How Much Does Electric Frosted Glass Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

Electric frosted glass, also referred to as smart glass or switchable privacy glass, is a laminated panel made from polycarbonate or glass.

It appears opaque, similar to frosted glass, in its regular state.  When applied with an electrical current, it becomes transparent.

Controlled manually or automatically, electric frosted glass is typically used in many business establishments as well as in homes where privacy is required, such as in a bedroom and bathroom.

Frosted Glass by tylanarocks, on Flickr
Frosted Glass” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  tylanarocks

How much does an electric frosted glass window cost?

According to many reports online, the costs of electric frosted glass can be around $200 to $300 per square feet.  Since the technology is rather new, the costs greatly vary.

At Ssidisplays.com, for example, a sample of switchable electric glass costs $250.  The sample glass is approximately the size of a sheet of paper and is equipped with the finished electric glass and switched cord ready for 110 volts. The company sells electric glass by the square foot and produces any specified custom size.

According to ZDNet.com, smart glass installation costs can be double or triple the cost of high-performance static glass, citing a Pike Research report.  The article adds that these glass varieties can represent 10 to 20 percent of overall constructions costs for a specific project, rendering the extra expense a highly substantial one.

A report from the SFgate.com states that the cost of smart glass for commercial buildings can reach up to 50 percent more than standard glass.  For residential uses, the cost can double the price of regular glass.

Factors that affect the price

Size

Switchable glass manufacturers offer a range of sizes, with some measuring up to 3m (118”).  Standard panel widths can be 985 mm (38.8”) / 1205mm (47.4”) while custom sizes can be as much as 2405 x 2000 mm (94.7” x 78.7”).  The bigger the size of the glass, the higher its cost will be.

Features

Some high-end switchable glass manufacturers make high definition rear projection screens to showcase television images and videos if needed.  Most of the time, only corporations would need this.

Thickness

Electric frosted glass products come with different thickness options. Some makers manufacture tempered glass in the following thickness choices: 4 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm and 15 mm.  There are also fire-rated options.  Oftentimes, the thicker the glass, the more it costs.

Type

Frosted glass can come in various types: sandblasted, acid-etched and spray-frosted.  Sandblasted produces more variety of results but costs more.  Acid-etched glass is an affordable but durable alternative, making it a popular choice in construction and design.  A spray-frosted glass is the least expensive type and can be done at home through spray coating, which makes it a less durable selection.

Electric frosted glass overview

Electric frosted glass comes in different models and generally functions similarly.  In its frosted mode, the glass acts as an electronic blind that ensures privacy and security for any window or partition.  Switchable glass products can come in various thickness options and are equipped with a mechanism that lets them transform from clear to frosted through manual means or by using a remote control or any other control device.  The more sophisticated models feature a high definition projection screen.

Manufacturers create switchable smart glass with any size, with two standard widths 985 mm (38.8”) and 1205 mm (47.4”) and other varieties having larger dimensions and custom shapes.  Bigger switchable glass can also be made using multiple panels attached together to form glazed partitions.

What are the extra costs?

Electric frosted glass can be installed by experienced contractors with a background on installing these specially designed glass types.  The rates will depend on whether the contractor will work on a fixed cost or on an hourly basis.  It is recommended, though, that contractors communicate with the representatives of the smart glass maker to ensure proper installation.  To find a contractor in your area, consider using HomeAdvisor.com to have locally licensed contractors contact you with quotes.

Tips to know:

Electric smart glass can repel up to 95 percent of the solar heat in its opaque mode.  Electric frosted glass can save users from having to spend money on window blinds or awnings.

Always choose a certified, licensed and insured installer to work with electric frosted glass.

Some manufacturers offer a 5-year warranty against electrical failures, material delamination and workmanship of the electric frosted glass panels they provide.  They may opt to choose either option to replace panels at their cost or to credit a refund to the customer.

How can I save money?

Some manufacturers offer a kit that offers you the opportunity to see and have a feel for the material and its effects before making a purchase.  These sample kits can include a sample electric frosted glass, a power supply, and a remote control.  Customers who proceed with making more orders are credited 50% to 100% of the sample kit cost towards future orders.


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