One of the best ways to beautify your kitchen is to upgrade the countertops. As countertops usually dominate the space in your kitchen, replacing them can transform your cooking space entirely. There’s no shortage of material choices but if you want a truly unique look for your kitchen, you can try glass countertops.
Most people are wary about using this material because there’s a widespread belief that glass countertops would be fragile and break easily. That’s not the case. Thin glass is, of course, fragile and will break. However, the glass used on countertops is usually very thick. Here’s a brief guide on glass countertops.
Is it Right For You?
Before you make the decision to buy glass countertops, you need to understand if it’s right for you. As we mentioned before, these countertops aren’t fragile, but they might not be for everyone. Consider the following points:
- Glass countertops tend to attract fingerprints. For most people, that’s not an issue, but if you have little children around, they might leave their hand and finger prints all over the counter.
- If you like to cook with a bang, this is, if you love to carelessly toss things on your kitchen countertop, this surface might not be for you. While it is resilient, slamming utensils on it might lead to scratches.
- You need to use a cutting board or something similar to shield the countertop when you’re cutting or chopping ingredients. This is recommended for all countertops, but especially for glass countertops.
- Glass is expensive. It doesn’t easily fit into all budgets so you’ll have to shell out a considerable amount of money up front. The material is even more expensive than quartz. It can cost you anywhere between $75 and $100 per square feet. Considering that quartz can be around $60, granite $50, and marble $40 at minimum, glass is much more expensive.
- Recycled or crushed glass is the exception here. It can cost anywhere between $50 and $80.
Types of Glass
There are different types of glass that can be used on your kitchen countertops. The performance and cost varies from one material to another. Usually, glass countertops are made from about 80% to 95% glass that’s combined with either cement or polymer resin. Before the glass is fully hardened, pigments are added if desired.
- Tempered Glass – Tempered glass is new form of recycled glass that has been treated with heat to increase its durability and strength. Like metal, careful application of heat can alter the properties of glass and make it more resilient. Naturally, this is the most expensive type of countertop material available.
- Non-Tempered Glass – This glass hasn’t been specifically treated with heat and other enhancing treatments to strengthen it. That doesn’t mean that this surface is weak. Thick glass is resilient too.
- Annealed Glass – This glass has some chemicals added to the initial resin mixture to increase its strength.
The strength of the glass also depends on the materials used in the fabrication process. Here are the different kinds of glass available.
- Float Glass – This glass is made by pouring the heated mixture of glass, both new and recycled, on a bed of pure molten metal. This mixture is then poured into molds. At this stage, the manufactures may add pigments if required.
- Slump Glass – In this process, solid glass fragments are placed in a mold. The mold is then heated until the glass fragments soften and slump into the mold, taking its shape.
- Kiln-Fired Glass – The advantage of this process is that even the smallest particles of glass can be used. The solid pieces are placed in a mold before the mould is placed in a kiln. However, the size of the end result can be limited and it depends on the capacity of the oven.
What are the Advantages of Glass Countertops?
Most people wonder if glass countertops are really worth the investment. As it’s one of the most expensive countertop materials out there, they’re cautious about installing it. However, people who have installed it consider it a worthwhile investment. Here are some of the advantages of glass countertops.
By far, glass countertops are the most beautiful looking countertops on the market. You can add pigments to it, stain it with spots or waves of color, and add lighting to it to provide an ethereal effect. No matter how you treat the glass, it always looks luxurious and high-end. Moreover, these countertops are almost always custom made so you can mold them into any shape you desire.
Glass is also a great investment as it adds to the value of the house. While most people would hesitate to install glass countertops, they will certainly be willing to pay more for a house that has one. If you intend to sell your home in the future, properly maintained glass kitchen countertops can add a considerable amount of value to your home.
Of all materials available in the market, glass is easiest to clean. The surface is completely non-porous so oil/liquid stains don’t sink in. You can easily just mop the surface with water or even a mild glass cleaner and you’ll find it beautiful and sparkling clean.
As far as maintenance is concerned, no other counter performs as well. You don’t need to seal this material every few years and you don’t need to worry about etching or stains. Just day to day cleaning can preserve its beauty for several years to come. Glass countertops have a high upfront price tag, but require nearly no expense in maintenance.
Again, as the surface is non-porous, it doesn’t have any space to hide bacteria, germs, mold, and dust. This is great for people who’re prone to allergies and need a clean, sanitary surface.
Glass countertops are unique and beautiful. They would look great in your kitchens and bathrooms. If you have more questions, call Five Star Stone Inc. at 727 265 1100 or just fill this contact us form and we’ll get back to you.