3 Tips for Designing Glass-Topped Tables

Written by KC Glass on . Posted in Blog

Most people don’t think of glass when they think of furniture construction, but glass is a common material used in furnishings with both contemporary and minimalist influences. Glass shelving is also incorporated into end tables and coffee tables with a more rustic or royal bearing.

Dining, entryway and coffee tables may be designed with tops made completely of glass supported by sculpture, stone, reclaimed wood or other architectural elements. If you want to bring more glass into your life via your home’s tables, follow the three tips listed below.

Learn About Types of Glass

There are two types of glass you can use to create tables. Safety glass or tempered glass is made to crumble when struck, installed incorrectly or handled forcefully enough to break. Annealed glass breaks into jagged shards that can be pointy and large enough to cause physical harm.

Tempered or safety glass should always be used where there is a risk of a child or adult falling into or on top of a table. If you have glass table tops or other furniture components that are made of annealed glass, replace them. Your professional glass supplier can make you identical pieces in tempered glass.

Some people place cut-to-fit glass sheets over wood dining or desk tops to protect the wood. They often choose a cheaper annealed glass top for this purpose, thinking that the wood of the furniture will support the glass and reduce risk of injury if the annealed glass does break.

Some people believe that annealed-glass tops are less likely to break when a cup or pot is slammed on the glass. Other people choose annealed glass because they fear that any nicks on the sides of their glass table top would cause a tempered glass to crumble along the edges.

However, it is safer to use tempered glass despite the increased cost and aesthetic considerations. Ask your glass pro about the safest glass choice for your application if you’re unsure.

Take Steps to Protect Glass

You never want to place hot or icy items, eating utensils or containers on the table. Extremes in temperature can affect even the safest glass. Use cushioning, heat-blocking placemats, coasters and pot-rests to protect the glass from hot plates and cold pitchers.

If you have a glass-over-wood tabletop and young children, the glass may become scratched and chipped from toys, art projects and boisterous eaters. Consider having a custom table cover made that is cushioned and padded. When the kids are older, they’ll appreciate the glistening glass top you’ve protected.

Use tablecloths and other linens to protect glass from scratches due to flatware, flower vases and decor. You can also use felt pads on the bottoms of sculptures and other objects to protect glass without using fabric frills. Coasters and catchalls for phones and keys protect end tables and entryway consoles.

Protective glass tabletops are less likely to slide if you use pads or silicone between the table and the wood beneath. Your glass supplier will be happy to tell you which products and methods are recommended for your specific glass and table design.

Refrain from using glass tables in areas where there is bound to be roughhousing. Rooms where glass should be avoided include the playroom, the home theater (when you have passionate sports or movie fans) and any indoor or outdoor bar areas (if all your rowdy friends visit often.)

Get Creative With Glass Bases

Are you dreaming of a stunning glass-topped coffee table or dining table with a one-of-a-kind base? The look is adopted by many designers because diverse decor choices are possible. An industrial, farmhouse or regal table can be created using the same style glass top. By simply changing out the base, the table shows off a completely new look.

Look online, in furniture stores and in home-design magazines to find ideas for your glass-top table bases. Some ideas for table bases include:

  • Cable spools
  • Recycled doors and windows
  • Repurposed metal shelving
  • Sculptures
  • Stones
  • Tree stumps
  • Wrought iron pieces

A reflective or minimal base allows the maximum light to shine through the desk. This type of base can make a small room appear larger. A more substantial base can be designed to elegantly mimic other elements in the room including circles and natural themes.

Ask your glass supplier about the expected weight of your glass piece before choosing a final base. Confirm that your base can hold the weight of the glass. Ensure that the glass is fastened or balanced in a way that will keep it from tipping the piece over or sliding off the base.

Contact Ken Caryl Glass, Inc. today and let the Rocky Mountain region’s premier glass company help you design the glass furnishings of your dreams.

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