3 Tips for Using Glass in Your Home

3 Tips for Using Glass in Your Home
  • Opening Intro -

    One somewhat overlooked aspect of interior design is glass, and not just glass objects of art, but glass as part of the house's very structure.

    This means glass walls and half walls, glass backsplashes, staircases, panels and counters.

    Even furniture can be made of glass.

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Homeowners may be wary of glass because they believe it’s fragile, but it does not have to be. Tempered or toughened glass is made to be especially strong. Here are three tips for using glass in the home:

In the Bathroom

Homeowners who are blessed with a certain amount of space in their baths are opting more and more for shower rooms as opposed to shower stalls. These rooms often have three sides which each contain a shower glass panel which can be clear or opaque for privacy. The shower glass panel can also be just slightly tinted. The tints are often blue to remind the bather of the sea. When combined with windows that let in torrents of light and walls hung with mirrors, the shower room can seem to float.

The glass panels don’t even need to be used exclusively for the shower. A bathtub can have at least one side made of glass, as long as the glass is strong and securely installed. There are even shower rooms that are actually made mostly out of masonry with frosted glass doors and a bank of frosted glass windows. These rooms fit snugly into the larger space of the bathroom.

A clear glass wall can also be used to separate an en suite bathroom from the bedroom, though there can be a cleverly placed frosted glass partition to hide the toilet. Glass block walls that divide one part of the bathroom from the other are also aesthetically pleasing.

A bathroom doesn’t even have to be indoors, but can be placed in an extension with glass walls and glass ceiling panels. The ceiling panels can be cranked opened to let in air, and curtains can be drawn over the walls to give privacy.

Glass Etching Designs:

In the Kitchen

Glass is even more versatile in the kitchen. Cabinet fronts can be filled with pebble glass panels. The glass can also be frosted, stained, hammered or etched. Some kitchens have frameless, sliding glass doors on their cabinet fronts that give the room an ultra-modern look.

An accordion divider that separates the kitchen from the dining room can also have decorative glass panels. Kitchens can have tempered glass countertops. In some styles, the glass is raised a couple of inches from the countertop by small metal pillars. A long sheet of colored glass can also serve as a backsplash.

The kitchen entryway can also have decorative glass sidelights with a matching transom window. Like the bathroom, a kitchen can be placed in an extension to the house with glass panels in a pitched roof. However, the glass needs to be weatherproof, have a low-E rating and, ideally, be able to self-clean.

Stairs

Many modern and contemporary homes have stairs that are made at least partially of glass. Often, the handrail is made of glass and the actual steps made of concrete or wood. However, there are some homes where all aspects of the staircase are made of glass, including the treads.

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To a bystander, the treads can seem to float, and to a person who’s not used to them, they would seem to disappear if not for the hardware holding them up and the strips or pads of non-slip material. However, like other types of glass, glass treads can be frosted, etched or lit up with LEDs. The stairs themselves can be straight, curved or even spiral. A glass staircase placed next to a window or other bright light source reflects and refracts the light and can shine like a diamond.

Image credit: Glass shower, on Flickr

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