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The Pros and Cons of Glass Table Tops

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The use of glass table tops in your overall design scheme, whether for home or office, has many advantages. Glass is versatile, stylish, and yet surprisingly affordable. It can do much to enhance the appearance of any room. Exceptionally easy to care for, glass tops can be used alone or as protection when placed atop a beautiful piece of wood furniture. On the other hand, glass can easily chip and break causing injury and damage not ordinarily experienced with other types of furniture. Before buying your next piece of furniture, here are a few pros and cons to help you decide whether you should or should not choose to purchase furniture that features glass table tops. In addition, business owners opt to place glass tops on the surface of their office desks and conference tables for much the same reason. Glass is a time-saver when it comes to cleaning up, and it protects the surfaces of their furniture from damage due to careless spills, scratches and ink marks.

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Using Glass Table Tops to Protect Wood Furniture

Many businesses that deal with the public on a daily basis, such as hotels and banks, top the wood furniture in their common areas with glass not only to protect the surface of the furniture from scrapes and scratches, but also to add a touch of elegance to the space. Glass tops are easier to keep clean and prolong the life of the piece of furniture they are protecting.

At home, you can protect your most precious antique wood furniture pieces as well by using glass as a topper. Glass can be cut and shaped to any size necessary to fit perfectly atop a side table, make-up desk, night stand, or dresser. As glass is clear, it will not take away from the beauty of the piece, but rather enhance the fine lines of the wood grain beneath, showing it off while protecting it for future generations to enjoy.

Glass Table Tops

Glass table tops are a wonderful appointment to any room, but care must be used to prevent damage when cleaning and placing items on them.

Glass table tops are a wonderful appointment to any room, but care must be used to prevent damage when cleaning and placing items on them.

Safety of and Care for Glass Table Tops

Some things to consider when choosing glass as a table top are safety and durability. For all the beauty and functionality that glass affords both in the home and office, it can also create a very serious safety hazard, especially in homes where children and pets are afforded free reign. For this reason, families with children of any age should not consider glass tops as an option when choosing any of your living or patio furniture.

Everyone else who may be considering glass should know what hazards exist and what type of glass to look for to assure the furniture they select will serve their purpose in the most safe manner possible. There are two types of glass used in the manufacture of table tops—regular, or annealed, and tempered. The difference in these two glasses lies in how they are cooled. Tempered glass is cooled at a faster rate than regular annealed glass creating a stronger glass.

When searching for a table top made from glass, you may not know what type of glass you are getting even if you ask. It is not easy to tell just by looking at glass whether or not it is tempered. Many people have come away from stores with their purchases thinking they’ve made the best choice with tempered glass only to find that when the glass broke, it was ordinary glass.

Every year, thousands of consumer complaints are lodged against the manufacturers of glass tops due to accidents involving living or patio furniture, some quite severe. The glass tops of some patio tables have been known to explode for no apparent reason, sending small shards of glass to the ground, and creating injuries to those within proximity of the break. In some cases, the table tops exploded when no one was present. Fortunately, these types of table tops are manufactured from tempered glass, breaking away in a million small pieces, reducing the risk of serious injury to anyone within distance of the break. When a glass top constructed of regular glass breaks, however, it creates a more dangerous scenario as it breaks in large jagged shards, capable of causing a much more serious injury to anyone within close proximity.

The bottom line is, beauty can come at the expense of safety concerns. If, after weighing the pros and cons, you decide to enhance your décor with glass table tops, be sure to consult with a dealer who can assist you best in making the right choice for your needs.

Glass Coffee Tables

Glass coffee tables can provide an upbeat mood to almost any room.

Glass coffee tables can provide an upbeat mood to almost any room.

Glass Table Tops

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Oakfurnituresol from Bristol on July 27, 2012:

I agree, this is a great hub - very informative and considers positives as well as negatives. I think most manufacturers now use tempered glass as standard now, just because its so strong and makes pieces incredibly safe for the home.

melodyandes on August 31, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this page.

Antique Glass Bottles on August 19, 2009:

Awesome hubpage. I love the photos and videos.

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