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A glazier is a specialist in glass products which are used in private and business applications. A glazier assists in guiding the client on the right type of glass to be used, cutting to size and shape and installing the glass into the appropriate frames in a manner which ensures that it is fitted securely, is watertight if required, for example in outer windows, and fulfils all legal safety requirements. Glaziers mount and fit both mirrors and glass in a multitude of ways, replace broken glass and mirrors, and provide knowledgeable and expert advice on all glazing requirements.
Glaziers are skilled in working with a potentially hazardous material which can cause both damage and injury if not handled and installed correctly. Whilst glaziers most commonly work with large panes of glass for windows and doors, for instance, in shop windows, they are also responsible for the supply and fit of items such as the glass in shower doors, display cases, counter top inserts, balcony partitions and balustrades, decorative staircase safety surrounds, stained glass windows and skylights, and glass partitions in offices and commercial buildings. The glazier’s responsibility extends to advising on and fitting the correct type of glass for any application, mainly to prevent injury to any person or animal which accidentally collides with it. Safety glass, for example, is designed to stay in one piece when broken, keeping all shards together and preventing sharp edges from harming people or animals. Glass which is used in security applications is often sandwiched around wire inserts which prevent access through the glass when it is deliberately broken during the commitment of a crime. The glass used in shop windows may include an invisible but strong laminated inner layer which is resistant to breakage during break-in attempts.
Glaziers are the specialists to approach when you have broken glass or mirrors which need to be replaced. Glaziers will undertake all types of glass or mirror repair work, and will try to match patterned or frosted glass as closely as possible, but in cases where the glass is old and discontinued, the whole area may need to have new glass fitted in order to provide uniformity.
A skilled glazier will try to ensure a seamless transition from the existing glass to the repaired section, which provides continuity of appearance, especially in front-facing windows. A glazier is also tasked with installing or replacing windscreens in both vehicles and boats, which is specialised work requiring that the windscreens fitted are shatterproof and protect the occupants in case of accidents or if hit by large, heavy objects.
Glaziers are the specialists who supply and fit large mirrors in structures such as full-length cupboard doors, fixed mirrors in bathrooms and dressing rooms, mirrored walls and ceilings and cut to shape and safely mount large decorative mirrors.
Glaziers have to be sure that the glass they install meets the required standards and purpose for which it is intended. There are four types of glass, categorised by the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act as, *monolithic annealed glass, *patterned annealed and wired glass, *laminated annealed safety glass and *toughened safety glass, all of which have been manufactured to meet specific needs, but above all, are aimed at the safety of everyone who comes into contact with it. It must be noted that a glazier may not knowingly install normal clear glass instead of safety glass in instances where safety glass is a requirement, or he may be deemed to be guilty in any subsequent court action.
Glaziers are not difficult to find, as they advertise widely in home catalogues, newspapers, magazines, Yellow Pages and, more and more often, online. Uptasker is a valuable aid in that it not only lists the names of the suppliers in your geographical area, but also provides online ratings and reviews which assist in assessing their suitability for the job you have on hand. You can also use word of mouth referrals from friends and colleagues, as you will get completely honest testimonials this way, including the glazier’s experience, reliability, cost, delivery and adherence to agreed deadlines.
Glaziers are such an important part of our everyday lives, and yet we usually don’t think much about their contribution to our ongoing comfort and convenience. Their skills, experience and knowledge are vital in ensuring that all our glazing and mirror needs are met with both the safety of humans and animals taken into consideration. Choose an experienced and knowledgeable glazier and listen to his advice, as he is the one who best knows his trade. Never try to cut corners on cost where glass is concerned. For more tips, see our glazier articles.