Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Custom Glass Tabletops

Here at Santa Fe Glass, we provide not only the best in commercial glass installation and repair, but also custom glass projects. That includes custom glass table tops.

Whether it’s for the living room, kitchen, or conference-style table for the office, there are countless possibilities to designing the custom glass table of your dreams. 

When choosing what you want your custom glass table to encompass, think of the size and shape you want. Look at the desired space you want to use and determine if you want an oval, rectangle, square… or even a unique, one of a kind design. 

While glass is typically clear and see through, there are many options to consider when it comes to the design of the glass itself.  ‘Decorated’ glass has etching, sandblasting, cutting or engraving, to give the glass a one-of-a-kind look. Add a splash of color with a tint, or create a sturdier look by using a deeper color throughout the glass. Keep in mind that the base of the table can even help influence what the color of the glass itself looks like. 

Now that you’ve got the design and size figured out, it’s time for arguably the most important decision of the design process…. What type of glass to use? 

A lot of people don’t realize that in building furniture that involves glass, there is more than one type of product to choose from. Unlike glass vases or decorative pieces, glass used for furniture can be made differently to accommodate the dangers and wear and tear of every day living. 

Tempered glass is a popular option in glass furniture. It’s available as clear, frosted, patterned… any way the consumer may want. It’s referred to often as ‘safety glass’, because it’s less likely to break than regular glass. This is thanks to rapid heating and cooling processes the glass endures throughout its production, making it four to five times stronger than a typical glass product. In the rare occasion that tempered glass does break, it breaks into small circular pieces, not dangerous shards.  

Another type of glass that is popular in furniture use is ‘film-backed’ glass. This product has a flexible plastic sheet applied to the back of the glass. This film holds the glass together if it’s broken, avoiding a messy and potentially dangerous clean-up job. 

If you have ideas that you want to get off the paper and into your home or business, give us a call. We can’t wait to get started.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Repair Cracked or Chipped Glass

If you’ve ever driven a car or lived in a home with windows (both likely), you’ve probably experienced the unpleasantness of a broken window. Whether your windshield has been chipped due to flying rocks, or the windows in your home have a crack or two, we have a few quick and easy fixes for the beatings your windows take. 
When working with damaged glass, make sure to always wear a durable pair of gloves, like heavy duty rubber kitchen gloves. No matter how small the damage may be, take precaution. It can be hard to spot a shard of glass sticking out from a window, and protection can prevent a potential injury. 

Once you’re equipped to work with the broken glass, make sure it’s clean, especially if the window was damaged by something dirty, like a rock. Ball up a moist cloth towel and wipe the entire area gently until any particles of dust or dirt have been removed. If you can’t get it clean this way, use a glass-cleaning solution to do the job.  

Now that you’ve prepped the glass for fixing, it’s time to get it done! 

For a super easy and very temporary fix, think simple. Use a strip of strapping tape to completely cover the damaged area. Any heavy duty tape will do, but we recommend using strapping tape over others such as masking tape because of its waterproof properties. Smooth the tape against the glass, making sure it’s secure. This will prevent the crack or chip from spreading until you can get the glass permanently fixed. 

For a longer lasting solution, take some clear nail polish and dab a thin layer to fill the damaged glass. Allow the polish to dry, and then repeat the process, allowing time to dry in between, until the crack or hole is completely filled. Once the glass is even and sealed, the damage will be practically invisible. 

If you’re willing to go the extra step to really fix that window, here’s the option for you. You’ll need a plastic putty knife and silicone sealer. Place a small glob of the sealant onto the crack, and using the knife, smooth the product down until it’s flat and blends with the rest of the glass. Wipe the blade with a paper towel, then smooth one more time for an extra smooth finish. 

These methods are, for the most part, for small cracks and chips. If your window is in disrepair to the point of no return, or if you aren’t sure, give us a call Santa Fe Glassat (303) 777-4491. We’re here to help!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fight the Freeze: How to Prevent Ice Buildup on Your Windows

Most Colorado dwellers who have spent a winter in the area know what waking up on a frozen morning is like. Sitting in your car for 20 minutes while defrosting the windows or not being able to see your front yard due to ice can be more than frustrating. While we don’t have a magical cure for keeping the snow away, we DO have some steps you can take to prevent ice buildup on your car and home’s windows. 

The best way to prevent ice from building up on your windows is pretty obvious: cover them up. If you have the option, keep your car warm in the garage, or close the shutters over the windows on your home. If you can’t do either of these things, don’t fret.

There are plenty of “de-icing” products for windows and glass that you can buy in the store. They typically involve spraying the areas each night you want to keep frost-free. While it may seem easy and guaranteed buying products from the store, this method can become expensive quickly, and the formulas aren’t always guaranteed to work. 

If you can't see out the window....

Lucky for you, there are safe, homemade recipes that you can make to de-ice your windows. And trust us, these work! To prevent as much icing as possible on your windows, simply mix 3 parts vinegar and 1 part in water in a spray bottle (you can pick them up at the dollar store). Apply to all windows each night before you go to sleep. 

If the ice buildup becomes too thick, take the next step. While the right ice scraper can be a miracle tool, they (like store bought spray solutions) can get expensive fast, and you still need to put in quite a bit of elbow grease to get rid of the ice. Why not pair your preventative homemade solution with one to actually get rid of ice too?

Here are two recipes that are helpful for removing ice:

Mix one part water with two parts rubbing alcohol. Apply to the window and watch the ice slip right off.


You can also use a salt-based solution to de-ice your windows. For your home, mix together a saltwater solution in a bucket. Dip a sponge in the mixture, wash the inside of your windows with it, then rub them dry with a towel. For your car, dampen a small cloth bag and fill it with salt. Rub the car’s windows with the salt cloth to keep ice from forming and building up on the glass. 

Let us know if these tips work for you! Send us comments of your homemade de-icing solutions here!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How to Start a Custom Glass Project

Welcome to Santa-Fe Glass’s blog!! Here, you’ll be able to find stories, tips and tricks of the trade involving what we do best… everything glass. Sometimes you’ll come to us for a quick fix, other times you’ll want to do some major renovations. In honor of the New Year, we’re anticipating re-models, re-models, and more re-models. Here are some things to think about before starting any project using custom glass. 

When beginning your custom glass journey, start by deciding what exactly it is you want out of the project. You might want to rip out your shower and replace it with glass, or you might just want to fix and upgrade cracked windows or chipped glass tabletops.  

After you’ve determined what you want to replace, think money. Being realistic on your budget can avoid a lot of problems down the road, like being disappointed that you can’t afford something you want. It’ll also eliminate the dreaded issue of running out of money and not being able to finish your project. Nothing is worse than living and working in a construction zone with no end in sight. Make a list of your priorities, so if only certain things can be done at a time, it’ll be what you need most. 

Now that you have all of those practical business angles in order, it’s time to have some fun. Think about what you want your new item or space to look like. The best part about custom glass design is that the sky is pretty much the limit. Aside from the standard ‘regular’ glass most of us are used to, there are a large variety of hand-crafted glass types that can create a unique space that’s pleasing to the eye. 

Texture is more important in glasswork than one might initially think. If you decide to flip through some magazines for inspiration, you’ll discover a world of glass that you probably didn’t even know existed. Adding imperfections and designs like bubbles or lines right into the glass is a fun way to add some privacy while still allowing natural light to shine into your space. 

Take your time when planning any glass-related project for your home or work. Rushing into something you’ll most likely be looking at every day isn’t the smartest move. Make sure you’re happy with your decisions and that you love the custom glass you’ve picked! Getting exactly what you want will provide you and the people around you years of comfort and happiness.