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Glass Edge Types: Which Is Best for Your Project?

Choosing an appropriate glass edge type is determinant upon various considerations, including the specific fabrication project, application, and industry in which it will be used.
Published May 28, 2021


Glass Edge Types - Which Is Best for Your Project - Text GraphicEditor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in February 2020 and has been revised to reflect industry updates.

When it comes to glass fabrication processes, one of the most important is edgework. Creating a sophisticated, finished look, its implementation is determined by usage and application. This could range from conference tables, partitions, dividers and doors, markerboards, or display cases in a vast array of retail, hospitality, and office environments.

Edging adds style and character to glass, while also making it easier to clean and maintain. Regardless of industry, custom edgework is additionally implemented for safety reasons to prevent potential injuries from chipping and jagged corners. 

Below we’ll review several glass edge types and address why some are more appropriate for specific applications than others.

 

Pencil Polished Edge

Pencil-Polished-Edge-Glass-1Usually rounded, this edge is used for furniture—such as tables—that might require glass protector tops. Its name is derived from a rounded finish resembling the smooth body of a pencil.

Due to this polished aesthetic, it can be utilized on furniture and fixture pieces, such as mirrors, frames and shelves. This type has safety benefits, too—especially in high-traffic areas—resulting from its smooth, rounded edges protecting against potential injuries associated with otherwise sharp and abrasive corners.

When considering this for a large project with a short lead time, it’s best to enlist a glass fabricator with modern, high-level equipment. This will further ensure your project will be delivered on time, without sacrificing quality. 

Applications
  • Furniture
  • Mirrors
  • Frames
  • Shelves
  • Display Cases

 

Pencil Satin Edge

Pencil-Ground-Edge-GlassAlso referred to as pencil-grind or semi-polished, this rounded edge gets its name simply because of its pencil-like shape. 

Using a diamond-embedded grinding wheel, a pencil-ground edge—unlike the glossy finish appearance of pencil-polish edge—produces a matte or satin-type sheen, making it perfect for light-color surfaces, mirrors, and decorative glass furniture. 

Applications
  • Light or Clear Surfaces

  • Mirrors

  • Decorative Glass Furniture

 

Flat Polished Edge

Flat-Polished-Edge-GlassAlso known as flat edge or machine-polished edge, this creates sleek, clean and glossy lines by running glass along a belt machine, removing any glass chips, and smoothing edges. 

A flat-polished edge is used for a complete, finished look suitable for display purposes, such as mirrors, retail display cases, glass dividers, and other decorative furniture. 

This edge can be arrised—smooth and angled. (See accompanying drawing.) It's also known as the chamfer, whereby the flat polished edge meets the glass surface.

Flat polish appears thicker due to its refined, simplistic characteristics—and is typically used for 1/4-inch glass or thicker.

Specialized, high-quality, flat-polishing equipment is required. This involves highly engineered and efficient machines that can buff any glass size and shape, even under strict lead times, regardless of thickness. 

Learn how Dillmeier Glass Company assisted Synergy Business Environments with a flat-polished edge glass divider project for a large healthcare company. 

Applications
  • Mirrors

  • Retail Display Cases

  • Glass Dividers & Partitions

  • Decorative Furniture 

 

Flat Satin

This is similar to the aforementioned pencil satin edge, except for its flat appearance. It too, has a satin-like sheen, making it appropriate for mirrors and decorative glass furniture.

Applications
  • Mirrors

  • Decorative Glass Furniture

 

 

Beveled Edge

Bevel---GlassAlso known as sloped or chamfered edge, this is flat and grinded for smoothness. Bevels are achieved by cutting and polishing the edges for a distinctly elegant look—thinner along the sides and thicker at its center. 

Such edgework adds depth and ornateness. Beveled edges are shiny and glossy, presenting a finished, polished look. Similar to the aforementioned pencil-polished style, beveled-edged glass is also suited for decorative pieces such as mirrors.

Applications
  • Mirrors

  • Other Decorative Glass Solutions

 

Miter Edge

Miter-Edge-Glass

This is also known as a slanted edge, and can be beveled anywhere from a 0- to 60-degree angle. It is typically used for connecting two pieces of glass together to create a specific angle. Without this, the glass would butt up, rather than smoothly conjoin. A miter edge can also be utilized as a stand-alone application for silicone structural glazing, or to create a uniquely visual aesthetic when working with thicker glass.

Applications
  • Retail Display Cases

  • Glass Shelving

  • Any Setting Requiring Thick Glass

 

Seam-Glass-1

Seamed Edge

Also known as cut and swipe edges, this involves removing sharp edges with a sanding belt. Because these don’t result in a smooth, complete finish, seamed edges are more for concealed or captured edges that are unexposed, yet still safe to handle. 

Applications
  • Framed Glass Walls & Partitions

  • Any Non-Decorative Solution

  • Low-Traffic Areas

 

Aesthetically Driven Settings

For industries experiencing design changes and retrofitting due to the loosening of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety measures, edging can help redefine and stylize retail store display cases and shelves. Hospitality-based settings, such as restaurants and bars, could also benefit from edging to assist with revised indoor and outdoor seating plans. These could include glass tabletops and bars, and other service areas requiring a finished look. 

With more and more offices reopening, glass dividers, partitions, and frameless glass walls can also be edged. Choosing the best type is determined by floor plan, layout, social-distancing requirements, and other transitional changes. 

For additional information on how to safeguard team members and clients in a COVID-19 world, download our free guide: “Fostering Creativity & Productivity in a Safe, Sanitary Work Environment.” 

 

What’s Best for Your Project?

With several glass edges to choose from, it’s recommended to consult a professional fabricator such as Dillmeier Glass Company to help determine the best solution. Our experts will utilize the specialized equipment required to customize and complete your project on time and within budget.


Contact us to determine which edge type is optimal for your application and needs.

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