Today, one of the most dominant trends in interior home design is the “open concept.” With clear sightlines that allow homeowners to see from one end of their home to the other with little visual obstruction, these airy spaces—often filled with natural light from plentiful windows—prove versatile for many families.
Along with removing walls and designing spaces to flow into one another, many people choose to make decorating selections that reinforce the feeling of openness. You may choose to buy a glass tabletop for just such a purpose. With glass, you could create an elegant dining space or fill a niche in the living room while making your space feel brighter and more open.
At B&L Glass, we’re proud to be a proven resource for the fabrication and supply of glass tabletop solutions. With years of experience and a track record of excellence on behalf of our clients, we’re proud to support homeowners and architects alike in the creation of the ideal glass furniture for their needs. From adding a glass top to a coffee table to helping you develop a modern glass top dining table, we do it all.
There are other reasons to consider glass, too—and don’t forget about the many design options that you’ll encounter along the way. What should you know about these products, and how can you make choices that will enable you to enjoy your investment for many years to come? To aid you in answering those questions, here is our complete guide to tabletops made from glass.
The Benefits of Glass Tabletops
The elegant, simple look of a glass top dining table is timeless, and the beauty that it lends to your home is reason enough to want to purchase one. Its versatility is excellent in many applications—you could even access options such as a glass top drafting table for functional good looks.
It’s not just about the fact that adding more elements of glass to your home ramps up the luxury. There are other basic benefits of choosing glass. Consider:
- Glass is generally easier to maintain than other materials such as wood. When liquid spills onto wood, not only will the liquid potentially stain the surface, but it may also seep into the wood and cause damage. Although you will want to be careful to avoid leaving any deep scratches in the surface of your glass table, they are generally easier and faster to clean than wood with fewer complications.
- Glass makes your space more expansive and allows smaller spaces to avoid feeling cramped. Because you can see straight through the glass, it feels less like there is a big, chunky piece of furniture taking up all the space in your room. When you opt for fun and funky options, such as a square glass tabletop on top of a natural pedestal, you can enjoy the aesthetic beauty of the pedestal through the glass, too.
- In rooms with natural light, glass tables create a unique visual impression. As the morning or afternoon sun streams in and catches the edges of the table or shines through it, it may create beautiful patterns on the ground and in the room. A glass table in the light looks fantastic.
- There is an endless array of options for styling the glass. From the style of the glass to the addition of beveled edges and more, there’s no shortage of ways for you to put your own spin on the design.
Did you know that you can use glass as a protective barrier on other types of tables, too? It’s true—you don’t have to limit yourself to a table surface made only from glass. Placing glass on top of an existing table can be a benefit, too.
Using Glass to Cover Existing Tabletops
Many families have heirloom furniture or have at least made a substantial investment in filling their homes with objects that they cherish and hope to enjoy for many years. With a custom glass tabletop, you can easily protect the surface of your treasured tables while adding an extra dimension to their beauty. How does such a process work?
First, your glass supplier, such as B&L Glass, will take highly precise measurements of the entire table surface. After conferring with you on stylistic choices (more on those below), we’ll fabricate the glass to those exact specifications and furnish it for placement on top of the table. The weight of the glass should keep it in place, meaning that this new surface is a semi-permanent solution. You can use and enjoy it as usual without fear of damaging the wood beneath, and you can always remove the glass and enjoy the regular surface of the table if you like.
Dining room tables are not the only option. Glass can cover coffee tables, end tables, nightstands—the only limit is your creativity. Do you want to protect as many of the wood surfaces in your home as possible, creating an elegant, unified look with glass throughout the space? We can make that happen just as easily as we can supply a basic 48″ glass top table.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Glass?
Before you make any purchase decisions, it’s always a sound idea to go in with a clear head and a willingness to accept new points of view. Although we believe in the aesthetic beauty and functionality of glass top kitchen table options, we also want to acknowledge that some homeowners may find downsides to using them. What should you know before you buy?
- Cleaning glass is easy, but you’ll need to do it more often. Though a few squirts of glass cleaner and a rag can make your table gleam again, you may find that you need to clean the table every few days to keep it looking sharp. Fingerprints, dust, and crumbs stand out clearly on a glass surface, so you’ll need to be a bit more attentive to keep it looking its best.
- Glass may not be suitable in some home situations with young children. The edges of a glass table—even rounded ones—can sometimes pose a hazard to children running through the house. You could choose to pad or protect the table, but some parents prefer to wait to purchase a circular glass tabletop until their children grow older.
- It is possible to break a glass top accent table and similar products in some situations. No glass is completely indestructible, and a hard impact or fall onto a table could cause breakage and potential injury. Keep in mind that you will need to regard your glass tops with more respect than plain wood furniture for this reason.
- You can’t hide what’s underneath the table. Whether it’s a stain on the rug or scuffs on wood flooring, your glass table will ensure that every guest sees exactly what’s down there. Plan around this reality or consider installing high-quality flooring before opting for glass furniture.
Knowing both the pros and the cons of glass tables will help you to make a smarter decision about what’s best for your home.
Are Glass Tabletops Safe?
We’ve mentioned that breakage is a potential hazard when using all-glass tabletops. Does that mean that these tables aren’t safe? Do you risk hurting yourself just by having a glass table around? While glass tabletops are an attractive household item with a slightly increased risk of breakage, when you make the right selection, you can mitigate much of that risk along with your smart household habits and rules for safety.
Most tables today use tempered glass, a type of glass that is much harder and stronger than typical annealed glass. A 48″ round tempered glass tabletop, for example, provides ample space for decorating or seating while serving as a safer glass option. Tempered glass is at least four times as strong as annealed glass, and it does not produce large glass shards when it breaks. Instead, tempered glass tends to stick together in small shards, creating a “spiderweb” effect. Although you will need a replacement if your tempered glass breaks, you are less likely to face a risk of injury.
Modern glass solutions are a safe option when you use them appropriately along with intelligent glass designs. Ask our team how we can ensure that your 47-inch glass tabletop is as safe as possible.
Types of Glass Tabletops You Might Explore
You’re now ready to choose a glass top for your dining table or add a visually-interesting glass element to your space. Did you know that there’s more to this process than just ordering a piece of clear glass that fits your intended dimensions?
While it’s possible to simply choose a basic blue glass tabletop, there are other glass solutions and many additional options for you to consider. Some of the types of glass that you can incorporate into tables include:
- Acid-etched. Sometimes mistaken for frosted glass, acid etching changes only the surface of the glass, creating a smooth, cloudy appearance that appears slightly textured up close.
- Frosted. A type of etched glass that might use sandblasting instead of acid to create the surface appearance. Frosted glass tends to be less translucent and may let through less light.
- Low iron. An ultra-clear type of glass that provides incredible clarity, but beware—messes will be more visible.
- Standard glass. There’s nothing wrong with the standard. If you want a basic glass top table replacement, regular tempered glass is all that you’ll need.
Looking for glass in different colors or with other surface options? B&L Glass knows where to source these products, too.
Shaping a Tabletop to Suit Your Purposes
There is a wide range of variation in glass tables regarding not only their texture and appearance but also their shape. Choosing the shape of your table is just as critical a decision, if not more so, because it will dictate how you can use the object in your home. Consider some of the most common shapes that you’ll find and what you can use them for:
- Square. Ideal for kitchen tables, decorative displays, and corner table usage.
- Round. Perfect for larger dining room tables or providing functional elegance in the kitchen.
- Triangular. Best suited for display purposes and applications in which the table can fit into a corner.
- Arched. Best suited for desks, drafting tables, and other items of furniture for personal or professional use.
- Octagon. Excellent for decorative display or for use in business settings.
- Custom. Why not create a table that’s exactly the shape you want—even if that means something unique or irregular? At B&L Glass, we can easily provide custom cutting solutions.
Choosing the Right Thickness
How thick should the glass on your table be? Thickness is another element that many homeowners never consider until they begin shopping, at which point they may make a decision based on looks alone. While there’s no right or wrong choice regarding glass thickness, you will find that some solutions are better suited to particular applications than others.
Generally, you will want thinner glass for light-duty indoor applications and small glass insets. If you intend to use a table that is only glass on top, you should opt for thicker glass to provide greater safety and durability. Likewise, you will want thicker glass for outdoor tables that will need to withstand the elements and continue to look attractive. A thickness of half an inch is usually as thick as you can go at maximum.
Types of Glass Edge Finishes
Finishing the edge of the glass is not only essential for safety, it’s also a critical part of developing the aesthetics of a pleasing glass top extension dining table. Just as jewelers invest considerable time and effort into faceting gems to bring out their natural beauty, we can create a stunning look by finishing your glass table with a unique edge design. Some of the most common finishes include:
- Flat edge. A flat edge uses simple right angles—just be aware of sharp corners.
- Beveled edge. Clean, straight angles characterize this edge.
- Ogee edge. An edge with a concave curve, also called an S-shape, that provides an elegant and visually distinct finish.
- Pencil edge. A very common choice for glass tables, especially circular options, the pencil edge rounds off to resemble its namesake.
- Miter edge. An edge design that involves shaving off part of the glass to create a sloped, angled ascent at the top of the glass.
In all cases, you can choose either a “polish” finish for the edge, which provides a clear, robust look or a “satin” look, which softens the appearance of the glass.
Choosing a Pedestal for a Tabletop
As a final consideration, think about what your glass top will incorporate as its permanent base. Although choosing a new base isn’t an issue if you’re covering an existing table with glass for protection, it’s an essential consideration for any new purchase. What are some of the things that you can do to select a pedestal perfect for your custom glass installation?
Consider options that align with the existing decor of your space. For example, if you already use natural or earth tones in your decorating, all-natural pedestals may be a perfect fit. A driftwood coffee table with a rectangular glass top could be an incredible way to up-cycle old material. Adding a glass top is the perfect way to showcase such items. Don’t overlook the classics, too, such as tulip bases. With so many options available, you can customize them to suit your needs.
Craft Your Perfect Solution with B&L Glass Today
It’s easy to see that there’s much more to choosing glass tabletops than meets the eye. Whether you want to craft a brand-new piece for a bespoke tree trunk table with a glass top or need a replacement for an antique glass top table that reflects the piece’s original character, a professional touch is essential. Especially when you require specialty glass and edge work, choosing an experienced team is fundamental to generating the results that make you confident you are receiving excellent value for your money.
At B&L Glass, we have more than six decades of experience. We always innovate and stay on top of the latest techniques and developments in the world of glass cutting and shaping. With the capabilities to create very small glass insets for tables all the way up to a five-foot round glass top table and larger, the only limit is your imagination. Even unique glass shapes and designs are within our capabilities.
Are you ready to make your home look even sharper with glass? We’re ready to start a conversation with you at any time, and we’re happy to provide you with some fast facts about our services. Send in a request for a quote with some of the details about what you’d like to create. Want a more direct conversation? Contact our team now to learn how we can contribute to creating the perfect table for your space.