Debunking 5 myths about glass walls
In the world of contemporary office design, glass partitions have long been a popular choice for their ideal balance of aesthetic appeal and functional performance. They have emerged as a winning alternative in modern home design, too.
Despite the numerous advantages of glass partitions, including a range of health benefits, some people remain unconvinced that it’s worth switching from solid walls and cubicles to open floor plans organised with strategically placed glass walls.
This is due to several misconceptions that many people may still have about structural glass partitions, from fragility to lack of privacy. That’s why this blog is here to debunk these myths and prove that installing glass walls is a great idea.
1) Glass panels are easily breakable
When you think of glass, you no doubt think of fragile objects that will shatter into unsalvageable pieces at the slightest wrong touch. However, the ordinary glass found in decorative items that may fall victim to this fate isn’t the same as the specially toughened glass used in structural installations like partitions, doors, and floors.
Robust safety glass is strengthened through a tempering process that makes it more resistant to impacts – and even if it does break under a sudden heavy impact, it will fall into blunt pieces instead of dangerously sharp shards. Laminated glass is another alternative with an interlayer that holds the pieces in place if they crack.
Our durable partitions are available in 10–12mm toughened glass, 10.8mm–16.8mm acoustic laminate glass, 17.5mm toughened and laminated glass, or 15mm–18mm fire-rated glass. With glass manifestations and graphics also available, you needn’t have safety concerns about anyone accidentally walking into the glass, either.
2) Transparency means no privacy
Aside from concerns about breakability, one of the biggest reasons for many to avoid glass is its transparency. While it allows more light into the space, the clear glass can also make people feel like a bug under a microscope – particularly employees in a working environment – with privacy limited thanks to walls being see-through.
However, glass walls aren’t windows. They can be completely transparent, of course, but often some sections are frosted or selected areas are covered by graphics. Not only do these measures help to make the glass more visible, in line with safety regulations, but they also ease the feeling of being under someone else’s eye at all times.
Glass partitions come in a variety of sizes and can be implemented in various ways, so you can design and position them to cater to specific needs. When higher levels of privacy are needed, there are also options such as switch glass, which can change from clear to opaque at the touch of a button, or simply classic interior blinds.
3) Sounds will echo off glass walls
Another common concern that naysayers may have is: Won’t sounds bounce off the glass walls and echo around the space, filling the room with overlapping chatter and distracting noise that damages productivity? The truth is: No. Ensuring privacy and a peaceful environment through sound insulation is all about the type of glass you choose and how it is installed.
Depending on the thickness of the glass and how the partition system is sealed, even single-glazed walls can deliver a sufficient level of noise protection. Where greater sound privacy is required, such as meeting areas, double-glazed walls and specially acoustic-rated glass can keep the spread of noise to a minimum and maximise concentration.
Our single-glazed partitions provide acoustic insulation up to 44dB, while our double-glazed partitions offer increased noise insulation up to 55dB. If you have a partition system with a glass door, these doors can also be acoustic-rated from 28dB up to 57dB. This can help to maintain a comfortable level of ambient noise while keeping conversations private.
4) There are limited options available
Some people like to keep up with ever-shifting annual design trends, while others want to make a long-term investment in a design that will stand the test of time. Despite the misplaced belief that glass is a one-trick pony in the modern design world, only suited to inner-city office buildings, it actually offers the best of both worlds.
Interior elements go in and out of style, it’s true, but glass is both totally modern and surprisingly timeless. You don’t have to worry about glass walls going out of fashion – they’ve endured for several decades so far, and will no doubt continue to be the backbone of contemporary partition solutions for many more to come.
As we’ve discussed above, plain transparent glass isn’t the only option on the table. There is a wide range of glazing, framing, manifestation, and configuration possibilities to choose from, allowing you to customise your glass partitions to fit your space and serve its needs perfectly – including sliding or pivoting doors if required.
5) Glass is difficult to keep clean
One of the weakest last-ditch arguments against the practicality of glass walls is that they will get dirty easily and be difficult to keep clean. After all, nobody wants their partitions and doors to always be covered in unsightly smudges and streaks – but fortunately, specially manufactured glass partitions are relatively low-maintenance.
Modern glass panels are typically treated with dirt-resistant coatings that help to repel grime and stains, reducing the need for frequent cleaning and making it easier to wipe the surfaces clean periodically. Unless things are accidentally spilled directly on the glass, there should be little need to clean and polish it every day.
Weekly or even fortnightly wipe-downs are all that’s needed to keep glass walls looking good as new, which most businesses will maintain through a cleaning rota. If you install them in your residence and are responsible for cleaning them yourself, the same applies – microfibre cloths to prevent streaks and warm soapy water are all you need.
So, are glass partitions a good investment?
As you can see, a lot of the worries that might put people off from choosing glass walls in their business or home are unfounded. Don’t let these myths and misconceptions prevent you from achieving the strong and stylish partition solution your space has been waiting for – why not look into flexible and eco-friendly glass today?
If you’re ready to learn more about these systems and design bespoke glass partitions of your own, you’re already in the right place. We have an extensive selection of glass partition systems available at Glass Interiors, and we would be happy to discuss them and your specifications with you.