What Glaziers Do
Suction handles are used to pick up and maneuver glass.
Glaziers install windows, skylights, and other glass products in storefronts and buildings.
Glaziers typically do the following:
- Follow blueprints or specifications
- Remove any old or broken glass before installing replacement glass
- Cut glass to the specified size and shape
- Make or install sashes or moldings for glass installation
- Fasten glass into sashes or frames with clips, moldings, or other types of fasteners
- Add weather seal or putty around pane edges to seal joints
Glass has many uses in modern life. For example, insulated and specially treated glass keeps in warm or cool air and controls sound and condensation. Tempered and laminated glass makes doors and windows more secure. The creative use of large windows, glass doors, skylights, and sunroom additions makes buildings bright, airy, and inviting. Glaziers specialize in installing these different glass products.
In homes, glaziers install or replace windows, mirrors, shower doors, and bathtub enclosures. They fit glass for tabletops and display cases. On commercial interior projects, glaziers install items such as heavy, often etched, decorative room dividers or security windows. Glazing projects also may involve replacing storefront windows for supermarkets, auto dealerships, banks, and many other establishments.
For most large-scale construction jobs, glass is pre-cut and mounted into frames at a factory or a contractor’s shop. The finished glass arrives at the jobsite ready for glaziers to position and secure into place. Using cranes or hoists with suction cups, workers lift large, heavy pieces of glass for installation. In cases where the glass is not secure inside the frame, glaziers may attach steel and aluminum sashes or frames to the building, and then secure the glass with clips, moldings, or other types of fasteners.
Many windows are now being covered with laminates—a thin film or coating that covers glass. These coatings provide additional durability, security, and can add color or tint to interior and exterior glass. The laminate also prevents glass from shattering, making it ideal for commercial use in areas prone to high winds.
A few glaziers work with plastics, granite, marble, and other materials used as glass substitutes.
Workers who replace and repair glass in motor vehicles are covered in the automotive body and glass repairers profile.