Skylights are typically available as laminated glass skylights or tempered glass skylights. We recommend laminated glass skylights in all instances and they are even required per building code for certain out of reach applications. The reason laminated glass skylights are preferred is because they provide a greater level of safety to persons and property beneath.
When a tempered glass skylight breaks, the glass shatters into small pieces which can then fall down into your home. These small falling pieces of tempered glass will potentially damage / harm anything below; including persons, pets, furniture, and flooring. Not to mention that when a tempered glass skylight breaks, there is no longer a glass pane in the skylight to protect the interior of your home from the exterior elements.
When a laminated glass skylight breaks, the glass is designed to remain intact. So, the small shattered pieces of glass will not come cascading down into the interior of your home. And the laminated glass pane will remain in the frame of the skylight, continuing to provide some protection from the exterior elements.
VELUX recommends and building codes require laminated glass skylights for out of reach applications.
Larry Vaught Roofing routinely recommends laminated glass skylights by Velux. Surprisingly, most skylights installed in the Greater Kansas City area are not laminated glass skylights. Most are tempered glass skylights. If you have any doubt, just call a local roofing materials distributor and ask if they have any laminated glass skylights in stock. The typical answer is …”No, but we have tempered glass skylights in stock”. You will probably have to order a laminated glass skylight because the local supply companies don’t normally stock them. They stock tempered glass skylights because that is what most all of the local roofing contractors are buying. Which means the vast majority of homes are not getting laminated glass skylights.
Velux recommends and building code requires laminated glass when skylights are positioned out of reach.
You might conclude that local roofing companies don’t routinely offer their customers laminated glass skylights because laminated glass costs a lot more than tempered glass. But, that is simply not true. One of the most common / most popular sizes of skylight is a 24″ by 48″ skylight. This size of skylight costs about $39 more to upgrade from tempered glass to laminated glass. For such a small difference in cost, we don’t even consider furnishing a tempered glass skylight. Yet, we seem to be one of the few (or only?) contractor(s) in the greater Kansas City area routinely offering their customers laminated glass skylights. Unless you’ve got it in writing, you probably are not getting a laminated glass skylight. So be sure to ask for laminated glass. It is the preferred choice.
Product Testing and Certifications
To learn more about Velux skylight product testing and certification visit: https://www.veluxusa.com/professional/tools/architects/code-information