Keeping Your Budget Costs Down With Decorative Glass
Before You Scrap Decorative Glass from Your Project, Read this First
No question about the creativity and design prowess of architectural designers, and a key ingredient in any design from hospitality to commercial is decorative glass.
But what happens when after a review and the budgets aren’t met? What’s the first thing to ax? After asking around, we’ve found out that decorative glass is expendable. Why? Because the cost of decorative glass is usually high. Also, after it’s all said and done, in some cases, decorative glass doesn’t offer an ROI.
So, let’s figure out how to have our cake and eat it too. There are various decorative glass services that allow you to achieve any look you want and still not break the bank. We’ll look at a 3 option scenario that will help you make the best decision not only about meeting your budget requirements, but also maintaining a design you really wanted that pulls your space together. You can also consider this to be cheapest to more expensive, but still under budget. Remember to ask yourself, what your priority is. Is it an alternate light source, decorative centerpiece, or a continuation of your overall design? Be honest with yourself.
Let’s Set the Scene – Floor to Ceiling Glass Wall Partition
You have a glass wall in a lobby with a carved pattern. Inside the carved pattern, you’ve opted to back-paint a color (in-fill). To top it all off, the whole piece will be LED edge lit to add an alternate light source and give your design some pop by illuminating the in-fill while the carved patterns catch and refract the light. The glass is half inch, low-iron that runs floor to ceiling. This whole piece really set’s the space off but you’ve been told to scrap it because you need to meet the budget. Let’s have our cake and eat it to, shall we?
First we are dropping the half inch glass and opting for 3/8” instead. We are also going to go with standard clear instead of low-iron. This will give us a slight green tinge, but the cost is lower. Lose the carved and in-fill options and opt for a color printed pattern on the glass instead. You’re not getting the etched look, but you basically achieved 90% of what you’re going for. If you still want daylighting, you can configure your environment to move the glass piece(s) near a window.
Keeping the same options from the “Good” scenario, but instead of a glass print, we will laminate a printed film of the pattern along with a frosted interlayer. You get that semi opaque look from the frosted film and you get the color pattern from the custom laminate film.
You Could Go with a Frosted Film…
If you’re willing to forgo the color, we can skip the lamination, and choose a frosted glass film like dusted crystal. It’s a sheet of film that is adhered to the front of glass. It looks, feels, and reacts just like frosted glass. Plus, there is a huge variety of films from sparkling etched, to more low-key subtle frosts. Films can also be put on a plotter so patterns and words can be cut out. Another perk is that film is non-destructive. It can hold up to pretty much anything, but after being put through a removal process, you’ll have a nice clean panel of glass again. This is a perfect solution for those who rent their space like offices. Lastly, film will react with LED’s so you can now add that for your alternate light source.
Again, keeping the same options as the “Good” section, but let’s etch the patterns instead of carve. You get the in-fill vibe via the print, you get the light refraction from the etch and LED lighting. This will get you 99% there compared to the original spec. You lose the color infill but get everything else you wanted.
In the Future…
When faced with a situation like this, contact a decorative glass fabricator and get all the info and options. Even get a few budget quotes to produce to your decision makers before scrapping decorative glass altogether. Lastly, remember what’s the most important to you. Is it the color, the etching, the lighitng, etc. Most of the time glass companies can get you everything you want under budget, sometimes there is compromise. Ultimately, you don’t have to scrap a design due to budget when there are multiple options on the table.