15 Different Glass and Mirror Edgework Types

glass edge types featured image

The finishing of a glass edge is a critical factor in its application and functionality. When you look at various glass products, you may notice that the edges can differ significantly in appearance and touch. These variations are not just for visual appeal; they serve specific purposes such as safety, durability, and integration with other components. Different types of edging techniques are employed to create these different finishes, each suited to particular requirements and aesthetics.

Glass edge types range from the simplest treatments that remove sharpness to sophisticated polishing that enhances the glass’s beauty. The choice of edge finish plays a crucial role in how the glass interacts with light, how it feels to the touch, and ultimately, where and how it will be used. For instance, a pencil polish edge is often used for its smooth, rounded finish, ideal for table tops and furniture, whereas a flat polish provides a sleek and modern edge that is perfect for display cases and mirrors. By understanding the function and form of various edge types, you can make informed decisions for any glass and mirror application.

Key Takeaways

  • Glass edge finishing affects safety, durability, and aesthetics.
  • Various edge types suit different functional and stylistic needs.
  • Edge choice contributes to the overall performance and integration with other elements.

Types of Glass Edges

When choosing glass edges for your projects, there are 15 different types. Let’s examine them.

Flat Polish/Ground

flat polish ground edge
Flat Polish/Ground

Flat polish/ground edge adds a slight chamfer on both sides of the edges to prevent sharpness. The difference between polished and ground is that polished edge workmanship uses more fine material to make the surface look sleek and clean. In contrast, the ground generates a satin appearance, which can reduce the reflection through the edge.

Flat polish/ground edges, often used for shelves, mirrors, and table tops, present a clean and minimalistic look to glass applications.

Pencil Polish/Ground

pencil polish ground edge
Pencil Polish/Ground

Pencil polish/ground glass, as its name suggests, gives your edge a rounded finish reminiscent of a pencil’s curvature. This rounded edge is subtle yet functional, often applied to circular table tops for a smooth transition.

Chamfer

chamfer edge
Chamfered Edge

A chamfer edge is characterized by a beveled edge cut at a 45-degree angle along the top and bottom. This technique removes sharpness, offering a finished appearance suitable for frameless mirrors and various glass furnishings.

Bevel

beveled edge
Beveled Edge

Beveled edges feature an angled cut that adds dimension and a prismatic effect to the glass, enhancing its elegance. You often find beveled edges on decorative mirrors, giving them a classic and refined appearance.

Waterfall Edge

waterfall edge
Waterfall Edge

A waterfall edge resembles flowing water, having a cascading, curved finish that exudes modernity. It is mainly used for custom design elements where a fluid, organic look is desired.

Double Bevel

double bevel edge
Double Bevel Edge

The double bevel glass edge is a decorative effect achieved by adding a second bevel to the existing beveled edge of the glass. Such an effect is commonly used in mirror frames, tabletops, and other glass decorative items.

Bevel Both Sides

bevel both sides
Bevel Both Sides

Bevel both sides of glass edge type, in which each side of the glass is angled down, offers a lighter and thinner look while still carrying the reflective charm of traditional beveling.

Ogee

ogee edge
Ogee Edge

Ogee edges are known for their S-shaped profile, which adds an ornate and classic touch to your glass, highly suitable for period-style design and antique reproductions.

Ogee Bevel

ogee bevel edge
Ogee Bevel Edge

Combining the ogee profile with a beveled edge creates the ogee bevel edge, which embodies a luxurious and intricate edging suitable for statement pieces and premium furnishings.

Bull Nose

bull nose edge
Bull Nose Edge

Bull nose edges are fully rounded, giving you one of the safest options due to the absence of sharp edges. This type is ideal for heavily used surfaces like countertops.

Miter Edge

miter edge
Miter Edge

Opt for a miter edge when you want a seamless edge connecting at an angle, usually used to give the glass a thicker appearance and often employed in glass cases and modern furniture designs.

Clean Cut Edges/Untreated Edge

clean cut edges untreated edge
Untreated Edge

A clean-cut edge is essentially a raw edge just after the cutting process. It is mostly used in situations where the glass edges will be concealed in frames or channels.

Seamed Edges/Sanded Edges to Remove Sharpness

seamed edges sanded edges to remove sharpness
Seamed Edge

Seamed edges are sanded to dull sharpness, offering a safer handling experience. Although not as polished as other finishes, seamed edges are practical for less visible applications.

Triple Bevel

triple bevel edge
Triple Bevel Edge

The triple bevel edge brings a multi-layered bevel around the glass perimeter, adding significant depth and a prismatic effect that catches the light, often used for accent pieces and art decor.

Chipped

chipped edges
Chipped Edge

Chipped edges provide a rustic, handcrafted look. They are intentionally ‘chipped’ to create a naturally rough edge often sought after in artisan glasswork and unique decorative pieces.

The Edging Process

During the edging process, your glass goes through several stages to achieve a smooth, finished edge. You’ll encounter grinding, polishing, and beveling, which all play significant roles in the final product, while safety seams ensure the edges are safe to handle.

Grinding

Grind your glass edges using a diamond-embedded grinding wheel. This initial step removes the raw, jagged edges of the glass, shaping them into a more refined form.

Polishing

After grinding, polish the edges with a sanding belt. This process smooths the glass edge to a clear finish, eliminating residual scratches or imperfections from the grinding phase.

Beveling

For a decorative finish, the bevel is crafted by cutting the glass edges at an angle that is not perpendicular to the face of the glass. This chamfered edge not only adds an aesthetic touch but also helps to deflect stress, reducing the possibility of chipping.

Safety Seams

Finally, safety seams are applied, which involves lightly sanding the edges to remove any sharpness. This provides a safe edge for handling and installation, ensuring the glass can be used without the risk of cuts.

Edge Finish and Appearance

Polished Edges

polished edge
Polished Edge

The process of treating polished edges involves using fine abrasive materials to give glass a smooth, glossy finish that reflects light and adds a refined look. This treatment not only enhances the beauty of the glass but also eliminates any sharpness, making it safer to handle. 

Polished edges are particularly suitable for:

  • Display cases
  • Glass tabletops
  • Shelves

Frosted/Matte Finishes

frosted glass edge
Frosted Edge

A frosted or matte glass finish provides an etched look, allowing for more diffuse light transmission and less glare. This finish offers a unique satin sheen, delivering an understated elegance and reducing fingerprint visibility, which is ideal for:

  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Decorative doors
  • Privacy screens

Textured Edges

textured edge
Textured Edge

Textured edges on glass, like chipped edges, create a distinct tactile and visual experience. These edges can vary greatly, from a slightly roughened edge to one with intricate patterns. Textured edges add a custom, handcrafted aspect to glass, suitable for:

  • Artistic installations
  • Custom furniture
  • Feature pieces within a room

Functional Considerations for Edge Types

Opting for different types of glass edges serves several purposes, including removing sharp edges, enhancing appearance, and affecting maintenance. Each edge type offers various benefits and challenges in these areas.

Safety and Sharpness

  • Flat-Polished Edge: Often chosen for its sleek appearance, the edges are polished to remove sharpness, enhancing safety for your use.
  • Beveled Glass: While elegant, the beveling process creates an angle on the edge which is finely polished to ensure it is not hazardous.

Cleanliness and Maintenance

  • Seamed Edges: These edges are lightly polished to remove sharpness but not polished, so they may trap dust and require more frequent cleaning.
  • Pencil Edge: This softly rounded edge facilitates easier cleaning, balancing safety and maintenance needs.

Structural Performance

  • Safety: Choose edges like a flat-polished or pencil edge for high-traffic areas to reduce risk.
  • Quality: Proper edge treatment can prevent chips and cracks, extending the glass’s life.
  • Improve structural tolerance: Proper edge processing can be useful in assembly.

Applications of Glass Edge Types

Furniture and Decorative Use

Flat polished edge: You’ll find this on higher-end furniture items such as custom glass table tops – its sleek and polished edges accentuate clarity and sophistication. For frameless mirrors, often seen in bathrooms and vanities, a chamfered edge is expected to reduce sharpness and add a subtle design detail.

Furniture TypeRecommended Glass Edge
Table TopsFlat polished, pencil, beveled
Decorative MirrorsChamfered, beveled, flat polished

Architectural and Structural

The safety and durability of the edges are paramount in architectural applications like door panels and window construction. Seamed edges are often used, as they are sanded down sufficiently to remove sharpness. For more decorative elements such as glass stair railings or frameless doors, a bullnose or ogee edge provides an aesthetically pleasing and safe touch.

Structural ElementRecommended Glass Edge
DoorsSeamed, pencil
WindowsSeamed, flat polished

Retail and Display

Display cases in retail settings demand clarity and safety, and polished edges ensure both. Glass shelves with a flat polished or pencil edge give a smooth finish to showcase products better without distracting from the display. For an added design element, beveled edges can be applied to glass shelving, providing a prism-like effect enhancing the visual appeal of the items on display.

Display FeatureRecommended Glass Edge
Display CasesPolished, beveled
ShelvesFlat polished, pencil

Picture of Author: James

Author: James

This is James, I have been working in Okay Mirror as sales and marketing director for more than 10 years. Knowledgable in LED lighting and mirror technology, experienced in kinds of projects for residential, commercial, and hospitality industry.

Picture of Author: James

Author: James

This is James, I have been working in Okay Mirror as sales and marketing director for more than 10 years. Knowledgable in LED lighting and mirror technology, experienced in kinds of projects for residential, commercial, and hospitality industry.

Table of Contents

Get Quotation Today

Send us your requirements, we will get back to you within 12 hours