Are Glass Tabletops Safe? Definitive Guide to Glass Tables may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page.

There is a mysterious, even perhaps sensual feel to glass decor. Whether it's a table, big windows, or some delicate decor details, glass leaves an impression.

That's the reason why glass tabletops are considered to be one of the most appealing and classy interior design options.

Glass tabletops are as much beautiful as they are controversial. If you are wondering if glass table is the way to go, you might be wondering is it really safe to have a seemingly so fragile furniture item in your living space.

We are breaking down the essentials for you so it would be easier to figure out if a glass dining table is a right choice for your home.

Are glass tables practical? Perks of having a glass dining table

There are several reasons to prefer a glass table rather than wood and altogether they weigh down any potential shadows of worry you might have.

The illusion of space and light

The main reason for choosing glass over wood is the reflective nature of the material. Transparent glass mirrors the sunlight, creating a lighter, brighter and larger appearance to the room.

That works especially well if the dining area is small or the room doesn't have much natural light. A glass tabletop makes sure that the little that there is gets to be played out perfectly and the room is displayed in its' finest.


Glass has a place in far more places than just contemporary interiors. In fact, glass tabletops make for a cool DIY project – why not add a suitable tabletop to a wooden table, table frame made of steel or combine the tabletop with other materials.

Glass helps to break the barriers and brings a touch of artsy interior to a vintage room.

Glass helps to protect an existing tabletop

Glass is, in fact, much stronger and durable than it seems. As glass is much easier to clean and maintain than wood, it is a popular choice to add a glass tabletop to an existing wooden table.

That way you can protect the delicate wood and create an interesting decor look with having natural wooden texture appear underneath the glass. A clash of opposites!

They are easy to clean (and hygienic)

No matter if you spilled a glass of wine or spaghetti, it's just a matter of wiping it off!

Wood, on the contrary, can absorb some of the spills (since it's a porous material), so despite your best efforts, it will get ugly over time. Glass tabletop won't get ugly that easily!

They are cheaper than wood

Glass tables tend to be cheaper than wooden tables as the manufacturing process doesn't need so many delicate steps as wood does which needs thorough finishing.

Though naturally, there are budget-friendly ways to create wooden tables and there are expensive glass tables, the average cost of glass is usually cheaper.

Why do glass tabletops shatter?

Unfortunately, glass tables are not all about glitz and glam – there is a downside. There have been occasions where a glass table “explodes” – the fragments just start falling down.

The good news is (yes there is good news to glass exploding): tempered glass is designed as a “safety glass” so if this strange phenomenon should happen, the glass will shatter into tiny pieces and no one is going to get hurt.

Fortunately, the chance of a tempered glass table shattering is close to none.

This phenomenon is called spontaneous glass breakage and there are several reasons that can cause this sudden explosion:

  • Some minor damage during installation – nicked edge, fasteners installed at an improper angle and other similar occasions.
  • Binding of the glass in the frame – glass is known to expand and contract with temperature changes so if the temperature should change very suddenly, it can potentially lead to breakage.
  • Internal defects – defects caused by some manufacturing steps, for example like nickel sulfide inclusions.
  • Inadequate thickness – if the glass is simply poorly engineered and let's say it's too thin, there is a chance it cannot resist the wind load.

However, today's glass tables are no different than tables made of any other material.

There are risks with any material and so is with glass but the likelihood of your table shattering into million pieces and causing harm is pretty much non-existent.

How to choose a safe glass tabletop?

Once you've made up your mind on wanting to decorate your home with a beautiful glass table, it's time to get to the next step – figuring out what you exactly need.

If you know already the design you want to go for, you have narrowed it down quite a bit but there are still some specific technical details you should look for when choosing the best one.


The exact thickness depends on what you plan to use the table for. However, this is a characteristic you should consider no matter the use as in case you choose too thin table top for outdoors there is a chance it may shatter in wind (even if the chance of that happening is small).

The thicker the glass is, the more “luxurious” it might feel like the weight of the glass brings a certain majestic feel.

A thin tabletop is very modern and sleek so it might be under consideration if you are looking for a dining room decor item.

Here's a brief breakdown that helps you out with picking the right thickness:

  • 1/4 – suitable for a protective cover and tabletops that are under 24” in their dimensions.
  • 3/16 – suitable for patio tables, small tables and also table covers.
  • 3/8 – a heavier version that will work well in cases where glass is not supported.
  • 1/2 – the heaviest version which suits the best for tabletops where glass is the only material and the tabletop is unsupported.


Tempered glass is considered to be the safety glass – tempered glass is up to 7 times harder to break! Also, if it should happen that a tempered glass table breaks, it shatters into small pieces rather than big chunks so it can't hurt you.

Though not all glass tables are tempered – especially 1/2” ones as those are already bulky and thick – most thinner table tops are tempered to add extra strength and as tempering doesn't really change the tables' appearance, it is advised to go for a tempered one.

There are no gambles with safety so it is better to be safe than to pick up millions of tiny glass pebbles.


When shopping for glass tables, don't forget to check the edges! Go for a glass table that has beveled or rounded edges which are softer and don't display any safety issues.

Some older designs have still rough squared edges that are not only painful but can shatter much more easily if you should move the table around and hit a wall with the table corner accidentally.

Finishing touches

Glass is unbelievably versatile and you can find more than just regular transparent table tops on sale: there are numerous finishing touches, including different color variations.

Colored glass can bring true funk to your living room while a transparent tabletop will contribute to the lighting in the room and will create a refined look. This comes down to your personal taste!

Where can I find glass tabletops?

Now to the fun part – shopping! As this is a matter of personal taste, we decided to showcase 3 of our personal favorites. The choice is yours – pick one of these and add a modern touch to your home.

Coylin Square Cocktail Table

The interestingly shaped coffee table with a squared tabletop is hard to not notice. Combining metal legs with a sleek glass tabletop – this is a combo that will win hearts over!

Brushed nickel-tone and an intriguing shape alone are plenty of reasons to opt for this table.

To top it all, the price for such beauty is reasonable – especially for the quality received.

Coaster Accent Table with a Chrome Finish

This modern side table leaves no one without an impression. The compact clean-cut design makes this the perfect furniture detail for decorating your living room.

Made of clear tempered glass and supported by strong metal legs, this table is not just practical and modern, it comes with a very food price!

Walker Edison Glass Oval Coffee Table

The cheapest of the three, Walker Edison oval table is romantic and adorable!

Curving sparkling steel legs, beveled and tempered glass, frosted finish – these are the reasons why it is such a loveable furniture item and will decorate your home perfectly.

TREND ALERT: 17 Biggest Home Decor Trends for 2019

It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through 2018, but it’s true. Time sure does fly, doesn’t it? And designers are already talking...