A Guide to Decorative Glazing


When it comes to integrating decorative glazing within your aluminum windows and doors, functionality should not be the only thing that comes to mind.

With modern glazing advances glass can now be used to improve the aesthetic of the exterior of buildings as well as be used as an interior design element.

Through use of interlayers, tinted glass or special manufacturing processes glazing design is now extremely flexible and should be incorporated into designs for a unique finish.

decorative glazing - yellow coloured glass - coloured glass

Kiln Formed Glass

This type of glazing is created using a kiln and a mold to shape patterns on glass. This process allows glass to have unique and textured finishes.

For any project that desires a unique glazing solution, kiln formed glass should be considered.

The molds are designed onto fire boards which sit at the bottom of the kiln. This can be done in different ways and made from different materials depending on the intricacy of the design.

Glass is placed onto a mold, it is heated to temperatures upwards of 800 degrees in the kiln. As the glass becomes molten is moves to fill in the mold.

Once the molten glass has filled the mold a slow and steady cooling process takes place. This is to avoid breakages that can be caused by sudden changes in temperature. 

Glazing with additions such as a low iron coating or a solar control coating can still be kiln formed. The process is carried out in a slightly different way with the coated glass being heated from above and below using two different methods.

Electric heating is used to heat the glass from below whilst it is heated form above by radiant heating.

Once the glass has been kiln formed and cooled it can then be toughened or heat soaked or multiple panes can be used to create laminated glass.

Due to the uneven surface of Kiln Formed Glass there are restrictions on the type of systems it can be used within. Speak to the team at Sieger for your specific project requirements.

pink back painted glass used in an office for a desk - pink glass - decorative glazing
kiln formed glass - decorative glazing - internal glass balustrade

Screen Printed Glass

Screen printed glass provides privacy, solar control and an artistic element. Ceramic enamel paint is used to create patterns and designs on to the glass. This paint is available in the majority of RAL colours and so can be designed to match surrounding buildings and glazing.

This type of decorative glazing tends to be used for external glazing and is popular choice for glass balustrades as it provides privacy on the balcony or roof terrace whilst still remain aesthetically pleasing.

It is vital that the paint is applied when the glass in in the float stage, once this is done the glass can then be toughened and laminated. During this process is when the heat causes the paint to fuse with the glass.

This paint can also be used for anti-slip purposes though use of a ceramic fritted pattern.


Back Painted Glass

Back painted glass is quite simply glass that is painted of the opposite side to which it is viewed. This form of decorative glazing tends to be used for internal glazing and it can be affected by the elements, unlike screen printed glass.

When glass is screen printed the paint becomes part of the glass during the intense heating process, back painted glass is heated to a much lower temperature meaning the paint is only bonded to the surface. It is due to this that back painted glass is cheaper than screen printed glass.

A popular use for back painted glass is in office buildings. It can be used on top of desks, or as desk and cubicle dividers. This can bring a touch of colour to an office, as well ac acting as an aesthetically pleasing functional element.

Screen printed is higher in quality though and more durable hence usually bring used for external glazing and back printed is used for internal glazing.

Decorative Interlayers

The process of glass lamination can be utilised to create unique glazing designs. Colours and fabrics can be incorporated into interlayers in order to turn a standard window or door into a striking design element.

You can even laminate stranger things within a glass panel such as grass or feathers.


Coloured Interlayers

When glass is laminated an interlayer is used to bond who panes of glass together for increased strength and durability. This is usually clear however coloured interlayers can be used.

Coloured interlayers used by Sieger are highly pigmented and produce a strong vibrant translucent colour. An excellent showcase of this is in our glazing showroom in Amersham, where a large colour pane of structural glazing can be seen.

If opaque coloured glass is required the coloured interlayer can be combined with two block or white interlayers. This produces completely opaque glazing that light of vision cannot penetrate.

Sieger also provides colour matching to ensure the glazing provided blends in seamlessly with other design elements.  


Fabric Interlayers

To create truly unique glazing a fabric interlayer is an excellent option. Here materials are placed in between two pieces of glass along with the interlayer before lamination.

A huge variety of fabric can be included in this, including grass of flowers for a biophilic design or mesh fabrics for an avant-garde design.

Fabric interlayer can be used in conjunction with coloured interlayers to achieve any design requirements.


Printed Interlayers

Completely bespoke interlayers can be manufactured by using prints of things such as maps, logos or marketing materials onto and interlayer before it is bonded between the glass panes.

This type of decorative glazing is an excellent choice for something that is functional but can be used for art.

Whether used in a commercial or residential space, it can be utilised for a huge variety of uses.  

green coloured glass - coloured glazing interlayers
internal glass floor - tinted glass floorlight

Tinted Glass

Unlike coloured glazing which uses a coloured interlayer to produce a tint to the glass, tinted glass is made by adding colour pigments as an ingredient into the glass manufacturing process.

Tinted glass is more limited with colours due to the materials used to pigment the glass. Common colours for tinted glass include bronze, green, blue or grey.


What Systems can Decorative Glass be Used In?

Decorative glass is more commonly used for interior glazing and we can incorporate a wide variety of decorative glass solutions within our MIRO internal glazing systems.

When incorporating decorative glass within an external aluminium window or door system we must consider the maximum thickness of the glass unit possible for the system. This can sometimes limit the type of decorative glass you can use.

The team at Sieger will be able to advise you on the decorative glass options for your project. If you have any questions get in touch with the team today. Our virtual showroom doors are fully open so get in touch to book your appointment.  


To talk to the team, call 01494 722 882 or email [email protected]

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