Frosted Glass Options

Creating a desired level of privacy in your new decorative leaded glass panels is an important decision to consider when ordering double glazed units. It is also important to be aware of the effect that a standard Pilkington obscure backing glass will have on your finished decorative glass design.

There are 3 options to choose from when ordering decorative glass as double glazed units….


frostsaOption A – Frost on Clear

This option can give the best results for frosted decorative glass. The decorative side of the double glazed unit is created with clear glass or Pilkiington K glass and the leadwork, colours and/or bevels are combined with frosted glass overlays to create a beautiful finish. The benefit of this option is that the design can be clearly seen in all it’s detail from both sides of the glass.

A secondary clear piece of glass is then added as the backing glass to create the double glazed sealed unit and this allows the full design to be seen clearly from both sides without any distortion caused by a Pilkington obscure backing glass.

This option incurs extra costs and is not included in any quotes unless stated so please request a quote including this option.


frostsbOption B – Design onto Frosted glass

Available only for leaded & coloured glass (not bevels) This finish also gives great results and is ideal for recreating traditional and Victorian stained glass designs. This glass panel was created using a frosted glass called Minster as the base glass that created the leaded design. The lead on this panel was also soldered to give it that traditional finish. The double glazed sealed unit is then created by adding a clear piece of glass or Pilkington K backing glass to comply with current building regulations.

Minster, Stippolyte & Flemish glass can be used for some designs so please enquire if your design is suitable for any of these obscure glass patterns. This option incurs extra costs so please receive a quote before ordering.


frostscOption C – Frosted Backing Glass

The decorative glass design is created onto the clear glass or Pilkington K glass and then a piece of Pilkington obscure backing glass is attached to the back of the glass to create the double glazed unit. This technique distorts the decorative glass design from the inside of the home because the design is viewed through an obscure piece of glass.

From the outside, the design will not look distorted because the frosted backing glass is then at the rear of the sealed unit. This option is included in the costs of all door panels and large windows if required.

A few images to help explain the effects of options A, B & C above


minster_backing_glassObscure backing glass or not?

This image shows what effect an obscure backing glass can have on the clarity of a leaded glass design. The panel on the right has been created with Minster backing glass as the backing glass for this 28mm double glazed unit and because there is a ‘spacer bar’ 20mm wide between the 2 pieces of glass, the detail of the design is blurred when viewed from the inside. The left image shows how the glass panel looks with clear backing glass.

The panel with clear backing glass still has great privacy levels because the individual coloured areas of the design have been frosted with our textured overlays as explained in ‘Option A’ above.

These images are an example of how this glass would look as viewed from inside the home.

front_rear_viewThe thickness of the unit matters!

This image shows how the front and rear of a 14mm double glazed unit looks when an obscure glass has been used as the backing glass to the sealed unit.

As the leaded glass side is usually installed to the exterior of the home, the front view allows the design to be clearly seen. From the inside of the house (the rear view of the unit) the design is blurred because you are viewing the design through an obscure piece of glass.

This photo to the right is of a double glazed unit that is quite narrow – only 14mm thick so the distortion is not as bad as a thicker unit would be. The photo above shows more distortion because the 2 pieces of glass are sat further away from each other because the unit is thicker 28mm overall. In general, the thicker the double glazed unit, the more distorted the design will look if an obscure backing glass is used.

The backing glass used for the above panel is called Contora

obscure_backing_glassObscure backing glass with Bevelled designs

The beauty of a bevelled glass panel is in the clear edges that create the outer shape of each bevelled piece of glass. Adding an obscure backing glass to a double glazed bevelled glass panel really ‘kills’ the effect of the bevelled glass design.

If you are ordering a bevelled glass panel and you need a level of privacy, the best way to achieve this is by choosing ‘Option A’ above. The bevel would remain clear and all of the other areas of the panel can have frosted textures added so there are no clear areas other than the bevelled glass sections. This gives a great result and allows the expensive bevelled design to be seen clearly from inside the home and from outside as well.

Visit the Textures Page to see all of the textures available when choosing ‘Option A’ as your obscure glass choice.

View Pilkingtons Frosted Glass options for backing glass