There’s a significant difference between the glass that comprises your vehicle’s windshield and the glass that forms the side and rear windows. That difference determines whether repairs are a feasible option or whether auto glass replacement is the only suitable course of action.


At Only 1 Auto Glass, we understand many drivers aren’t aware of the subtle differences between their windshield and their other vehicle windows. In this blog, we’re breaking down those contrasts. Below, we explain the difference between tempered and laminated auto glass, and what your repair options are for each.


What Is Laminated Auto Glass?

Laminated glass (the type of glass that forms your windshield) consists of several layers bound together by resin. That resin functions to give the glass more flexibility, which helps keep it from shattering under impact. If you’ve ever seen a windshield with a massive impact point and spiderweb cracks extending from its center, that’s the resin at work. Without resin, the windshield would shatter inward, potentially causing serious injury to passengers.


What Is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass forms your vehicle’s rear windshield, and in many cases, its side windows too. This type of glass is made by heating the glass to high temperature and then rapidly cooling it, a process known as quenching.


The quenching process produces glass that’s up to five times stronger than regular glass, which is why your rear windshield and windows can withstand impact. However, tempered glass is also designed to shatter into small pieces under heavy impact. Because those pieces are so small, they’re less likely to cause injury to passengers.


What Are Your Repair Options for Laminated and Tempered Glass?

Auto glass repair is considerably more affordable than auto glass replacement, especially if your insurance company won’t be covering the expense. That’s a primary reason most vehicle owners opt for glass repair over replacement.


But repairs aren’t always a feasible option, and the location of the glass damage (whether it’s on your windshield, side window, or rear window) is typically the determining factor. So how do you know whether you can opt for repairs over complete auto glass replacement? Here’s the general rule of thumb:

●        Laminated glass. Because your windshield is fashioned from laminated glass, repairs are a feasible option. In most cases, small- to medium-sized cracks and chips in laminated glass are eligible for windshield repair. But severe chips and cracks or glass damage that impedes your vision almost always necessitate windshield replacement.


●        Tempered glass. If your side windows or rear window sustain damage, you should expect to pay for a complete auto glass replacement. Because tempered glass does not contain any resin to hold the glass together, it’s much more difficult to fix, which is why most auto glass repair shops will recommend a full replacement. Very minor chips in tempered glass may be eligible for repairs, but only a qualified auto glass repair specialist can make the appropriate recommendation.



Need Auto Glass Replacement or Repair? Contact Only 1 Auto Glass

If you have a damaged windshield, rear window, or side window, our team at Only 1 Auto Glass is here to help. We specialize in auto glass repair and replacement all vehicle makes and models and have 15 convenient locations throughout the Twin Cities metro. To request a free estimate or learn more about our services, give us a call today at 651-789-1111 or send us a message, and we’ll get back to you promptly.