Are you looking for a countertop with an avant garde and an upper end look? You might want to consider glass countertops. They are one of the current trends that have been gaining popularity for a number of years now in the home building industry.
Most people think that glass is not strong enough to be used for countertops. They will usually go for hard stones like granite and marble slabs. But glass can be manufactured in different thicknesses therefore they will also vary in strengths. You only need to have the required thickness and consistency of glass material that is adequate for countertop functions to be able to use them for countertop purposes.
The thickness of glass used for countertop purposes usually range from ¾ inch to 1.5 inches. Glasses thicker than ¾ inch have almost like solid-surface consistency. With a thickness of 1.5 inches and above, it is as strong as any hard stone. Glass is also eco-friendly since you can always recycle it if it is badly damaged.
In addition, glass has some good qualities that other countertop materials don’t have. It has a distinct sophisticated look that separates it from granite and other solid-surface materials. With glass, your countertop and backsplash could be designed with a color and texture distinctly your own. If this translucent countertop is mounted on a stainless or copper cabinet, with colorful back-lighting, you have a very luxurious look that no other countertop surface could match. This eye-catching beauty of glass makes it one of the best choices for upscale homeowners who are tired of the traditional look of hard stone materials.
Glass countertops were more of a novelty items in the past. But with the introduction of alternative countertop materials, more and more discriminating homeowners are using glass for countertop purposes. Since they are basically man-made, there are now a whole array of designs, colors and textures available in the market. If you are thinking of using glass for your countertops, you will surely find the style and color that will fit your preference as well as the existing design of your house.
Advantages of Glass Countertops
Selecting the right countertop material is somewhat difficult if you are not sure of the benefits it can give you. Here are some of the benefits that you can get from using a glass countertop.
1. Being a non-porous material, the possibility of bacteria and harmful microorganisms lodging and multiplying on its surface will be nil. You will have a very safe and hygienic place for food preparation.
2. It is highly resistant to heat, burns and deformation. The process of making glass enables it to resist high temperatures therefore you will have no problems with hot pots and pans staying too long on its surface.
3. Your countertop could be custom-made as far as color, texture, shape and finish are concerned. If you want a unique countertop, glass is one of the best choices.
4. Whatever the glass finish, you can have your countertop back-lighted to obtain that flashy, fancy and sophisticated look that only glass countertops could have.
5. Glass surfaces need no sealing therefore your countertop will be free of chemicals.
6. Thick glass has the strength and hardness of hard stones. It is actually more consistent than hard stones because of the way it is processed.
7. It is very easy to clean and to maintain. A soft clean cloth dipped in mild soap is enough to clean dirt and grime.
Disadvantages of Glass Countertops
You also need to consider the downside of having a glass countertop. Below are some of the thinks you need to think of.
1. Glass is prone to scratches and chipping.
2. Glass is affected by acid and acidic substances
3. Water stains or maps if not wiped out cleanly have a tendency to remain on the surface.
4. Although as strong and more consistent compared to hard stones, glass can crack. A cracked glass countertop is unsafe to use.
5. Proper care and use should always be observed for a glass countertop used in frequent high traffic situations.
6. The cost of glass is higher than other countertop materials although lower than some types of hard stones.
Additional Factors to Consider
If the glass is tempered and have the proper thickness, these countertops can really hold a good deal of weight. It can easily support 300 pounds of weight sitting on its top. The capacity of the countertop to support weight is bolstered by the fact that most glass countertops have adequate structural supports. This support is in the form of cabinets and supporting brackets if necessary. If you ever need to put hot pans on its surface, you can safely do so because it can tolerate up to 700 degrees of heat. Above all, the sophisticated and fascinating look of glass is something that you can’t get from other countertop materials.
If you have a glass countertop installed then you will also need to get a glass backsplash.
Care and Maintenance of Glass Countertops
If you really want to have glass countertops in your home, you can do so without so much hassle on your part. But you must really be careful in using it to avoid damaging it and to prolong its life. In fact, all of the disadvantages of having a glass countertop in your home can easily be negated by just being careful about its use. Here are some simple things you need to do.
1. Avoid sudden dropping of heavy and sharp objects on the glass surface to avoid accidental chipping and scratches.
2. Don’t sit on the glass surface. Yes, if the glass has the proper thickness, it will support your weight. But remember that the glass countertop is not for sitting but for countertop uses.
3. Never leave unattended water and other liquid on the glass surface. Be watchful for playful kids who leave fingerprint marks on its surface. A soft, dry cloth will keep out the moisture and wipe off the marks easily.
4. Avoid using glass cleansers with acid content. If possible use only bio-degradable cleanser that has no acidic substances.