Wanting to add glass to top of kitchen table, but unsure...

purrusApril 13, 2013

Hi all,

This is a gorgeous handmade table from DH's uncle , who is a master woodworker. We have been using it as our ktichen table but with a tablecloth since it scratches very easily. Of course this means that we don't get to enjoy the table's beauty very often, which is pointless. Obviously it won't look very nice if we ruin it, ,either, so some protection is necessary. (We are always sitting at this table and it collects clutter occasionally, so it WILL get very scratched up if left unprotected.)

So I want to cut a piece of glass for the top, but the corners kind of curve downward as the pictures show. Also we are expecting our first child and don't think that really pointy-edged glass that extends out to the very edge of the table is a great idea. (But we admit we are probably overthinking this!)

How would you guys do this? Would love any advice.


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Holly- Kay

Congrats on the new baby! What an exciting time this will be for you.

Adding a glass top makes perfect sense to me. The glass maker could probably round the corners on it, though at dining table height, I doubt if it would be dangerous to your little one!

I have a desk in my office that I had a piece of glass cut for it and it has added wonderful protection to it. I have a beautiful antique dining table that I want to have restored but I want it protected. The problem is, it has a pie crust trim so I would have to keep that part unprotected.

Good luck with your beautiful table and your baby!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:51AM
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We had a 54" round piece of glass cut for our wooden breakfast table which allowed us to remove the tablecloth and enjoy the beauty of the wood. I do have one piece of advice to offer from our experience. Our glass is somewhat thick which always bothered me. I went online to a glass website, and it said that it is not necessary for a piece of tabletop glass to be thick as the weight will hold it in place. I can't remember the exact thickness that was recommended, but please keep that in mind. Your table is lovely.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:00AM
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What a beautiful table! I have an ash desk that was my grandpa's, and I had a piece of glass cut for the top. It's much more decoratice than functional, but just one cold water glass left on it would destroy the finish.

I also had glass cut for 2 oak end tables in our living room.

In your case, with a much-used table, be sure to watch closely for liquid seeping under the glass.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:32AM
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We had glass cut for our large round formal dining table and it was the best decision ever. We even had them template for glass on the buffet table, which had some curves in it and it turned out great. I would call someone who could come and give you an estimate. They should be able to help you with your concerns.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 12:07PM
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We have a French Art Deco dining room table that we covered with quarter inch glass for a number of years while the kids were young. So I think that is a great idea. One word of caution though. When liquid spilled near the edges of the glass or maybe during cleaning the glass, the moisture would wick underneath. So I would be very careful to make sure that you don't have standing liquid near the edges to damage the finish there.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 12:21PM
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My DM has glass on her coffee table - If you can afford it, look into Starphire glass as it the clearest of the glass.
A local glass store should be able to identify if they can do what you need.
As NYC indicates - watch out for the capillary effect of liquids...
BTW - a beautiful table!!! Wow!!
Congrats on the newbie on its way as well

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 3:46PM
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That's not a table that I would want around babies or toddler's, period. I'd put it in storage for the next 5-10 years. Glass won't protect the legs against dings and scratches and moisture damage from turned over sippy cups etc. When the kids get beyond the dangerous stage, that's when I'd pull it back out and share it's heritage with the family.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:50PM
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Holly- Kay

You are so right blue. I spilled a cup of coffee on my desk and it wicked right under the glass. It took two men to lift it off my desk so I could clean up the spill.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:50PM
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I personally am not a fan of glass on top of wood. The beauty of wood tables to me, is the warmth and softness of the material. You can rest your arms on it without doing the pre-emptive shiver that glass and granite inspire. You can plunk down heavy plates without worrying about breaking or chipping anything.

Before you go the glass route, talk to your uncle-in-law. Tell him that you love the table, but the finish scratches easily and you're wondering if it's possible to apply a more kid-proof finish. If he doesn't have any good suggestions, then go with the glass or a tablecloth.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 2:00AM
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I have used a glass topped kitchen table since my kids were small (now they are in college). Spilled liquids seeping under the glass was very manageable. 2 houses and 20 years later, the glass still looks great. With kids, you'd be changing tablecloths every meal. The only downside for me was using the table leaves--you have to store the glass somewhere.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 6:11AM
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Congrats on the new little one on the way - how exciting!

So, I come from the camp of "be careful, but not too cautious". Children get bumps and bruises, scratches and boo-boos...it's part of them growing up. You want to put them in a bubble and keep anything bad from every happening to them. Alas, I'm not sure that makes them well equipped to handle the world then. So, be careful...but not too much...what a tough balancing act. But, I digress.

Also, something that I'm always reminded of is people wanting to save something "for good". My grandmother did that - they were of very modest means, so when she got something new, she always put it aside to save it for "something special". Well, there are plates that are in the china cupboard to this day that were never used because they might get scratched or chipped, so they should only be used for extra special company. Who is any more special than your very own day-to-day family, really?

So, enjoy that gorgeous table. Embrace the dings, scratches, and dents that will come along with having use...remember what those come from...those are the things of memories...they are the things that you will reminisce about when your little one(s) are grown and gone. You will learn to see that dent and remember the day that your little boy (or girl) decided to ride his tricycle in the house and banged into the table leg and dented it, cried because he fell off and bumped his head...and stopped crying because you kissed away the hurt (that DOES work, you know!) And you will grow to love those dents (or at least the stories that go with them) more and more and more as the years fly by.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 9:56AM
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We have pads like these for a rosewood dining table we have. We simply remove it when we have company and want to show off the beautiful wood. The rest of the time the table is protected from kid spills, kid art (markers, paint) etc.

I would worry about a glass top breaking if a small child starts banging his cup or spoon or who knows what on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: table pads

This post was edited by itsallaboutthefood on Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 10:33

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Oh, this takes me back to the 1950's - 60's when my mother had glass on top of all of our bedroom dressers, the coffee table, and I can't remember what else (frankly don't recall it on the dining table, though). It was one of my weekly chores to go around and clean that glass.

As I recall the edges and corners were smoothed and beveled or rounded so not at all a hazard. And it seemed to me that the glass did not detract from the beauty of the pieces, especially the painted dressers and coffee table (which was made from a cut-down 1890s dining table, painted white). This household had 3 rambunctious boys and the glass never suffered a ding.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 4:00PM
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Purrus..your table is so beautiful.
I had a glass top made for our dining table and it was a great decision. It has beveled edges and was made with tempered glass. There was actually no difference in price between the plain and tempered glass. I was surprised. I love how easy it is to clean. Just spray with glass cleaner. I do have 2 little granddaughters and it does make cleanup of spilled milk easy. Every few weeks we lift it off to dust underneath. A few crumbs do find a way under. The glass does add a little bling which I like.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If that were a traditional or rustic style table, I'd agree with the "let it patina with use" comments. However, it's a modern style, and modern styles simply do not improve with signs of use. It's a different aesthetic. And glass would go against the aesthetic. I'd put the table in the formal dining area and use a pad with a tablecloth for the few occasions that demanded it. For the rest of the baby breakfasts and kid abuse, I'd get a different, more casual table. Less valuable both from a sentiment view and from a monetary view. Let a cheap table take the milk spills and teething marks on the legs. Once the children have internalized respect for their belongings and surroundings, then more and more dinners can take place at the formal table.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:25PM
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