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Everything you need to know about glass table tops

What are glass table tops?

Glass table tops are pieces of glass which can either be used to protect the top of an existing table. It can be a timber top, or marble top table, or it can be used as the top of the table itself.

What glass is used for table tops?

Glass that is used for table tops depends on a couple of factors;

1.   Is the glass the table top, the top itself and thus supporting weight?

2.   Is the glass for protection purposes and not supporting weight?

Firstly, if the glass is the table top (such as those in outdoor table settings) and supports weight, it is required to be toughened glass for safety reasons. If it is toughened it is approximately 4-5 times stronger than regular float (annealed) glass. This will make it more suitable to hold weight on top of it. Additionally, toughened glass will shatter upon impact, making it much safer than float glass as it breaks into tiny cubes. That way it is less likely to cause significant injury. The minimum thickness glass which can be toughened is 4mm. Depending on the frame and manufacture of the original table, any thickness glass 4mm and above can be used.

If the glass for the table top is to protect an existing surface of a table, regular float (annealed) glass can be used. When fully supported underneath, it is fine to use float glass. We at Haines Glass recommend using 6mm glass as a minimum thickness for this purpose. Any thicker glass can be purchased upon customer requests and aesthetic desires.

What type of glass is used for table tops?

All ordinary glass has a slight green tinge to it, which in most part is not noticeable to the naked eye. However, if the glass is sitting on top of a timber table, or marble top, or something that has a colour and you want to see the natural colour, it is best to use a low-iron glass, for example super clear or ultra clear glass.

Edges of the glass table tops

Clean cut glass is not ideal for your glass table top. You have a few options to finish off the edging, which include but are not limited to:

Arrised edging – simply takes the sharp edge off the glass. It is not consistent all the way around the edges. It is usually used to take the edges of for glass installation (rather than for table tops).

Polished – or flat polished is usually completed with a machine and provides a 1-2mm 45 degree angle or bevel that is smooth and simply finishes off the edges.

Bevelled – is a polish or chamfer which provides a minimum 45 degree angle and can vary in angle based on the length and thickness required.

Circular Table tops

Circular table tops can also be produced and the same rules apply as per 4 sided table tops. The type of glass options are the same as above. The only main difference is that circular table tops do tend to me more expensive as it is much harder to cut a circle and the polishing process takes a lot longer.

Can glass table tops be cut down?

It depends. Toughened glass table tops cannot be cut down, if attempted they will shatter. Float (annealed) glass table tops which are mostly used for the protection of a surface generally can be cut down with ease.

Can glass table tops be recycled?

Yes. Both toughened glass and float glass can be recycled. Local glass companies get charged to recycle glass, whether they accept glass for recycling for a fee is possible, but best to call and check. Additionally, it is best to check your local council website for recycling parameters on your home waste.