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jca's avatar

What would be the negatives to using custom cut mirror glass as a top for furniture, as opposed to regular glass?

Asked by jca (26859 points ) January 31st, 2013

I have a wooden night stand that I am going to repaint, and in order to keep the top from getting scratched, I am considering getting a custom cut piece of glass for the top (nightstand is a weird shape so glass has to be custom done). I am also thinking of using mirror glass instead of regular glass.

What would be some issues of using mirror instead of regular glass?

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21 Answers

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

If you have a lamp on your nightstand, a mirror would reflect the light harshly and glaringly. The light might be much brighter than you’d like it to be; for example, when you try to read in bed, the light could bounce into your eyes and be uncomfortable.

Also, the underside of a lamp—the hardware and bulb, hidden by a lampshade—isn’t very attractive. You might not like the view in the mirror.

Seek's avatar

^ What they said.

Also, if you live in a humid area, it may mould. Or if you move it, there’s a risk of scratching the foil. Then you’ve got a very expensive, scratched mirror.

Pachy's avatar

I considered the same issue when I decided to have a piece of glass cut for my computer desktop. I decided on clear glass because 1) I liked being able to see the wood, and 2) I thought a mirror would make the desk look more cluttered than it usually is. Also—and this is my own personal taste—I think mirrored glass on furniture just looks old-fashioned.

gailcalled's avatar

I have a piece of milk glass (opaque white) on a low long bureau on my bedroom. it looks nice and makes the room look bigger since the white blends in with the walls and hides all that woodiness.

Here There is some glare but Milo’s footprints don’t show.

Here

Seek's avatar

@gailcalled You have such a pretty house!

gailcalled's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr:—Thank you. LIving here is akin to having the fountain of youth in my backyard.

Here’s the landing at the top of the stairs. My bedroom is to left. The brick planter is too tempting for Milo so I can’t plant greenery in it, more’s the pity. Painting an early one by my sister.

Here’s the amaryllis, in my living room, that was the model for the painting. Bulbs brought over from Russia by my great-grandfather a long time ago.

First link corrected

CWOTUS's avatar

No one in his right mind would use “regular glass” (by which I assume you mean “window glass”) for a table top or other furniture application. The glass used in such structural applications (and also in many windows, but it’s not “regular” there) is tempered glass. Most building codes also require non-standard glass (see below) where glass is used in doorways.

Tempered or ‘toughened’ glass is made to break (when it does break) into “pebbles” rather than long, jagged shards. This is the kind of glass you want in table top applications or in storm doors and sliding patio type doors, etc. Glass in those places is liable to break, and if it does break in a passageway or in the middle of your living room floor, you don’t want to be dealing with several square feet of broken “regular” glass, which can easily injure or even kill people.

Mirrors are made with “regular glass”, because they are not generally used in structural applications. If you can find mirrored safety glass, then by all means go for it.

mazingerz88's avatar

You had your nightstand repainted so maybe you like the way its top looks? So why hide it with a mirror covering instead of transparent tempered glass? My grandfather’s antique tables have embedded decorations on it that looks nice under transparent glass.

A table without these decorations could be compensated if you put a few family photos under the glass or any attractive looking piece of fabric intended as tabletop decor.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@CWOTUS If I’m understanding @jca correctly, he/she was asking about clear glass as compared to a mirror. I don’t think that he/she is choosing between standard and tempered glass.

@jca I’ve had glass panels made for several tables and dressers. I love the results. The furniture tops don’t get damaged (e.g. a spilled bottle of perfume, or a guest who’s never heard of a coaster), and the glass seems to last forever. There’s glass on a dresser that my parents bought for me 50 years ago; both the dresser and the glass remain in perfect condition.

gailcalled's avatar

In addition to the milk glass, I also have used clear glass on my night tables in order to avoid cup and glass stains, spilled medicine, melted chocolate and other messy things I get involved in when I am really sleepy. It’s been a perfect solution.

jca's avatar

@CWOTUS: I have had glass tops made for furniture before, and it’s from a glass place, and it’s fairly thick, and he cuts the sides so they are not sharp. It’s not me going to Home Depot and picking out glass, it’s a glass guy giving me what’s appropriate for a table top.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@gailcalled When can we (Nikki, myself and our menagerie of pets) move in?

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Do you do windows? The only problem would be the new doggie, cute as s/he may be.

marinelife's avatar

I can’t think of any. Mirrored furniture is really in.

susanc's avatar

Almost everyone looks really their very worst when they look at themselves in a flat horizontal mirror. The under-the-chin view is not so flattering. Just a tip from someone whose chin/neck area is no longer taut and sculpted, the way yours won’t be forever either.

josie's avatar

De gustibus non est disputandum

Taciturnu's avatar

It will look twice as dusty, you’ll notice steaks and fingerprints more (I can’t stand seeing them), and if the surrounding decor isn’t appropriate, it may remind some people of the crazy days they played with cocaine.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s always hard to hide steaks from me, anyway. Nom nom.

Taciturnu's avatar

lol… Too late to edit. Oh well.

rooeytoo's avatar

@susanc – I was thinking the same thing, wake up, roll over to turn off alarm clock and scare the bejesus out of myself by seeing my reflection in the table top!!!

I would opt for clear glass, or opaque as @gailcalled suggests.

gailcalled's avatar

@rooeytoo: MIlo here; I concur. I often sit on glass-covered tables chez Gail, primarily to leave footprints on everything; I would not like to look down and see me, no matter how gorgeous I am.

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