For over a century, sandblasting has been transforming glass into works of art and providing a greater level of privacy in glassed areas. Since the advent of the first sandblasting machine in 1870, frosted glass has become a common feature in many homes, offices and public spaces.
However, sandblasting isn’t the only way to get that elegant, timeless look of frosted glass. Today, not only do vinyl stickers give you the same frosted effect as sandblasting, they may actually be a better alternative. Here’s why.
Sandblasting is a messy business, so glass is usually taken to a factory to be treated. This poses a problem: what do you do while your windows are off being sandblasted? Having your windows taken away for treatment and then reinstalled later poses an obvious security risk to your home or office. On the other hand, if the sandblasting is done on site, you’ll have to put up with the mess caused by the process, as well as possible respiratory health risks.
Installing vinyl window frosting is a much quicker and simpler alternative to sandblasting: the glass is cleaned and the vinyl stickers are applied on site, with minimal mess or disturbance. Voila!
Sandblasting methods, most notably the carving method, achieve that frosted, textured effect by removing layers from the surface of the glass. This can sometimes be as much as two millimetres, which weakens your glass and makes it more likely to break in the event of an accident like someone falling against a big window.
Using vinyl stickers doesn’t run the risk of weakening your glass. In fact, because you’re adding an adhesive layer to your glass, you’re actually strengthening it and making it less likely to shatter. The extra layer also protects your glass from being scratched or subjected to environmental wear and tear.
Sandblasting is an expensive technique, so if you have a lot of glass that needs treatment, you’re going to end up with a very costly project on your hands. Vinyl stickers are a more cost effective choice.
Sandblasting permanently alters your glass. This means that the decorative underwater scene you had sandblasted onto your bedroom window five years ago is there to stay – unless you’re prepared to replace the entire pane.
Vinyl window designs, on the other hand, can be peeled off and replaced with a completely different design. This is especially useful if you need to sell your house or for cultural hubs that need to keep up with design trends.
Some glass, such as the glass used in sliding doors, cannot be sandblasted. For safety reasons, sliding doors need to be a specified thickness. Because sandblasting makes glass thinner, it can’t be used. Vinyl stickers, however, can be applied to any glass and produces the same frosted effect.
It may seem ludicrous to think that we are at risk from the sun while we’re sitting in front of our computers at work or preparing lunch in our kitchens at home. In fact, this is sometimes when we are most at risk, because we don’t apply sunscreen like we do when we’re going outside, yet the sun’s harmful UV rays still penetrate our windows. Vinyl window frosting not only eliminates irritating glare, it also offers UV protection.
If you’re after some extra privacy in the bathroom, sandblasting may not be the best option. When sandblasted glass gets wet, it becomes transparent, leaving you exposed when you least want to be. Vinyl stickers, on the other hand, are just as opaque when wet as they are when dry.
The microscopic holes in sandblasted glass trap dirt and oils. This means that sandblasted glass in places like kitchens pick up greasy fingerprints and unsightly smudges that can be difficult to get rid of. Smooth vinyl surfaces, on the other hand, are easier to keep clean.