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Glass is turning up in unexpected places

Post Time:Dec 17,2008Classify:Industry NewsView:399

A dining room with a lavender glass panel
In this South Beach Condominium’s Delano model suite, a lavender back-painted glass panel provides a striking backdrop for the dining room.

Windows, tabletops, and lovely coloured glass accessories have always captivated the eye. But now all the stops are being pulled out, and glass is showing up in places you might not think common sense and safety would allow.

“Glass, when it is thick enough, is remarkably strong,” says Jim Bottrell, president of Toronto-based Adanac Glass, which deals in custom glass and mirror fabrication and installation. “Three-quarter-inch glass is as strong as marble,” he assures me. “And when you temper it, it is four times as strong.” 

The Adanac office and showroom, for instance, boasts an open contemporary glass staircase with glass tread. I didn’t initially feel completely confident walking up those steps, but when I did I found they’re solid and gorgeous. The glass is thick and has a clear, anti-skid ceramic coating that gives it added strength and toughness. 

Glass railings, particularly interior ones, are also appearing more and more. Etched or sandblasted patterns or designs add the luxurious look of customized art. Often, these types of railings look more like solid glass, without much visible hardware.

Frameless shower enclosures and doors can be done in glass with a variety of textures, coatings or etchings. The results can be stunning.

Even bathroom doors can be done in glass — they’re soundproof, and the patterns or coatings can obscure all but the vaguest outlines. Thank goodness for that, for there are some areas that just don’t do well as an open concept room.

Another eye-opener for me is the use of glass as a countertop. In addition to being strong, three-quarter-inch glass doesn’t scratch easily and is heat resistant. Colours, patterns and other special effects can make the countertops unusual and beautiful.

And speaking of different types of finishes, painted glass is a particularly hot trend at the moment.  Painted on the back and installed with the shiny side facing out, it gives a clean contemporary look.

And painted glass is also becoming very popular in kitchens as a backsplash.  “There are no grout lines to clean,” notes Bottrell — a quality, I might add, that’s very appealing to those of us who now spend time scrubbing spaghetti-sauce splashes off grout lines with a toothbrush.

Some people even use painted glass as an accent for walls, setting it into the wall singly or in a repeating pattern. Bottrell has installed such panels into a ceiling in the same way, and even cabinets can be fabricated with painted glass doors or panels.

Like the glass, the paint layer doesn’t scratch easily. It’s chemically cured in the same way that car paint is, leaving a strong enamel-like finish.

If you still have doubts, using thicker glass for added safety can give you some peace of mind, says Bottrell.

And some people — say, those who live with active young children — may do well to wait a few years before considering glass as a decor finish.

Source: metronews.caAuthor: shangyi

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