Storefront Doors and WindowsThere’s something quite impressive about the gleam and heft of a big tempered-glass door that opens smoothly to allow access to your establishment. And if you’re planning to install a new commercial glass entry door, you may want to consider making it frameless. Whether you’re operating a restaurant, retail store or showroom, a frameless glass front door will make an elegant statement with its clean lines and sleek design.

Tempered glass technology has made these new, post-modern designs possible for businesses who use glass doors. Since tempered glass has been treated, if something were to impact your glass storefront doors – like storm debris or riot activity – your facility’s doors won’t shatter and breach your business’ entryway. Tempered glass is way stronger than regular glass, and shatters into small, non-dangerous pieces. Laminated glass is also a great choice for storefront doors, because when it “shatters,” it actually just stays together and makes a web of break lines.

What is a Commercial Tempered Glass Entry Door?

A frameless glass door for a business is essentially a large sheet of strong tempered glass, with no metal frame, that’s attached to the building directly with hinges. Frameless glass doors are often found in commercial applications where it’s important for those inside to clearly see what’s going on outside (banks, for example), or for those inside the business to see in.

A retail store, for instance, will benefit from allowing potential customers to view its wares from outside, while a glass door to an executive office shows off the company’s well-designed interior, enhancing the firm’s image. Frameless glass doors in commercial settings lend a high-end, modern look to any space.

Another benefit of interior and exterior glass doors is they let natural daylight stream in, which provides a more inviting experience for shoppers, diners or visitors. Traditional glass business doors accomplish this, too, but frameless storefront glass doors look even better – clean, simple aesthetic, and uninterrupted views.

They’re not Just Pretty: The Specs on Frameless Commercial Glass Doors

Visual attractiveness alone, of course, is not all you’re looking for in the portal to your business. A glass door needs to be sturdy, secure, safe, impact-resistant, and able to contain temperature flow. It also needs to blend in with the design of its building. Solid tempered glass entry doors have many more advantages than being cool.

Here are some things to think about if you’re considering adding a frameless glass entrance to your commercial establishment.

Tempered Glass can Withstand Weather Conditions

Wind, temperature changes and HVAC pressure all make an impact on an exterior commercial door, causing it to expand or contract. Make sure the storefront glass door you choose is designed to stand up to these challenges.

Also take into account the direction the glass entrance will face. If it will get a lot of direct sunlight shining in, for example, that might make occupants or visitors uncomfortable, the glass of the door might need to be tinted. There’s also “smart glass,” that intuitively absorbs winter sunlight and reflects the heat and glare of summer sunlight.

One thing to consider about frameless glass entry doors is water intrusion. With framed commercial glass doors, weather stripping on the frame eliminates this issue. But if energy efficiency is real high up on your list of priorities in your storefront doors, going frameless probably isn’t the best choice for a storefront or other exterior entry.

How do Frameless Glass Entry Doors Hold up?

When planning to install a frameless glass commercial entry door, don’t forget that its design will have to provide accessibility as mandated in the Americans with Disabilities Act. You will also need to consider how much traffic the entry is going to get, as well as how a glass door will affect your building’s energy efficiency, and whether your local building codes place any limitations on the use of external glass doors. Never move forward with a commercial door install before consulting local codes and permitting; it will end up costing you a lot of time and money.

Frameless Glass Entry Doors Lend a Designer Look

The glass entrance should harmonize with the architect’s design, but budget and time constraints may require you to adjust your preferred design. Further, all-glass entrances will have limitations in terms of height, width and weight, as well as thickness. For fully-tempered glass, thickness will be determined by the height of the door; for example, the taller the entrance, the thicker the glass needs to be. A transom and stabilizer fins may be necessary, depending on the size the storefront entryway requires.

Depending on the entrance size, a single or double exterior glass door may be called for. You may also want to consider different types of appearance or finish for the glass of your storefront door, such as tinted, etched, frosted or sandblasted. Storefront glass doors and windows are now just as customizable (if not more so) than traditional storefront doors made of steel, wood or fiberglass. With different glass finishes, frame materials, styles, colors and finishes, you can make your business the most eye-catching one on the block and not sacrifice a lick of safety and security.