Ultra-clear low iron glass

What Is Low Iron Glass?

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.

Square glass top table with wooden legs

Glass Table Tops – Where Style Meets Protection

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.

 

Large wall mirrors adding light to a corridor

How to Use Mirrors to Make Your Home Bigger and Brighter

In interior design, a lack of space can prove as big a challenge as a tight budget. However, unlike the latter, there are several creative ways to get around a shortage of square feet – the easiest of which is to install a few well-placed mirrors.

Large mirrored feature wall in a lounge

As well as expanding the sense of space, mirrors dramatically increase the light levels in a room. And even in this age of phone cameras and selfies, bathroom and bedroom mirrors remain the only serious way to check your appearance.

While home retailers and furniture stores are great places to find “off the peg” mirrors, bespoke options are worth considering. At abc Glass, we specialise in cutting mirrors to size for a made-to-measure design.

So, where to start? With dozens of different mirror styles on the market, it helps to know what kind of mirrors work best in what spaces. In this blog, we’ll run through some of the most effective ways to use mirrors to increase light and space.

Large wall mirrors

Large wall mirrors adding light to a corridor

Sometimes the simplest option works best. Large wall mirrors are a quick and cost-effective way to make a living room or bedroom seem bigger and brighter. Requiring no installation, they can be simply hung or lent against a wall, serving as a statement piece of furniture.

By adding a frame, you can tailor the mirror to the style of any room. In a period bathroom, for example, an ornate mirror frame is the perfect counterpart to a traditional bathtub with Edwardian-style brass or chrome taps. There’s no better way to boost the authenticity of the room’s style while adding extra space and light.

Splashbacks

mirrors used as a splashback in a kitchen rather than tiles

No two splashbacks are exactly alike – especially when mirrored. A bespoke mirrored splashback can add depth and light to your bathroom or kitchen. This is in stark contrast to frosted glass splashbacks or wall tiles, which, although great to look at, lack the multi-purpose benefits of a mirror.

Mirrored bathroom slashback

What’s more, mirrored splashbacks are often cheaper and simpler to install than wall tiles. In bathrooms, they can be used against a bath panel to reflect the floor tiles and create the sensation of more space. Another trick is to install them around a bathtub on multiple walls.

Wall cladding

Mirrored walls adding light and feeling of space

Wall cladding instantly “doubles” the size of a room, no matter how small the space. Cloakrooms are the classic example, with half-tiled, half-mirrored walls proving a popular style in contemporary homes. But you can also apply wall cladding to awkward areas like alcoves and hallways to create the illusion of a long corridor.

If possible, consider cladding two walls or more – nothing beats the radical feeling of space with multiple reflections.

Mirrored doors

Like any glass product that can be cut and shaped, mirrors offer incredible versatility for designers. Take our bespoke mirror service – we can create a customized mirror to fit almost any door, wardrobe, cabinet, or vanity unit in your home.

Mirrored wardrobe doors make this bedroom feel larger

What better way to add space and light in the bedroom than adding mirrors to a fitted wardrobe door? Just like with a floor-to-ceiling mirrored wall, you’ll be able to instantly check your appearance in its full head-to-toe glory. Mirrored doors are also a great option for vanity units in bathrooms and dressing rooms. Even shower doors can be kitted out with a mirror to squeeze more space from a small bathroom.

Courtyard gardens

It’s not just interiors where mirrors can transform a space. If you’re proud of your garden and want to add a whole new perspective, why not prop a large mirror against a tree, fence, or bench? Another trick is to place mirrored panels on the ground against your borders – this will capture the best of your flowers and plants, making them seem fuller and more lush.

Garden mirror used to give the illusion of a doorway and a bigger space beyond

Antique and silver effects

Clear mirrored glass is just one of several options available to designers. Softer, warmer finishes are often more welcome than the sharpness of a standard mirror. We specialise in both modern silver mirrors and antique effect mirrors, which our technicians can cut to virtually any shape or size. This includes cut outs for sockets, handles, and light fittings, depending on your requirements.

To learn more about abc Glass’ made-to-measure mirrors service, feel free to chat with one of our experts. You can contact us via phone or email – we’re always happy to offer advice and tips relating to our glass products and services.

laminated glass stairs

Laminated Glass Could Be Perfect for Your Next Project

What makes laminated glass such a popular choice for commercial and domestic spaces? Put simply, it comes down to two core features: safety and style.

In this article, we explore what makes laminated glass so robust, and why designers and architects trust it for a wide range of safety applications. We’ll also look at how to add a decorative touch to laminated glass to ensure your interior or exterior space excels on a stylistic level.

Why is laminated glass used for safety applications?

You sometimes hear laminated glass referred to as “safety glass”. The safety aspect comes from the laminating process used to give the glass structural integrity. When a laminated panel breaks, the glass keeps its shape – whereas standard glass may shatter into hundreds of shards. All laminated glass sold in the UK must meet these requirements, labelled the EN 14449 safety standard.

To understand why laminated glass is so robust, look at its structure. Laminated glass consists of three or more bonded layers, the most important of which is a plastic interlayer. This is usually made from polyvinyl butyl (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) layer. At abc Glass, we stock float glass in 4mm to 19mm sizes and this allows us to produce laminated glass in thicknesses to suit projects ranging from internal glazing to laminated glass floors.

What other benefits does laminated glass offer?

Aside from safety, laminated glass offers several key benefits for both domestic and commercial use. The first is protection from solar and UV rays – up to 99%, in fact, compared to just 65% for tempered glass. Second, laminated glass is better at blocking out noise, so much so that it’s used on professional recording studios.

Third, there’s the fire-proof aspect of laminated glass. While not quite as high performing as fire rated glass (which uses a gel interlayer instead of plastic), laminated glass is nonetheless recommended by engineers as “effective… for  architects and building occupants.” The fourth advantage is one that will hopefully never be needed: laminated glass is bullet-proof.

Last, but not least, is decorative laminated glass. Our glass technicians can create beautiful patterns of almost any texture and hue, all using modern digital printing methods. We can also add a sandblasted effect to your laminated glass, as well as custom back painting in any RAL colour.

What are the best uses for laminated glass?

Examples of laminated glass products

  • Balustrades and balconies – We’ve supplied laminated glass panels for dozens of clients’ balconies and balustrades. Many opt for frosted or decorative glass for a touch of privacy. No matter the style, laminated glass ensures safety while you enjoy the views.
  • Internal glass balustrades – It’s not just balconies where laminated safety glass is needed. Internal balustrades, such as those used in staircases and landings, call for robust safety glass.
  • Glass floors and stairs – Designers can liven up the most mundane floor or staircase area with laminated glass. From spiral glass stair treads to glass balcony floors, glass can be used to bring a wow-facture – so long as you’re not scared of heights.
  • Interior glass partitions and doors – Last month we explored why glass office partitions are going nowhere after the pandemic ends. Laminated glass partitions and doors offer extraordinary strength as well as style – ideal for workspaces as well as the home.
  • Glass shelves and table tops – These sleek units are commonplace in shopping malls, hotels, and other luxury spaces. But with recent trends towards home bars, glass bathroom counters, and glass table tops, designers of home interiors are starting to jump on the bandwagon. Glass shelving and tops can also be produced from thick toughened safety glass.

 

To find out more about our laminated glass products, or to see how abc Glass can help with your next project, please contact us. Our friendly team is on hand to answer any questions about glass, laminated or otherwise.

Stylish glass office partitons

The Post-Covid Office: Why Glass Partitions are Here to Stay

The future of office working has never looked so uncertain. According to a recent survey by PWC, less than one in five executives predict a return to the pre-pandemic “five days a week” office schedule. Instead, most employees will be allowed to permanently work from home at least two days a week.

Stylish glass office partitons

This doesn’t mean, however, that offices are no longer important. In the same survey, 87% of employees say the office is “important for collaborating with team members and building relationships”. Most workers will still want to come into the office – just not as regularly as before.

The upshot is that designers and office managers need to think hard about how offices will look post-Covid. With fewer bums on seats (or office chairs), there is now an opportunity to re-imagine how space is used in the office.

One office design trend we can predict with confidence is glass partitions. In this article, we’ll explain why glass partitions are here to stay, and how offices can best adapt to the “new normal”.

Moveable glass partitions

Portable glass office partitions

In the post-Covid office, flexibility is king. Companies that embrace moveable glass partitions will find it easier to re-zone their office space to suit new working patterns. These “walls-on-wheels” offer the same style and professional sheen of regular glass partitions, while allowing you to shrink, expand, or modify your office space as you see fit.

Movable glass walls offer all kinds of options for office zoning. You can quickly create an impromptu interview room, or even a large conference area. Managers can assign small or large teams to “pop-up” meeting rooms, fostering teamwork and face-to-face communication.

When not in use, moveable glass walls can simply be stacked and put to one side. It really is that simple!

Frosted glass walls

Frosted glass office partition

Hot-desking, as well as subleasing of extra office space, are just two ways that companies can save money and find efficiencies post-pandemic. For the latter option, you’ll need an opaque divide between one group and another.

This is where frosted glass partitions come into their own. Sandblasted or frosted glass is a stylish way to achieve privacy in the office. Frosted glass walls are ideal for meeting rooms and other suitable spaces. You can even augment the frosted glass with lettering, graphics, and other patterns.

As a bonus, abc Glass can apply a RITEC ClearShield coating to your frosted glass partition. This will prevent any build-up of fingerprints, smudges, water marks on the glass surface.

Screens and full-height glass partitions

Desk mounted glass office covid safety screens by abc Glass Processing

With scientists warning of several more years of social distancing, office managers need to be realistic. While open plan offices will remain popular, they are not easily adaptable to Covid safety rules.

There are two ways around this problem. The first is to install glass screens between workspaces. Clear, frameless glass screens made from toughened safety glass can ensure compliance with the 6ft rule without blocking light or sightlines.

The second trick is to use full-height glass partitions. These can be fixed or moveable – either way, the goal is to create a fool-proof barrier between desks and workspaces. What’s more, abc Glass can create cut-outs in the glass to allow for hinges, door handles, and fittings.

 

If you’re a designer or office manager needing glass for office partitions, get in touch. Our expert team will happily answer any questions you may have about glass partitions for offices and guide you through our glass processing services.

Stunning modern swimming pool with frameless glass pool safety fencing

Why Glass Is the Best Choice for Swimming Pool Fencing

Nothing turns heads quite like a beautiful, azure-blue swimming pool. Whether at home or on holiday, an outdoor pool offers the ideal place to rest, play, and even exercise.

Stunning modern swimming pool with frameless glass pool safety fencing

But a swimming pool without a surrounding balustrade is not quite complete. Glass swimming pool fencing can to jazz up your pool space while adding a much-needed layer of safety. In this article, we’ll explain why glass is by far the best material for swimming pool fencing, and how designers can use glass fencing to bring out the very best in an outdoor space.

1. Safe and secure

When water is involved, safety must be the number-one priority. Glass swimming pool fencing provides a safe, robust border for your pool area. It greatly reduces the risk of injuries by preventing unsafe access to the water – especially from children.

Modern glass fencing consists of toughened or laminated glass panels fixed to the floor only or joined by patch fittings and newel posts. It’s no different to the safety-first design of glass balustrades, balconies, and staircases.

2. Uninterrupted views

Roof top swimming pool with glass balustrade giving views of New York

Visibility is a key advantage of glass fencing over wood or metal alternatives. Crystal-clear glass panels offer uninterrupted views of your entire outdoor space. This is especially welcome around a swimming pool area: Why hide your shimmering, luxurious pool behind opaque barriers?

To achieve even fewer sight obstructions, designers can opt for frameless glass. This stripped-down look allows for a seamless glass fencing design, with no metal components to get in the way (except for at the base).

3. Multiple glass finishes

Frosted glass balustrade with floating stainless steel handrail

Modern glass processing techniques allow for all kinds of creative finishes and decorations. This allows for an added layer of privacy while enjoying the the outdoor pool. The most popular finishes are frosted or tinted glass panels, implemented as part of the glass laminating process.

Adventurous designers can opt for dozens of decorative glass patterns, from vibrant textures to cool veins. Back painted glass, meanwhile, comes with of hundreds of RAL colours to choose from.

4. Little-to-no upkeep

Maintenance is always a factor when selecting materials for a design project. Fortunately, glass fencing requires very little upkeep versus wood or metal. Glass is unaffected by wet conditions, is resilient against the elements, and requires no painting or protective coatings.

Best of all, glass fencing panels are remarkably easy to clean. Just use a basic glass cleaner spray and cloth – no specialist products required. And for added protection and convenience, the glass can be coated with a water repellent coating that helps to keep it clean and free from water marks and calcium deposits.

5. Any size or specification

Water jet glass cutting at abc Glass Processing

Glass balustrades aren’t an “off the shelf” solution for protecting a pool. Instead, glass panels can be cut and shaped to fit any kind of bespoke design. This flexibility allows manufacturers to supply glass fencing for all swimming pool dimensions. No matter your preferred height, length, or shape, there’s always an answer.

At abc Glass, for example, we use several CNC and waterjet cutting machines to produce made-to-measure class panels. This includes detailed cut-outs for any components that your design calls for.

 

Are you considering a glass fencing solution for a swimming pool? If so, abc Glass’s technicians will cater to your exact specifications with robust, stylish glass panels Check out our wide range of glass processing services, or contact us if you have any questions.

 

 

Full height kitchen cupboards with glazed doors

5 Game-Changing Glass Design Trends For 2021

Glass has been around for thousands of years. But the way we use glass to enhance our homes, workplaces, and leisure areas has fluctuated along with tastes and fashions. In 2021, savvy designers will once again look to embrace the hottest trends for their latest projects.

floating glass staircase

At abc Glass, we learn about the latest glass trends simply by looking at our order book. 2021 is set to be a big year for several of our glass processing services, with products such as French doors and glass tabletops making a splash. Read on to see the five biggest glass design trends this year, according to our experts.

1. Airy glass-door cabinets

If you’re blessed with a pretty crockery collection, why hide it behind opaque cabinet doors? Glass-door cabinets allow homeowners to show off all kinds of style-matched items, from bold coffee mugs to vintage plates. They also lend an airy and open feel to your kitchen, which if nothing else will encourage you to organise your crockery.

Glass-door kitchen larders are another 2021 trend to celebrate. You can fit a surprising amount of shelving in a stand-alone cupboard, whether as a traditional food pantry or an area to store pots and pans.

Full height kitchen cupboards with glazed doors

 

2. Bringing the outside in

So far, 2021 is proving a far cry from the “back to normal” that many hoped for. Indeed, millions of us of us will still be stuck in the house for months to come – which calls for a rethink of our indoor-outdoor balance. Designers are starting to embrace “biophilic design”, a trend of blending inside and out with glass partitions and sliding doors.

“Clients continue to request spaces designed in a way that brings the outdoors in and often don’t want there to be a distinction between exterior and interior,” says designer Eilyn Jimenez. This approach that dramatically opens up kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms, allowing more natural light to pour in. Speaking of which…

Large glazed doors fold back and allow the kitchen to flow seamlessly into the garden

 

3. French doors for a statement entryway

With barn doors on the way out, French doors are being tipped to replace them. French doors are used as both interior doors and patio doors, boasting divided-glass panes from floor to ceiling. While this traditional style is rarely tinkered with, there are in fact many great glass door alternatives you can pick from. Read our guide to getting creative with glass door panels – you’ll soon know the best way to add some glass wow-factor to an entryway.

 

Industrial style glass interior partition with double doors

 

4. Glass-topped furniture and worktops

One reason for the recent resurgence in glass worktops is their easy-to-clean properties. Bacteria-free surfaces are a must in 2021 (for obvious reasons), and glass can be quickly rubbed down with a simple bacterial cleaner. Glass worktops and tabletops can also be customised with all manner of design effects, such as tinting and etching. With  more of us working from home these days, traditional glass-top desks are expected to sell like hot cakes.

 

5. Audacious decorative glass patterns

Last month, we explored the benefits of decorative laminated glass. It’s a great way of livening up a domestic or commercial space, with a shatter-proof build for added peace of mind. We’ve noticed that designers are more willing these days to embrace bold and eye-catching decorations to inject some vibrancy and personality into a space. From sandblasting to back-painting, abc Glass provides all manner of services to put a colourful spin on any glass panel.

Decorative laminated glass examples

By now you’re hopefully sold on an ambitious glass overhaul for your home or commercial space. To kick-start your 2021 interior design project, speak to one of our glass processing experts today.

 

Decorative laminated glass shower door

What is Decorative Laminated Glass?

We hear this question a lot from our clients. And no wonder: decorative laminated glass is growing in popularity year-on-year. By combining the toughness of laminated glass with the beauty of customised patterns, textures and colours, decorated laminated glass offers a robust yet stylish solution for livening up a home or commercial interior.

 

Decorative laminated glass shower door

 

In this article, we’ll show you how decorative laminated glass is actually made in our Portsmouth factory. We’ll also explore the glass’s unique properties and reveal how laminated glass can be decorated with a choice of hundreds of artistic features. Finally, we’ll run through some of the best uses for decorative glass both indoors and outdoors.

How is decorative laminated glass made?

At abc Glass, our process of making decorative laminated glass differs only slightly from that of standard laminated glass. The key thing to remember is the extra mesh or fabric “interlayer” sheet added during the laminating process. This sheet, made from either polyvinyl butyl (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), can be decorated in a myriad of ways, as we’ll explore later.

The step-by-step process is simple. First, our technicians insert the decorative interlayer between two toughened or untoughened glass sheets. Our state of the art glass laminating machine bonds the three layers together to form the final product. And bingo: your decorative laminated glass is ready.

Tougher stuff

 

example of shattered laminated glass

 

To the untrained eye, decorative laminated glass may seem a purely stylistic choice. But as we’ve seen, it’s also an extremely robust product. In the UK, all decorative laminated glass must meet EN 14449 safety standards to be considered legal. This ensures that, when shattered, the glass sheet keeps its original form, displaying a trademark “spiderweb” crack pattern. Contrast this with untreated regular glass, which breaks into a handful of unsafe sharp shards – disastrous in the event of breakage or a fire.

Further benefits of decorative laminated glass include better sound insulation as well as blocking out harmful UV rays. What’s not to like?

A layer of personality

 

Decorative laminated glass examples

 

The most exciting aspect of decorative glass is, of course, the decoration. You can add an incredible array of patterns and colours to your mesh or fabric interlayer. Our website showcases just a few of the patterns we offer, from cool metallic to sandy textures.

Putting decorative glass to use

 

Shower screen by Drench with decorative laminated glass

 

In theory, anywhere that normal laminated glass is found can be kitted out with decorative glass. Popular uses include for glass balconies, glass partitions, glass balustrades, glass table tops and shelves, glass staircases, glass flooring, frameless glass shower enclosures, and much more.

Bear in mind, however, that certain spaces may not lend themselves to added decoration. In some cases a simple clear or frosted laminated glass sheet will work better – far be it from us to judge!

Before ordering any decorative laminated glass, we recommend speaking to one of our in-house glass experts. We’ll explain the process for processing and supplying glass for your specifications and show you the many patterns and colour options available.

Water jet glass cutting at abc Glass Processing

8 Cool Things We Can Do with Glass

Glass processing is a true blend of art and science. A touch of flair is essential – as is a skilled team and state-of-the-art production facility.

Fortunately, at abc Glass our glass processing team includes some of the country’s finest glass technicians, trained to utilise both modern and traditional methods. These wizards make use of industry-leading machines and technologies to create stylish and robust glass products. Jobs that used to take days, such as made-to-measure shower doors, glass balustrades, and bespoke mirrors, can now be turned around in a couple of hours.

Intrigued? Here’s a run-down of some of the niftiest glass-making skills we deploy on a typical day…

 

1. Machine cutting

20 years ago, when abc Glass started out, we couldn’t have foreseen the vast leaps in glass-cutting technology that would follow. Today our factory is stuffed with ultra-modern kit, such as the brand-new vertical CNC (Computerised Numerical Cutting) machine.

Close up of new Intermac Vertmax glass cutting machine

This behemoth allows our technicians to cut and shape glass to virtually any spec, with thickness from 4mm to 19mm. Ideal for cutting complex shapes, the machine also lets us cut precise holes for sockets and hinges in shower doors and glass partitions.

Another essential piece of kit is our water jet cutting machine. Its nimble 3-axis design is suited to cutting even more complex glass shapes than the CNC machine, such as unorthodox curves and sharp angles. See this gorgeous “abc” blue glass script as an example of what water jet cutting can achieve:

2. Hand crafting

Creating bevelled edge glass by hand

As much as we love our big machines (and boy, do they save time…), there are certain limitations to computer-based processing. Some jobs require us to produce fine details that can only be perfected by hand. These tend to be ultra-intricate features such as steep curves and round bevelled edges.  Our glass technicians are more than happy to cut and shape glass the old-fashioned way – after all, there’s a certain pleasure in keeping alive this timeless craft.

3. Glass toughening

frameless corner shower enclosure with niche

Now that your glass is cut to size shape, it’s time to toughen up. Our toughened safety glass meets all the safety standards for commercial and domestic use. We create it by heating glass sheets in a special furnace up to 600⁰C, before quickly cooling the outer faces. The result is a robust sheet of glass that, if broken, shatters into to hundreds of small pieces instead of leaving razor-sharp shards. Perfect for balconies, shower screens, staircases and floors, and even bespoke mirrors.

4. Laminating

close up of frosted glass staircase

Our laminated safety glass is used all the time in balustrades, partitions, shower screens, floors and stair treads. We create it by bonding an interlayer between two or more sheets of regular or toughened glass. This interlayer can be clear or fully decorative – take your pick from coloured, frosted or even patterned laminated glass. Multiple bonded layers result in an extremely robust glass panel that keeps its form even when shattered. Other benefits include better sound insulation and blocking out harmful UV rays.

5. Edge polishing

Clear toughened safety glass

Polished edges are an increasingly common sight in interior design. Trends such as frameless showers and structural glass balustrades have led to increased demand for our glass edge polishing service. Glass edge polishing makes the edges safer but can also be a stylistic choice. Our specialists can polish both standard and irregular shapes of glass and mirrored glass with a flat or diagonal finish.

6. Bevelling

Bevelled glass mirrors in production

This age-old technique is often found in traditional mirrors, as well as glass door panels, shelves and table tops. Bevelling involves grinding and polishing the glass to an exact angle, creating a “framed” look. Our mighty bevelling machines allow us to bevel straight and curved edges in any glass width from 6mm to 40mm. For the most unusual shapes, we are one of only a handful of companies left in the UK who can apply a bevelled edge by hand.

7. Sandblasting

close up of frosted glass staircase

Better known as frosted glass, sandblasting lets designers get creative with the opaqueness of their glass. It’s also ideal for adding a spot of privacy, especially in bathrooms and bedrooms. Our sandblasting specialists can create custom patterns that block out certain areas of a glass sheet, leaving the rest clear. We use a special non-stick coating to protect the glass from smudges, dirt and finger marks.

8. Back painting

Spary painting glass splashbacks

Back painted glass allows designers to colour match their glass to its surroundings. It’s the final possible step in the glass processing chain, and possibly the most impactful. Painted glass splashbacks are now a common alternative to tiles or stainless steel, but we can also produce back painted glass for glass partitions, shower screens and worktops. Just pick any colour from the RAL colour chart range or let our experts colour match to your design.

If you’d like to make use of our team’s glass processing skills, please contact us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have about glass processing. We can help to get the ball rolling on your next interior design project, no matter how complex.

Glass floor panel with view to the ground from a tall building

Let The Light In With Glorious Glass Flooring

Glass flooring is a key component of some of the world’s most famous buildings. Think of the death-defying platform atop Toronto’s CN tower or the glass panels above the ruins of the Acropolis. Then there’s our personal favourite: the glass-bottomed bridge in the British Museum’s Great Court.

Glass floor panel with view to the ground from a tall building

However, the future of glass flooring lies not with nerve-jangling attractions but with domestic and commercial spaces. Homes, offices, shopping centres, and hotels are leading the trend for new glass flooring and glass staircases. This trend grows as interior designers look for new ways to “open up” spaces to the fullest extent. 

4 great uses for glass flooring

Designers need to choose carefully which spaces deserve a glass floor. After all, too much glass can spoil the magic. But when used correctly, laminated glass flooring is a stunning option for these four features:

Stair treads

Laminated glass stair treads

You cannot have a glass staircase without a stylish and structurally sound set of glass stair treads. A notable example is the majestic spiral staircase in Hong Kong’s IFC Apple Store. Closer to home, abc Glass can produce glass stair treads in many different shapes and styles.

Suspended walkways

Glass floor on a suspension bridge above a valley

A great option for showing off a building’s architecture. Popular for heritage buildings such as church, warehouse, and barn conversions. And did we mention how much we love the bridge in the British Museum?

Decorative structural glass panels

Decorative glass floor panel in a lounge with view to the sea below

These come in all shapes and sizes, from small “trap-door” glass panels to vast displays that cover a whole floor. Ideal for letting light flood in to a lower floor or basement.

Glass balcony floors

Glass floored balcony at the top of a skyscraper

Not for the feint-hearted! Brave homeowners and designers are embracing glass balcony floors for the exterior of a house. The results are often stunning.

How is glass flooring made?

Glass flooring and stair treads are made by laminating together sheets of toughened glass. At abc Glass, we combine three 10mm sheets of glass with either a 0.75mm or 1.5mm interlayer. This results in a remarkably strong sheet of glass that is safe to walk on. It goes without saying that all our glass flooring is made to British Standards (BS EN 1991-1-1).

What’s more, our technicians can work to custom measurements and DFX files for all kinds of spaces. We use the latest CNC and waterjet machines to cut, shape and drill glass flooring to a precise design. With a minimum thickness of just 31.5mm, we can theoretically process glass flooring up to 3000x1000mm and 1500x1500mm in size. That said, we advise that the actual thickness and loading of your panel be calculated by a structural engineer and, for safe manual handling, a maximum panel weight of around 200kg is advised.

What different styles of glass flooring are available?

Again, there are plenty of paths you could follow, each with their own merits. For maximum slip-resistance we suggest a frosted or sandblasted finish. We also offer clear, tinted, and decorative styles for areas such as lightwells where a frosted finish would be unnecessary. All of these styles can be combined with glass balustrades for the ultimate glass interior.

 

If you have any questions about glass flooring or glass treads for your next project, please get in touch. We offer delivery across the south-east of England, both to merchants and directly to site.