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Laminated and Tempered Side Windows: What You Need to Know

One of the most important decisions that you’ll have to make when it comes to your car is what type of glass to use for the side windows. While it may seem like a trivial choice, it can be rather impactful. This is why we thought it would be useful to put together a brief article on this subject. If you want to learn more about this, read on as we break down everything that you need to know about laminated and tempered side windows.

Differences Between Laminated and Tempered Side Windows

Laminated glass is made up of two panes of glass, attached together by a layer of polyvinyl. It is stronger than tempered glass, but it holds together differently. If hit hard enough, tempered glass might break into thousands of small pieces. In comparison, laminated glass breaks into smaller pieces but does not shatter, instead of remaining in a sheet. The difference is that the plastic interlayer bends and stretches. If a hole is punched through the glass, the interlayer bends around the hole and holds the rest of the laminate glass in place.

Benefits of Laminated Side Window Glass

Laminated glass actually does have a number of benefits when compared to tempered glass. For one thing, there is sound dampening. The polyvinyl interlayer acts as insulation from outside sound. Acoustic interlayers are also available that help reduce road noise, engine noise, traffic noise, and wind noise. Laminated glass can make for a quieter car ride. 

In addition to a quieter ride, laminated glass is a lot safer than tempered glass. Since laminated glass is harder to break than tempered glass, passengers are less likely to be thrown from a vehicle due to a closed laminated glass window than a tempered glass window.

Benefits of Tempered Side Window Glass

Tempered glass is actually lighter and less costly than laminated glass. Choosing tempered glass over laminated glass can help vehicles achieve fuel efficiency by reducing weight. As a generalization, a 100-pound weight saving equals a 1% increase in fuel efficiency, which would be worth roughly five gallons of gas in today’s average car. Ultimately, tempered glass saves car owners money and should be considered if cost-efficiency is something you want for your vehicle.

Tempered glass reduces the risk of injury caused by jagged glass shards when it breaks. If it does break, the tempered glass breaks into small, circular fragments that are not as sharp as the shards that form when non-tempered glass breaks.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you choose the right type of glass to use for your side windows. As you can see, each type of glass comes with unique benefits that make it a good option for your car. Be sure to keep everything you learned here in mind when deciding so that you can choose the one that is most suitable for your personal needs.

When you are ready to get your side windows replaced, make sure to contact Best Choice Auto Glass!  We are a family-owned business, built with hard work and integrity from the ground up. We’ve been serving the greater Tulsa area for over 30 years, and we take pride in every job. For more information on what we can do for you, visit our website today!

Tulsa’s #1 Auto Glass Installation & Repair Company