How to Measure for a Glass Tabletop – a Useful Guide

new wooden dining table with glass

Have you just purchased a new dining room set or an expensive conference table for your office? The last thing you want to happen is for the beautiful wooden surface to be scratched or stained.

 The solution – the way to safeguard your valuable investment – is protective glass from Tucson Tabletops.  A clear glass top allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through while protecting the surface from damage. Like other trades, we have to charge to visit your home but you can avoid this trip charge by following this simple, six-step process:-

water stain on oak tabletop
scratched wooden tabletop

Safeguard your valuable furniture from stains and scratches!

Watch this informative video for everything you need to know about measuring a glass tabletop

Follow this simple, 6-step, process to avoid a measuring charge

  • Determine the glass thickness eg 1/4” or 3/8”
  • Decide on the glass color eg clear, gray or bronze
  • Choose between annealed or tempered
  • Measure the dimensions: width * length
  • Decide on the  edgework: seamed or polished
  • Describe the corners: square, radius or clipped

Step 1: Determine the Glass Thickness

glass thickness

Choosing glass thickness is simple because the best choice for almost all protective tops is 1/4” thick glass.  The only exception is the case of large conference tables in which holes are required for electrical wiring.  In some large tabletops, 3/8″ glass is recommended for extra strength (consult your glass professional for advice).

Step 2: Choose the Color of your Glass

Next – decide on the color of the glass – probably 95% of our customers choose the most affordable option which is clear glass (clear glass actually has a greenish tinge owing to it’s iron contain – It is important to appreciate that the shade of green depends on the amount of glass you are looking through.- so the edge of a long glass table top will look almost black.

There are other color options for protective 1/4” glass, so come into our studio and look at samples if you feel you might prefer gray (commonly used with stereo or HiFi equipment, bronze, black – sometimes used to disguise damage or expensive low-iron or starphire glass.

edge color of glass

Clear Glass (above) has a Green Tint

gilded table with low-iron glass top

Low-Iron Glass on Gilded Table

clear glass
bronze tinted glass
gray tinted glass
starfire or low-iron glass

Step 3: Annealed or Tempered Glass?

Step 3 is to decide whether you want annealed or tempered glass.   Most customers choose the more affordable annealed glass for protective tops because the danger of breakage is low. 

broken tempered glass
broken annealed glass
Tempered Glass Breaks into Harmless Fragments
Annealed Glass Breaks into Dangerous Shards

Tempered glass (above) is five times more impact-resistant, will withstand heat and is much safer when broken (it shatters into  harmless popcorn fragments.).

Regular annealed glass (above), in contrast, is potentially more dangerous as it breaks into sharp jagged shards.

Insider safety tip

Building safety codes do not mandate tempered glass for tabletops so the choice is up to you – safety-conscious customers (maybe if you have teenagers in the house or if you insist on placing very hot saucepans on the glass) – may prefer to play it safe with tempered glass.

danger warning Artistry in Glass

Step 4: How to Measure a Rectangular Tabletop

The next and most crucial step is to carefully measure the width and length of the table – if you are not already familiar with a tape measure – notice that an inch is divided into 16ths. Measure to the nearest 1/16′ – and for more confidence use a 2nd tape measure to double-check your readings – Remember – if your table is too big, we cannot grind off 1/8” the correct the error. 

tape measure closeup
measuring edge of tabletop no overlap

For the best results – study the edge profile of your table to see if it is rounded or beveled.  Measure the dimensions of the FLAT part of the tabletop – we do not recommend letting the glass overhang the table edge.

Step 5: Decide on the Edgework - Seamed or Polished

glass edgework seamed or polished

Economical “seamed” glass (left) is OK for work tables but a perfect flat-polished edge is the best choice for furniture.

Step 6: Specify the Corners - Square, Radius or Clipped

Finally, Check the table corners: most rectangular tops have square corners and we round them slightly to remove the sharp point. Some tops need rounded corners – these are specified by the radius of a circle that defines the corner. In a similar way, clipped corners are defined by the length of the side of the square that defines the corner.  If the corners are irregular or you having difficulties measuring – just make a tracing of the corner and bring it into our shop.

glass corners radius or clipped
corners diagram radius or clipped

Finally: to make the order call or email your 6-point details

For ease of ordering just call or email this 6-point list (with credit card details) to your local glass company (in Tucson, Arizona – call Artistry in Glass) and they will fabricate the glass for you to pick up in about a week – or ask about delivery to your home.  For Southern Arizona pricing go to this page on our TucsonTabletops website and enter the size of your top in inches.

Special offer: save $150!

If you feel, like many people, that it is time to invest in solar panels, to save on utility bills, AND help save the planet, then consider this great offer from Artistry in Glass!

Simply sign up with Solar Solution AZ and we will discount your glass by up to $150.00.

Four Main Shapes of Conference Tables

Tucsontabletops has more than 30 years experience in the business of making glass to protect and enhance your fine furniture.

surfboard-shaped conference table
rectangular conference table
racetrack-shaped conference table
boat-shaped conference table

Wooden conference tables for lawyers and other corporate offices are expensive pieces of furniture which are very vulnerable to damage during overheated board meetings. The solution: safeguard your investment with protective glass.  

Special Table Shapes - Call Artistry in Glass

glass on plane-wing
aluminum plane tabletop
new wooden dining table with glass
Custom bronze glass tabletop
oval tabletop made from 1/2" gray glass

Cracked Glass Tabletops

Cracked or crackle glass, also known as shattered glass, is made from three pieces of tempered (heat-strengthened) glass laminated together. The middle piece is shattered into thousands of popcorn-like pieces to create a sparkling, crystal-like effect. Despite its appearance, it is perfectly safe and durable because the shattered piece is sandwiched between two high strength pieces of glass.

Watch how Artistry in Glass makes a cracked glass tabletop.

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