When you are in the process of bringing an older home back to its former glory, you may be tempted to remove the decorative glass panels that are damaged and just have them replaced by new pieces. However, if you go to a regular store to replace your panels, there is a really big chance that the new panels will not match up to the old. There are a few reasons why it is a good idea to work with a specialty glass professional who has experience with antique glass when you need replacement panels for the glass features in your older home.
Vintage glass is often a different color tone than new glass panels.
You may not be able to tell when you look at the vintage glass panels you currently have in place that they are a slightly "off" shade than usual. However, when compared to new glass panels, you will definitely be able to see that there is a difference in the color or hue in a lot of cases. This is just one reason why working with a glass technician who is familiar with the old glass-making techniques is so important. Different processes and materials were used that would often give the glass a green or even amber colored tone.
The surface of antique glass panels is not quite as smooth as modern glass.
Because the tools that were available to make glass panels a long time ago were not as advanced as they are today, a lot of times the glass panels would not have a perfectly flat surface. In fact, it was not uncommon for some glass makers to use texturing techniques, such as blotting the entire panel, specifically to cover up small imperfections. Glass makers who specialize in recreating vintage glass usually have some of those antiquated tools that were used years ago so they can recreate the same effects.
The thickness of vintage glass is rarely uniform throughout.
If you try to put in a few replacement glass panels in a window or door that contains several other panels you plan to keep, you will likely see a difference in how well the new glass panels fit into the existing wooden trim pieces. When older window panels were installed, a professional would usually come to the house and custom install the framing as well. This was due to the fact that every individual glass panel could be slightly variant in width.
For more information on glass, talk to a professional like Park Glass Inc.