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What is a Glazing Stop And How to Install It For Your Window

Anyone buying new or replacement windows for their home for the first time might be startled by the wealth of component choices one actually has to consider. 

One such choice is the glazing stop—one of the key pieces of a window’s support structure that helps keep the glass panes (or glazing) in place. Fairly innocuous but incredibly important, the glazing stop should definitely not be ignored when shopping for your windows.

Source: Unsplash.com

But how does it actually work? How do you use it? And how do you install and replace it on your windows?

Follow along on this short guide to know more about glazing stops for your windows.

How Does A Glazing Stop Work?

Source: doorclosersusa.com

The glazing stop, as its name suggests, has one fairly simple job to do—to hold and secure window glazing or glass panes. 

To match the many different styles of windows on the market, glazing stops can be made out of wood, rubber, metal, or plastic in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are then typically adhered to the edge or frame of the window, although some variants will have some sort of mounting mechanism to ensure their security.

With this in mind, you might be thinking, “isn’t this what the window frame is supposed to do?” For the most part, you’re actually right. 

As we will see a little bit later, though, the glazing stop does a bit more than just holding a piece of glass in place.

Where Is Glazing Stop Used?

One way that we can demonstrate this is by figuring out where a glazing stop is actually used. Believe it or not, you can find them just about anywhere.

As expected, most of the “traditional” styles of window—from single-pane awnings to sliding windows and everything in between—have glazing stops as part of their core structure. These stops are attached to the frame with glue or screws to cradle the glass in the middle. 

Besides these designs on windows, glazing stops are also used to secure similar glass panes on doors. A couple of notable examples can be found in French door windows and sliding glass patio doors; the glazing stops here are installed very similarly to how they would be on the windows they are patterned after. 

Another example that is rapidly gaining popularity in both residential and commercial establishment is the frameless glass pane. Used in shop windows, shower doors, and just about anything else that uses large, thick pieces of glass, glazing stops for frameless glass form part of the mounting system that is cleverly hidden to give frameless glass its iconic seamless look.

What Is The Purpose of Glazing Stop?

The glazing stop is a core part of a glass window or door for a reason—it is meant to serve a variety of purposes alongside the other parts that make up the structure holding the glass.

First and foremost, the glazing stop is intended to prevent the glass from moving perpendicularly, thereby holding the glass in the frame. 

Take a glance at any typical wooden window and you will find that the glazing stop is actually relatively thick; not only is this done to match the aesthetic of its window, it also gives the glazing stop extra strength to withstand forces pushing on the glass, such as bad weather.

The importance of keeping window panes secure also applies to general safety; after all, no one would ever want to have glass panes get dislodged from their slots in the window frame during a storm. Since window frames are mostly meant to avoid pane movement along the window’s length, glazing stops are absolutely necessary to protect against pushes on that glass.

Although they don’t contribute directly to it, glazing stops can actually improve heat control and energy efficiency of glass windows. For those that haven’t figured out how it works, the key here lies in window setups with double or triple glazing; the glazing stop here secures the panes and helps seal the insulating gas between the panes.

How to Replace a Glazing Stop

If you’ve ever noticed your window panes looking a bit loose or rattling when moved, now might be the time to replace the glazing stop to keep your panes secure.

Depending on the type of glazing stop on your windows, the process of replacing a glazing stop will differ a bit. Generally speaking, though, the following process should still apply to all types, although we will be focusing on replacing wooden glazing stops in the following steps.

To get this done quickly and easily, we will need a few tools:

  • A small putty knife or pry bar;
  • Foam tape;
  • A wedge with a flat leading edge;
  • A mallet or hammer; and
  • A pair of work gloves for safety.
Source: partitions.com

Before going through these steps, it’s important to start removing the vertical glazing stops first and the bottom stop last. This ensures that the glass is not left to hang freely.

Step 1: Gain leverage on the glazing stop. You will need to insert the blade of your prying tool into the seam between the window frame and the glazing stop. This will take a bit of force to do depending on how tight the tolerances are, so feel free to use a mallet to add more force. 

It should be obvious, however, to not put too much force. Pushing too hard will transfer the force to the glass just behind the stop.

Step 2: Pry out the glazing stop. With your prying tool now wedged in, slowly pivot your tool upward to pry out the glazing stop, continuing along the length of the stop. You don’t need to pry it out all the way—just enough for the stop to be removed by hand.

Step 3: Align the new glazing stop. If you haven’t already done so, cut your glazing stops down to the right length and apply foam tape to the side that will press against the glass. Then align the glazing stop to the pane such that it is ready to be locked into the frame.

Step 4: Lock in the new glazing stop. To fully mount and lock in the new glazing stop, push on the glazing stop such that its hook rotates into the frame. Apply more pressure until you hear a click, then continue along the length of the stop until finished. 

Sometimes more force may be needed, so take your wedge, press the flat edge against the glazing stop, then lock it in with gentle taps from your mallet. 

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