Is it time to replace the window glass in your home? You have a lot of choices when it comes to window glass replacement, more than you might have bargained for. This can be great but could also make the decision overwhelming. Saving money when replacing window glass means you’ll need to weigh the benefits of different glass types versus the cost of materials and installation. You should also consider window rebates you might be eligible to help you save money. Comparing the practical and aesthetic benefits of different window glass will help you narrow down your options. 

Let’s take a look at the different types of window glass to give you a clear view of the best option for your home. Then, compare window types online before deciding on the right windows for your budget.

Table of Contents

Insulated Glass

Insulating glass offers the benefits of controlling heat transfers through windows. The multiple layers of glass and other materials are designed to keep heat in during cold winter months and keep heat out in the summer. Gas is sometimes added between the layers of glass to aid in the process of insulating your window effectively. You can save money by opting for glass that is less insulated, but what you save in materials you’ll likely end up paying in energy costs.

Approximate cost: $100 to $400 depending on the required size and model. 

Best for: Insulated glass windows are appealing to those seeking temperature control in their homes. The benefits of insulated glass windows include reduced energy bills, as you won’t have as much air leaking in and out of your home. 

Pay attention to: Insulated glass comes in a variety of layers — the more layers the heavier the insulation. Consider how much heat and cooling control you’re looking for in your home to decide on the best model.

Gas-filled Glass

Similar to some types of insulated windows, gas-filled glass uses argon or krypton between double or triple-paned glass to control heat dispersion. Since the gases used are denser than the surrounding atmosphere, the gas contributes to blocking and maintaining interior temperatures. Since the gases used are naturally occurring, they won’t be harmful if a leak does occur—though reputable manufacturers guarantee against gas leaks. 

Approximate cost: $100 to $700 depending on the required size and model. 

Best for: Gas-filled windows are appealing to those seeking heavy temperature control and reduced energy bills. Many gas-filled windows are specifically designed for bathrooms. 

Pay attention to: It might be helpful to know what kind of gas is used in your gas-filled glass windows. Additionally, consider finding a manufacturer that offers an anti-gas leak guarantee to ensure an effective and long-lasting product. 

Tinted and Coated Glass

Tinted and coated glass is made by adding metal oxides to rolled glass in order to shade the coloring. While tinted or coated glass can be aesthetically pleasing by adding tints of bronze, green, blue or gray, the tint doesn’t usually impact the functionality of the window. 

Approximate cost: The way in which you tint your windows determines the cost. A cheap alternative to buying windows which are made tinted is to add a film to the windows retroactively. You can purchase window tinting supplies for your home starting from $20 to $300. 

Best for: Tinted and coated glass is appealing to those looking to gain privacy or add to the appearance of their home. 

Pay attention to: Some window tints and coats are more environmentally friendly than others by offering increased heat resistance and lower transfer rates. This could decrease your energy bill if you plan to tint a large window in your home. 

Low-E Glass

Low-E glass is energy efficient glass with a focus on reducing energy loss through the glass in your home. With a coating even thinner than human hair, Low-E glass is meant to keep interior temperatures constant by subtly reflecting the heat of a room back to its center rather than outdoors. It can reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs by 10 to 35 percent. Low-E glass comes in a hard or soft coat, which offers different levels of emissivity.

Approximate cost: Low-E glass windows can fall anywhere between $200 and $500. 

Best for: Low-E glass is best for those looking to improve the energy efficiency of a given home, and who aren’t as concerned with improving curb appeal as the practicality of their windows. 

Pay attention to: Be sure to know your options when it comes to Low-E glass, as you’ll need to decide between a hard and soft coating. 

Laminated Glass

If you’re looking for durable windows with low levels of noise transfers, laminated glass is a great option for your home. Laminated glass also offers the benefit of durability, which makes broken windows less of a concern than many traditional types of window glass. Not to mention, laminated glass can protect against light-induced fading of interior furniture. 

Approximate cost: Laminated glass is on the higher end of glass cost for windows and in certain cases can exceed $1,000. 

Best for: Laminated glass is one of the best windows for sound reduction. It is appealing to homeowners with kids, as well as for homes in noisy areas. Did you just move into a house by a train station or airport? Laminated glass could help you get the rest and relaxation you need away from noise pollution. 

Pay attention to: Consider your budget when window shopping, as large areas of laminated window installation can add up. 

Panes

Opposed to large sheets of glass, window panes are divided into smaller squares of window divided by borders of wood, plastic or other materials. Paned windows can be bought in a large variety of sizes, from double-paned windows to as many panes as necessary to cover your desired window space. Window panes usually refer to the design of a window rather than the effectiveness of the glass for keeping out noise and heat. 

Approximate cost: The cost of window panes is contingent on how many panes you need for your home. In general, double-paned windows are the cheapest and start at $100. The pricing increases from there. 

Best for: Window panes are appealing to those looking to achieve a certain look to the exterior of their home. Often used in bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens, window panes also offer the benefit of partially opening the window by sliding to let in outside air. 

Pay attention to: Window panes can house a variety of glass. Pay attention to the type of glass used in the window panes to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. 

Glazing

Glazing can refer to pre-glazed windows available for purchase or the process of glazing an existing window. Though the name sounds like the process of adding a glaze to the glass of a window, it actually refers to the sealant where window glass meets its border. Re-glazing windows involves a putty or sealant meant to increase heat control and air leakage. 

Approximate cost: Window glazing depends on the cost of your contractor as well as the size of your windows. The approximate cost has a large range, falling anywhere between $50 and over $1,000. 

Best for: Window glazing is appealing to those seeking better insulation in their windows. The process of window glazing is a maintenance procedure meant to enhance and extend the life of your windows.

Pay attention to: The material used matters in window glazing matters. Usually, a putty is used to refill cracks and corners of your window. Make sure your contractor is using a long-lasting and quality putty for the best results. 

Etched Glass Styles

Etched glass is a decorative technique used to increase the intrigue of windows. After the glass has been manufactured, etching is done by making small cuts in the glass to create a frosted coat. Etched glass offers the opportunity for a lot of creativity, as you can create designs and images using this technique. Some windows are sold with etched designs, while you can also retroactively get your windows etched. 

Approximate cost: Etched glass can be a breathtaking addition to any home, but comes at a price. Commissioned glass etching usually costs more than buying glass that has already been etched. It can cost $125 per square foot. Looking for a cheaper alternative? You can buy film for windows that makes it look etched.

Best for: Etched glass windows are appealing to those who aren’t as concerned with window durability, but rather are looking to add unique touches to their home. 

Pay attention to: If you’re planning to get glass windows etched in your home, consider the amount of glass you’re intending to use for the project. Getting large sheets of glass etched can be very expensive.