Next time you buy glass furniture, look beyond the "glass" category when researching the material. It is important to know the different types of glass that can be used, since each type of glass provides certain qualities for style and safety.
1. Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is at least twice as strong as non-tempered glass. When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into many dull pieces, which are much easier and safer to clean up. When shattered, non-tempered glass breaks into fewer pieces, but the edges are sharp and can be dangerous to touch. Tempered glass furniture is ideal for heavy use, especially around children or pets.
To become tempered, the glass goes through a treatment where it is heated and then quickly cooled, making it tougher and more resistant.
2. Frosted Glass
Frosted glass has a bit more of an opaque finish. Since it is less transparent than traditional glass, any object placed behind or under frosted glass will become blurred.
Many modern glass tables are frosted. Not only does this have a nice appearance, but signs of daily wear and fingerprints will not be as obvious. Designs and patterns are sometimes etched into frosted glass to add a stylish finish.
3. Black Glass
Although black glass is much darker in color, it still has the same reflective qualities as traditional glass.
For the most part, black glass furniture is smooth with no texture, since it normally fits in with more modern decor. It is very common to see a black glass dining table in a contemporary home. Black glass is also commonly used in entertainment centers and desks.
4. Seeded Glass
Seeded glass (also referred as seedy glass) has very tiny bubbles that give it a unique, stylish appearance. It is commonly used in cabinets, pendant lighting, vases and lamp bases. In pendant lighting, lamps, vases and other accessories, the seeded glass is sometimes tinted a different color to add more character and flair to its design.
Similarly to frosted glass, objects placed behind or under seeded glass are not completely clear. Instead of being completely blurry, those items will take on that bubble-like appearance.
5. Textured Glass
Textured glass looks and feels differently than traditional glass. It usually has bumps, waves, or some type of etching on the surface. Some of these patterns are more uniform, while others form a design.
Since textured glass does not have the typical flat appearance we normally see in glass, it can add an extra decorative element to nearly any type of furniture. It also has that slightly more opaque look, causing items placed behind or under to appear blurred. A glass top dining table with a textured finish has a unique look.
6. Crackled Glass
Crackled glass has the look of many tiny glass shatters, and can have a nice appearance on table tops and accessories. Crackled glass is formed when hot glass is put in cold water, and then reheated. The reheating step seals the glass.
You can see the detail of crackled glass furniture up close. It can have a sparkle type of effect when looked at from certain angles. A crackled glass table can be easier to maintain than a traditional glass table, since fingerprints will not be as striking. If you are looking for an accent piece, a crackled glass lamp will instantly add character to any room.
7. Beveled Glass
Beveled glass has edges that are cut on an angle, which give it a less flat appearance than traditional glass. Some beveled glass pieces are cut at sharper angles than others.
This design is found in doors, windows, mirrors and table tops. A beveled glass coffee table will stand out slightly more than a traditional glass coffee table, which is something to keep in mind if you are looking for an accent piece. If you are trying to make your furniture stand out even more, you can find textured glass with beveled edges.