirrored glass for use in a garden. We specialise in both machine and hand-cut techniques, as this video showcases.

We can also help you fashion upcycled garden mirrors from old windows or picture frames with a made to measure mirror – call it a “bring your own frame” service!

Garden mirrors can be made from old window frames

We also offer antique-style mirror glass with a neat and safe polished edge. Its surface boasts a lovely warm, distressed effect that creates a beautiful reflection at night when your garden lights are turned on.

For questions about abc Glass’s glass processing services for garden mirrors, please reach out via the contact page. Our experts will help you figure out what kind of service and product is best for you project. We can produce framed or frameless mirrored glass to any specifications from scratch, as well as work to a frame that you already have.

At abc Glass, we’ve spent 20 years perfecting the art of how to cut glass. Whether cutting glass by hand the old-fashioned way, or utilizing state-of-the-art glass-cutting machinery, no task is beyond our expert team.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at modern glass craftsmanship in all its glory. We’ll show you how our team creates all those intricate glass shapes and cut-outs. We’ll also explain the main purposes of glass cutting as well as the specific technologies and expertise used at our Portsmouth glass processing HQ. This will hopefully help you decide what kind of glass processing service you need for your specific project.

How to cut glass depends on the complexity of the shape

Water jet glass cutting at abc Glass Processing

We use a wide range of different technologies (aided by human expertise) to cut a variety of glass products. Broadly, these products fall into three types:

  • Glass cut to size – The most popular service we offer. Our technicians take a sheet of glass and cut it to your exact specifications, typically in a square or rectangular shape. And because we offer so many other processing services, we can produce such cut-to-size products as fire safety doors, custom mirrors, painted glass splashbacks, toughened glass partitions, and so on.
  • Complex shapes – We’re often asked how to cut glass for creative or “unusual” shapes – an expertise that we proudly offer. Examples include a kitchen glass worktop to fit a bespoke space and an angled glass partition to fit a sloped ceiling for a loft conversion.
  • Cut outs and holes – When creating complex glass products that require cut outs and holes, precision is king. We specialize in glass cut outs, holes and metal patch fitting for a range of glass products, from glass balustrades and balconies to shower screens and glass staircases. We can also produce cut outs and drainage channels for sinks set into glass worktops, as well as cut outs for electrical sockets in painted glass or mirrored wall cladding.

Glass cutting technology and expertise

The question of how to cut glass depends in large part on the available technology. Fortunately, we have assembled a fearsome collection of glass processing machines to help us succeed at virtually any job.

One of the highlights of our collection is an automated glass cutting line. This technology allows us to efficiently and accurately cut glass shapes from standard panels while minimising waste. We also utilize CNC machines and waterjet cutting on-site. The former makes use of DFX files, programmed by our technicians, to cut and shape glass of all sizes and thicknesses with perfect accuracy and speed.

Computerised automated glass cutting line at abc Glass Processing

While we cherish our state-of-the-art technology, these machines would be nothing without a human touch. Human expertise is at the heart if everything we do: our team of 20-plus technicians offer decades of experience in cutting, shaping, and polishing intricate glass shapes.

Hand bevelling and polishing glass at abc Glass Processing

Take hand edge polishing and bevelling – an increasingly rare service in our industry. Indeed, we are one of a handful of UK companies still offering this service. Our experts can apply hand edge polishing and bevelling to any glass shape, no matter how intricate. This video shows our master crafters at work using handheld devices to apply a polished and bevelled finish.

If you have any questions about how to cut glass, our team of experts is always happy to answer – just call us or send an email. We will happy to explain the best technology suited to your project and show you how our glass processing services can help.

Sandblasted (or frosted) glass is one of the most reliably popular glass types in the commercial design realm. It offers commercial interior designers the chance to get creative and make a real impact through glass, whether in a hotel, office, spa, retail spaces, or any other public venue.

In this article, we’ll list some of the many artistic and creative touches made possible by sandblasted glass panels. Whether you’re looking to convey a message with a frosted glass sign or add a layer of privacy to a glass-enclosed space, sandblasting offers a stylish and cost-effective solution.

What is sandblasting?

Producing frosted glass

Sandblasting involves adding a “frosted finish” to a standard, toughened, or fire-resistant glass panel. The process works by firing sand particles at the surface of the glass to roughen the surface, creating an opaque frosted finish. The more passes made using the sandblaster, the more frosted the glass becomes.  By masking off areas of the glass it is possible to create patterns, add logos or text to the glass, giving a wide range of design possibilities.

Next, the sandblasted glass is treated with ClearShield, a special polymeric coating. This helps protect the frosted glass from finger marks and dirt. As a rule, we always recommend a ClearShield coating. Unlike frosted window films, which consist of a self-adhesive film applied to the glass, sandblasting is permanent, weather proof and will not wear.

External frosted glass balustrades

As you’d expect, the transparency of sandblasted glass varies widely depending on how it’s processed. When looking through a lightly frosted panels, it should still be possible to see through the glass and make out colours and shapes. At the other end other scale, a strongly sandblasted panel effectively blocks out any view through the glass, with only bright light visible.

For commercial use, there are three main types of frosted glass:

Frosted glass signs – Ideal for corporate or commercial spaces where a company logo or branding must be displayed. Instead of fully sandblasting the glass, our technicians mask off parts of the glass to allow lettering and graphics to be permanently etched into the panel – otherwise known as partial sandblasting.

Frosted glass sign for Bynwell Southern

Patterned sandblasted glass – This adds a decorative touch to otherwise-boring glass office partitions and balustrades. Using patterns or motifs, we can customize your frosted glass to suit the mood or function of the space. Again, this is achieved by masking off the glass during the sandblasting process, leaving a striking frosted glass pattern.

Office partition with frosted glass stripes

Fully sandblasted glass – A belt-and-braces option for spaces that demand privacy, such as meeting rooms, but also require a good amount of light. Full sandblasting is also advised for glass floors and stairs, as it provides modesty while allowing light to penetrate below.

Full frosted glass stair treads

Frosted glass is just one example of the combination of human craft and technological wizardry that we use every day in our Portsmouth glass processing HQ. If you have any questions about our glass frosting service, or indeed any other glass processing service or glass products, please contact us

Internal frameless glass doors are a mainstay of modern offices, hotels, and commercial buildings. Now homes are getting in on the act. Luxury glass doors can transform any mundane room entry into a modern, luxury spectacle – and interior designers are now preaching the glass gospel to their homeowner and developer clients.

Consisting of internal hinged or sliding doors made from single sheets of 8 or 10mm frameless toughened glass, these doors offer style and versatility in abundance. In this article we will look at some of the reasons why frameless glass interior doors are so popular, and explore some ideas for how these doors can be used in the home.

Frosted glass internal glass doors

The benefits of internal frameless glass doors

Internal glass doors let in more natural light – perhaps the most obvious design benefit. Another plus-point is that glass doors serve to “open up” any room or space. It’s a simple trick of the eye: Clear glass creates the effect of the room being larger than it actually is. This offers a great alternative to open-plan designs, which can add unwanted cost and complexity.

Double internal frameless glass doors

Frameless glass interior doors can also be used as part of a glass wall to partition spaces without blocking light or obstructing views. They are a natural option for showers, wall partitions, and any other space where a continuous glass look is called for.

Glass doors are also easy to clean and maintain. They require no painting or staining – all you need is a run-of-the-mill glass cleaning liquid and a cloth to keep the glass clear and sparkling clean. (For extra clearness, it might be worth investing in low-iron ultra-clear glass.) Durability is yet another plus-point – internal frameless glass doors can be toughened or laminated by glass processing experts such as abc Glass.

If you’re less keen on the modern look of a clear glass door, one solution is at hand. Frosted (or sandblasted) glass doors offer privacy while still allowing plenty of extra natural light into a room.

What are the benefits of frameless glass interior doors?

Internal frameless glass doors can be used practically anywhere inside the home. Here are the four most popular applications:

  • Bathroom and cloakroom doors – Many bathrooms, and especially cloakrooms, suffer from a paucity of natural light. Internal glass doors help to remedy this, and can be sandblasted for privacy. They are also well suited to ensuite bathrooms, where there may be limited space to open the door into the bedroom.
  • Alternative to wooden doors – These are better suited to communal rooms such as lounges, dining rooms, kitchens, home offices, home gyms, and indoor swimming pools. They are less suited to bedrooms or anywhere total privacy is required (except bathrooms.)
  • Entrance to walk-in closets – These are for when space is at a real premium. Using a frameless glass hinged or sliding doors for a walk-in wardrobe or closet solves the space issue while stylishly showcasing what’s inside.
  • Part of a glass wall/partition – Perfect for larger spaces that can accommodate a showstopping glass wall or partition. Ensuite bathrooms are a prime example – designers can easily create an ensuite by dividing a large bedroom with a sandblasted glass wall and integrated frameless door. Other possibilities include luxury spaces such as a home gym, indoor swimming pool, or library.

What glass styles are available?

Frosted sliding glass interior door to a bathroom

At abc Glass, we can produce a range of glass styles for internal frameless glass doors. This includes the option of standard clear glass, low iron ultra-clear glass, and fully or partially frosted/sandblasted glass. For part-frosted glass, we offer a wide variety of styles: anything from panels or blocks on the glass to intricate patterns.

If you have any questions about our frameless glass door service, please get in touch. Our glass technicians will be happy to guide you through the various options, as well as answer any other questions you may have about any of our glass processing services.

ClearShield is a special polymeric coating applied to glass surfaces such as shower enclosures and balustrades. Developed by manufacturers Ritec, it consists of a clear liquid resin that resists the typical blights found in moisture-heavy glass areas: limescale, dirt, stains, and so on.

When the resin is applied, water beads and runs off much more quickly. This is because the glass itself is made very slippery – almost nothing undesirable will stick to it. The upshot is that ClearShield keeps your glass looking as good as new for much longer. At abc Glass, we know from our clients just how much better ClearShield-coated glass is compared to equivalent glass without a special coating.

Depiction of glass treated with ClearShield glass coating

Why use ClearShield for shower glass?

ClearShield solves some of the most common cosmetic and hygienic issues with shower glass. These start with cosmetic benefits such as preventing water marks and generally keeping the shower easier to clean.

Another factor is hygiene: the glass coating prevents the build-up of dirt, limescale, and contaminants that tend to occur with regular use of a shower enclosure. By preventing these contaminates from sticking to the glass, ClearShield also helps to slow the growth of bacteria.

Luxury frameless shower enclosure

High-end frameless showers – typically with large expanses of glass – are especially suited to ClearShield. After all, if you’re going to splash out on a fully-fledged luxury glass shower enclosure, why not make extra-sure of its sparkle by requesting a stain-and-dirt-resistant coating?

Whatever it’s used for, Clearshield greatly reduces the amount of cleaning in your shower area. The glass panels will stay cleaner, clearer, and more pristine for much longer, without the need for tedious regular cleaning.

What other applications does ClearShield suit?

Aside from shower glass, ClearShield can be used virtually anywhere where glass is exposed to moisture, whether inside or outside. A good example is balustrades, such as on balconies or as pool fences: Although not subject to as much use as a shower enclosure, the likelihood of dirt, limescale, or bacteria from collecting is just as high.

Large balcony with stainless steel and glass balustrade

Separately, if you plan to use ultra-clear low iron glass for any application, a ClearShield coating is recommended. For one thing, it will lessen the burden of cleaning and maintenance. Why invest in crystal-clear low iron glass if it stains easily?

Another point to consider is whether your balustrade glass is being installed on the first floor or higher. The higher the floor, the more difficult your glass may be to access. This is especially pertinent for properties near the coast, where outside glass is more easily subject to damage from salt and the elements.

As for our sandblasted glass, we include a ClearShield coating as standard and at no extra cost. This is due to sandblasted glass being highly susceptible to grease.

Can I apply a ClearShield coating myself?

While it is possible to buy a home application kit for treating or topping up glass coating, for best results we recommend using a professional service. At abc Glass, we specialise in producing glass sheets with ClearShield protection for frameless showers, balustrades, pool fencing and many applications. What’s more, our glass technicians have been trained by Ritec, the makers of ClearShield, which guarantees that your coating will be applied to the highest standards.

If you are interested in protecting your glass with ClearShield protection, or have any questions about our range of glass processing services, please get in touch. Our glass experts will be happy to speak with you over the phone or by email – just reach out via the contact page.


Have you taken a close look at a clear glass panel recently? Probably not. After all, standard clear glass is a perfectly good option for most interior design applications. However, for those seeking perfection, an even clearer type of glass awaits: low iron glass.

Ultra-clear low iron glass


Low iron glass is the clearest type of glass available to designers. But what exactly is the difference between standard clear glass and low iron glass? As politicians are fond of saying, let us be crystal clear…

Low iron glass vs. standard glass – what’s the difference?

Put simply, low iron glass is another way of saying “ultra-clear glass.” As the name suggests, it has a much lower iron content than standard glass, which carries a slight green tint. This contrast is best seen when comparing the two types of glass side by side – a subtle difference, but an important one, as we’ll explain in a bit.


Low iron and clear glass compared


To create ultra-clear glass sheets, technicians use a few scientific tricks. The key is to use a glass formula containing an extremely low iron content, combined with a ferric oxide content of just 0.01%. This results in a beautifully clear, neutral-coloured glass with clearer edges and more natural light able to pass through.

Much more minimalism

Low iron glass is a popular chose for designers seeking a highly minimalist look. With its pure, ultra-clear glass sheen, the glass is perfect for all manner of domestic and commercial applications. A prime example is back painted glass – by using crystal clear glass instead of the standard version, the painted colour shows off its true tone and character without interference from the slight green tint of iron.


Metallic red painted low iron glass


Frameless shower enclosures are another space suited to low iron glass. The greater transparency helps show off your chosen tiles or feature wall with an unaffected view. The same goes for many other products we’ve highlighted in this blog recently: glass table tops, glass shelves, glass floors and stairs, glass balustrades, glass partitions, and interior glass doors.


Frameless shower made with low iron glass


As a bonus, low iron glass can be toughened and laminated in exactly the same way as standard glass. This offers the best of both worlds: the peace of mind of EN 14449 “safety glass” combined with a luxury, minimalist appeal.

As a premium product, ultra-clear glass comes in at a higher price point than standard clear glass. The manufacturing process is more complex and expensive, as it requires meticulous removal of most of the iron content from every glass sheet. If you’re thinking about ordering low iron glass for your next project, make sure to weigh the cost factor against your desired level of luxury and minimalism.

At abc Glass, we are always happy to field questions about our ultra-clear glass products. If you have any questions over cost, lead time, or the manufacturing process itself, please reach out to our team via phone or email. Our experts will guide you through the process of using low iron glass in a domestic or commercial setting, ensuring that you get value for money.

Are you looking to freshen up your interior with just a single piece of furniture? If so, glass table tops are an ingeniously simple way to add sparkle to a living room, dining room, or bedroom. And with bespoke sizes, shapes, and finishes on offer, abc Glass’s glass table tops service is the smartest route to a sleek, stylish, and robust piece of furniture.


Square glass top table with wooden legs


Why should I invest in a glass table top?

The first and most obvious benefit of a glass table top is resilience. As a material, toughened glass offers an extremely high level of protection against impact damage and scratches. It is also stain-resistant – no more frantic cleaning up after spilt wine or food.

Aside from preventing scratches and stains, glass table tops offer a hygienic surface that is quick and easy to clean. This is good news if, like us, your awareness of surface hygiene has been sharpened as a result of Covid-19. For glass table tops, simply wipe down the surface with a microfibre cloth and the occasional spray of glass cleaner.


Glass office desk


Looks are important, too. By their nature, glass table tops are remarkably thin – this means a sleek, modern appearance that trumps any wood or marble counter. As for the exact thickness, we recommend 12mm for small glass tables (by “small” we mean glass coffee tables and glass side tables up to 1000x1000mm.) Larger glass tables, such as dining tables, are best manufactured in a thickness between 15mm and 19mm.

And there’s more: Glass table tops can be tinted to protect against UV damage – handy for tables near a window that basks in plenty of sunlight throughout the day.

What is a table top protector?

A table top protector is a simple sheet of toughened glass, usually 4-6mm in thickness. It sits directly on top of a table or cabinet top to protect the surface from impact damage, scratches, and liquid spills. Just like a regular glass table top, glass protectors can be tinted to offer protection against harmful UV rays.


Glass table top protector


The material of your table doesn’t matter: Whether made from wood, marble, or another delicate material, any table or cabinet can be fortified with a glass table top protector. The glass sheet offers the exact same advantages of a regular glass table top – attractive, easy to clean, and resilient.

Another word on size – the thinnest glass table top protector, at 4mm, is only offered for glass sheets up to 1000x1000mm in size. For anything larger, the thickness can go up to 6mm.

Does abc Glass offer bespoke sizes, shapes, and finishes?


Glass coffee table


Of course! Our technicians specialize in precise cutting and shaping of glass to meet virtually any dimensions. For glass table tops and glass protectors, we use advanced CNC and waterjet technology to cut and shape a glass sheet. We can also add holes and cut-outs to accommodate fixings. As standard, the edges of the glass are polished to result in a neat, safe, and attractive finish. We offer square and radius corners, as well as an optional beveled edge.

As for the glass table top options, we offer four styles:

  • Standard clear – our basic, most commonly-used glass sheet
  • Ultra-clear – a low-iron glass that gives an exceptionally clear appearance without the slight green tint found in standard clear glass
  • Grey tinted – perfect for glass table top protectors, as UV rays are blocked out
  • Frosted – a classic sandblasted effect

What abc provides (and what we don’t provide…)

We offer brand new and replacement glass table tops and glass table/cabinet top protectors. For table tops, we only supply the bespoke glass top piece; we do not supply other table fixtures such as the legs, feet, or skirt.


Made to measure frosted glass top for a coffee table


If a glass table top or protector sounds up your street, get in touch with abc Glass. We offer 25+ years of experience in producing high-quality glass sheets for tables and table top protectors. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions about glass table tops, or indeed any of our glass products.