Glass coffee tables have really come back into vogue as of late, and with a vengeance. After love affairs with wood, granite, stone and plastics, homeowners have once again come to appreciate the beauty and splendor of glass.
Not only does glass give your table an open look, it says that you have an appreciation for natural materials combined with high tech. Glass is after all, merely silica, or sand. Using a special type of glass that is cooled slowly, manufacturers then heat the glass up, taking it through a furnace that reheats it to more than 1,300 degree F. It is then cooled quickly this time using forced air, allowing the outer surface to harden faster than the interior.
Glass on your glass coffee tables is basically the same as the glass in the side windows of your car. If it receives a hard hit, it simply shatters into a bunch of harmless beads of glass rather than becoming dangerous splinters.
Of course, tempered glass is extremely tough, so you don't have to worry about any glass table having an issue. This is particularly true if you invest in a high quality piece. Less expensive glass coffee tables may be less expensive because they have a thinner glass top, one that may not even be tempered.
Glass coffee tables come in nearly any size, design, shape and even color imaginable. Many of the newer table designs use colored or patterned glass to add beauty and visual impact to the piece. This includes glass in brown or smoked hues to match the wood used for the rest of the piece, black tabletops, frosted, etched, tinted and even bolder designs using blue or red glass.
One of the great things about glass top tables is that you get to add a multi-dimensional piece to your home. Glass is combined with stainless steel, wood, aluminum, teak, iron and other materials to create a virtual feast for the eyes. The use of these materials not only creates intriguing and innovative designs, but helps add strength to the table.
Cleaning glass coffee tables involves a tad bit more work than a coffee table that uses other materials that hide fingerprints, smudges and beverage rings more easily. But it's not that much more work, especially when compared to the payoff you get from having a more sophisticated look for a room, one that opens it up, thanks to its transparency.
Start by removing everything from the table. Then wipe it clean with a dry cloth to remove any abrasives such as salt or dust. This added step will also remove some of the grease and grime that can make the next step more difficult.
Next, spray the entire top with glass cleaner. Be sure you use a good quality cleaner or you'll be cursing the streaks it leaves behind. Hot water will work just fine, too. For drying, some people like to use crumpled up newspapers, others prefer a clean, dry cloth. Diapers work particularly well, if you happen to have some around. Some cheaper paper towels will leave paper fibers on the surface, so test these out before trying to clean the entire table. For a little extra shine and sparkle, some experts suggest using another piece of newspaper on the surface.
It sounds like more work than it really is. While your clear glass coffee tables may need cleaning more often, you shouldn't have to do a thorough top to bottom cleaning of your table more than once a month, especially if you have textured, etched or patterned glass.