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Skylights: Acrylic vs. Glass

Over the years, I have specified many skylights for both residential and commercial projects. The common knowledge has been that a acrylic dome with aluminum flashing is the most cost efficient option. So when asked by my client for a recent bathroom remodel project, we decided to get to the bottom of it. Our superstar intern Nathan investigated the comparison between acrylic and glass skylights, and between Bristolite and Velux brand.

Option 1. Velux Skylight - Glass: Rough Opening 21” x 26 7/8” 
= $1,612 + tax
Option 2. Bristolite Skylight - Glass: Rough Opening 22 ¼” x 30 ¼” 
= $2,175 + tax
Option 3. Bristole Skylight - Insulated Clear Double Dome Acrylic: Rough Opening 22 ¼” x 30 ¼” = $1,895 + tax

*NOTE: The prices shown above are based on:
- Skylight requirements: switched, UV filter, electrically operated
- Roof Angle: Sloped
- Installation type: Curb mounted
- They are trade prices, not retail.

SUMMARY GLASS vs. ACRYLIC 

Glass

Light Entry:
Creates direct sunlight
Sound:         
Blocks sound, less outside noise
Discolor:      
Will not discolor over time
Safety:
Shatters easily (unless tempered)
Cleaning:
Harder to clean 
Heat:
Transfers more energy
Aesthetic:
Clear and clean look, better for more decorative skylights, available in a variety of colors


Acrylic
 

Light Entry:
Takes the light from multiple angles and spreads it to more areas within a space
(as much natural light enters the room as possible)
Sound:
Does not block sound, more outside noise
Discolor:
Will discolor over time
Safety:
Does not shatter easily
Cleaning:
Easier to clean than glass
Heat:
Transfers energy less than glass, ideal for extreme temperatures
Aesthtic: 
Filmy look, not as desirable

 

 

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