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Our Guide to Obscure Glazing

June 20, 2022
Obscure glazing is one of the many options that you can choose when designing your new windows and doors. Obscure glass alters the way a fixture looks from outside and inside, and by using it, you can create a style that’s unique to your property. There’s a wide selection of patterned, textured and etched glass to choose from and they each offer something a little different. We have put together a useful guide to obscure glass, to help you to make the right decision for your needs.

What is Obscure Glass?

Simply put, it’s glass that is not perfectly transparent. There is a certain amount of reduced visibility with obscure glazing. The image on the other side of the glass appears distorted to a degree. Obscure glass is created in a number of ways – one way adds a texture or pattern to the glass, and another way is to etch a design on the glass using an acid or sandblasting method. Frosted glass is another name used for glass that has an etched design.

Can I Choose the Level of Obscurity?

There are different levels of obscurity available, these are numbered 1 to 5. Level 1 glazing is very light and is almost transparent. Some details are lost when viewed through a level 1 pane but you can easily identify what the item is. A level 5 glass pane is not very easy to see through and you would have difficulty making out what an object behind this glass is. Level 4 is perhaps the most commonly used level around but all levels have their uses.
obscure-glazing 1

When is Obscure Glass Used?

Obscure glazing has many uses. It’s commonly used in bathroom, shower room and toilet windows to provide some privacy. If you have a window in the hallway or in the cupboard under the stairs, it’s nice to use obscure glass to keep the area hidden from view. Businesses often install frosted and etched glass to prevent passers-by from seeing straight into their offices or store rooms. Commercial buildings can also make use of bespoke etched glass, created with the business name or address in the design. Front, back and side doors look elegant with textured glass or etched panels. Glass that is not transparent is also a great security feature as would-be burglars can’t see into your property to tell if someone is home.
Sometimes you are required to have obscure glass fitted as part of UK planning rules. Windows that overlook a neighbour at the side, for example, must have glass that isn’t transparent to protect their privacy. This could apply to upstairs or downstairs windows, each case is different. Even if you don’t need planning permission for the work you’re having done, you must still abide by the rules otherwise you could be forced to change things at an added expense.
Obscure glass can also be used to control the amount of light in an area if it’s an issue. With a pattern or texture on the glass, light entering a room is reduced somewhat. This feature can help if you have a space that gets too much sunlight. Perhaps an area where you work all day and the light is dazzling.

Different Obscure Glass Patterns For Double Glazing.

You can choose the style of obscure glass to suit your property and personal style. From traditional patterns to modern obscure glass, there’s a full range to consider. Satin obscure glass has classic good looks and it goes particularly well with a contemporary style home. If you’re a fan of the vintage look, there are obscure glass patterns that have a hint of the 60s in them. To bring a little of the natural world inside there are floral patterns and leaf designs available. For textured glass, pick from dots, lines and swirls in a 3D pattern that’s easy to clean. Etched glass has designs created using frosted and transparent patterns. Choose from geometric shapes for a modern look or antique patterns for period homes. In fact there is so much choice, it’s hard to pick just one style of obscure glazing.

Is Modern Obscure Glass Right For My Home?

If you’re changing your windows, there’s a lot to consider. There’s the style, the openings, the colour and whether to go for uPVC, aluminium or timber to think about. Obscure glass will add a certain look to your home, but to make sure you’re making the right choice, speak to the experts here at Generation Windows. Our team can guide you through the different options to help you make the best choice for your home.
Give us a call today on 020 3962 0211 !