Differences Between Glass Skylights And Plastic Skylights

Posted on: 23 November 2016

Glass and plastic are the two basic options for skylights, so if you're considering having a skylight installed, you'll need to wrap your mind around the basic similarities and differences of the two. Whether or not you have a large budget, you shouldn't allow price to be the sole deciding factor, since it's a much more complex issue than that. However, budget can play a part. Here are some of the differences between glass and plastic skylights.


No, you shouldn't consider only cost, but it is an important factor. Plastic skylights are more affordable to install, at least up front. Glass skylights do require a larger investment, but they pay it back in other ways later, such as in less frequent repairs and replacements and so on.


The durability and longevity that glass offers can't be beat. Even if you do go for plastic because it's more affordable, you may end up paying more for it when you have to replace the skylight a few years down the road when a glass skylight would still have been going strong.


Weight is an issue in which plastic has glass beat. If you need a super-light skylight for some reason, plastic is the material for you. However, unless you're installing a whole lot of skylights at once, this is unlikely to significantly change the load that your roof has to bear.


Glass can be formed a bit, but plastic can be made into more shapes more easily than glass can. So if you're looking for a truly unique shape, you may need plastic.


You can't install a glass skylight totally flat. This doesn't actually mean that you can't install it on a flat roof, however. You can compensate with a curbed skylight by building up one edge of the curb higher than the other so that the skylight is tilted towards the edge of the roof.

Scratch/impact resistance

Although you may think of glass as brittle and fragile, it can actually have quite a lot of strength and resistance to damage. This is especially the case if you get treated glass, which can be much stronger than plastic.

Coating options

Glass offers more options for window coatings. These specialized films can tint the window, reduce the amount of UV rays that enter while allowing in all the visible light, and protect the outside of the glass from damage. Plastic doesn't come with these options.


Although plastic skylight material is fairly tough plastic, the chemicals often used to clean windows can be hard on the material. Glass has more versatility; it can be cleaned with most common household cleaners and be perfectly fine.

These differences will help you choose the best material for your skylight. If you're wanting to replace your other windows at the same time as you have your skylight installed, have a peek at this web-site.