No can dispute the fact that glass is very important to man. Just look all around you and you will see why. From
the time man has learned to civilize himself, he has used glasses for mirrors and windows, etc.
Modern man is no exception. Where would we be without our car window shields, glass doors, glass wall panels,
solar panels, and a host of other glass-based products? Today, countertop builders have added a new way of using
glass – by making glass countertops. These countertops will add sophistication to your house, whether it has a
traditional or modern design.
The distinct look of glass countertops sets them apart from other types of countertops. They are a good
alternative to those who are already tired of the traditional look of hard stone countertops. You can get them in
different colors, styles and surface textures. If you mount them on a stainless steel cabinet and install
back-lighting on its surface, you will have a very rich-looking countertop. You can only achieve this effect with
glass, because of its wonderful reflective properties. Glass is no longer a novelty item in the countertop
industry. They are steadily being sought after especially by avant-garde homeowners.
How Is Glass Made?
Glass is typically composed of the following materials: sand,
limestone, borax and soda ash. All these materials are in powder dry form. In making glass, they are combined with
cullet, which is recycled or waste glass from a previous glass melting. Cullet is added to reduce the amount of
heat needed to melt all the ingredients. The combined mixture is then placed in melting units. Small glass items
like optical glass, specialty and art glasses are placed in pots, while large sizes of glass are put inside
furnaces. When the mixture is melted, they are then placed in molds or are shaped. There are four ways by which
molten glass is shaped: by drawing, pressing, blowing or casting. After the glass is shaped it is annealed to
restore the strength of the glass. If it is required, the glass is further strengthened by tempering and other
Types Of Glass Countertops Available Today
Since its introduction in the market, there is now a wide array of styles, designs, colors and surface textures
available for glass countertops. It is possible to get what you really want since these countertops are completely
man-made. Whatever countertop design you may prefer, they will always fall into one of these types.
• Slump Glass – this glass mixture is laid in a mold and heated until it softens and “slumps”
to its designed shape. This process is used to make glass countertops with a specific shape and surface
• Kiln-fired Glass – this is the way by which glass remnants are recycled into a new glass
countertop. The hot furnace temperature will melt them again. The result will be a strong and hard glass
• Float Glass – the molten glass mixture is “floated” on a bed of molten tin. This will
produce several sheets of glasses that are uniform in thickness with flat and smooth surfaces. Window glasses are
made this way.
The Strength Of Glass Countertops
The average thickness of a glass countertop ranges from ¾ inch to 1.5 inches. Your glass countertop can approach a
solid-surface consistency when the glass is more than ¾ inch thick. If it is more than 1.5 inches, your glass
countertop will be as hard and tough as any hard stone countertop. If the glass has the right thickness and it is
tempered, it can support huge weights. It can also tolerate high heat because it was produced using furnace
What’s good about glass is that, when you accidentally damage it, or when you want a new look, you can recycle
the whole structure. Nothing is wasted. You cannot do that with a hard stone countertop.
Care And Maintenance
It must always be remembered that glass is still a delicate material,
however strong it is made. Therefore, if you want to use it for a long time, you need to use it carefully and give
it its proper maintenance. Here are some things you can do to extend its useful life.
• Don’t sit on the glass. No matter how thick it is, it is still made of glass and can suddenly break.
• Avoid dropping heavy and sharp objects in its surface. Glass countertops cannot tolerate the sudden impact
of heavy objects. It may result in cracks and eventual breakage.
• Don’t let water and liquid stains linger on the surface. They will leave ugly maps that are hard to clean.
Wipe them dry once you see them.
• Use mild soaps and soft cloth in cleaning the surface. Never use glass cleansers with acids and harsh