We would like to install a small interior wall (say 3m long) with a wooden door. We want to make it out of large wooden beams with glass between them (there is already one such wall in the house, and we want to copy it).

What thickness glass should we use? We will certainly take toughened glass, so that if the kids do decide to dive through it it will either not break, or at least not break into large shards. But what thickness should we be using? Obviously the thicker the more expensive!

Here is the kind of thing we are aiming for, though the individual panes could be smaller: (this is not our house!)

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  • Can you somehow measure the thickness of the glass on the existing wall? Dec 7, 2011 at 20:37
  • Difficult... the glass is set between beams (around 10cm / 3 inches wide), so I'd need some tool that I don't have. In any case, judging from the rest of the house, I really don't want to take quality judgements from the people who built it... :/ Dec 8, 2011 at 11:22
  • That tool would be a caliper. Jan 11, 2016 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


If it is in a frame 1/4" glass will be sufficient. Your options for glass will be tempered glass or laminated glass because of it's proximity to the ground.

Tempered glass will break into very small pieces like a car window for a door. Tempered glass is stronger than normal glass.

Laminated glass will break like a car windshield. It breaks normally but it is two pieces bonded together with a plastic. The plastic prevents most injuries as well as the mess from breaking. Laminated glass is more often used for safety/security applications.

Although 1/4" is suitable for the application, I myself am always weary installing it as an interior partition. My family business has built all glass offices in buildings and we use 3/8" tempered glass. 3/8" Tempered is extremely difficult to break. When you get up to thicknesses that large as far as cost goes the difference between 3/8" and 1/2" thick glass isn't very significant.

If you go with a thicker size be sure that your trim is strong enough to withstand an impact of the weight of the glass, the weight of a person, and the velocity they are traveling. This is due to the fact that it is more likely to break from breaking out of its frame and falling down, especially in wood.

If the beams are not structural I would recommend you use a router to create a slot in each beam deep enough to slide the glass in far enough to place it where it needs to go and then slide it back towards the other beam into the slot you created there. This is commonly done with metal storefronts and is called a flush glaze.

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