The 2018 Top Glass Fabricators | Up to the Challenge

Fabricators report sales gains in face of increased complexity, labor struggles and supply concerns
By Norah Dick and Katy Devlin; contributions from Wendy Vardaman
February 22, 2018

2017 was a year of strong growth for most U.S. and Canadian glass fabricators, according to Glass Magazine’s annual Top Glass Fabricators report. Eighty-one percent of firms added production capacity during the year, and 71 percent reported year-over-year sales growth, according to the report. Nearly all Top Glass Fabricators—91 percent—report capital acquisition plans, and 86 percent have plans for future expansions.

Fabricators say strong market demand has kept companies busy and sales high. However, it has also stretched capacity and exacerbated an already tight labor market. Sixty-seven percent of Top Glass Fabricators said the labor shortage worsened between 2016 and 2017, and a plurality of survey respondents ranked it as the top challenge for the year.  

The biggest challenge for Kensington Glass Arts was “maintaining our production capability in a fast-paced production demand world [despite] the tight labor supply,” says Bill Wilson, director of sales, Kensington Glass Arts. 

Concerns over glass supply also continued during the year, particularly after several U.S. float lines went down unexpectedly midyear. “Glass supply became a challenge in 2017,” says Richard Wilson, president, AGNORA. “Working with our suppliers to inventory additional glass allowed AGNORA to meet customers’ demands.”

“Glass supply has continued to be a challenge for Vitrum,” agrees Michael Zizek, marketing director, Vitrum. “As a leader in our region, we can easily consume more glass than is available by our certified fabricator partners in North America. Throughout 2017 many projects were delayed due to lack of glass supply.”

In addition to keeping up with higher demand, fabricators say they also face calls for more advanced glasses and more challenging orders. Architects and building owners want larger lites, which requires fabrication equipment to accommodate jumbo sizes. Calls for more decorative products require new or updated machinery. Quality demands have increased, particularly with the proliferation of all-glass systems that feature bare, polished edges. “[We’ve seen] increased expectations regarding quality, especially for laminated railings,” says Gary McQueen, senior director of sales and marketing, J.E. Berkowitz

Orders have also become more complex, with projects featuring multiple glass types in sophisticated systems, fabricators say. “Architects are wanting to push glass to its limits,” says Patrisia Yanez, product development leader, decorative products, Cristacurva. “We are combining various products into one. For example, [we are] taking custom decorative glass and fabricating it as large as possible—oversized—and at a special radius—curved—for an application that requires energy-efficient glass, all in one.”

Report and map 

Learn more about the state of the glass fabrication market in the Top Glass Fabricators report that follows—from an in-depth look at trends and industry performance in The Market, to the list of Top Glass Fabricators, to a series of project features that demonstrate the move toward more complex and value-added glass applications on the interior and exterior.

This year’s Top Glass Fabricator report also includes a pull-out map featuring all locations in the United States and Canada. For an interactive, searchable map of the 236 Top Glass Fabricator locations, including additional details about each plant, visit the revamped and updated website

About the list 

The Top Glass Fabricators annual list is based on annual sales volume and recognizes glass fabrication companies that operate stand-alone architectural glass fabrication plants in the United States or Canada. An exception to this rule is Tecnoglass. Although the Tecnoglass’ manufacturing facility is located in Barranquilla, Colombia, its significant U.S. presence earned it a spot on the list. The list does not include float glass manufacturers that also have fabrication capabilities at their locations.

The majority of the information included in the Top Glass Fabricators report comes directly from the fabricators themselves. In cases where a company did not provide information, Glass Magazine gathered sales estimates and other data from industry insiders, business credit resources, prior year submissions and the respective companies’ websites. Sales figures for these companies are shown as estimates. Although the report provides specific sales data when it’s available, many privately held companies do not release sales figures. As a result, fabricators are listed alphabetically within six sales range categories.

We at Glass Magazine believe the Top Glass Fabricators report reflects leading companies within this industry segment. If your company belongs on the list, or you would like to update the information published here, please contact us. It is only with the cooperation of individual companies that Glass Magazine’s Top Glass Fabricators can reflect the industry as it is today. Questions or comments about this year’s list and requests to be included next year can be sent to Norah Dick at

The Market
The Projects
The List