I have seen in some hotels that they have windows facing a corridor, hallway
or outside. You can see out but cannot see in. It is more than just
I am looking to replace a few of my windows at home, and I asked for quotes
for non-impact windows and impact windows. I also asked the window
companies if they have windows that can see out but not in, they all said to
me "no not for residential it's only for commercial" and when I asked them
to give me a ball park figure they wouldn't even do that and just said
"trust me, it's VERY expensive".
What is so special about those windows? Is it a special glass? or is it
something you can "apply" onto ordinary glass afterwards? Are we talking
about 10 times more expensive? I have a large picture window inside the
shower facing an interior courtyard, right now I am planning on using
hurricane impact obscured glass window, I thought I ought to consider this
other option but I can't even get a price!
Even though the two types of businesses overlap to an extent, I've found two
totally different categories in the yellow pages phone book: Windows and
Glass. The first tends to be oriented toward residential window replacement,
and the second toward commercial situations. Call some dealers in the second
category. If someone tells you it's too expensive, ask to speak to someone
who's not afraid to quote prices. Get pushy.
In most cases, the "one-way" glass depends on the obscured side to be
darker than the viewers side. It will reverse just by reversing the
lighting. If you want it, you can have it tinted by the same places
that tint auto glass.
Our control room in the jail had the film application method. Worked
great until you turned the lighting up in the control room, then it
was as if there were no film at all.
So it's a matter of tinting? I thought it's more than that, some sort of
polarized glass? If it's just a matter of tinting I wonder why they
wouldn't even quote me.
Or may be they thought I was talking about this:
I was not.
Possibly because most is half silvered mirrors? Like a beam splitter.
That would be expensive and it too would depend on differential
lighting inside/outside. It would have to be in a sealed double pane
window as the half silvered surface is quite fragile.
Polarization has nothing to do with it.
> So it's a matter of tinting? I thought it's more than that, some
If you're just looking for privacy, you can also get decorative window
films. They make mirror type ones, patterned like crinkly looking ones,
and decorative stained glass looking ones. For privacy, what about glass
block? That would take care of the privacy and sturdiness factor. I
currently have transparent textured contact paper on my bathroom window,
as a do-it-yourself privacy measure. It lets the light in, but doesn't
let you see through from either direction though.
Good idea (blocks). And, frosted glass is another option that some builders
already use for bathroom windows. I wonder if a glass dealer could frost the
glass that's already in place. It would be a bitch to find out more, though.
It might involve using a high-tech device called a phone.
Hey...look at this wild idea:
on 11/22/2007 9:27 AM JoeSpareBedroom said the following:
Contac (the makers of shelf lining film) makes a semi-opaque film that
can be put on a window. The one I have on my ground floor bathroom
window is a diamond pattern. Lets the light in or out, but diffuses it.
Martha Stewart also has a line of contact paper.
It eats it but doesn't etch (as in "frost"). Rubbing with valve
grinding compound frosts it nicely. So does sand blasting if the sand
is fine enough. There *are* chemicals for frosting but I don't recall
what they are.
Try the artists' supplies shop. There should be a matte clear coat
aerosol spray can that will likely provide a "frosted glass" effect.
Ask about the solvent in case you don't quite like it and want to
remove the application. Krylon aerosol spray paints (hardware stores)
probably has a siimilar clear matte coat paint. Perhaps practice on a
piece of scrap glass first to see how thin or thick a coat you want.
If you really want to get creative the Dollar Store craft section has
bottles of transparent paint used for simulating stained glass windows
and artwork. The solid partition outline to separate the color panels
is a black or lead colored acrylic plastic applied with the bottle's
I have a unique situation.
It is a bathroom window. I would like to be able to open that window from
time to time for ventilation or view purposes.
I personally do not like glass blocks.
Even though it is an exterior window on a concrete block wall, it is
exterior to the inside, meaning it is a house with an interior courtyard
with the house on all four sides, so that window does not look into the yard
or street, it looks into a planter area with hanging orchids, and other
plants, so it's pretty obscured. It also makes it a very nice view.
For that reason I would like to be able to see out even while taking a
shower, if possible.
Glass block or obscured glass do not serve that purpose.
Also, normal obscured glasses in a window for some reason do not appeal to
me, frosted glass look cleaner and better. So I was just looking for
something specific and I think the one way glass would do what I want, if
it's affordable. I saw it in a hotel and my friend told me even with the
room light turned on, you cannot see from outside in and I tried it and he
is right. However, it does seem to not let too much light in, so I think
another poster's opinion about it being a mirror film embedded in between
panes of glasses is correct.
I will make a few calls to see what I find.
You need to find a creative glass craftsperson. They're out there. Maybe
call an architect's office and ask for recommendations. Some of these places
are buried unobtrusively in industrial parks, instead of having flashy
storefronts and big ads in the yellow pages.
Plenty of businesses have frosted glass, often with designs or their company
name as part of the pattern. Unless you live in the sticks, it's not hard to
find. What's hard is getting people to open the phone book and put a little
effort into finding things.
I do intend to call around and see. The reason I didn't do it in the first
place is because these are NEW windows. I was hoping I could order the
windows with the proper glass on them but the manufacturers don't offer that
option and the installer does not either. So yes I think you are right I
need to order clear glass, then get glass companies who will offer
speciality glass to come measure the window, the break/remove the clear
glass and install new glass, then reglaze etc...I was justin hoping I could
get the window that way without the extra time money and hassle.
We used Gila window film for years and it's "one-way" except
at night when the inside lights are on. Our film is
reflective and has a dark maroon color. There is a wide
variety of color tints, reflectivity and transmissivity
available. It's easy to cut and adhere to glass. Most home
centers sell cuts from rolls, it would be easy to buy a
piece and try it.
It has cut our A/C bills and protects everything from UV
fading. Some tips, scrape the glass clean with razor blades
and wash well. You want no dirt and dust when applying the
film, it will wick under the film. They tell you to start
at an edge then cut later. But using good measurements,
sharp blades, and straight edge, cutting to 1/32" smaller
that viewable opening is much easier and faster. Especially
with 3x2 over 3x2 windows. Use plenty of slightly soapy
water on glass, then lightly glide film onto glass and
center the film. Lightly squeegee from center until all the
water is removed, dry the edges well. If you have dirt or
dust, flood it off the film and glass. Ours has worked well
since 1980. Only bad side, it will loose about 1/2 its tint
in 10 years. (The reflectivity & UV block remains though)
It also shatter proofs the glass. You can find the film in
auto stores in smaller sizes and higher cost (it meets a fed
std). After doing the house, we did all the vehicles,
absolutely sold on the film.
btw, you're spending too much time the bathroom, move the
-larry / dallas
I used to work in a hardware store. They had a large roll of thin
film tinted plastic that is semi mirrored on one side. This is
applied with a thin soap solution to any window and they will cut the
length you need from the roll and charge you accordingly. The roll
was probably 30 inches wide. The mirrored side reflects sunlight
thereby preventing the sunlight overheating the room or bleaching the
contents. It also prevents people from outside looking in under
daylight conditions. In darkness the light inside the room will allow
someone on the outside see through the window as through tinted
sunglasses. I haven't seen this product in any harware store for the
last 10 years. But then I haven't seen those frosted (crazed pattern)
plastic films for windows either. Maybe ask around especially from
the smaller (non big box) hardware stores.
How about a venitian-blind? When you want to look out
and not be seen, just tilt the blades.
If you want to see scenery at one vertical angle, and want
to hide from someone at a *different* angle, you can do it
(Yeah, you get only horizontal "stripes" of the view, but
that's the cost, like "there's no free lunch".)
And you don't like looking through the window via those
stripes, well, you can just jump up and down in the shower,
fast enough that it blurs into a full picture!
Hell, you can even put one of those small circular tramplines in
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