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Obscure Glass

Sandblasted Glass

Often found in both domestic and commercial spaces, obscure glass can achieve a greater degree of privacy without losing light. Here at Express Glass Warehouse, we can provide bespoke obscure glass for a range of settings, from residential homes to commercial buildings and modern offices.

With our wealth of expertise and experience in the industry, we can confidently say that our obscure glass is incredibly versatile and ideal for a variety of applications. Whether you want to create a private meeting room in an office or a feature wall in your house, obscure glazing is a great solution.

A selection of designs and their even diffusion of light make obscure glass windows and doors an excellent option for areas that require more privacy. Obscure glass panels make fantastic additions to places like public toilets, changing rooms, and shared bathrooms to protect against prying eyes.

Pilkington obscure glass offers a strong, well-crafted, and aesthetically pleasing feature that serves both a practical and decorative purpose. Find out more about the types and benefits of obscure glass below, and contact us to request a quote if you would like to order custom obscure glass.

What is obscure glass?

Printed pattern glass shower screens

Rather than a specific type of glass, obscure glass is a category of translucent glass. While opaque glass doesn’t allow you to see through it at all, such as back-painted glass and digitally printed glass, you’ll find that obscure glazing is a different type of privacy glass that still lets light pass through it.

Obscure glass ‘obscures’ whatever is on the other side by distorting the surface using textures or patterns. There are different levels of glass obscurity available – the wider spectrum ranges from transparent to opaque, while our Pilkington obscure glass has scaled obscurity ratings from 1-5.

At the lower end of the opacity scale, less obscure glass provides less distortion and therefore less visual privacy. Towards the higher end, more obscure glass will hide people and objects from view, either completely blurring them or only revealing silhouettes. The level of distortion is adaptable.

There are many methods of manufacturing obscure glass, but the most common ways involve chemical treatments such as acid etching. This can produce different types of privacy glass like frosted glass and satin glass. Thanks to tempering, toughened obscure glass is strong and safe.

Obscure Glass Types

As mentioned above, there are many types of privacy glass that fall under the umbrella of obscure glass. This includes not only frosted satin glass and sandblasted glass, but also types of patterned glass like Pilkington textured glass. Different levels of distortion can be achieved in different ways.

These types of privacy glazing can be clouded or tinted to obscure the surface to the extent you require, enabling you to customise its privacy levels as part of the final obscure glass design. Read about two of the most popular obscure glass options below to learn more about each of them. 

Frosted Satin Glass

If you want a smooth finish that isn’t overly reflective without being totally matt, then satin frosted glass provides the perfect middle ground. It offers a kind of warmth and understated elegance that you won’t find in white frosted glass or clear transparent glass, allowing light to spread and adding visual interest whilst still offering privacy for spaces on the other side and the people using them.

This finish provides a silky appearance without too much texture, so satin glass makes a classy upgrade for areas such as shower screens, glass door panels, tabletops, balustrades and partition walls. It’s actually a sub-type of frosted glass – while this type has a smoother look, standard frosted glass tends to have a cloudier and less even finish. Frosted satin glass offers the best of both worlds. 

Sandblasted Glass

Sandblasting is a specific method of creating frosted glass which involves – as you might have guessed – blasting the surface with tiny particles of sand. The abrasive grains of sand reduce the transparency of the sheet of glass by etching into it, in a similar way to chemical treatments. The more obscure you want the glass to be, the more pressure is required when sanding the surface.

It may be one of the oldest forms of decorative glass around, but sandblasted glass is still popular today, and often used to amazing effect in many settings. This type of obscure glass cut to size is one of the most flexible methods of achieving designs and graphics for custom obscure glazing with a unique finish. It’s a simple yet effective option for crafting obscure glass for businesses and homes. 

Where can you use obscure glass?

The flexibility of obscure glass allows you to choose any pattern you like, and bring privacy to a room or area without compromising on light quality. Perfect when you don’t have the space or budget for opaque walls or bulky partitions, or if you just prefer the aesthetic possibilities of frosted glass, our obscure glass at Express Glass Warehouse would suit any commercial or residential environment.

Whichever obscure glass patterns you’re searching for, we can create the bespoke obscure glazing of your dreams. Get in touch with the team by calling 020 8500 1188, emailing info@egw.co.uk, or filling out our quotation form, and the experts at Express Glass Warehouse will be happy to help.