I have a sheet of glass over the kitchen door (for natural light to hit the entry hallway) VICIOUSLY GLUED to the fame. I'm removing the entire frame to replace the old wood door with a glass door and also want to get rid of the glass above.

I was pondering on how to break it and I didn't want it to shatter all over the place.

  • I decided to cover it in duct-tape so it holds together even when broken (makes sense in my head, we'll see how it turns out).
  • I put a piece of cardboard on each side and nailed it to the frame so it won't have anywhere to go after it breaks.
  • On the side I'll break it from, I left some holes in the cardboard to hit the glass and not the cardboard covering it.
  • I'll also put a pillow on it when I break it to muffle it even more.

But I hit it twice for testing and it's very strong... and loud! So to avoid panicking my neighbors (I'm very considerate :))... what's the easiest and less noisy way to make a sheet of glass crack and remove it?

Size is 75cm by 45cm. Thickness is about 5mm. And covered in duct-tape.

This is what I'm thinking of?

  • Small impact area, large impact area?
  • Hit at center or sides?
  • Hammer a sharp object into it or just hammer directly?
  • Drill some holes into it first to weaken it?
  • Should I saw the entire part out with the glass in it (as I don't care about the frame anyways, I'll obliterate it) --- but this is not so easily achievable?


PS: I write code. DIY wannabe. And have no idea how to tag this...

  • 1
    Some photos might be useful.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 15:34
  • @Tester101 It's like this only it can't be opened. The glass is glued to the frame. It's a bit old amfostacolo.ro/FOTO/GENUINE/d007/7952/1567_16142_5.jpg. And 2 3rds the size. I can't photograph mine as I covered it thoroughly on both sides so it would not fall.
    – CodeAngry
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 15:42
  • 3
    Why break it? Take it to a reuse center (I've got a personal fondness for Habitat's ReStores), or put it out as trash unbroken, or save it for cutting down for other purposes ... which is also the way to divide it more quietly and more safely; score and snap.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 16:14
  • Broken glass is my greatest pet-peeve. Remove it intact and break it once it's inside a garbage can.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 1:32
  • 1
    @Mazura I can't remove it. It's very much glued and I tried for an hour to separate it from the glue but it won't budge.
    – CodeAngry
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:27

3 Answers 3


Standard EMT tool for tempered glass car windows (after taping - packing tape preferred over duct tape) is an automatic center punch. A hammer and nail will work the same, it's mostly being a one-handed tool that's easy to carry that makes the ACP the preferred tool among EMTs.

If you're "smashing the whatever" out of it, you're doing it wrong. It just takes subtle application of force to a fine point. If you get lots of long shards, it wasn't tempered, and you'd need to be careful handling the shards (movie reference and graphic explanation of the desirability of tempered glass - the non-tempered glass in "Christine")

  • I did some extra research too and indeed, breaking glass works better with a small point of impact. I'll strike it with a nail in corner to see what it's made of and decide how to handle it further.
    – CodeAngry
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:26

It seems that taping it and enclosing with cardboard were good precautionary safety measures. It may be tempered glass, if so it will be more difficult to break and will shatter into a thousand small pieces (like auto glass). Put a tarp under your work area, wear a heavy long-sleeved jacket, wear safety glasses, and smash the s*%t out of it.

  • Tempered glass is the easiest stuff to break, all you need is a sharp point. An auto-rescue hammer with belt cutter should do the trick, as will a sharp center punch and a ball peen hammer to strike it with. Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 18:35
  • @FiascoLabs So it would be more effective to have a small point of impact with a sharp object?
    – CodeAngry
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 20:02
  • Got safety glasses, gloves and all. I also something laid underneath to break the fall of glass parts and reduce noise. Will destroy it Monday morning. Thanks!
    – CodeAngry
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 20:06
  • 4
    If it's tempered glass, it's highly weak to intense point pressure which induces the granular breakup mode inherent to this material. For plate or sheet glass, score around the edges and diagonally across. Watch for scalpel sharp edges with plate and sheet glass. Use Linemens pliers or Grozing pliers to work on the remains, not gloved hands. Glass will cut through leather in a heartbeat. Then use a chisel to remove what's stuck down. Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 20:55
  • @FiascoLabs Thanks! I thought to use gloves in case pieces of glass fall on my hands when breaking. Definitely not for handling leftover glass pieces. :) If small pieces remain stuck to the frame, I don't care anyways. They'll hit the trash together once I rip the whole thing out.
    – CodeAngry
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 21:48

A technique in changing out a piece of cracked stained glass. I take a oil glass cutter and score the glass in grid like fashion in small square and or triangle like shapes, then tap the scored lines on the opposite side with the other end of the glass cutter until fractures develop. The pieces will break up in a controlled manner. Wear gloves and use grozing pliers if you have them . Important to note, this WILL NOT work on tempered glass as it will just shatter into a million unfriendly pieces !

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