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The Pros and Cons of Glass Shelving

The Pros and Cons of Glass Shelving

Using glass for shelving has been a home decor favorite for years. It’s not only functional but adds a touch of beauty and elegance to the aesthetic of any home. However, like most things in life, glass shelving has pros and cons, which we’ll explore in this article. 

Let’s start by looking at the most common types of glass used for glass shelves. Then, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of glass shelving.

Types of Glass

Several types of glass are commonly used for glass shelving, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the most popular types of glass for shelving and why they are considered to be the best:

  • Tempered glass: Tempered glass is heat-treated, making it stronger and more durable than regular glass. It is also less likely to break or shatter; if it does break, it will shatter into small, rounded pieces rather than sharp shards. Tempered glass is popular for glass shelving because it is sturdy, safe, and can support heavy objects.
  • Laminated glass: Laminated glass is made by bonding two or more sheets of glass with a layer of plastic. This makes the glass stronger and more resistant to breakage, making it ideal for use in high-traffic areas or where safety is a concern. Laminated glass is also more resistant to UV rays, reducing the risk of fading or discoloration over time.
  • Annealed glass: Annealed glass is regular glass that has been cooled slowly to relieve internal stresses. While it is not as strong as tempered or laminated glass, it is still a popular choice for glass shelving because it is affordable, easy to cut and shape, and can be used for smaller, lightweight shelves.
  • Low-iron glass: Low-iron glass is made with less iron content than regular glass, giving it a clearer, more transparent appearance. This type of glass is ideal for displaying items that require high visibility, such as artwork or collectibles.
  • Frosted glass: Frosted glass has been treated to give it a translucent appearance, making it an ideal choice for glass shelving where privacy is a concern. Frosted glass also hides fingerprints and smudges, making it easier to maintain than clear glass for shelving.

The best type of glass for glass shelving will depend on the specific application and desired aesthetics. However, tempered and laminated glass is generally considered the best choice for its strength, durability, and safety.

Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of glass shelving.


  • Aesthetically pleasing: Glass shelves add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room.
  • Easy to clean: Glass is easy to clean, making it ideal for use in areas where hygiene is essential.
  • Durable: Glass shelves are durable and can withstand heavy loads without breaking.
  • Versatile: Glass shelves can be used in various settings, including bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.
  • Reflective: Glass shelves can reflect light, making a room appear brighter and more spacious.
  • Customizable: Glass shelves can be cut to fit any size or shape, making them an ideal choice for custom installations.
  • Resistant to moisture: Glass shelves are moisture-resistant and won’t rust or corrode, making them ideal for humid environments.
  • Easy to install: Glass shelves are easy to install and can be mounted on various surfaces, including wood, drywall, and tile.
  • Affordable: Glass shelves are relatively affordable, making them an excellent choice for those on a budget.
  • Eco-friendly: Glass shelves are an eco-friendly, recyclable option.


  • Fragile: Your glass shelves can break with heavy impact or pressure.
  • Sharp edges: Glass shelves can have sharp edges that can injure you if you don’t handle them very carefully. 
  • Heavy: Glass shelves can be heavy, making them difficult to move or transport.
  • Susceptible to scratches: Glass shelves can scratch easily, making them vulnerable to damage.
  • Challenging to install: Glass shelves require careful installation and may require professional installation in some cases.
  • Limited load capacity: Glass shelves may have a limited load capacity, and heavy objects may cause them to break or warp.
  • Requires maintenance: Glass shelves require regular cleaning and maintenance to maintain appearance and functionality.
  • Can be expensive: Glass shelves can be more expensive than other shelving materials, such as plastic or metal.
  • Can collect dust: Glass shelves can collect dust and fingerprints, requiring frequent cleaning.
  • Safety concerns: Glass shelves can pose safety concerns if not installed properly and break or shatter if not maintained correctly.

While it may be tempting to install glass shelving on your own, there are several reasons why it is a good idea to have a professional do the installation:

  • Safety: Glass shelving can be heavy and fragile, making it dangerous to handle if you don’t have the proper equipment or training. A professional glass installer will have the tools and experience to safely install your shelving without risking injury or damage to your property.
  • Precision: Glass shelving must be cut and drilled precisely to ensure a perfect fit. Professional glass installers have the expertise to accurately measure, cut, and install your shelving, ensuring your shelves are level and secure.
  • Quality: When you hire a professional glass installer, you can be confident that you get high-quality materials and workmanship. A reputable installer will use only the best materials and techniques to ensure that your glass shelving is built to last.
  • Warranty: Many professional glass installers offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind that your investment is protected. If something goes wrong with your shelving, you can rely on the installer to fix it at no additional cost.
  • Aesthetics: Glass shelving can be a beautiful addition to any home or office, but only if installed properly. A professional glass installer can advise you on the best placement, style, and size of your shelving to create a visually appealing and functional space.

Having a professional install your glass shelving is a wise investment that will save you time, money, and potential headaches in the long run. By hiring a professional, you can be confident that your shelving will be installed safely, accurately, and with high quality and aesthetics.

Murray Glass has trained professionals ready to make your glass shelving dreams come true. Contact us, and let’s add gorgeous glass to your shelves today! 

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