Frosted glass is a popular choice when looking to add privacy, whether in the home or in a commercial setting. If you’re concerned with privacy and want to purchase new glass, you may wonder if you can see through frosted glass.

You can’t see through frosted glass, but you should be able to recognize shapes and shadows. It’s impossible to tell what you’re looking at through frosted glass because the image is highly distorted.

This article will discuss why you can’t see through frosted glass and if it’s possible to make it slightly more transparent. It will also suggest where it’s ideal to use frosted glass and what alternatives you can consider.

The Reason You Can’t See Through Frosted Glass

You can’t see through frosted glass because of its treatment process. Etching and sandblasting cause frosted glass to scatter light, making it difficult or nearly impossible to see what’s behind it.

Etching is a method of applying different substances and chemicals to glass to create designs and obscurity, and it is used in many ways. While frosted glass windows can be made through etching, drinking glasses can also be created through this method.

As indicated by the name, sandblasting involves the application of abrasive sand to the surface of the glass at high speeds to give it a frosted appearance. As a result, you can’t see through the glass afterward.

During the sandblasting process, certain glass parts can be covered to keep them see-through.

Although you can’t see through the frosted glass as well as you can through regular glass, it’s still possible to see shadows and blurred shapes because the glass scatters light.

Is There Any Way to See Through Frosted Glass?

There are some ways to see through frosted glass. According to a study by IOP Science, you can use the tape method to look through.

To do this, you must place a piece of clear adhesive tape over the frosted glass and look through it. Applying water directly to the rough side of the glass makes it more transparent, according to the same study published by IOP Science.

Is Frosted Class See-Through at Night?

Frosted glass is not see-through at night but can become slightly more transparent if a light is turned on at night. Although this won’t make it completely see-through, it will reduce privacy to a small degree.

So if privacy is important to you and you’re relying on the frosted glass to remain opaque, it’s good to be more cautious when a light is switched on. Still, the image through the glass will remain distorted whether the light is on or off — it just might appear slightly less distorted with a light on.

Does Frosted Glass Become See-Through Over Time?

Frosted glass does not become see-through over time, so you can count on it to maintain your privacy for as long as you have it. You can choose frosted glass if you want a long-term privacy solution.

Even if exposed to the elements, like rain, snow, and dirt, frosted glass will always have the same opacity. This makes it ideal for those living in areas with extreme weather conditions.

Is There a Glass That’s More Private Than Frosted Glass?

Opaque glass is more private than frosted glass because it completely blocks light. You won’t see any images through opaque glass. Even if someone walks directly in front of opaque glass, you won’t be able to see them from the other side. For this reason, opaque glass can be used as a more extreme alternative to frosted glass.

However, frosted glass is still the best choice for maintaining privacy in a bathroom or another room in your home. The unique look of frosted glass allows light to shine through while still obscuring what lies behind it.

Other Glasses That Are Good for Privacy

Although frosted glass is excellent for privacy because it’s not entirely see-through, other glasses are available as alternatives. Below are two common examples:

  • Textured glass. Because of the added texture, it’s impossible to see through textured glass, making it ideal for those concerned with privacy. Textured glass often has designs for aesthetic purposes and can be found on doors and windows.
  • Smoked glass. Smoked glass is held in front of a flame, causing it to turn darker. This smoky effect makes it somewhat good for privacy. However, smoked glass remains clear, so it doesn’t obscure things as much. Still, it’s good for a little extra privacy.

Final Thoughts

You can’t see through frosted glass because treatment processes such as etching and sandblasting give it a slightly opaque appearance. However, you can still see shapes and colors through frosted glass.

Due to its moderate opacity, frosted glass is a popular glass choice for bathrooms. It offers privacy while still allowing light to brighten up the space.

If looking for the most private glass option, consider opaque glass because it blocks all light, meaning you can’t see anything through it.

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