Tempered Glass for Cabinet Doors?

Safety glass is typical for commercial cabinetry. Residential, not so much. April 29, 2012

I am installing glass in my doors for first time. These are upper cabs. Do I need tempered glass? I am not sure what to use.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
I always use tempered glass on cabinet doors - spend a little more money, but play it safe.

From contributor M:
My glass shop uses what they call 1/8'' double strength.

From contributor R:
Thanks. I have to check out double strength glass. I am leaning toward tempered. One glass shop tried to talk me out of it, and I got a wide range of prices.

From contributor D:
For any low glass that could be vulnerable, tempered is safer, but on wall cabs, in my opinion, it's overkill. The glass shop is trying to talk you out of it because, to my knowledge, they can't cut tempered glass - they have to order it to size. They would rather sell you what they have and can cut.

From contributor G:
Consider laminated glass for a shatterproof solution - that can be quickly sourced from a local glass shop. It's typically more expensive than tempered, especially the thin stuff. Overkill's good. I have enough to lose sleep over already.

From contributor L:
In our commercial work we always use tempered. It is usually required by the customer's insurance company. You can get it without the etched logo if you order it that way.

From contributor E:
You don't need tempered glass in upper residential cabinets. It's nearly unheard of. Any decorative glass that your customers are going to want will not be tempered.

Try to specify 1/8" if possible. Stay away from single strength (about 5/64), unless the glass shop is installing it. It is very easy to break when installing. Tempered and laminated will both be cost prohibitive if you have any amount of it. Depending on how you build your doors and mount your glass, the laminated may be too thick.

I would not worry about safety glass in upper residential cabinets. If you have a commercial job that specifies it, that would be a different story.

My family owns a glass shop and I build cabinets. To my knowledge, we have never installed safety glass in cabinet doors, and I know I've never put it in any of my doors.