The Difference Between Commercial Glass and Residential Glass

Ashley Christensen
March 17, 2023

Since glass windows were initially invented, they have changed and evolved a lot over the years. Not only has the design and function changed, but also the glass and energy efficiency qualities that they possess. Not only have windows evolved based on style and function, but they have also evolved into glass types–commerical and residential. Aside from the size differences in residential and commercial glass, what is the difference between the two? Here we’ll discuss 4 main differences between the two types of glass. 

Window Materials

Both commercial glass and residential glass are designed and configured to excel in their respective roles. Because a lot of commercial windows are installed in tall skyscrapers, they require additional reinforcements and thicker glass than a residential window would. Because commercial buildings are larger and have more people inside at any given time, they are able to generate and corral heat faster than a residential home. Because of its ability to conduct heat, commercial glass is often coated with materials to filter out most of the sunlight, cutting down on the amount of heat conversion. This allows for light to enter the building without heating the building. 

Strength and Durability

The fact that many commercial buildings are tall, makes them subject to high winds that many residential windows aren’t subject to. That isn’t to say that residential windows don’t need to withstand the periodic strong window, it just isn’t as common as what commercial buildings need to withstand. Replacing a residential window is easy to do, and requires a minimal amount of time, compared to commercial windows which take more time, and often require specialized equipment. 

Energy Efficiency 

Over the years, both residential and commercial glass has made major strides in improving energy efficiency. In recent years, residential manufacturers have implemented and developed methods to prevent air leakage, along with unwanted heat loss or gain. On the other hand, commercial business owners are looking for commercial glass options that include environmental and cost-cutting measures to prevent their HVAC systems from working overtime, while still allowing for natural light to filter in through their windows. 


The biggest difference between residential and commercial glass is going to be the cost. Residential-grade materials and easier installation make them more affordable. Whereas commercial glass is constructed using more materials and is thicker and more difficult to install, they are going to be more expensive. 

Whether you are in need of residential or commercial glass repairs, replacements, or new construction, contact Gordon’s Glass today! 

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