Tempered glass is a solid and durable glass used in various projects. For example, if you’re building a glass table or similar project, you’ll typically need tempered glass. But how much does this material cost to cut, and what are your options?
Tempered glass is measured and cut before the tempering process. It cannot usually be cut after, as it will break into small, round pieces. Tempered glass is cut in a weaker, softer condition and costs around $20 per square foot. The scope of the project and customizations will increase the cost.
Don’t worry if you have a large-scale glass project that requires tempered glass. There’s a lot to consider and learn ahead of time. Luckily, we cover everything you need to know in the article below. Read on for more information.
Can You Cut Tempered Glass?
Tempered glass is typically used in commercial interiors, like museums, stores, offices, and restaurants. Tempered glass is sometimes referred to as safety glass, as it is stronger and more durable than regular glass.
The material is tempered through heating and cooling, which makes the glass 4-5 times stronger than standard glass.
Unfortunately, you can’t easily cut glass after the tempering process is finished.
The tempering techniques decrease the chance of the glass breaking. If the glass does break, it will break into small, round pieces that have a reduced chance of causing harm—hence the name of safety glass.
Is Tempered Glass Hard to Cut?
Cutting tempered glass is not a realistic or DIY-friendly solution, as it requires special lasers and equipment. It’s possible to reverse the tempering process, but this requires special tools, and the glass becomes much weaker annealed glass afterward.
Instead, glass is measured and cut before the tempering process to ensure it’s in the right shape, size, and thickness. Then, the glass is cut while it’s in a weaker state, known as annealed glass.
Annealed glass is softer than tempered materials and can be drilled, cut, notched, and edge-finished. However, it typically breaks into longer, jagged shards that have a higher risk of injury.
Therefore, annealed glass is commonly used when strength and safety are a lower priority.
Is Cutting Tempered Glass Expensive?
The cost to cut glass ranges from $10 to $200 per square foot based on the scope of the project and the purpose of the material. Factors like thickness, shape, location, and more can increase glass-cutting costs.
However, we cover the basics to give you a better idea of what to expect below.
The Cost to Cut Tempered Glass
Depending on several factors, cutting tempered glass can cost around $20 per square foot. Tempered glass is measured and cut before the tempering process, as it cannot be cut afterward.
The tempering process can cost additional fees and varies.
Tempered Laminate Glass Costs
Tempered laminate, sometimes referred to as “structural glass,” costs roughly $100 per square foot, making it a much more expensive option.
Cutting Annealed Glass Costs
Annealed glass is a softer, weaker glass that breaks into long, jagged shards. This glass is typically used when expenses are a high priority and cost roughly $20 per square foot.
Ceramic Glass Costs
Ceramic glass is often used for durability and high temperatures, like around fire pits. Cutting ceramic glass costs roughly $60 per square foot, depending on the scope of the project and other factors.
Laminate Glass Cots
Laminate glass is another popular security glass and ranges around $40 per square foot, depending on several other factors.
Shower Door Costs
Shower doors are generally the most expensive type of glass to cut because of their thickness. Custom shower doors can cost around $200 per square foot in some circumstances and projects.
Generally speaking, mirrors are the least expensive type of glass to cut and cost around $10 per square foot. However, larger-scale projects, specialty designs, and other factors will increase the cost of cutting.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Cut Glass
Besides the material, decorative finishes and logistics can affect professionally cut glass prices. Here are some of the factors to consider.
The Shape and Size
Cutting a perfect square of glass is the least expensive shape. Professional glass cutters charge higher prices per square foot for specialty designs. Some shapes that can significantly impact the price include:
- Circles and ovals
- Half circles
Edge polishing for professionally cut glass can range between $20 and $35 for a thick-seamed edge. Flat-polished edges can vary between $30 and $55, depending on the circumstance.
Drilling holes into glass will also increase the price of your finished product. Holes in a new piece of glass can cost $20 and $40 per hole.
The Glass Thickness
As you can imagine, the thickness of the glass also impacts the total price of the project. Thicker pieces of glass will cost more than smaller options. For instance, 3/32” glass windows will typically be in the median price range.
Thick shower doors from ⅜” to ½” will cost significantly more and are on the higher end of projects.
How Do You Cut Tempered Glass without Cracking it?
Unfortunately, it’s unrealistic to cut tempered glass without specialized lasers and equipment. Tempered glass is strengthened and designed to break into tiny, round shards.
It’s possible to reverse the tempering process, but this requires special tools and isn’t usually worth the effort. Reversing the tempering process also weakens the glass and reverts it back to annealed glass, which is softer and breaks into long, jagged shards.
Tempered glass is measured and cut while it’s in a weaker annealed state. Afterward, the glass goes through the tempering process to be strengthened and fortified.
The best way to cut glass is to accurately measure and plan ahead to avoid unnecessary complications or costs.
Tempered glass, or safety glass, is often used in interior spaces like offices and restaurants. Unfortunately, tempered glass cannot usually be cut after the tempering process. Instead, the material is measured and cut while it’s in a weaker annealed state.
Tempered glass typically costs around $20 per square foot without including the tempering process.
The scope of the project, size, customization, and more factors can increase the price of cutting tempered glass.