Glass has been a popular item in wall tile for many years, but now it is being used for kitchen countertops. Glass today means more than just windows. Glass kitchen countertops are becoming more popular for those remodeling a kitchen and who are seeking a material that is sleek, modern, interesting and new. Glass is being used as kitchen countertops because homeowners see it as beautiful and stylish. Custom glass countertops can give a kitchen a great contemporary look. Glass kitchen countertops provide a non-traditional design element as well as light and sophistication to any kitchen.
As a highly polished surface, and non-porous, glass kitchen countertops offer an almost unlimited range of design possibilities, particularly in the choice of shape, edge detailing, and texture. The fact that it is non-porous means that it is stain-proof and hygienic. Glass kitchen countertops are shaped all in one piece so there are no seams. Glass kitchen countertops can also take on hot pots. Glass provides both exceptional form and functionality. Glass kitchen countertops can be personalized with regards to texture, color, or with embedded art. Glass can also be combined with textured stainless steel in creating a unique kitchen countertop design.
Glass used in kitchen countertops is heavy glass in pieces that range from ½ to 1 inch in thickness. The most popular glass thicknesses are ½ inch and ¾ inch. 3/4-inch glass can weigh about 10 pounds per square foot.
Glass kitchen countertops are available in different textures created by one of three types of surface treatments: Sandblasting to fog the glass or to produce patterns into it. Intentionally shattering the glass an laminating it between layers of clear glass. Slumping the glass by melting the glass into special three-dimensional patterns or forms that are embossed into the underside.
The natural color of glass kitchen countertops is slightly green. To create translucent colors the back of the glass is tinted. More opaque colors are created by adding a special opaque coating on the back of the glass. Glass kitchen countertops can be installed in different ways to create certain visual effects.
When it comes to heat glass kitchen countertops can take heat up to about 700 degrees without cracking, although it is a good ideas to use trivets and other protection.
Glass kitchen countertops have a heavy tensile strength that makes it possible to withstand a tremendous amount of weight. However dropping a heavy object like a pot or kettle could cause it to chip, break, or even shatter the glass. If the glass countertop breaks it must be replaced as it can not just be repaired. Glass countertops are prone to scratches, and fingerprints. Watermarks can show up on smooth glass countertops so they must be towel dried. To keep the glass countertops in optimal condition it is necessary to keep the service dry after it is cleaned to prevent watermarks.
It is possible to have the look of glass countertops without making glass the main surface by just using the glass for accent counters.
James Mahoney is the author of many kitchen design articles and has a site about kitchen design ideas at Kitchen Designers Ideas.com . He also publishes a newsletter on kitchen design.