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Window Glazing Bead

Window Glazing Beads: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

Unlike what the name sounds like, a window glazing bead has nothing to do with what we typically think of a bead. Glazing beads are the trim pieces found around the perimeter of a glass unit and held into place with screws or fasteners. Made from materials like vinyl, aluminum and wood, the glazing bead holds the insulated glass into the vinyl sash.

Why are window glazing beads important? Without them, the glass within a window can shift, rattle or even break. Glazing beads help distribute the weight of the glass evenly across the frame. They also play an important role in the overall energy efficiency of a window. Glazing beads help seal the window to make them more energy efficient, preventing air and water from seeping into the edges.

If you are in the market for new windows, paying attention to if a brand uses glazing beads or not can be important. Some companies don’t use a glazing bead at all which means if the glass breaks or has seal failure you’ll have to replace the entire sash.

Glazing Bead Repair

If your existing windows need some attention, glazing bead replacements are an easy DIY project with a big payoff. It’s important to consider a few factors when purchasing window glazing bead replacement parts.

Material used: Glazing beads come in a variety of materials, including aluminum, vinyl and wood. Each has its own set of pros and cons, so do your research and understand your specific application before buying. Aluminum glazing beads are a popular choice because aluminum is lightweight, durable, and resistant to weathering and corrosion. Vinyl is the most popular choice because it is easy to work with, affordable and resistant to moisture and rot. Wood is the most susceptible to rot and insect damage, making it the least popular option.

Size: Measuring is critical to ensure a proper fit. Make sure you consider the thickness of your glass as well.

Style: From flat strips to decorative designs, glazing beads can add to the look of your windows. Consider the overall style of your home when choosing a glazing bead to ensure it complements your décor. Many times, when the glazing bead is “snapped-in”, all that remains visible is a neat “bead” that leaves the window with a neat, clean sight line.

They can be purchased at most hardware stores. You’ll also need a few tools for the installation, like a putty knife, glazing points, caulking gun and of course the glazing beads themselves. There are quite a few good video tutorials that walk you through the process, so do your research.

Wakefield Equipment

As one of the leaders in the glass industry, we provide time and labor-saving tools to glass manufacturers. Our work tables make installing glazing beads a breeze. Our line of automated cutting tools ensures a perfect cut every time. Speak to one of our glass experts about how you can reduce waste, save labor and save time.

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