What is Beveled Glass?

What is Beveled Glass?

Every part of your home offers an opportunity to express something about you. Each piece, including the windows and doors, surprisingly, is customizable. One way to customize your windows and doors is to choose a decorative glass. There are many options so in this post we're featuring beveled glass. What is beveled glass? You've probably seen it before but keep reading to find out. 

What is the Difference Between Beveled Glass and Regular Glass?

Regular glass is a flat pane that is clear and easy to see through. It is cut straight across to the end of the pane where it installs into the door or window sash. The sheets can also be thinner than those used for a beveled design.

The beveled glass starts similarly, but instead of staying flat until the edges, the glass lamina is cut down to an angle. Because of this, the glass has to be thicker, so it doesn't taper down too far at the edges. The cut angle can start at a variety of lengths away to grant it a different appearance. Typically, though, it ranges between 3/4 and 1 3/4 inches away from the edge.

Beveling glass focuses the attention, drawing it towards the visual intrigue in the pattern. The optical properties make it even more engaging. The angled edges of the glass perform similarly to a kaleidoscope, catching and refracting an array of colors. There are patterns of beveled glass that some choose to work into doors and windows. The glass patterns are created with clusters of smaller glass segments.

Creating a beveled piece of glass is also much more complicated than a regular part of the glass.

The shapes are cut to fit the pattern.

  1. Each piece gets ground down along the whole edge, usually by a machine with a coarse rotating wheel.
  2. The edges of the piece are smoothed for a clean fit.
  3. One or more stages of polishing finish off the process. It must be smooth to reflect and refract the light in the ways that give it so much beauty.

What Products Use Beveled Glass?

  • Accent windows
  • Tabletops
  • Windowed walls
  • Entry doors
  • Shower doors
  • Mirrors
  • Insulated units

A Brief History of Beveled Glass

The 19th century saw the start of the bevel glass movement in architecture and design. Americans embraced it and quickly set about producing the most artful and highest-quality designs. It was 1890 when it saw its peak of popularity and art. From the 1870s through the 1920s, beveled glass was a popular fixture in residential architecture. It was known to be an elegant addition to a home, speaking to the grace, class, and finances of the home-owners.

Beveled glass was originally painstakingly created with a rotating wheel of stone or a textured metal like cast iron. When the edges were ground down, it was done slowly to ensure the correct angle around each piece. At the same time the wheel was rotating, the glazier would use what is called a slurry made of sand and water. Texture working against texture was a significant factor in high-class production.

A stone wheel was also used to smooth the glass, with even finer sand used until the texture felt smooth to anyone running their hand along it. The first steps of polishing included a hardwood wheel with a stone of fine pumice. The creator worked the pumice along with it until it shone. Finally, brilliance was achieved by using pumice or ferrous oxide and working the piece against a covered wheel. 

Nowadays, it is all done using plastic-based deburring wheels. They are efficient and can be programmed for the highest level of accuracy. They produce incredibly smooth surfaces as well, allowing for more refraction and visual appeal. 

Examples of Beveled Glass Window Patterns

  • Floral
  • Hexagonal
  • Inscribed circles
  • Stained glass

Since beveled glass has to be so much thicker, keep in mind that the extra weight might change other measurements to incorporate it safely . There are also specific companies that focus on selling the old-fashioned beveled glass since the production methods are so different compared to modern styles, if that look is what you want to achieve.

Whether you want a grand entryway or a signature window piece beveled glass fits the bill. It draws attention to the little details of a home, stating that you have intricate, creative, and elegant taste all at once.

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