December 2011 Archives

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We hope you have never had the sinking feeling of looking at your glass conference table or glass dining table and discovering a chip in the edge or scratch in the surface. Unfortunately, once a chip or scratch has occurred, there's usually no way to repair it. In most cases your options are to conceal the scratch or replace the glass.

That's why it's important to protect your glass table and avoid chips or scratches in the first place. For the most part, this is simply common sense. Avoid roughhousing near the table, or dropping heavy or sharp objects on the glass top. If you have small children in your home, consider padding the edges of the table with foam. This will protect both the table and your children! You can always remove the padding when you have guests.

If you have to move a large object on the glass top, for instance a laser printer or desktop computer sitting on a glass desk, lift and carry it rather than dragging or pushing it across the surface. If this is impossible -- for example it is a home office, you live alone and it's just too darn heavy -- place the heavy object on a sturdy cloth and pull the cloth. Never allow a heavy or sharp object to scrape across the surface of the glass.

If you have objects with sharp edges which you need to place on your glass table, place them on a cloth rather than directly on the glass. If this happens often, for instance a family dining table where you do kitchen prep work or set kitchen tools, make sure there is always a cloth or pad on the table. You can use a table runner or placemats to incorporate the protective cloth into your room decor.

Your chair selection matters as well. Metal backed chairs can easily chip the edge of a glass table top if they are not properly padded. Before you buy those sophisticated metal chairs to go with your glass table, imagine a rushed conference where people jump up from the table and push their chairs out of the way in a hurry. Or imagine tripping in your dining room and shoving a chair back against the edge of the table. Make sure all parts of the chair which come in contact with the table top are padded. (Any other metal furniture that moves -- a wheeled coffee stand or file cart, etc -- should also be padded or kept well away from the edge of a glass table.)

The steps above will go a long way towards protecting your glass table. If you do end up with a minor chip or scratch in your table, you can sometimes turn or move the table so the light does not catch the scratch and it isn't as noticeable. If the damage is too severe for that, well, there's always strategically placed coasters and potted plants.

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As more and more homeowners create "outdoor room environments," placing a granite table outside seems like a natural. After all, granite is a durable material, and granite monuments can remain outdoors for hundreds of years. A granite dining table or cocktail table can add the perfect touch to an outdoor living space. There are a few factors to consider before purchasing a granite table for outdoor use:

What is the granite finish? Polished granite is a hard finish which can withstand exposure to the elements. On the other hand, honed granite is much more porous and more likely to stain. Honed granite is not recommended for outdoor use.

Will the granite table be exposed to sunlight? Many granites are treated with a resin to smooth out the surface. This resin is invisible, and as durable as the stone under normal conditions. However, under constant exposure to sunlight the resin will discolor and will eventually create a yellow cast in the granite. Because of this, we do not recommend granite in a location where it will be exposed to full sun.

How much maintenance are you willing to do? Polished granite typically requires almost no maintenance. However, when used outdoors you may choose to seal the granite for additional protection. In addition, if you place your dining table or cocktail table in a shady location to reduce sun exposure, you may find yourself frequently cleaning up pollen, tree sap, bird droppings, etc.

Can the table base be used outside? Be sure that your table base is designed for outdoor use. Direct exposure to the elements as well as the increased humidity outdoors can be a problem. Some metals are more rust-resistant than others; make sure you know all the materials your table is constructed from before placing it outdoors.

Of course all of the factors above depend on your local climate. If you live in an arid region like the Southwest, you will have much more leeway in placing a granite table outdoors. If you live on the coast, salt in the air will be yet another issue.

When purchasing a conference table there are many options to consider and choose from. One of the most basic and important decisions is what shape your conference table will be.

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Our most popular shaped top is a Boat with all four sides arced. The curve on the long sides helps improve sight lines so that it is easier for conference participants seated at the far ends of the same side of the table to see each other. The graceful curve on all four sides gives the table a sophisticated modern appearance.

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A Racetrack Oval is a circle divided in half and stretched out with straight lines connecting the two halves. This shape is particularly effective with a wiring trough running down the center of the table, or an open space down the center for wiring access (as shown).

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Rectangular shapes require simpler machining techniques and are competitively priced, making the rectangle a good choice when budget is an issue. A rectangular table is a clean, basic shape which looks good in almost any conference room.

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Round shape tops are an excellent choice for smaller conference rooms. Round conference tables can be built to seat anywhere from 6-24, however this shape is usually chosen when smaller meetings are anticipated.

A Wedge shape top is a trapezoid, narrower at one end. This allows a speaker at the wide end to see down the table, or for participants to view a monitor for video conferencing.

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Oval shapes can make the most of a smaller space. Due to the curved sides, less clearance is required in the room than with a Rectangular or Racetrack shaped table.

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We also design conference tables in a variety of custom shapes, such as Square, Octagon, or U shape, which allows a speaker access to all participants from the center of the table.

Plan ahead for how your table will be used and what shape top will best suit your needs. This planning will help ensure that you purchase the right conference table for you.