A beautiful, glass dining table sometimes feel like an irresistible choice when shopping for a table. A traditional wooden table is beautiful too, but there is something about the modern charm of a glass unit. But before purchasing a glass table top for your dining room (or even for a home office desk or coffee table), make sure you weigh up the pros and cons of getting one for your home.
Glass surfaces used as table tops can be annealed or tempered. Annealed glass is something you already know about but probably never heard of: it’s the standard, basic everyday glass. Meanwhile, tempered glass is a toughened glass that is stronger and thermal-resistant because it is heat-treated.
If you want your glass table top to last for a very long time, make sure you choose a tempered glass top. They are stronger, but they might break too when exerted with a strong force (but why would you do such a thing, right?). The good thing is, if they break, they will not shatter into very small pieces. Regular glass may break once exposed to extreme temperatures, but tempered glass can handle hot items. But be forgiving – it will still be best if you put a placemat or a coaster first before placing a scorching hot pan on top of it to be safe.
Here’s what you need to know about glass dining tables:
Pros of Glass Dining Tables
The beautiful look of glass table tops isn’t the only reason why people choose this type of table. Here are some of the reasons why they are worth considering:
1. It is elegant and modern looking
Glass gives off an appearance of elegance and sophistication that looks especially fitting for modern and contemporary houses. Depending on the style, this can also offer a formal look that looks fitting for fine dining. It exudes a level of finesse that enhances the overall look of your dining area.
2. It’s a low-maintenance material
One of the reasons why people choose a glass table top is because it’s easy to clean. Just use a wet or damp piece of cloth to wipe the tabletop clean. Glass is a non-porous material, so once spills happen, you just need to wipe it up and the problem is solved. You don’t even have to use any cleaning products or solutions. Using plain water is enough to keep it shiny and smooth.
3. It lights up the dining room
The most attractive feature of glass is its transparency. This helps glass instantly lights up a room and gives an airier and lighter vibe. Generally, glass reflects more light, so it’s a great material of choice in cramped dining rooms that receive less natural light.
4. It makes the dining room look larger
The transparency of a glass tabletop also adds illusion that makes your dining space look larger and wider. Since it doesn’t block the views behind it, the glass creates a more visual “empty space,” making it ideal for small spaces.
5. It enhances the beauty of your space
Glass tabletops either have wood or metal as a base. Glass highlights the beauty of the base, letting the design and color of the metal or wood shine. Also, because of its transparency, it doesn’t block the beauty of your décor. Glass encourages you to pair attractive dining chairs with it since they will be fully visible. You can also place a beautiful area rug with an interesting pattern and make them the accent piece of your dining room.
6. It is available in a vast variety of styles
Like other materials, glass is available in a variety of styles. It can even be available in a much more vast variety of styles than other dining table materials. A glass dining table can feature a different material as a base, such as wood, chrome, wrought iron, and even rattan or wicker. The glass surface isn’t always clear and colorless – it can be frosted and tinted into any color. It can also be cut into almost any shape. If you’re going to have a custom-made glass dining table, you can even have more leeway. Furniture stores offer corner and extending arrangements for glass tables.
Which tableware for a glass dining table?
For a glass dining room table, it is essential to have quality tableware that suits the elegant and clean style brought by this piece of furniture. Indeed, there are stoneware plates, which have a rustic look, so would not suit a sophisticated decor.
There are also earthenware plates that are very fragile and tend to blacken when damaged, and porcelain plates and dishes. The latter material is resistant to mechanical and thermal shocks, and is particularly elegant. Porcelain is a very fine, translucent ceramic made from kaolin fired at over 1200 degrees Celsius.
Porcelain tableware is not only used for cooking, but is also a true work of art. Plates and dishes made from good quality porcelain are recommended for a glass dining room. To find very good quality, you should buy French dinnerware from a reputable brand like Revol. This e-tailer is known for selling items designed by French artisans with all the local know-how. These porcelain cutlery are sold in different models and with very interesting decorations. You can also buy good quality porcelain plates in a traditional store that sells kitchen utensils. However, it is important to always check that it is indeed a recognized French brand, a guarantee of quality. Porcelain dishes are also sold in flea markets, for those who like vintage models.
Cons of Glass Dining Tables
Unfortunately, there are also a few downsides when it comes to picking a glass table top for your dining table. Here are some of them:
1. It needs regular cleaning
The major downside to glass furniture is keeping it clean. Glass is prone to fingerprints, dust, spills, and smudges that can easily throw off its original pristine look. Once food scraps or dirt are left on the table, they become very noticeable. After every use, a glass tabletop (especially when any liquid has spilled) needs to be wiped to keep it clean – otherwise, it can leave watermarks that are hard to remove. Once the former clear glass table becomes foggy. You can use a little baking soda dissolved in warm water and wipe it all over to bring back its sparkling condition.
To prevent the glass table top from getting marks, it’s best to always have a saucer or coaster before placing your hot beverage in a cup. Also, it’s wise to use a placemat before placing something hot on top of the table.
2. It demands good flooring and décor
The transparency of glass is an advantage, yet it can also be regarded as one of its downsides. Because you can see everything that is underneath, your flooring surface should be impeccable. Your matching dining chairs must be of good condition. Think about this: if you’re going to invite guests for a meal then they decided to take a picture of the food on the table, will the view be aesthetically pleasing? Yes, not all can afford to have an HGTV-worthy interior décor, but before choosing a glass table top, at least make sure that your dining room won’t need major redecoration to make it look great.
3. It can be dangerous.
We all know that glass is a fragile material, so it can be a safety hazard especially if you have kids or pets (or even clumsy adults) in the house. Once it breaks, the shattered glass can pose a risk of injury. Small children and pets can be riotous and uncontrolled, and they may either get hurt or damage the glass. Sharp corners can injure anyone accidentally, so it’s best to choose a table with protected edges or go for a round or oval-shaped table top.
4. It is not as sturdy as other materials.
Though glass is naturally strong, they are not as durable as wood or stone. Because it’s fragile, you have to make an effort to ensure that it won’t get scratched or chipped. Once a glass surface has been damaged, it’s impossible to make it look new again. You also have to be careful not to drop heavy objects on glass tables for obvious reasons. Placing very hot objects on a glass tabletop may cause damage to the glass, so start using placemats and coasters if you’re not using them.
5. It is pricier than other tables.
The price of glass furniture is also an issue. Modern glass dining tables are not the cheapest, and it can be expensive depending on the type of glass used. Sturdier types of glass like tempered glass, which is thermally and chemically strengthened to prevent a risk of breakage, will be more costly. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Before you Buy a Glass Dining Table…
- You have to consider if the people in your household will like it. Do they also like glass, or do they think it needs extra care to not damage it? If you have a lot of rowdy kids that like playing around inside the house, choosing a fragile material may not be a good decision. But if you live in a chill, relaxed home with no boisterous kids or pets, then a glass table can be a great choice.
- Consider the surrounding furniture and décor. Would glass fit in with your existing style? Don’t get a glass dining table because you think it looks pretty on its own. If it doesn’t enhance the look of your interior, or if it contrasts too much with the existing style of the room, look for another table made of a different material.
- Check your budget. If you can only afford the lowest quality, it may just be a waste of money. It’s best to buy a glass dining table that is tempered and of high quality.