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Understanding Home Glass Uses Is Clear

Clear As Glass

Sometimes we forget to recognize the numerous ways we utilize glass in our homes. We asked Rosie on the House Certified Partner, Dennis Rusk of ABC Glass, to explain the uses for glass in our houses.

Having worked in the glass industry for over 20 years, Dennis and his wife Lori seized the opportunity to purchase ABC Glass. With their extensive experience in the field, we are grateful to them for taking the time to share their knowledge with us.

The one thing about glass, Dennis tells us, is that it breaks. When it does, they can replace it.

One of the most common types of breaks occurs on the outer pane of glass on dual-glazed windows. Aside from hailstorms, a common cause of such a breach is the weed whacker kicking up a stone. Next time you are tending to your landscape, make sure there is an appropriate guard on the weed whacker.


Dennis tells us about other uses of glass we may not consider.

Glass furniture can provide a nice focal point in a dining room
  • Mirrors. Most of us have a mirror or two or three in our homes. 
  • Kitchen Cabinet Doors. Though not as common as a mirror, many homes have glass in the kitchen upper cabinet door frames. 
  • Shelving. Often used for decorative displays, glass shelving lets light through and can make any displayed object stand out.
  • Table Tops. A clear glass table top protects special surfaces from damage, or is the top, itself. 
  • Shower Enclosures. Dennis says clear glass is the most common type of glass for a shower. The clear glass can show off tile designs and shower features.


New or Replacement

Showing the inside of a window frame

We are talking about the whole window, including the frame. There are a variety of reasons for replacing an entire window. Dennis tells us a common reason is to increase the energy efficiency of our homes. If your home still has the old single-pane, glass windows, seriously consider changing them to more efficient dual-pane windows. In new construction, dual-pane windows are a code requirement.

Examining the frame can help you to decide whether to replace the glass or the entire window. . The frames of some older dual-pane windows are often made from a single piece of extruded aluminum which, by current standards, allows the transfer of heat through the frame. Vinyl window frames have become an alternative in both new construction and replacement. Newer aluminum frames have a thermal break, a membrane fabricated into the extruded frame that prevents thermal transfer.

“In new construction, vinyl seems to be the go-to choice of tract home builders,” says Dennis. “Replacement windows can be either. It is our experience that some homeowners like the more contemporary style and colors aluminum frames afford.”  

Glass Breaks 

Whether dual- or single-pane, glass breaks. Again, the most consistent cause of a break is from a pebble kicked up by a weed-whacker. Often the break only damages the outside pane of glass in dual-pane windows. In this case, the whole dual-pane glazing system needs to be replaced. Once the seal is breached, the effectiveness of the dual pane is lost. Dennis reminds us that most dual-pane systems installed recently have a Low E, or low emissivity, film on the outer pane of glass. When damaged, the ultraviolet rays get through and can add to the heat gain in your home.

If a window is broken, the frame usually doesn’t need to be replaced unless it’s also damaged. When dealing with dual-pane windows, the glass needs to be replaced at a factory so that the seal between the two panes is properly installed. While this route may raise the cost, not repairing the window could cost you more in the long run.


Don’t forget to consider adding screens to your windows! Screens are an important addition to the effectiveness of windows. There are different types of screens and applications.

  • Bug screens. As you guessed, this is the simplest screen type. It is designed to let air pass but not the bugs.
  • Shade Screens. These block all or most sunlight from entering your home.
  • Security Screens. Usually a metal mesh, these are designed to keep the bad guys and the bugs out. 
  • Pet Screens. Tough fabric thwarts tearing from claws. 

Replacement or repairs, new or old, custom glass applications for both residential and commercial, the experts at ABC Glass are there to help you. 


Content Partner | ABC Glass Company

After working 20 years for several glass companies as a sales representative, Dennis and his wife Lori Rusk purchased ABC Glass Co. in Phoenix, fulfilling their dream to become independent business owners. With their years of experience, they offer the best options in commercial or residential glass, mirror, and screen services


Dennis Rusk of ABC Glass Company And Screens discusses the ABC’s of glass. How its made. Difference between tempered and laminated safety glass. Where its most used in the home. Do’s and Don’ts repairing broken glass especially for insulated windows. And other factors about glass you likely never thought about.



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