Toughened Glass – All You Need to Know

Tempered glass — you’ve probably heard of it. Even if you haven’t, you can probably find it around your home. It’s one of the most popular types of glass and is used in a range of applications, including oven doors, shower screens and kitchen splashbacks.

But what makes tempered glass different from regular glass? They may look the same to the naked eye, but tempered glass and annealed glass are made in different ways, resulting in vastly different structural properties. In this article, discover why tempered glass has become such a popular choice for homes and businesses across the country.

What is tempered glass?

Tempered glass is standard annealed glass that has ‘toughened’ via a chemical reaction that occurs during a heat treatment process known as thermal tempering.

The resulting glass is up to 6 times stronger than annealed glass and can withstand compression of at least 10,000lbs per square inch. It is also up to 500% more resistant to heat and shock than regular glass.

When tempered glass does smash, it shatters into small, blunt pebbles instead of razor-sharp shards. This makes tempered glass far safer than regular glass.

How is tempered glass made?

Tempered glass is created through a process of intense heating and rapid cooling. Normal annealed glass is heated to around 650°C, where it begins to soften, before the surface is rapidly cooled. This process alters the physical properties of the glass, creating central tension that makes the panel more difficult to break.

Why is tempered glass safer?

Tempered glass has greater shock and heat resistance than ordinary glass, making it ideal for use in oven doors. 

Most significantly, tempered glass shatters into blunt pebbles instead of splintering into shards. This makes tempered glass a safer option for use in homes with children. The pieces are easy and safe to clean up.

What is tempered glass used for?

Tempered glass is used in a range of applications, spanning both domestic and commercial settings. Tempered glass is often used in decorative and architectural applications, and can even be found throughout the technology and automotive industries.

Tempered glass will also be commonly found around the home. It is most commonly used in shower doors, balustrades, oven doors and in kitchen splashbacks, but can also be found in fridge trays and coffee tables.

Tempered glass is great for use in kitchen splashbacks because it has a high thermal resistance and is inherently waterproof. 

Can tempered glass be cut?

Tempered glass can be made into any size or shape you’d like. Rather than cutting the tempered glass directly, annealed glass is cut into the desired shape and then tempered through the thermal tempering process.


Bridgewater Glass supplies a range of glass products, including tempered glass splashbacks, to customers across Hertfordshire and beyond, including St. Albans and Hemel Hempstead. With over 60 years of experience in the industry, we know a thing or two about quality glass. We’ll design your glass splashback to your precise specifications and install it in your home with the perfect finish.

To enquire about our products, get in touch with our team today.