When shopping for glass countertops most people will ask what the price per square foot is. It’s a fair question because most inexpensive (Quartz and Granite) Countertops are priced by the sq. ft.
They are easier to price this way because they come in slabs that cost about $5-15 per sq. ft. and can be fabricated using simple hand-held fabrication tools and minimal polishing skill.
High production shops use CNC saws and waterjets to automate these processes.
For a full-service designer-fabricator-installer of Glass countertops, there is a much more sophisticated path to a final tally. There is never a simple answer we can offer a client…so we don’t. Only a thoughtful quote which presents all options to achieve the desired glass countertop look you desire is a must when striving for accuracy. We always like to get a sketch,and any room photos to understand ambient lighting.
- Thickness (1.5” is 99% of our glass countertop market)
- Textural Designs and continuum’s for consecutive pieces
- Saw cutting complexity
- Mitered edge vs Square polished edge
- Water Jetting time for cutting holes, arcs, special designs
- Polishing (Lens-Quality polish vs Matte)
- LED illumination, Stainless steel covers for LED’s and wiring of LEDs onsite
- Sink style: Undermount, Top Mount, Vessel
- Custom Metal support brackets for High Bars
- Color pigments inside glass layers
- Back-painting custom color
- Engraving or Sandblasting logos
- Template Service
- Expedited Delivery/Shipping Service
- Installation Services (Stairs, Small Elevators, Cranes)
Each of these options can be looked at in terms of time to execute…if it takes more time, material or specialized engineering, it will cost more money.
Glass comes as ½” or ¾” thick low-iron glass. This raw glass material needs to be supremely cleaned, and stacked carefully upon an artistically “carved” oven sand bed to the desired thickness (typically 1.5”). Ramping the oven slowly for large glass pieces is necessary (to prevent cracking on the way up) where the textural design will transfer into the glass as it is heated to a 1400 degree F temperature and fuse the layers as one.
Slowly cooling the glass during the annealing cycle assures that the glass will not be stressed and afterwards cut with reasonable assurance that the raw fired product will not crack. It has to be within a few degrees from its middle to its edges. Glass is a terrific insulator and does not give up or take heat easily. This takes around 6 days from start to finish for a long glass piece. For a glass countertop manufacturer, this is critical time because firings can fail. Any residual dirt or grease that is trapped inside the glass layers will cause the firing to fail. Glass can crack on its own for a frustrating array of “reasons”. This is expensive from a time component because failures won’t allow a business to turn 4-5 pieces per oven per month.
It is then removed from the kiln (as one large, heavy piece) and then be extracted, cut, polish, water jetting for any holes, back-painted, LED illuminated, delivered, installed.
We look forward to discussing the best possible combination of techniques for your piece.
Please feel free to call (813) 784 5211 or Jeff@DowningDesigns.com