Benefits of Glass Counters
Sleek, modern contemporary and eye-catching would be just some of the adjectives describing glass countertops. Let’s look at some of the benefits you can expect from putting this material into your home or business:
Design flexibility – Glass counters can be made in virtually any size, shape and thicknesses. Multiple textures, finishes, digital images and colors can also be included in the glass. Custom applications are almost limitless. You can even use this material for shelves and walls.
Low maintenance and easy to clean – Glass is low maintenance. It is non-porous and will not absorb dirt, dust or other debris. A damp cloth or sponge is sufficient for cleaning. Mild, non-abrasive surface glass cleaners can be used to clean tougher messes.
Sustainable eco-friendly material – Glass is a long-lasting and made from natural materials – perfect for someone who wants a green friendly home.
Sleek contemporary look – The smooth look of glass makes it a favorite in modern, contemporary and even traditionally designed kitchens, bathrooms, bars and outdoor spaces. It is easy to match with any décor.
Resistant to heat and moisture – High levels of durability are a key feature of a glass countertop. We recommend putting a trivet or hot pad below a hot pan or baking dish.
Eliminate mold and bacteria – Glass is non-porous so you don’t have to worry about mold or bacteria growing inside your counters.
Light it up – Illumination is a distinctive feature of glass. The ability to move light through the surface make a glass counter much more than just a surface – it’s a 24/7 piece of art which can provide lighting and fascination throughout the entire day.
Access to Innovate Building Solutions design and installation specialists – The design team at Innovate Building Solutions is here to help you with your glass needs. Whether you want a cool glass counter, glass floor or even glass stair treads we look forward to assisting you.
Cast and Flat Glass Kitchen Counters and Bathroom Vanity Product Options
Below we’ll explain the options in glass kitchen, bathroom and bar counters in straightforward terms by looking at the types of glass, textures, thickness and edge treatments.
Two Types of Glass - Cast and Flat Glass Counters
The two types of glass you can use for your countertops are cast glass and flat glass. Here’s a basic description of each.
The process of casting glass has been around since Roman times (when they made cast glass dishes). Using state of the art kilns glass objects are cast directly into a mold where they solidify into custom counters. Cast glass counters have a textured surface at the bottom (note: there are 4 standard textures which will be covered below) and the top surface is smooth with subtle contours. Cast glass can be clear, back painted with the specialized color of your choice or frosted for a translucent design look.
Flat Float Glass:
Flat float glass is made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten tin metal to create sheets of glass which have uniform thicknesses and flat surfaces. This process is preferred when you want to add color to the bottom of your countertop (also known as back painted or coated glass) or want a custom digital image or a high amount of clarity.
Flat glass finish options - Flat glass can be clear (i.e. transparent and see-through), back painted with the custom color of your choice, digitally imaged or frosted for a translucent design look.
Cast Glass Textured Countertop Choices
Adding texture to the bottom surface of cast glass (whether they are vertical wall surfaces or horizontally surfaced countertops) adds a richness and an extension to your creativity in an interior design. It also provides a vibrant look when the glass is illuminated with LED lighting. Innovate offers 4 standard textured glass surfaces or we will work with our manufacturing design team to create a custom surface to your liking.
Waves – want to feel the breeze and asthetic of a seaside home? Waves is a perfect compliment for a bathroom or kitchen looking for an ocean or seaside look.
Tactile – our most popular choice with architects, designers and homeowners alike. The tactile bottom textured surface blends well with traditional and contemporary spaces.
Geode – If you love the colored brilliance of a geode (which is a hollow shell stone with beautiful crystals pointing toward the center) this textured bottom surface will provide a brilliant choice.
Fizzee – If you can imagine the fizziness at the top of a carbonated beverage you’ll get the design feel of the “fizzee” textured cast glass countertop. With it’s uniform design it is one of the most popular patterns.
Custom Design – if you can dream it up our design team can probably make a textured bottom surface for your new counter. Included below are two custom patterns.
Glass Clarity Options for Cast and Back Painted Countertops
All glass is not created equal. You can tell by comparing an expensive crystal wine glass (which is extremely clear) to your basic everyday glass cup (which has a slightly green-ish color due to the iron particles inherent in the glass). We offer 2 glass clarity options in our kitchen, bathroom vanity or bar counters:
"Standard Clear" – Standard clear glass has the distinctive green hue when viewed from the edge of the glass. It is structurally just as good as the “ultra clear” glass and has the advantage of being more cost effective.
"Ultra Clear" – When you want the neutral color look like a piece of crystal or you want to incorporate an advanced digital image or use a colored back painted surface, ultra clear glass is the best option.
Thicknesses of Glass Countertops
Our glass counters are available in 3/4", 1" 1 1/2" and 2" thicknesses. All of these thickness options will provide long-lasting beauty to a kitchen, outdoor bar, man-cave or bathroom. Thicker tops offer a more powerful appearance, feeling of texture and light transmitting benefits.
Edge Finish Options for Glass Tops
The countertop edges offered are as follows:
Cast glass –3/4", 1", 1 1/2" & 2" – eased edge
Flat glass – 3/4" – eased edges
- Colors, Finishes & Lighting
Adding Colors, Finishing Options & LED Lighting to a Glass Countertop or a Raised Glass Bar Top
Choices are not the problem with Innovate glass counters. The challenge might be deciding which one is the best for you.Here is an overview of your color, finish lighting, hardware and bottom substrate options.
Color Options for Glass Counters
Our cast glass and flat glass counters can be custom colored on the bottom surface to match or contrast any room decor. Choose from 28 standard colors or even color match to your specific Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore paint selection.
Finish Options for the Bottom Surface of Cast and Flat Glass
While many glass countertops have a clear (or no additional finishing technique on the bottom surface) and are basically art pieces by themselves, finishes at the bottom can enhance privacy (frosted glass), provide a pop of color (back painted glass) or provide a way to highlight one of a kind images. The 3 finish options include:
1) Frosted glass – If your goal is to have subtle obscurity to your countertop the frosted process is a wonderful look.
2) Back painted glass – Using a unique chemically fused paint application process our glass counters can have color which is built to last.
3) Digitally imagery – Transform your room by adding digital images to the bottom surface of a flat glass countertop. Images which are greater than 300 dpi (dots per inch) work best.
LED Lighting to Add Impact to Your Glass Counter
Adding LED lighting through the side of flat or cast glass can add a dramatic feature to a countertop and provide lighting to a kitchen, bathroom or recreation room on a 24/7 basis. The LED light options range from a subtle soft white to a dramatic multi-colored red, green, blue experience.
Hardware - Standoffs and Angle Brackets for Raised Glass Countertops and Bar Tops
To provide additional surface space to your kitchen (without having to change existing marble or granite countertops or cabinetry) metal brackets and standoffs can be used with a small glass counter to add a unique – and functionally important – design feature to a kitchen or bar.
Raised Glass Bar Tops With Standoffs
Metal Angle Brackets
Substrates for the Bottom of Your Glass Countertop
If you want to hide the surface below your glass counter you can either use a frosted finish or for the maximum visual separation add a substrate below the glass. The most common substrate options include stainless steel and copper – but various painted or custom wood materials can also be used. With a substrate you can remodel your kitchen or bathroom counters without having to change out existing cabinets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Glass Countertops
Care, Cleaning & Use of Glass Countertops
How do you clean the countertop?
Glass is not only long lasting but easy to maintain because it is non-porous and won’t absorb dirt, dust or spills. A damp cloth or sponge works best with water or soap and water. For tougher spills use non-abrasive surface cleaners.
Will the glass scratch?
Even though glass is a hard material any glass surface can scratch. A few tips will help to eliminate scratches. Do not cut directly on the glass but use a wood cutting board. Make sure not to drag rough items (like pottery) across the surface. To minimize seeing scratches consider using a decorative textured or colored bottom surface.
Can people see clutter in the drawers underneath the glass?
With the use of a substrate on the bottom side of the glass (which can be a metal or back coated color) the contents will be largely obscured.
Can I put a hot pan or baking dish directly on the counter?
It is not recommended to put hot pans or baking dishes directly on the glass. Use a trivet or hot pad whenever possible.
Product and Design Questions About Glass Countertops
How strong is the glass? What is the glass made of?
Since the glass comes in thicknesses from ¾” to 2” it is very difficult to break. Our glass is made of sand, soda ash (sodium carbonate), dolomite, limestone and sodium sulfate making it a very strong building material.
Does the glass need to be tempered?
The glass does not need to be tempered – but we can temper in 3/4" thicknesses if this is desired.
What is the thickness of the glass?
Our countertops can be 3/4", 1", 1 1/2" and 2" thick.
How large can the glass counters be made?
Cast glass counters can be as big as 120" x 76" and flat glass and back coated glass can be as big as 94" x 128".
If I have seams – what will they look like?
Since our glass is made in some of the larger kilns in the industry we can generally make large enough pieces to not have seam. If you do need a seam a clear silicone is used between the pieces.
What are the different types, finishes and textures of glass?
For a more in depth explanation go to the “products” tab on this web page – but here is the quick answers to these questions:
Types of glass – We offer "standard clear glass" which look clear when viewed from above – but will have a slight green hue when viewed on the edge. In addition we have an “ultra clear glass” which has a neutral color more like a piece of crystal. The "ultra clear" is preferred when someone wants to color the bottom surface (also called a "back coating" process) to provide the utmost in color consistency or if someone just wants a colorless appearance to the glass.
Finishes – Different finishes are available which are put on the bottom of the glass. Choose from clear, frosted, colored, and digital images.
Textures – Standard textures include patterns called "Fizzee, Geode, Tactile and Waves."
What edge finishes are available?
Edge finishes vary by thickness and type of glass.
For 3/4" and 1" cast glass – artistic eased edge
3/4" flat glass – eased, beveled and ogee
1" flat glass – eased and beveled
Are the textured surfaces difficult to clean?
No, Since the textured surface is on the bottom it does not present a cleaning challenge.
Are your countertops available in both standard and custom designs? Am I limited in sink styles and sizes?
Given the variety of bathroom, kitchen and bar designs and sink options all of our countertops are designed custom on a job by job basis. We welcome the opportunity to work with you on challenging custom projects!
Installation Questions About Glass Countertops
Who can install these countertops?
For simple designs our glass counters can be installed by a homeowner or contractor. For more complex designs and larger counters they are usually installed by a natural stone fabricator.
How heavy are these counters?
Our 3/4" glass counters weigh 9.6 lbs. per square foot and the 1" thick glass weighs 12.8 lbs. per square foot.
How are undermount sinks attached?
Undermounts are hung by a support frame and bracket system and are not mechanically attached to the glass. A silicone bead assures a watertight seal.
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Cast Glass Countertops, Bars & Bathroom Vanity Tops
In this video learn about cast and flat glass countertops and their uses and product options.
Glass Countertops for Kitchens, Bathroom Vanities and Bar Tops
Wow – that is what friends, neighbors and family will say when they see your contemporary glass countertop in a kitchen, bathroom vanity, outdoor bar or man cave. This modern material provides color, pattern and lighting options not available in other types of counter materials. Explore the benefits, product options and design possibilities of sleek glass countertops through Innovate Building Solutions.