Easy DIY Guide of Broken Glass Table Top Replacement

glass table

Glass table top replacement is one task that people rarely consider undertaking on their own without any professional help. But you should know that replacing a glass table top on your own is not as big of a deal as we think it is. In fact, it is something you can easily accomplish on your own.

Whether your glass table is outdoors or indoors, a lot of different things such as storms, strong winds, accidents, etc.  can happen to cause the glass to break. Glass breaks, that’s just the way things are. If that happens to your table top at any point, you need to know that there’s something you can do about it. You don’t have to call a professional if you don’t want to. You can turn this into a DIY project instead!


This article explains and elaborates on exactly how to do that.

How to Remove Broken Glass?

Before we get into glass table top replacement, let’s go through what you need to do to remove broken glass effectively and safely.

  1. The first thing you must do is clear the area. If you have pets or children around, make sure you get them away from all the broken glass to avoid any further accidents. Check them for cuts or scratches to make sure everything’s okay.
  2. Close any doors leading to the area as well and let everyone know that there’s broken glass around so they’re careful.
  3. Now that you’ve done that, you need to prepare yourself to remove the broken glass. Remember broken glass is sharp, so to clean it up safely you want to use rubber gloves and don’t forget to put your shoes on.

Don’t kneel in the area, no matter what. If you don’t have any gloves you can use, then use forceps or tongues to pick up the broken glass.


  1. Once you’re prepared, start by removing the big shards first. You want to have a plastic container to put these big pieces in.

If you don’t have a plastic container, wrap the broken glass pieces in the newspaper and put them away in a plastic bag. Make sure the paper is thick enough for the glass not to cut through.


  1. Now that you’ve removed all the big pieces, it’s time to sweep or vacuum the rest. If there weren’t any big shards, to begin with, then this should be your first step.

If you choose to use a broom, keep in mind that it won’t remove all the small, sharp fragments entirely. Plus, tiny pieces of glass can stick to the bristles of the broom, so make sure you shake it into a paper bag when you’re done.

If you decide to use a vacuum instead, make sure you cover the hose with a sock or a stocking. This will keep you from ruining your machine. Once it has done its job sucking in the tiny glass shards, get rid of the sock or stocking.

In case your floor happens to be carpeted, you won’t be able to do any of the above to remove tiny glass fragments. Instead, you’ll have to use a small scrubbing brush to agitate the fibers and bring the glass pieces to the surface. Then, use duct tape to lift them and get rid of them.


How to Install Glass Table Top Replacement?

If your glass has shattered, you can either install a new glass table top, which is a bit expensive, or you can build a new table top.

If you want to go with the second option, you’ll need a 4’ x 8’ piece of plywood, a 4’ x 8’ twin-wall polycarbonate, 6mm multi lite clear, a 4’ x 8.5’ vinyl fabric, screws, a stapler, and a drill.

  1. The first thing you want to do is attach your plywood to the table frame. Place the piece of plywood on the floor and turn your table frame upside down on top of it. This will allow you to make sure the plywood is well centered.
  2. To attach the plywood to the table frame you can drill through the metal frame to make holes for screws. If your table frame has small tabs that stick out around the inside of the frame with holes in them, pop the rubber pieces on the holes and you’ll be able to fit screws in the holes.

Just take care the screws are the right length to dig into the plywood without going through it!

  1. The next step is to apply the vinyl cloth. Now that you have your table base, which is the plywood, you can fit the vinyl cloth. Flip the table right side up. If the cloth has a pattern, make sure it’s straight, and then make sure it overlays around each side of the plywood.
  2. Once you put the vinyl cloth in place, you’ll be able to secure the polycarbonate on top. Place it straight and square above your plywood and vinyl. Everything should line up perfectly.


  1. Then, you’ll want to secure the polycarbonate with its special screws. Don’t make this too tight; simply tighten the screws enough to go through the polycarbonate, the vinyl and reach the plywood.
  2. For this next step, flip the table upside down again and fold over any excess vinyl. Make it tight and use the stapler to secure it into place.

And that’s it! Now you have a new table that won’t shatter again. However, if you like the way glass looks and you want to simply replace the glass, there are a few things you should determine.

How to Determine Glass Thickness?

For glass table top replacement, it’s required that you determine the kind of glass thickness you’ll be needing. This, of course, depends on the table you’re working with and the kind of purpose the glass is serving; whether it’s being used as a protective cover or as a table top.

If you’re using glass as a protective cover, 1/5” thickness will be enough. It will keep your table top safe and it will look amazing.

If the glass is being set on a stand or a pedestal to create the table surface, thickness will depend on the size of the table. If your table is larger than 24” in dimension or if it often sustains heavy objects, any thickness larger than 1/4” will do the trick.

Here are standard glass thickness degrees to consider:

  1. 3/16″ – This degree of glass thickness is most appropriate for patio tables, inserts, small tables, and protective covers. It’s also a good thickness for light tables where the glass fits into an outside frame.
  2. 1/4″ – This degree of glass thickness is most appropriate for protective covers and glass tabletops. It works for standard duty tables with outside frames or small tables with lighter uses.
  3. 3/8″ – This degree of glass thickness is most appropriate for heavy tabletops where the glass will make up the entire tabletop. It’s good for heavy-duty tables and for tabletops that are mostly unsupported.
  4. 1/2″ – This degree of glass thickness is the strongest available and it’s ideal for unsupported tabletops where the glass makes up the entire tabletop and heavy-duty tables. If your table will be supporting heavy weight, this is the right degree of glass thickness to get.

As you can see, glass thickness is important when it comes to glass table top replacement. If you want to reduce the risk of the glass breaking again, you need to make sure you choose the right thickness for the size of your table and your purposes.

We recommend you consult with a professional so you can make the best choice possible. Glass shops near you are a great way to get information on this and understand everything you need for your glass table top replacement.

What Glass Type Can I Use?

When it comes to glass tabletop replacement, there are two main glass types to consider: tempered glass and annealed glass.

Tempered glass is a lot stronger and sturdier than standard glass type. It’s mostly used for tabletops, shelves, and even fireplaces. When it breaks, it breaks into many small pieces. But it takes a lot to break tempered glass because it’s so sturdy and it hardly ever cracks. So, if you’re looking for a long-lasting replacement, this might be it.

Annealed glass is often used for small tables and pieces. If broken, it will crack into large shards. It’s not considered safety glass but it’s a great option for patio tables, small tables, and light-duty tables.

Overall, both of these glass types will make a great choice if you choose to replace the glass from your broken glass table top instead of doing something different. For More detail click here.

Final Words

As you can see, glass tabletop replacement is not that difficult. Whether you choose to seize the opportunity to make something different for a tabletop or you choose to replace the glass, the result will be rewarding and the process, even better.

Both projects are easy to handle and can be easily carried out. Replacing glass is a bit more expensive than doing a DIY project, but it will look amazing. In the end, you can reduce the risk of it breaking again by choosing a sturdier, thicker glass.


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