How to install glass shelving

glass shelving system with towels

Glass shelving installation

What could make your custom built-in oak display case or China hutch look more elegant than custom glass shelving. Glass shelving is better than wood shelving because it keeps the display looking open, keeping your display of artifacts, books, creations, or that heirloom set of China the center piece of a room. These things are br brought to attention even more with glass shelving with lights. 

 Before you decide to go with glass shelving, you most likely have several questions about this set up. You needed answers to those questions so you can care for and maintain your custom glass shelving to get the most you can from the. Questions like should glass shelves be tempered? 

It depends on how and where they’re being used.  Glass shelves for standard residential use, glass shelving doesn’t need the glass to  tempered. In a commercial setting like a beauty salon, retail store, restaurant, then yes, tempered glass shelving is recommended.  Is glass shelving tempered that much different? Let’s discuss how glass shelving is manufactured and what tempering that glass shelving does for the glass.

The majority of architectural glass is produced by melting ash, dolomite, limestone, silica sand, soda, and sodium sulfate at 1480 degrees Celsius, then place it in a tin of molten to float. It then goes down a conveyor through a furnace called an annealing lehr, where the cooling process is controlled. The results are a  cooled, flat,  solidified material that is then cut into sheets. It is then shipped to factories where processes, like drilling, laminating, polishing, and tempering are performed.

If the glass is to be tempered, the additional process includes cutting it to size as it passes on rollers through a tempering oven set at 620 degrees Celsius. It will go through this tempering process one time and immediately a high pressure of air is ejected by several nozzles to “quench” the hot glass. 

The outer surfaced will cool faster than the center, and as the center cools, it pulls from the already cool, outer rigid surfaces. This results in the center remaining in tension as the outer surfaces are compression, creating the tempered strength.  

How much weight can glass shelving hold?

Simply placing all the artifacts, books, and nick-knacks on glass shelving isn’t recommended. You should know how to use glass shelving so that you don’t place to much and cause the glass shelving to brake loose from the fixture or wall where it is placed. This includes using the proper glass shelving hardware in addition to concern of the weight. 

To have glass shelving for a cabinet where books, fine China or decorative items will be displayed, the proper thickness is the first concern followed by the support system to be used.  That is where the weight load factor comes into consideration. 

The allowable load for glass shelving requires consideration of multiple factors  including: 

  1. Glass thickness of glass shelving
  2. Square footage of the glass shelving
  3. Distance between shelf glass shelving and brackets
  • Shelf Bracket Distance and the Weight Load

The shorter the distance between shelf brackets, the more weight  your glass shelving can support, even thinner glass. So, the long you choose your glass shelving to be, the more support brackets you should include. 

  • Glass Thickness and the Weight Load

The longer your glass shelving, the thicker glass you should choose, with recommendations between 3/8” inch thick and 5/8” inch thick to support heavier loads versus a quarter-inch thickness. Any glass shelving that is quarter-inch thick should have supporting brackets no more than 4” apart. 

  • Tempered Glass and the Weight Load

There are certain glass types that are stronger, such as tempered glass. When glass has been tempered, it is four times stronger than standard non-tempered glass. Reason tells us that the thicker glass shelving is, it will be stronger than thin glass shelving and able to support a heavier weight.

newly installed glass shelves

When is glass shelving with wire cables needed? 

Over time, retailers will change their store décor, and glass shelving with wire cabling has become a trend that many are using. This attractive and simplistic look gives a retailer a modern and stylish way to display their products, keeping them visible to the consumer. 

Suspension cabling can be utilized in other ways too when glass shelving is no longer the trend to follow, making it an economical and convenient accessory for retail decorating and displaying. Other ways that glass shelving with cabling is used other than retail is in bars and clubs, exhibitions and financial institutions, reception areas, showrooms and more. 

In addition to knowing how and where glass shelving can be used, keeping it looking good is just as important. This means that you should how to clean glass shelving the correct way to keep it clear and glistening.  The big secret to cleaning glass shelving is coffee filters!   
Yes, if you don’t have a clean microfiber cloth, the best way to clean glass shelving, tabletops, or windows is with a  coffee filter. This will give you a  streak-free shine just as good, if not better, than a squeegee. Need help with installing glass shelving in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-937-6267 today.