Tabletop Glass: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Ashley Christensen
February 17, 2023

Whether you need a custom cut glass table top to go on top of a fancy console or coffee table, or perhaps you are looking for a glass table top to set on top of your office desk, there are a few things that you might need to know before you purchase one. Do you know what thickness of glass you need, or what type of glass will be best for your specific needs?  Don’t worry, if you don’t know or aren’t sure, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. 

Solid Top vs. Open Top 

There are different styles of tables, such as solid top and open top which will play a critical role in helping you to know what type of glass you’ll need to order. A solid table top is exactly what it sounds like, they have a solid piece of material (generally wood), as the top base of the table. This is where the glass will sit, giving the necessary support that the glass needs to provide a stable and solid surface. 

Open-top pieces of furniture, do not have a solid piece of wood or other material, instead, it has slats or a frame to support the top, whether that be wood, glass, or any other material. Knowing if you have an open-top or solid-top table, is going to be vital when ordering a glass table top because it will determine what type of glass you will need. In the instance of an open-top table, the glass will be required to provide structural strength to support the weight of items placed on the glass. 

Thick vs. Thin Glass 

As was previously mentioned, the thicker the glass the more weight it is able to hold. Another reason why you may need to consider the thickness of the glass is based solely on the appearance. A lot of highly regarded designers argue that thicker glass gives the illusion of being richer and better than thinner glass. Whether that is a true assumption or not, is up to you. The most common thicknesses of tabletop glass are ¼”, ⅜”, and ½”. 

Annealed vs Tempered Glass

To the naked eye, annealed and tempered glass both look exactly the same. In fact, it can be impossible to tell the difference, if tempered glass is not marked. While they might look exactly the same, there are some differences between the two. For one, tempered glass is a toughened glass, that makes it much stronger, has a higher thermal tolerance, and is harder to scratch than annealed glass. Because of its strength and safety glass properties, tempered glass is recommended for all open-top tables. 

Edge Work 

Cut glass is extremely sharp and can be very dangerous, which is why all tabletops need to have some sort of edge work done to remove the sharpness. There are a few different options available to help you achieve the finished look you want while ensuring that your tabletop is safe for everyone. 

  • Seamed Edge: a simple seamed edge, takes away the sharpness by blunting the edge and making it safe to handle. 
  • Pencil Edge: A step up from a seamed edge, a pencil edge is rounded to resemble a pencil. It is a nicer-looking edge than a seamed edge. 
  • Polished Edge: a polished edge, not only eliminates the sharp edges of the tabletop but uses oil to make the edge shiny. 

Next time you are looking for a custom-cut glass table top, contact Gordon’s Glass today!

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