Are Glass Coffee Tables Easy to Break?

The modern look of a glass coffee table makes it popular among homeowners. However, some individuals may hesitate to purchase these stylish pieces for reasons of fragility. The question often arises: Are glass coffee tables …

Are Glass Coffee Tables Easy to Break

The modern look of a glass coffee table makes it popular among homeowners. However, some individuals may hesitate to purchase these stylish pieces for reasons of fragility.

The question often arises: Are glass coffee tables easy to break? This article will discuss the factors contributing to glass coffee tables’ durability and provide tips on preventing breakage.

We will provide you with a better understanding of glass coffee tables in this article, regardless of whether you own one or plan to buy one.

Are Glass Coffee Tables Easy to Break?

Yes, glass coffee tables break relatively easily compared to tables made of other materials. Many factors affect the durability of a glass coffee table, including the type of glass used, its thickness, and the quality of its construction.

Tempered Glass vs. Regular Glass

Choosing the right glass coffee table begins with understanding the differences between tempered and regular glass. Both types of glass have significant differences, such as durability and safety.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is a type of glass that undergoes a special heat treatment process, making it much stronger and safer than regular glass. In this process, the glass is heated to a high temperature and then rapidly cooled.

This creates internal stresses within the glass, enhancing its strength and resilience. Tempered glass has the main advantage of being resistant to breakage. It greatly reduces the risk of injury, making it a safer choice, particularly in households with children or pets.

Regular Glass

The common type of glass in everyday applications is regular glass, also known as annealed glass. It is formed by slowly cooling molten glass, which produces a solid, transparent surface.

Regular glass is commonly used and more affordable, but it is more prone to breaking than tempered glass.

When regular glass breaks and sharp, jagged shards can cause serious cuts and injuries, glass coffee tables should be used with caution, especially in households with children and pets.

Even though regular glass tables are still functional and aesthetically pleasing, they require more care and maintenance to avoid accidents.

The Strength of Tempered Glass

Glass type is one of the primary factors that determine the durability of a glass coffee table. Most modern glass coffee tables are constructed with tempered glass.

Tempered glass is a more durable type of glass than regular glass. It undergoes a special heat treatment process that makes it five times stronger. The result is that tempered glass is less likely to shatter or break than regular glass.

In a tempered glass, when it breaks, it breaks into rounded small pieces rather than sharp shards. For this reason, tempered glass is often used in glass coffee tables, providing a more robust, safer, and more durable surface. When it comes to glass strength, tempered glass is the ultimate choice.

Factors That Determine Glass Table Strength

Multiple aspects affect the overall sturdiness and impact resistance of a glass coffee table:

1. Glass Thickness

Thicker glass tops better withstand impact and scratches. For heavy use, choose tables with a 0.75 inch (19 mm) thick glass top or higher. This prevents wobbling and potential breakage over time.

2. High-Quality Materials

Invest in tables made with tempered glass from reputable manufacturers like Saint-Gobain or Guardian. High-quality materials are less prone to chips and cracks.

3. Sturdy Metal Frame

A robust stainless steel or powder-coated metal frame provides critical structural support to the glass top. This keeps the table surface stable and prevents warping under weight.

4. Adequate Central Support

Central cross-beams, legs, or supporting bases prevent the glass top from buckling in the middle. Proper support is key for large coffee tables.

5. Protective Pads and Coasters

Felt or rubber pads cushion objects placed directly on the glass. This prevents surface scratches that can compromise structural integrity. Always use coasters under hot beverages.

How to Stop Your Glass Coffee Table From Breaking

To ensure your glass coffee table is safe and durable, you can take several measures to prevent it from breaking. A few tips are listed below:

1. Choose tempered glass 

If you want to purchase a glass coffee table, ensure that it is made of tempered glass. Tempered glass’s strength is greater than regular glass and more impact-resistant. When if it breaks, it will shatter into smaller, less dangerous pieces.

2. Avoid placing heavy objects.

Consider the weight and size of items you place on your coffee table. Place heavy objects and excessive weights away from glass surfaces, as this can increase the risk of breakage. Distribute the weight of items like vases and decorative objects with coasters or placemats.

3. Use protective pads

Ensure that any objects in direct contact with the glass surface are protected with protective pads or felt cushions. It may reduce the risk of damage to the glass by preventing scratches. 

4. Clean carefully

Do not use abrasive cleaners or rough materials that may scratch the surface when you clean the glass coffee table. Gently clean the glass with some mild glass cleaner and a soft cloth.

5. Avoid extreme temperature changes

Rapid temperature changes can lead to glass expanding or contracting, which can lead to breakage. Avoid placing hot objects directly on the glass surface whenever possible, and use coasters or trivets to protect it. You should also avoid exposing the glass table to extreme cold and direct sunlight, which can also stress the glass.

6. Move with caution

If you want to need to move the coffee table, avoid dragging it across the floor. It should be lifted gently and placed in the desired location so that no stress or impact is placed on the glass.

7. Consider protective film

Glass surfaces can be further protected from scratches, minor impacts, and UV damage by applying a transparent protective film. Such films are usually made of polyurethane or acrylic and are relatively easy to apply.

They have the added advantage of being removable and reusable, making them an excellent and cost-effective solution to protect glass surfaces.

8. Regular inspections

Check your glass coffee table periodically for signs of damage, such as chips, cracks, or loose fittings. Any issues should be reported immediately to prevent further damage.

By following these precautions, you can prolong the life of your glass coffee table and reduce the risk of it breaking. You must handle it carefully and use protective measures to maintain its integrity.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Breakage

With proper care and precautions, glass coffee tables can last for years without damage:

  • Inspect regularly for cracks, chips or loose fittings. Address any issues immediately.
  • Clean using a soft, lint-free cloth and non-abrasive glass cleaner. Never use rough sponges.
  • Avoid placing excessively heavy objects on the table. Distribute weight evenly if needed.
  • Use placemats, trivets and coasters under objects to prevent surface scratches.
  • Lift and place objects gently to prevent impact damage. Never drag items across the glass.
  • Protect the surface from rapid temperature changes by not placing hot objects directly on the glass.

Glass vs Other Table Materials

While glass tables are attractive, the breakage risks may outweigh the benefits for some homeowners. Alternative materials offer comparable modern style without the safety concerns:

Acrylic – Acrylic tables provide a transparent glass-like look but are less prone to shattering. They resist scratches better but can be damaged by harsh cleaners.

Wood – Natural wood tables like oak, walnut, or teak are inherently strong and add warmth to any space. However, they are vulnerable to scratches, stains, and water damage.

Metal – Stainless steel, aluminum, or wrought iron tables boast industrial chic appeal and unmatched durability. But they tend to show fingerprints and water spots.

Key Takeaways:

  • Glass coffee tables can break easily compared to wood or metal alternatives. Tempered glass is more durable than regular annealed glass.
  • Thicker tempered glass tops, sturdy metal frames, and proper care can minimize the risk of breakage.
  • For households with kids and pets, glass tables pose a safety hazard due to sharp edges when broken. Consider acrylic or wood tables instead.
  • Look for high-quality tempered glass with a transparent, consistent surface. Inspect regularly for chips, cracks, or loose fittings.
  • Distribute weight evenly on the surface. Use protective pads under heavy objects. Move tables cautiously by lifting, not dragging.


1. Can glass coffee tables withstand the weight of heavy objects?

A glass coffee table can generally support the weight of heavy objects, but it’s important to consider their weight distribution and avoid putting excessive weight on one area. Using coasters or placemats under heavy objects can help distribute the weight and reduce the risk of breakage.

2. Can a glass coffee table be repaired if it breaks?

No, a glass coffee table cannot be repaired if it breaks. The glass cannot be easily repaired after it is shattered or broken, as it cannot be repaired as easily as other materials. Glass that is broken must usually be replaced with a new one.

3. Is it safe to have a glass coffee table in a household with children or pets?

Having a glass coffee table in a household with children or pets can pose a safety risk. The glass can break if it is mishandled or accidentally bumped into.

A tempered glass table top, protective measures, and supervision of children and pets are recommended to reduce the chance of accidents.

4. How many pounds can a glass coffee table hold?

 Glass coffee tables can be designed and constructed in various ways, and their weight capacity depends on factors like glass thickness and quality.

An average glass coffee table can hold 50 to 150 pounds (22 to 68 kilograms). Before purchasing or owning a table, you should always check the manufacturer’s specific weight capacity.

5. Do glass coffee tables break easily?

Yes, glass coffee tables can break easily. The brittle nature of glass makes it susceptible to cracking and shattering. Breakage can be caused by heavy impacts, excessive weight, temperature changes, or uneven surfaces.

Glass coffee tables can be made to last longer depending on several factors, including the type, thickness, and construction of the glass, as well as how they are used and maintained.

6. Why Glass Coffee Tables Aren’t Totally Safe

Due to the following reasons, glass coffee tables are not considered 100% safe and it may dangerous for us:


The fragility of glass makes it susceptible to breaking with excessive force, impact, or uneven weight distribution. Breaking glass can result in injuries if it is mishandled or caused by an accident.

Sharp edges

If a glass table breaks, it can result in sharp edges or shards that can cause cuts or other injuries. It poses a potential risk, especially in households with children or pets.


In conclusion, glass coffee tables are stylish, but they are prone to breaking. The durability of glass depends on factors such as its type, thickness, and quality. Tempered glass undergoes a special treatment to increase its strength, which makes it safer. To prevent breakage, use tempered glass, avoid placing heavy objects, use protective pads, and clean gently. Be careful when moving the table and avoid extreme temperature changes. Consider using a protective film. Especially in households with children or pets, glass tables aren’t completely safe. Wood, metal, stone, and acrylic are all attractive alternatives to glass. To prevent the breakage of glass coffee tables, caution must be exercised. Consider alternative materials, handle them carefully, and take preventative measures.

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