The Difference Between Stained & Leaded Glass Windows

difference stained leaded glass

The terms “stained glass” and “leaded glass” are often used interchangeably. However, despite common misconceptions, both terms do not have the same meaning. This can create some confusion when people are shopping around for decorative or privacy glass for their home. As experts in the industry, we feel that it is our duty to provide some clarification on the matter. Below, we’ve discussed the differences between stained and leaded glass windows.

stained beveled glass window home

Stained Glass Vs. Leaded Glass: What’s the Difference?

If you do a quick search for “stained glass” online, you’ll see that styles range greatly in appearance. Some include highly colorful, ornate designs while others lack color completely and rely solely on the use of shape and texture. This may cause some confusion. After all, doesn’t the word “stained” imply the use of color?

It’s a fair question to ask. But in reality, “stained glass” actually is “leaded glass.” It’s just a specific type of leaded glass.

“Leaded Glass” Is an Umbrella Term

“Stained glass” is the popular term used to describe what is more properly called “leaded glass,” because the materials used can be colored (stained) or not. Often, customers use the terms interchangeably. However, it is the use of lead caming that qualifies a window as being of the “leaded glass” variety. Only when colored glass is used can the term “stained glass” be used appropriately.

Use of Terminology in the Industry

Even though stained glass windows are a type of leaded glass, industry experts often use them separately to create distinction between the two. This makes it easier for customers to understand what type of window they’re referring to. Within the industry, “leaded” suggests no color, and “stained” implies color.

We Produce Both Stained & Leaded Glass

At Scottish Stained Glass, we produced both leaded glass windows made from clear glass and those made from colored glass. Our gallery of stained glass windows illustrates the range and variety of both clear and colored styles and designs we offer.

stained glass doors

Which Is More Popular?

Stained and leaded glass windows are about equal in popularity, though they are typically used in different settings. Clear is currently the more popular of the two choices for residential or commercial clients, but a bit of color can be very nice for an accent. Colorful pieces are also more popular for historic homes and buildings or are sometimes chosen to create a vintage effect.

However, when it comes to religious architecture, stained glass is the traditional choice. Church clients tend to choose full color.

With or without color – or a mixture – we custom manufacture and custom design thousands of stained glass windows for clients throughout the country. In fact, at last count, our company had designed and manufactured over 30,000 pieces, the majority of which did not use color. With more than 30 years of experience, we are stained glass experts.

stained glass window styles

Variety of Stained Glass Styles

Man has been using glass as a medium to make art for hundreds of years. The earliest known use of colored glass dates back to Ancient Egyptian times. Colored glass beads were a popular choice for jewelry and for decorating pottery. Beveled edges became a popular option for mirrors. Later, as artists became more progressive and innovative, they began using colored glass to create elaborate and decorative windows.

For this reason, there is a huge variety of stained glass and leaded glass window styles that exist today. Some of the better known styles include Mackintosh stained glass, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Tiffany glass, FLW or prairie style, and beveled glass.

Styles We Offer

Any size, shape, color, or stained glass window design you can imagine, we can create for you. There are also hundreds of colors and styles of glass to choose from including a wide array of “clear” options including beveled and textured choices such as waterglass (wavy design) granite and iced granite, glue chip (with a feathery texture that may look like ice crystals have frosted the window), hammered and small hammered styles, artique, baroque, chord (vertical lines) and many others.

bathroom stained glass

Value of Stained & Leaded Glass

Stained glass windows always add to the value of a home. Clients usually want the windows to blend in with the existing architectural style and usually choose to keep the colors clear or neutral for a future purchaser. Sometimes however colors are chosen to coordinate with semi-permanent finishes such as granite or tile colors.

In all cases, we honor the client’s choices and preferences, though we will offer an unbiased opinion about what approach might best achieve the desired effect. Because we have been making stained glass for such a long time, we have a fairly good idea of what styles will look best in the home and help increase its value.

Contact Us for Beautiful Custom Stained or Leaded Glass Today!

If you are looking for stained glass windows of exceptional quality and beauty, custom designed for your unique taste and home, you’ve come to the right place! For more information or for a free consultation, call or e-mail Scottish Stained Glass today.

Martin Faith is a talented artist, entrepreneur, and business owner from Glasgow, Scotland. For the past 30 years, Martin has been running his company Scottish Stained Glass, which produces handcrafted, artisan made stained and leaded glass windows. Martin’s company has national reach and recognition and has been mentioned on numerous media outlets, including HGTV, the DIY Network, CBS, and NBC. Martin and his team have produced over 50,000 windows for over 12,000 customers across the United States.

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