Difference between Acid Etched Glass (Frosted) and sand blasted glass

By: | September 14 , 2022

Frosted Glass or etched glasses are a common generic term used for translucent glass that can prevent visibility and diffuse transmitted light. Frosting is a process that changes the surface of the glass from transparent to translucent by changing the surface of the glass to get a frosted or cloudy look. A common transparent sheet of glass is etched by acid etching or sand blasting, in this process a layer of the glass surface is scrapped to create various patterns.

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sand blasted glassSand Blasted Glass

Sand Blasted Glass

This kind of glass is manufactured by ejecting sand or an abrasive material at a very high speed on the glass. The sand scratches the layer of glass; the intensity at which the sand is forced on the surface determines whether it will be a high or medium level translucent glass. During the process of sandblasting the areas that shall remain transparent are masked and the other areas that are to be etched are exposed. Ultimately the surface that is created is very rough and has a layered effect.

All kinds of glass can be sandblasted. However the process of sand blasting can weaken the glass and make it susceptible to cracking especially in extreme weather conditions.

acid etched glassAcid Etched Glass

Acid Etched Glass

They are produced with application of acid on the glass. It creates a very smooth, glossy and satin finish; acid etched glass is maintenance free as it does not show dirt marks or fingerprints. The acid with which etching is done is of a corrosive nature hence it is advised to use gloves for protection.

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vinyl filmVinyl frosting

Vinyl frosting

It is a temporary vinyl sheet that gives a frosted effect and is applied in the form of a sticker onto the glass. It is cost effective and the glass frosting with vinyl can be done in several complicated designs or strips of sticker that are cut to size so as to give the desired look.

Acid Etched Glass vs. Sandblasted Glass

  • Acid etched glass is created with acid treatment which done on the glass while sandblasted glass  is designed and fabricated with the use of a high speed machine using sand , husk and other material.
  • The surface is rough in sandblasted etched glass while a smooth surface is created in acid etched glass.
  • Acid etching and sandblasting create a permanent design effect on the glass.
  • Both the types of glass allow nearly 95% of light penetration into the interiors.
  • Intricate designs can be carved with acid etched glass while sandblasting is usually done on large spans of glass.
  • Acid etching on glass is much cost effective than sandblasting of glass.

Applications of Frosted glass

  • Frosted glass ensures privacy and admits light at the same time. Hence they are widely used in areas which require privacy such as bathroom glass, shower cubicles and toilet windows.
  • A wide variety of designs and logos can be etched on the glass.
  • The use of blinds and curtains can be avoided wherever etched glass is used specially in interior partitions.

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