Glass Top Tables are the most common type of tables used for garden furniture. This is because of the style and also the sturdiness and practicality of the glass top. However, with temperatures soaring, we’ve revealed how you can take care of your glass-top table and ensure it remains safe to use.

With temperatures in some areas of the UK reaching 38°, this week and evenings being described as “tropical” many of us have been spending much more time than usual in the garden using our garden furniture.

However, it was reported this week that the high temperatures are causing a rare phenomenon in glass tables – exploding glass. Of course, this has led to a lot of concern for consumers who are worried about not only the damage to their furniture but risk of injury.

About Exploding Glass

Despite the initial shock of “exploding” glass, the risk is much less than would seem and this is due to the type of glass used on garden furniture tables. As all glass topped tables are required by law to meet the UK’s General Product Safety Regulations, they are designed with safety in mind and are typically topped with thermally toughened or tempered safety glass to minimise potential injuries.

Toughened glass is designed to shatter into lots of small granular pieces when damaged, as a safety feature, as this reduces the risk of getting cut on the glass when compared to normal glass which breaks into large jagged pieces which are easy to cut yourself on and can cause serious damage. These smaller pieces, though they can be a shock and a hassle to try and clean up they are much safer than the alternative.

The British Contract Furnishing Association or BCFA released some great advice for consumers on why this glass shatters in high heat and how to care for the glass in order to prevent this as much as possible. Read the full article by clicking here or see below for a summary of the advice and our own top tips for protecting your glass.

Toughened glass is designed

to withstand high heats and

impacts but it is not indestructible.

Why Does Tempered Glass Shatter?

AIn rare instances when toughened glass becomes damaged – for example by chips and scratches – it can lead to the glass shattering. This is NOT a fault with the product or design, this is how the glass is intended to behave when damaged to reduce risk of injury.

An irregular but possible reason for glass breaking is nickel sulfide (NiS) inclusions. Tiny particles get trapped during manufacturing and they can sometimes expand slowly and reach a point where they cause the glass to break.


How To Care For Glass Topped Tables

Toughened glass is designed to withstand high heats and impacts but it is not indestructible. Damage can occur if the glass is struck by a hard object, dropped on its edge, exposed to intense temperatures or blown over in high winds.
To reduce risk of damage it is recommended to:
Never lay the glass on hard or rough surfaces during assembly.
Never try to lift the glass on your own, always ask for assistance.
Never place very hot or cold items, such as saucepans or barbecues, directly onto the glass surface. Extreme temperature differences over small areas can cause damage and in turn lead to shattering.
Never sit or stand on the glass surface.
Never strike the glass with hard or pointed items. Nor should you use the glass as a chopping surface.
Never drag rough or heavy objects across the glass.
Always use placemats, coasters and tablecloths to help protect against dropped items and scratches.
Regularly clean the glass.
Don’t use abrasives to clean the glass.
If you’re using the table in conjunction with a parasol ALWAYS make sure you have a suitable weighted base to ensure the parasol does not blow over and land on the table causing damage. Never use the parasol in high winds, even with a weighted base. Also make sure the parasol hole has a protector in place.
Keep the table covered when not in use.

White Stores Best Advice For Glass Tabletops

Our own advice for caring for your glass top tables to ensure no damage occurs is as follows:

ALWAYS cover the table when not in use with one of our weatherproof garden furniture covers. This will help shade the table from heat, protect the furniture from accidental damage, and if any shattering does occur it will contain the pieces and make the mess easier to clean up.

Where possible, in high temperatures make sure you have a parasol erected over your table as this will help to cool the area and reduce the risk of shattering.

If you are using glass cups, always use a coaster as this will stop the magnifying process and reduce the heat of the area.

If you follow all of this advice you will reduce the risk of “exploding” glass and feel free to enjoy your garden furniture in all weathers.

Please remember that our glass is covered under a 1-year limited warranty, this covers damage to the glass that was not caused by misuse of the product. Where possible, White Stores will try to assist with replacing shattered glass that has been caused by extreme heat.

If you need further advice about glass top table or you would like to know more about our alternative polywood top tables, please do not hesitate to contact us or visit us in-store for more information.