Specialty Glass Options (Interior Windows Only)

Clear Glass Frosted Glass Wavy Glass Seeded Glass Antique Glass All of our interior windows can be described as true divided light. This means that each separate, logical segment of glass that you see is actually its own, hand-cut, individual piece.

Our windows come with clear, untempered, single-pane glass included. We also offer several specialty, artistic glass options for those whom are interested. For tempered or exterior glass, see the note at the bottom of the page.

Available Options:

  • Clear, Single-Pane, Non-Tempered Glass (Standard)
  • Frosted Glass
  • Wavy Glass
  • Seeded Glass
  • Antique Glass
  • Mirrored Glass
  • No Glass
Frosted Glass is made by sandblasting or acid etching a clear pane of glass. This process renders the glass translucent because the light passing through the glass is randomly scattered. Frosted glass is a good option for maximum privacy while still permitting light transmission.

Wavy Glass first became popular around the turn of the 20th century. Its clear but has a pattern that obscures the item behind it while leaving it largely identifiable. We see this glass used both in historical renovations and in homes that want to achieve a more slightly more elegant feel.

Seeded Glass (or "Seedy" Glass) is still clear, but it is intentionally "seeded" with small imperfections (gas bubbles) to give the glass more interest. Use seeded glass where you want generally clear glass with some distortion.

Antique Glass is also still clear, but it has noticeable "running of the glass" that produces distortion. Genuine antique glass differs from modern glass in that antique glass was fabricated in a transition period between hand blowing and modern manufacturing. In this period, certain portions of old techniques were replaced with mechanical devices. The mechanical "rolling" of this period in the 19th and early 20th centuries gave this glass a unique appearance. Our modern replica glass resembles glass of this period.

Mirrored Glass is exactly what you think it is -- mirrored glass that replaces regular, clear glass. Choose this glass if you plan to hang a the transom sash from a wall (for decorative purposes) or if you embed the transom in a wall to simulate an exterior or room-to-room window. You can see examples of these ideas in our Houzz Gallery at here.

We usually keep a selection of specialty glass in stock, but occasionally a transom ordered with specialty glass will take a little longer to build while we are sourcing the glass. If you are trying to meet a specific deadline, please chat with us or call us to confirm timing before you place your order.

For other specialty or art glass options please call or chat with us to determine availability. If the glass is 1/8" or 5/32" thick (and we can source it and cut it without too much problem), we will probably be glad to oblige.

More Glass Information

Uses of Specialty Glass

Generally, specialty glass is used for two purposes:
  • To obscure what is behind the glass, or
  • To add style or elegance.

Often overlooked, however, is that the introduction of specialty glass changes the viewers perspective to the foreground -- that is, the plane of view where transom is placed. This foreground effect further enhances the prominence of the transom as a design element in the room and dissipates the background (that is, what is behind the transom).

So in choosing the role of the transom in your design:

  • Specialty glass helps make the transom stand out
  • Ordinary, clear glass helps the transom blend-in.

Glass Patterns and Their Effect on Glass Options

As discussed above, each segment of glass in your transom is hand-cut and hand-fitted into the pattern that you order.

Final Stages of Transom Assembly: Model CT-4 These individual segments are usually referred to as lights or lites. So a transom with three squares of glass (like the Traditional model TR-1-2412) is called a three lite transom.

The arrangement of glass lites is called a lite pattern or more specifically a muntin pattern -- muntins referring to the pieces of wood that divide the glass into lites.

The muntins have small channels that lock the the glass in place. Some glass can be cut and shaped easily into lites, others cannot. We offer single pane and artistic glass as options for our transoms because they are cut and shaped easily. Tempered and exterior glass pose special cutting and shaping problems (more on this below).

We do not support beveled, stained or leaded glass for orders of less than 10 sashes. Also, setup charges may apply.

Tempered Glass and Exterior Windows

A Stamped Tempered Window For exterior windows, click on menu bar at left.

Tempered glass (also known as safety glass) is specially coated or specially formulated so that it is much stronger than regular glass and shatters in a way less likely to cause injury. Typically, tempered glass is only installed in areas where the building code requires it. These so-called hazardous locations are generally adjacent to doors, in stairways, halls or bathrooms.

Check your local building codes, but most locations where transom windows are installed (over doors or openings) are not considered hazardous and thus are not required to be tempered. This is because the windows are higher than the typical "plane of travel" -- that is, you can't run into them easily. Accordingly, sidelights (windows next to doors) are near the plane of travel and must be tempered. Windows in bathrooms should be verified carefully, but generally if they are 60" above a tub or shower's drain, they don't need to be tempered. Since applications requiring tempered interior windows are somewhat rare, we prefer to work directly with a customer to custom build a tempered transom that fits their application.

Making tempered transoms can also be pricey. Each individual window pane must be cut from a separate piece of stock and bear the "Tempered" stamp that you see in the picture above. So call first before you spend a lot of time considering it.


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Kind Words From Our Customers

"Thank you for the beautiful windows and packing them so snugly! They're just gorgeous." -- J.W. Lafayette, CO