If you’re looking to make a statement in your kitchen or bathroom redesign, look no further than a glass countertop. These customizable, eye-catching pieces are each one-of-a-kind and can drastically change the look and feel of your space. As a bonus, these countertops are often made of eco-friendly, recycled glass. The list of benefits for glass countertops goes on and on, but this article is meant to focus primarily on the safety of glass countertops as well as the safety precautions built into them.
Some homeowners are concerned with the potential safety risks associated with installing a large piece of glass in your home. The reality is that glass countertops can come in a variety of styles with varying sizes, shapes, and types of glass.
Crushed glass countertops are made of smaller, crushed up pieces of glass that are poured into a mould with an acrylic or concrete binder to hold the entire countertop together. Because of the strong binder on these countertops, you aren’t likely to experience any chips or cracks, thus eliminating the danger of having glass in your space.
For cast glass countertops, where the entire countertop is one, continuous piece of glass, we use the industry standard, tempered glass. Tempered glass is glass that has undergone a high-temperature heat treating process in order to increase its strength and durability. This type of glass is far less dangerous than standard, annealed glass because it does not shatter into jagged pieces as regular glass would. Instead, it breaks into thousands of small, relatively harmless pieces. Tempered glass is used wherever human safety if a concern and can be found in products such as car windows and windshields, kitchen appliances, shower enclosures, racquetball courts, and skylights. In fact, odds are you’re sitting near a piece of tempered glass at this very moment. It’s also used in the screens of our computer monitors and televisions.
Tempered glass is made by first cutting the glass into the desired shape and size. All jagged edges are then sanded off of the glass and it is subsequently washed to remove any small fragments. The glass then begins its journey through the heating process where it enters a kiln and is heated to 620 degrees Celsius or 1,148 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the maximum heat has been reached throughout the entire piece of glass, the cooling procedure, or “quenching”, begins. During this short process, high-pressure air is blasted onto the surface of the glass from various angles. After the outside of the glass has cooled, this process ends and the hot interior of the glass slowly begins to cool. As the interior cools, it pulls on the cooled, exterior glass and further enhances the panel’s strength as a whole. The result is a durable piece of glass that can easily withstand the daily wear and tear of kitchen or bathroom use. In the end, tempered glass is perfect for the home as it is resistant to moisture, heat, mold, and staining.
Non-toxic and Easy Maintenance
A glass countertop option is perfect for individuals with concerns about toxins and bacteria, or for families with certain food allergies. With a glass countertop option, the seamless, smooth surface is incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Without all of the nooks and crannies of other types of countertops, you can rest assured that after cleaning, your surfaces are clear of bacteria and potential allergens. Because these countertops do not require any sealing, they are not exposed to the same harmful chemicals that other countertops may contain. While glass is certainly more durable than most other types of countertops, extra care should be taken to ensure that no cracks or scratches develop. Make sure you always cut food on a cutting board and try to limit the amount of extremely heavy items placed on your kitchen counters.
If you have any further questions about the safety of glass countertops and want to inquire more about installing them in your space, contact the More Than Glass team today. Our highly trained team is available to answer all of your questions by phone at (804) 746-3086 or online at www.morethanglass.com.