Whether you are designing a new commercial structure, or remodeling your existing storefront, choosing the right commercial storefront windows is a critical task. And, while it may seem to be an obvious fact, it’s important to remember that the front of your building often makes a first – and significant – impression on people 

Commercial Storefront Windows: Making Good Impressions

The secondary purpose of storefront glass is to let in light. Although it might not be pretty, any commercial building could simply have front doors with no windows whatsoever on the front of the structure. 

In fact, most buildings have far more glass than they need for purely functional purposes. The aesthetics and design factors that create flowing lines, visual focus, and – yes – even curb appeal, are important in storefront window choices. 

As is merchandising functionality. 

Office building and executive suites utilize storefront windows to allow those on the inside to be able to see as much of the outside as possible. This not only provides welcome light during the days, but also creates an open, less confined environment for the occupants.

Retail buildings, on the other hand, often utilize the storefront window areas to showcase products or to display signage that communicates their services being offered. In this, retail storefront glass does “double duty” in that they serve as marketing channels as well as windows.

Regardless of the type of business and the type of building. Choosing the right commercial storefront windows for your business can make the difference between a visually pleasing and highly functional storefront, and an unappealing or even uninviting structure.


Tips for Making the Right Choice for Your Commercial Storefront Windows

As a customer, you do not need to have a detailed understanding of glazing, commercial glass, or commercial storefront window installation. In fact, these are the aspects of the job that your chosen commercial glazing contractor provides for you. 

However, as the “end user” of the commercial glass structure being installed, there are several factors you should consider when deciding on storefront windows. 


The Type of Materials Used

This includes both the type of glass and the frames needed, as well as the doors that are part of your storefront.

Typically, some variation of safety glass is going to be used and these differ in both how they are made and how they provide “safety” in the event of breakage. The frames are often made with aluminum, although vinyl and even wood can be quite effective for many commercial storefront applications. 


The Level of Security Needed

Not all glass is created equal. Aside from the look and color of various glass types, the level of security provided by storefront glass differs depending on the type.

Generally speaking, security glass is great for storefront windows. Unlike standard glass, it doesn’t shatter into shards and sharp pieces. This is because security glass has an internal or external laminate that holds it together, so that fractured pieces stay in place. Typically, security glass resembles a spider web when broken.

Another option is tempered glass, which is designed to crumble when broken, producing broken pieces that have an almost rounded, smooth edge. This helps prevent injury to anyone that may near it when it breaks.


Energy Efficiency

Choosing high-efficiency windows can have a real impact on the amount you pay for essential utilities. By reducing the cost of your operations with energy efficient storefront windows, you can increase the overall profitability of your business.

The energy efficiency of commercial glass is measured to rate its potential for gaining and losing heat, as well as transmitting sunlight into a building. This is done using the following metrics:


  • U-factor: The rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. 
  • Solar heat gain coefficient: The fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window.
  • Air leakage: The rate of air movement around a window in the presence of a specific pressure difference across it.


Sun Exposure

Depending on where your building is located, the amount of vegetation producing shade cover, and what direction the storefront faces, sun exposure can vary. 

This matters for the windows primarily because of the lifespan of the frames. Most glass is impervious to UV exposure and heat, but all window frame materials – metals, vinyl, and wood – can be affected by prolonged and intense exposure to sunlight.

In addition, the amount of direct sunlight entering a building through the glass of storefront windows can impact the heating and cooling cycles of the interior as well as damaging any materials exposed to the windows. 



The aesthetic considerations of your commercial storefront window selections brings us full circle to our initial point of making good impressions. One of the great things about modern commercial glazing is the wide variety of styles and options available for storefront window installations. 

Glass walls, folding doors, arched entryways, curved glass panels, and numerous other options can be considered to create commercial storefront windows that are functional, safe, energy efficient, and stunning.


Commercial Storefront Window Solutions for Your Needs

What kind of storefront windows are right for your building?

Getting the answer to that question is easy when you work with one of Sonoma County’s premier glass companies.

With a team composed of many highly skilled Glaziers with a passion for glazing and the satisfaction of a job well done, B&L Glass delivers robust solutions for all kinds of clients.

Whether you require commercial glass to flood a storefront with light or residential glass to create luxury windows for a master bedroom, we have the skills and professionals necessary to execute your ideas to the highest level.

With the attention to detail necessary to craft custom storefront doors with glass and the capabilities to work at a large scale, we offer the most reliable path to outcomes you’ll love.

Ready to begin the conversation? Contact us today to learn more about these differences, or to discuss your project with our team.

Give us a call at 707-285- 9973 or use our online contact form so that we can match you to the exact make and cut of luxury glass that is certain to make your home glisten and shine