Glass Glossary Terms

The decorative glass and architectural glass fields have a litany of terms that can get confusing. Especially when some terms overlap or seem as if they should such as “pivot” and “hinge” and “frosted” and “etched”.

We have supplied a glossary to help with some common terms. This should help browsing our site and working with us on projects along with helping you in your everyday workload.

As we expand our technology and abilities as well as create new, innovative products, we are constantly adding new terms to our glossary, please contact us.

Acid Etched Glass

Acid etched glass is a glass panel that has been modified with hydrofluoric acid that etches the glass.

Annealed Glass

Annealed glass, untreated glass, or standard glass is glass that has not been heated or tempered. Annealed glass breaks easier than tempered glass and usually breaks into large pieces.

Back-Painted Glass

Back-painted glass is a glass panel that has a coat or more of paint on the backside, with the front clear to see the color through the glass. Depending on the glass type such as low-iron or standard clear, can affect the color.


Barn-Doors are interior sliding doors usually hung from a rail hardware system mounted on the outside of the wall that spans the length of the opening. Barn-doors are comprised of two main parts, the hardware mounting system call the header and the door panel. Barn-doors can have one to multiple panels that slide across the header.

Bent/Curved Glass

Bent or Curved Glass is made when the glass is still warm enough to be malleable but not hot enough to be molten. The soft glass is placed over a metal form and then placed in an oven until the glass takes the shape of the metal form.

Bypass Door

A bypass door is a door system comprised of two doors that both slide independently at the same time. They are offset so they may pass each other without contact.

Carved Glass

Carved glass is a technique used when etching glass. Carved glass is created by etching glass longer than you normally would to create a deep physical removed of glass. This is opposed to etched glass which is a glass panel that’s surface has been scared by etching.

Cast Glass

Cast glass is a panel of glass that has patterns in it. When glass is soft, but not molten, it is placed in a reverse image cast of a design then placed in an oven so the glass can conform to the cast.

Ceramic Frit

Ceramic frit glass is made by printing the ceramic frit on to the glass surface with screening printer, and tempering it thereafter.

Decorative Film

Decorative films are thin films used in glass lamination. Films can be semi-translucent to make the glass appear etched and/or to adjust opacity, they can be printed for custom graphics, or solid colors.

Decorative Glass

Decorative glass is any glass panel with a decorative glass service applied to it. Such as, etching, decorative lamination, printing, back-painting, edge lighting, or film.

Dichroic Glass

Dichroic Glass is glass which displaces multiple colors depending lighting and angle.

Edge Lit Glass

Edge lit glass is glass that is placed in mounting hardware that is fitted with LED strips. The LED’s have the option of changing colors and lighting patterns. Edge lighting benefits the most from pairing with etched glass. The glass etching refracts the light and in turn, illuminates.

Etched Glass

Etched glass is glass panels that have acid, caustic, or abrasive substances blasted onto their surface.

Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless shower doors are are large glass panels that do not have hardware trim or framing along their edges. This also differs from shower enclosures as the the doors are usually mounted to the wall and only have a parallel return panel.

Frosted Glass

Frosted glass is another term for etched glass.

Glass Bevel

Glass bevel is the edge profile of a glass panel. There are various artistic styles with the most popular being a pencil polish bevel or a smooth polish bevel. You can find more variety of bevels with glass tabletops.

Glass Door

A glass door is simply a pivoted or hinged glass door mounted to a wall or another glass panel. These doors may or may not incorporate a decorative glass panel by instead opting for a clear glass panel.

Glass Hardware

Glass hardware is anything that is used to mount glass. From wall mounts to barn-door headers, handles, pivots, and hinges. They are offered in a range of finishes like polished, brushed, and even painted and coated. The glass panel(s) may need to have hold drilled or notches cut out to allow the hardware to fit the glass panel. Hardware is rated for weight and is best to communicate with your glass and hardware supplier to ensure the right amount of hardware is used.

Glass Shield

Glass Shield is a coating applied to glass panels, especially showers, that repels water, stains, and soap scum.

Glass Tabletop

A glass tabletop is a singular piece of glass offered in a variety of shapes, thicknesses, bevels, glass types, and decorative options that is fitted to a mount to create a table. A glass tabletop could also mean a protective glass tabletop that is the same type of glass panel fitted on top of furniture, especially wood furniture, to protect it from scratches, fades, and stains.

Hardware Finish

Hardware finish pertains to the material style of glass hardware. Finishes offered are many, but FGD Glass Solutions offers flat black, polished, brushed, and oil-rubbed bronze, with others per request.

Heat Strengthened Glass

Heat strengthened glass, often confused with tempered glass, has a slower cooling process than tempered glass and has a lower compression strength. It is, on average, two times stronger than annealed glass, also known as untreated glass.


Interlayers are anything put between two pieces of glass to laminate.

Laminated Decorative Glass

Laminated Decorative Glass is laminated glass not used for purposes such as protection or windshields. Often an interlayer or film is incorporated that offers a decorative property such as an opacity film, printed film, or another type of laminate such as wood, grass, or metal.

Low Iron Glass

Low-Iron glass is a high-clarity glass type made from silica with low amounts of iron. Due to the lower level of iron, there is little to no greenish hue to the glass.

Mirrored or Silvered Glass

Mirrored or silvered glass is glass that has been put through a chemical process to make it reflective for use as a mirror.

Patterned Glass

Patterned glass, also known as textured glass and obscure glass is a type of rolled glass that has patterns embedded into it by a roller while the glass is still soft. Some patterned glass cannot be tempered due to the depth of some of the patterns.

Printed Glass

Printed glass is created by applying inks via a large flat printer through a silk screening process directly to the face of the glass. You can achieve any color, image, or graphic along with solid coverage.

Rolled Glass

Rolled glass is another term for textured glass and patterned glass.

Sandblasted Glass

Sandblasted glass is another term for frosted and etched glass.

Shower Doors

Shower doors are usually a set of hardware such as a sliding header, pivots, or hinges and one to multiple panels of glass fit in front of an alcove.

Shower Enclosures

Shower enclosures are comprised of shower hardware such as a header, pivots, or hinges, and multiple glass panels to create either a free-standing shower enclosure or a partial enclosure either with 90 degree angles or neo-angles.

Sliding Door

A sliding door is an alternate term for a barn-door.

Standard Clear Glass

Standard clear glass is the opposite of low-iron glass meaning that no iron has been reduced in standard clear glass often giving the glass panel a greenish hue and lower light transmission.

Tempered Glass

Tempered or toughened glass is a safety glass put through a thermal or chemical process to increase strength. Tempered glass, while very difficult to break, when it does, usually breaks into smaller pebbles that are virtually harmless.

Traction Control/Non-Slip Surface

Traction control or non-slip glass is glass that’s been treated with a frit process, etching, or other process to enhance the traction of glass when used as a floor, stairs, or other surfaces that are walked on.


Turnkey, for FGD Glass Solutions, means from beginning to end including installation. We offer all of our products and services as turnkey meaning that once you submit your quote request, we survey each blueprint and spec sheet, order materials, fabricate or manufacture, ship, and install.


We have updated hours for the holiday season:

Friday 12/15 – Closing at noon

Monday 12/25 – Closed

Tuesday 12/26 – Closed

Monday 01/01/24 – Closed