The Pros and Cons of Glass Countertops in the Bathroom

by Rachel Laurendeau on September 12, 2012

There are pros and cons to every type of countertop material, and glass countertops are no different. Having installed a glass countertop in my master bath, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages in the bathroom, as I see them.

Tempered vs. Non-Tempered
Glass countertops may or may not be made of tempered glass. Tempered glass is heat treated to increase its strength and durability whereas annealed glass, or non-tempered is not as strong. I recommend talking to your bathroom remodeler to find out which is best for your needs but personally, I feel that the more durable a product, particularly a bathroom countertop that I am spending a decent amount of money on, the better.

• Glass is not as common as certain other countertop materials, giving you a more distinctive look in your bathroom.
• Glass countertops are stylish and work well in modern or contemporary bathrooms.
• They are available in a variety of colors and textures.
• Glass countertops can accommodate top mount, under mount and vessel sinks or, the sink can be molded right into the countertop.
• Since glass is translucent and reflective, it can help make a small bathroom seem visually larger.
• Since glass is non-porous, it is more sanitary as it won’t harbor bacteria and germs that are so common in the bathroom. Being non-porous also means that they are easy to wipe clean.
• Glass countertops can be custom-made to suit your vanity or bathroom specifications.

• Glass surfaces are hard to keep clean: every spot of water, splash and fingerprint shows up. This is particularly an issue with smooth, non-textured glass, but textured glass can be cumbersome to clean because of the grooves and dips in the surface. I would not recommend glass if you have small children or are very picky about the surface always looking perfectly immaculate.
• Although tempered glass countertops are strong, they can still scratch, break or chip under certain abuse. The most common problem is small chips along the edges from dropping hard, heavy items.
• Acidic substances can permanently etch and damage the glass surface.

Green tip: it is possible to have custom countertops made of recycled glass (post-consumer and pre-consumer waste). Talk to a local fabricator about this option if you are looking for a countertop with a smaller carbon footprint for your bathroom remodel.

For more information about glass countertops and other countertop materials that may work for your home, talk to your local bathroom remodelers or home improvement experts.

Resource: Home Style Choices

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