The correct choice of picture framing glass is one of the stages of having your picture custom framed. You will want to consider the type of art, its value (both financial and sentimental) and where it is to be hung.
You may be surprised to learn of the variety of glazing which is available. We have found many customers are amazed when they are presented with the choice of glass outlined below, not realizing that there is such a choice in this area.
Here we introduce you to the different glazing options.
The most common type of glass found in a picture framing workshop is float glass.
This is top quality clear glass which is suitable for most bespoke work. It provides a clear view of the image behind allowing color to be appreciated. It does, however, give a pronounced degree of reflection in certain lighting conditions which can be distracting. If the picture will be hung in a brightly lit area it may also be prone to fade owing to the effects of ultraviolet light. Float glass will give only a limited degree of protection against damage in these circumstances.
It is generally the most economic option.
It protects against dust, dirt and physical damage (providing the glass does not break under an impact). Due to the materials used in the manufacture of float glass it gives a slight greenish cast to the image and any mount. Click here for more information about Float Glass
Non Glare Glass
You may wish to consider non-glare or non-reflective glass when your picture is going to hang in harsh or bright lighting conditions. In this case the use of float glass can give a mirror like reflection which would make it difficult to see the image clearly. This can happen if the framed image hangs near a window or under a spotlight.
Non-glare or diffused glass has a matt appearance which reduces the reflection considerably and scatters the light. This allows the image to be more easily seen.
You probably will not wish to use non-glare glass if your art is full of bright or vivid colors. The "edge" can be taken off the richness of the colors by this type of glazing.
Non-glare glass is at its best when it is either in direct contact with the image (not always advisable) or very close to it. So if the picture is framed without any mounting or with a single mount then it may be considered. Double and triple mounts or shadow boxes are not really suitable for regular diffused glass. Click here for more information about Non Glare Glass
Anti Reflective Glass
Anti-reflective glass has an optical coating which reduces reflection considerably without affecting the clarity of the image. It has a shiny surface, similar to float glass, but when viewed from certain angles it is virtually impossible to discern the glazing in front of the image.
The coating technology is similar to that used for the manufacture of high quality spectacle, binocular or camera lenses and so it is not a cheap option.
However for a specific picture to which you would like to give an exceptional treatment without concerns over how much mounting you can apply then anti reflective glass may be the preferred option. Click here for more information about Anti Reflective Glass
Ultraviolet is the portion of the light spectrum which can do most damage to your art. Many modern images are printed with light fast inks but it is a brave or foolish art lover who will hang his or her valuable image in sunlight and expect it to be there keeping pristine condition in perpetuity.
Many items we frame are unquestionably not lightfast. Antique samplers, family photographs, newsprint, etc., etc. will all succumb to the effects of light sooner rather than later. Many of these valuable artefacts have been protected for most of their life either in a seldom opened photograph album or in the attic, in the basement or in the bottom of a drawer. They are now rediscovered and you wish to show them off in all their glory. Beware the effect of sudden exposure to light. You must either be very careful where you hang them (you should anyway) or, to preserve them for future generations, give careful consideration to the use of UV blocking glass.
Glazing with float glass will cut out around 45-50% of the harmful UV spectrum. Upgrading to conservation glass can increase the protection to a minimum of 97%. Even with this superior protection you should avoid hanging art in direct sunlight or in very brightly lit areas. Care should also be taken with all valuable art not to hang it in humid conditions or above a radiator. Click here for more information about Conservation Glass
Museum glass is a combination of anti reflective and conservation technologies. The highest quality glass you should ever need.
Click here for more information about Museum Glass