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Laminate or Tempered Windshields: An In-Depth Comparison

Windshields are an integral part of any vehicle, providing a clear view of the road ahead while protecting passengers from flying debris and harsh weather conditions. Over the years, the technology used in windshield manufacturing has evolved, and today, two of the most commonly used types are laminate and tempered windshields.

If you’re in the market for a new windshield, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two types and choose the one that best suits your needs. In this article, we’ll compare laminate and tempered windshields based on their construction, durability, safety, and cost.


Laminate windshields consist of two layers of glass with a thin layer of vinyl sandwiched in between. The vinyl layer acts as an adhesive, holding the glass layers together. In the event of an impact, the vinyl layer prevents the glass from shattering, reducing the risk of injury to passengers. This design is also effective in reducing noise and providing UV protection.

On the other hand, tempered windshields are made from a single piece of glass that is heated and then rapidly cooled, making it stronger and more resistant to impact. Unlike laminate windshields, tempered windshields do not have a vinyl layer, which means they can shatter upon impact. 


When it comes to durability, tempered windshields are often considered more robust than laminate windshields. Tempered glass is up to five times stronger than regular glass, making it more resistant to impact from rocks, debris, and other objects. However, once a tempered windshield is damaged, it must be replaced, as the glass cannot be repaired.

Laminate windshields, on the other hand, are more resistant to cracking and chipping. The vinyl layer holds the glass together, preventing it from breaking into small pieces, which makes it easier to repair small chips and cracks. However, if the damage is severe, the entire windshield must be replaced.


Both laminate and tempered windshields are designed with safety in mind. Laminate windshields are effective in reducing the risk of injury to passengers in the event of an impact. The vinyl layer holds the glass together, preventing it from shattering and causing cuts and lacerations.

Tempered windshields, while more prone to shattering, are designed to break into small, blunt pieces that are less likely to cause injury. They are also more effective in preventing ejection during a collision, as the glass is less likely to break completely.


When it comes to cost, laminate windshields are generally more expensive than tempered windshields. This is because of their construction, which involves two layers of glass and a vinyl layer. Additionally, if a laminate windshield is damaged, repairing it can be more expensive than replacing a tempered windshield.

Choosing the Right Windshield

Ultimately, the choice between a laminate and tempered windshield depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions or are prone to driving on rough roads, a tempered windshield may be the better option as it is more durable. However, if you prioritize safety and noise reduction, a laminate windshield may be the better choice.

It’s also important to consider the make and model of your vehicle when choosing a windshield. Some manufacturers may only offer one type of windshield, while others may offer both options. Additionally, if your car has advanced safety features such as lane departure warning or automatic emergency braking, the windshield may play a crucial role in its operation, and you may need to choose a specific type of windshield recommended by the manufacturer.


In summary, both laminate and tempered windshields have their pros and cons, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and preferences. While tempered windshields are more durable, laminate windshields offer better noise reduction and safety features. Ultimately, it’s crucial to choose a windshield that meets your needs while also ensuring your safety and the safety of your passengers.

Do you need windshield repair in Tulsa? Turn to Best Choice Auto Glass. We set the standard for auto glass in northeast Oklahoma. From personal vehicles to company vans, from semi-trucks to heavy equipment–we handle the full spectrum of auto glass needs. Request a quote.

Tulsa’s #1 Auto Glass Installation & Repair Company