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How To Measure Storefront Door Glass Size?

In this guide we explain how to measure storefront door glass for any commercial aluminum storefront door.

Understanding How Glass Sits In Door

All storefront doors use the basic same construction. Each storefront door has an aluminum bottom rail with glass setting blocks. This is where the glass sits. Skinny snap in aluminum pieces, known as glass stops, clip into the bottom rail and hold the glass in place. Glass stops are located on the bottom rail, door stiles (side portion of door) and top rail. A rubber glazing vinyl lines the glass stop where it contacts the glass. An illustration below shows the bottom rail of a storefront door and the glass stops with glazing vinyl that hold the glass in place.

Glass Stop Size

Glass stop size can vary between manufacturers, but for the most part are pretty consistent. If you are familiar with storefront doors there are a variety of glass thicknesses, customers can choose from. 1/4" or 3/16" glass is the most popular, however some storefront doors may have 5/8" or 1" insulated glass. Before ordering 5/8" or 1" insulated glass it is always best to measure the distance between the glass stops on each side of the bottom rail. Keep in mind the glazing vinyl in the glass stop is uncompressed. When glass is placed in the door and the glass stops are snapped into place, the glazing vinyl is designed to tightly compress against the glass. However, we do recommend double checking that insulated glass can fit inside of the storefront door as sometimes manufactures accidentally mix up orders and ship out glass stops for standard 1/4" glass rather than 5/8" or 1" glass.



Measure The Distance Between The Glass Setting Blocks

When glass sets into the storefront door, there will be glass setting blocks surrounding the glass. Glass setting blocks are plastic or vinyl. They function to contact the glass. Without them the glass would be touching the aluminum door, and could potentially shatter with any little bump of the door.



The most accurate way to measure the glass size is to remove one side of the glass stops so that the glass setting blocks are all exposed. Then using a tape measure, carefully measure from the bottom rail glass block to the top rail glass block. It is important to note that some manufacturers may not include glass blocks in the door, as they expect the glazer to install their own. This can be done with any thin rubber or plastic shim. If no glass setting blocks are present, be sure to account for the height of the glass setting blocks that you will provide. Next, measure the distance between the glass setting blocks on the door stiles (door side rails).



When the glass sets on the glass setting blocks and the glass stop is snapped in; the glass stop will cover a portion of the glass. As a rule of thumb you want to measure the distance between the glass setting blocks and deduct approximately an 1/4". If you order glass that is exactly the distance between the glass setting blocks, the glass will be to tight of a fit and will not go into the door.

Advance Glass Measuring Method

If you are very experienced, removing the glass stops to measure the glass is not necessary. Simply place your tape measure half way down each glass stop and measure between them. Since the glass stops cover a portion of the glass, an experienced glazer can measure glass by measuring approximately half way between each glass stop. Again, this method is not recommended if you are not familiar with the door's glass stops and how they work. The safest method is to remove all glass stops and measure the distance between each glass setting block.



Always Assemble Door and Measure First

One important tip in the door and glazing industry is to always measure for glass and never assume. As an example, customers often want to know the exact glass sizes before the storefront door has even been manufactured. Although manufacturers will provide this information, it is not best to rely solely on this for purchasing glass ahead of time. Storefront aluminum doors are constructed using tie rods. Each component is held together by heavy duty tie rods. If the bottom rail, top rail, and stile rails are not cut to precision, the door could vary in measurement slightly, especially if the storefront door is part of an assembly such as a complete storefront door system which includes a sidelite window and top transom. Or if the door is not assembled properly ie; all tie rods tightened and all door rails and stiles are plumb, the measurements for glass size could vary. For this reason, it is always best to first assemble and install the door with all tie rods completely fastened tight. Then to measure the glass. After all, nobody wants to order the wrong size glass!

Conclusion

Measuring glass size for a storefront door can be done in various ways. The most accurate way is to always measuring between the glass setting blocks and deduct approximately 1/4". If you are a building owner or contractor and are in need of high quality commercial grade storefront doors. Shop at Door Closers USA. We manufacture Comanche storefront doors and can make custom size storefront door packages for any rough opening size. Order today and receive FAST, FREE shipping!




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