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.

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.

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.


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.

Have you ever looked at an impressive window or a piece of glass furniture and wondered: how is glass made? For a material so widespread, few people who know the ins and outs of making glass. In this article, we’ll lay out the basics of glassmaking so that you can appreciate the subtleties of this incredible material. We’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about glass, from the common to the obscure.

Clear toughened safety glass

What is glass made of?

A lot of people ask us: Is glass made from sand? This is half-right – the raw material of glass is in fact made from three ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash. In order to make glass, these three ingredients must be mixed together and heated in a giant furnace. Eventually, the mixture melts into a liquid called glass. That’s right: glass is actually a liquid!

Molten glass manufacturing process

To be clear, when we say “heated in a furnace”, we’re talking about serious heat. For liquid glass to form properly, the furnace temperature must be at least 1700°C (3090°F). Anything below this extreme heat level may be inadequate for making glass. Needless to say, unlike brewing beer or weaving fabrics, glassmaking is not something that can be done at home.

How does liquid glass become solid?

At abc Glass Processing, we typically use large sheets of float glass or plate glass that can be easily cut or shaped. This is raw, unprocessed or toughened glass in its basic form – the kind that, if you smash it, breaks into large pieces. So far we’ve explained how glass is formed as a liquid mixture, but how does it turn into the flat, solid sheets that we commonly call “glass”?

Molten glass being cooled in large sheets

There are two basic ways to make plate glass: rolling and floating. Both require the liquid glass to be cooled until it forms into a flat, solid material. The former method uses giant rollers to flatten the glass into thin sheets, which are left to cool before being cut into the desired shape. The latter way involves leaving the scorching-hot liquid to “float” on top of molten tin until it reaches a much lower temperature. The end result is an immaculate, flat sheet of solid glass.

Is glass recyclable?

Of course! Glass is among the most recyclable materials in the world, able to be re-used and re-processed over and over again. Recycled glass makes up a remarkable 95% of the raw materials of most new glass product. The more recycled glass used in the manufacturing process, the less energy is used by furnaces. This efficiency makes glass production one of the more sustainable industries in the modern world. So, if you want to help the planet through these challenging times, make sure you recycle those glass bottles!

shattered laminated glass example

Some popular uses for recycled glass

  • Making new glass products
  • Fibreglass insulation products
  • Manufacturing of bricks where glass is used as a flux
  • Astroturf and artificial grass products
  • Water filtration media
  • Reflective paints
  • Sandpaper and other abrasive materials


Each year abc Glass processing recycle around 120 tonnes of glass.

At abc Glass Processing, our team boasts years of experience in processing glass for all manner of commercial and domestic uses. Click here to explore our many glass processing services, or get in touch today if you have any questions about a potential project.

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show brought use of glass in the garden to the vanguard for landscapers, property developers and have-a-go gardeners alike. Incorporated into various garden designs, which spanned silver to gold medal winners, the RHS’ most prestigious annual show revealed how glass walls, glass balustrades and feature lighting especially can add wow-factor to contemporary outdoor spaces.

Glass garden art

While abc Glass Processing makes the likes of glass partitions, glass balustrades and balconies, glass staircases and floors, glass table tops and glass mirrors that could be used in the garden, our glass aficionados appreciate there are a fair few other uses for glass in all its glory alfresco. Here’s a look at some of those uses with some suggestions of how you can get the most out of glass in the garden.

Glass elements that add elegance to the garden

Glass balustrade in a garden

  • Walls and balustrades – Achieve structure and multiple levels in the garden with glass walls and glass balustrades without interrupting views or messing with the aesthetics of the planting. More fluid that bushes and trees, glass partitions are also excellent for zoning and creating boundaries.
  • Mirrors and mirrored glass – Excellent for making smaller outdoor spaces seem bigger and for allowing light and colour to bounce around the garden, cleverly placed mirrored glass can also help create symmetry and extend the visual reach of your favourite plants and features.
  • Feature lighting – There are so many options for smart outdoor lighting, from eco-friendly solar lighting to fun and vibrant fairy lights, to choose from. But you should always make sure from your lighting supplier that your chosen lights are safe for outdoor use.
  • Water features – Whether you incorporate a glass wall to reflect water droplets and ripples or you choose a glass pathway over a pond for a wonderful walk-on-water effect, glass can be a fabulous addition to a water feature.
  • Art and sculptures – When it comes to glass sculptures and art for your garden, don’t just look to buy something to fill a space. Buy a piece that you form a connection with on sight – it should tell a story in 10 years’ time so that it’s still relevant to you and your space. Pick one statement piece or several smaller pieces that can placed throughout a larger plot to be found and enjoyed.


Let’s take a look at how some of these glass in the garden ideas were used to great effect at Chelsea Flower Show 2019:

The Greenfingers Charity Garden – Show Garden

RHS Green Fingers Garden photographed by Neil Hepworth

Image courtesy of RHS / Neil Hepworth

Built by Kate Gould Gardens, this Silver Gilt medal winning garden shows how glass balustrades can be used to add practicality and panache in an outside space. Over two levels, the garden was deigned to be a calming sanctuary and fortifying refuge:

“The innovative garden design aims to highlight and promote the therapeutic benefits of the 56 outside spaces created over the past 20 years by Greenfingers Charity, the charity dedicated to creating inspiring gardens for life-limited children and their families who spend time in hospices across the UK” – The RHS.

With a central planting border of dominant yet tranquil green, white and yellow tones, the lower level also features tiles and architectural elements that carry the green theme through.

The top deck can be reached by a lift constructed of glass walls with green metal framing to stay in perfect keeping with the garden’s theme. This means that the garden is not only accessible to all but visitors can enjoy the garden from all angles and heights with unrestricted views and the lift structure itself doesn’t compromise the design scheme.

On the top level a frameless glass balustrade has been chosen that provides safety and, again, unrestricted views. What’s really skilful is that the glass balustrades don’t distract those looking up from the lower level towards the beautiful medlar and silver birch trees behind, chosen for the structural beauty as well as their shade from the sunlight.

IKEA and Tom Dixon: Gardening Will Save The World – Show Garden

IKEA and Tom Dixon Chelsea garden photographed by Neil Hepworth

Image courtesy of RHS / Neil Hepworth

Again set on two levels, this garden was more controversial in design than other 2019 entries but meaningful in its environmental message:

“The garden showcases the potential for democratic and distributed urban farms and considers the future of the environment and the importance of growing food locally” – The RHS.

A partnership between Tom Dixon and Ikea that was unusually designed to be walked through by Chelsea visitors, the top level offers a wilder “botanic oasis”. While the lower level of this futuristic garden is super neat and ordered. It’s also dedicated to showcasing edible plants grown using hydroponic technology under soft pink lighting.

The pink glow has a job to do here but the effect is very pretty, warm and welcoming. This just goes to show that feature lighting, or carefully placed coloured glass that changes tonally with natural sunlight, can be a clever way to glam up your garden.

Green Switch – Artisan Garden

Green Switch Chelsea Garden photographed by Tim Sandall

Image courtesy of RHS / Tim Sandall

Kazuyuki Ishihara’s gardens are always a treat to behold and this one was no exception. Drawing on his cultural roots for the planting – with all the Japanese classics from maples to moss balls – this year’s entry explored how modern life and ancient traditions can still work side-by-side:

“The ‘green switch’ represents the space we inhabit when we ‘switch off’ from the stresses of contemporary urban life and seek the things we like to do, such as spending time in nature” – The RHS.

Another two-storey garden design, the top level showcases glass in the garden perfectly. On the left a modern shower room constructed using glass walls is surrounded by soft planting for privacy. To the right, is a tea room (a nod to Japan’s traditional tea gardens) but again glass walls are used for a contemporary yet open feel.

The light-infusing, space-enhancing, mirror-like theme is continued to the lower level where two waterfalls and a rippling pond reflect the surrounding plants and top up the garden’s sensory appeal.

Gorgeous glass garden products from abc Glass Processing

To find out more about our glass partitions, glass balustrades and balconies, glass staircases and floors, glass table tops and glass mirrors for use in your garden design or landscaping project, or to get a quote for any of our glass products, please contact us today.