Key Differences Between Laminated and Tempered Windshields

shattered windshield Winslow, AZ

Laminated and tempered windshields are two common types of automotive glass used in vehicles. While both serve the purpose of protecting the occupants and providing visibility, there are key differences between the two. Diamond Auto Glass employs highly capable glass tinting specialists for windshield repair and replacement in Winslow, AZ. Read on as we go over the key differences between laminated and tempered windshields.


Laminated windshields consist of two layers of glass with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between them. This construction creates a strong bond that holds the glass together when it breaks. This means that even if laminated glass breaks, it does so in a “spiderweb” pattern. Nevertheless, you’d need a windshield replacement when the glass shatters.

Laminated windshields offer enhanced safety and visibility during accidents, the potential for windshield repair, and built-in UV protection. Tempered windshields, while more substantial in impact resistance, shatter into tiny pieces upon breakage.


During windshield installation, tempered glass usually goes on the passenger side and rear windshields, while laminated glass is typically used for the front windshield.

Safety and Breakage Characteristics

When a laminated windshield breaks, the glass may crack or develop a spiderweb pattern, but it remains intact due to the PVB layer and the windshield tinting holding it together. This allows the driver to maintain some visibility and minimizes the risk of glass shards entering the cabin. In contrast, tempered windshields shatter into small, blunt pieces when broken, reducing the risk of large sharp fragments but potentially obstructing visibility.

Contact Diamond Auto Glass for more information or to schedule windshield services.

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