First of All, Just What is "Thick" Glass?
Historically the most common architectural use for glass has been for plain residential or commercial windows, in which case the thickness rarely exceeds 3/8", except for the very largest picture windows. More recently any glass over 1" thick that is custom made for tabletops, countertops, islands, bar tops, flooring, stair treads, etc. has come to be known as "thick glass".
Over the years our company has produced thousands of unique thick glass kitchen countertops, bar tops, and glass top kitchen islands, often incorporating ColorFuse glass for a seemingly infinite variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and textures. We view every new project as an opportunity to create something distinctive and exciting.
If you are looking for something truly unique for your home or office, the beauty and functionality of a custom made thermoformed glass countertop is guaranteed to offer many advantages over other common countertop materials. Our in-house factory gives us the ability to fully customize your project to your needs, making any glass countertop a unique and attractive choice.
To carry out our mission of producing eye catching, one-of-a-kind products built to your specs and your tastes, our in house design team often collaborates with kitchen designers, interior designers, and architects to produce something truly unique that meets and even exceeds your expectations.
What About Recycled Glass?
It turns out that not all glass countertops are the same - in fact far from it!
If you do much research for terms like "glass kitchen countertops" (and believe us when we say we have researched the heck out of that term!), you will no doubt find many results for kitchen countertops made out of recycled glass.
However, in most cases this means chunks of broken glass chips suspended in a composite base, giving the finished product a random, patternless look not unlike a tile mosaic. Similar products include recycled stone chipped composite countertops, which share many of the same drawbacks when compared to a clear, solid glass counter surface.
GDS™ Solid Glass Counters
Recycled Composite Glass
Any Level of Transparency
Made From Natural Silica
Opaque Composite Base
Man Made Materials
Unlike broken glass countertops, our custom made solid glass countertops and bar tops are produced from solid kiln fired glass manufactured right here in our Carlsbad factory. We never outsource any work overseas!
Because we are in complete control of the glass manufacturing process from start to finish, we cannot "pass the buck" when it comes to the looks, tolerances, and build quality of the finished product. We take great pride in the works of art that we create, we have a wealth of experience to draw from, and we stand behind our products 100%.
So even though the search terms may be similar, the products most certainly are not. As you can see, our solid glass countertops are the clear winner in every way!
What Surfaces Can I Use Glass For?
Our kiln fired glass products can incorporate various combinations of slump glass, etched (sandblasted) glass, ColorFuse™ technology, PermaCoat, MetalliCoat, and LED backlighting for a unique and durable finish, delivering strength and easy cleanup properties in a wide variety of applications such as:
- Thick glass kitchen countertops, with or without matching backsplash
- Backlit kitchen counter tops using LED lights
- Colored glass kitchen islands with ColorFuse™ technology, PermaCoat, or MetalliCoat finish
- Glass topped kitchen serving counters with a variety of edge details, textures, and patterns
- Lit glass bar tops with your choice of backlighting
How DURABLE is glass?
Believe it or not, clear solid glass is much more durable than granites and synthetic countertops. It is a harder, denser material that scratches and chips less. Textures and colors in the glass make small scratches nearly invisible, if they should occur. There is also NO change in appearance or durability over time!
We sometimes get asked about solid black glass countertops and islands. This is something we do not recommend, because it is incredibly difficult to keep clean and small scratches show up quite readily. For this reason we recommend lighter colors or a completely translucent appearance, with or without some texture or pattern to prevent the inevitable patina (which any material will develop over time) from detracting from the overall look.
What About Edge Contours?
Because each piece of our custom thick glass is produced right here in our factory, we have complete control over the edge contours that will suit your particular application the best. This can include seamed edges, polished edges, and mitering edges, and in a number of unique looks and patterns, including bullnose, half bullnose, chipped polished, and chipped frost. See the examples on this page to get a better idea of each one of these finishes.
How Many Unique Looks Can You Create?
Some of the more popular looks and themes we have created over the years include:
- "Ice glass", with a glacial polish which simulates the look of a glacier or frozen lake
- Frosted glass with a slightly opaque look in a variety of colors
- Ornate glass with scrollwork, hieroglyph patterns, or other traditional old world styles
- Mid century modern designs with simple, clean lines
- Brash ultra-modern looks with bright colors and/or patterns
ColorFuse™ Color Options:
But isn't glass FRAGILE?
It’s a common misconception that a glass bar top or countertop will be fragile and easily broken. Back when glass was first used in windows and mirrors, it was inherently fragile due to the relatively crude processes available at the time. However, with modern advancements in manufacturing, the truth is that granite and glass have very similar properties, and that in most cases thick glass has far surpassed natural stone materials in durability.
To go further with this, in most cases a custom glass countertop or island is actually stronger than granite or stone, as it is a much more dense and structurally consistent material. The same goes for marble countertops and quartz countertops. Imagine a slab of granite, marble, or quartz stone at a quarter (¼”) inch thick. It would break with significantly less force than ¼” glass, due to the pores, veins, and imperfections in the stone.
On the other hand, a glass bar top, tabletop or countertop at 1″– 3″ thick is quite a substantial piece of material, and its structural consistency cannot be matched by stone.
What About Tempered Glass Countertops and Islands?
If you are looking for a thinner, sleeker look, countertops with 3/4″ or less thickness can also be tempered to further harden the surface, creating a safer, stronger finished product. Thick glass does not require tempering because it gets plenty of strength just from its thickness alone.
Can I Place Hot Cookware Directly on a Glass Counter?
Although we do recommend using hotplates for safety, hot cookware can generally be placed directly on its surface. A little common sense goes a long way!
Cutting on Glass Counter Surfaces
Cutting directly on a glass countertop is not recommended - we suggest using cutting boards to save and maintain longevity of your cutlery. But for overall cleanliness, glass is actually a much more sanitary surface than most countertop surfaces, not to mention most wood or plastic cutting boards!
Hygiene & Cleaning
Glass is a non-porous material, making it the most hygienic material available for countertops. This is also why glass is stain proof. Fingerprints and watermarks are also nearly invisible when the glass includes textures and/or colors.
It is recommended to towel dry any wet areas to eliminate watermarks and streaking. The surface can be cleaned with a sponge (do not use abrasive side) or towel. Window cleaner and paper towels are preferred for optimum shine. Certain cleaners have been known to have chemicals that cause a haze and are not recommended to be used.
So, if you've been wondering where to buy glass countertops, give us a call today with your ideas and we will help make them a reality!