Your choice of shelving can make a huge difference to the look and feel of any room and your choice will depend on several factors.

Firstly, you will need to think about what you intend to display on the shelves. If the shelves will be carrying heavy items such as big books then glass will probably not be the best choice because its load bearing capacity is less than wood or metal. This does obviously depend on the brackets and fixings you use as well but generally glass is more fragile and therefore for peace of mind you would probably want to opt for a more robust material.

Secondly, you need to consider the effect you are hoping to achieve and the ambiance and existing furniture in the room. If your décor is cozy, traditional and rustic then shelves may be a touch too modern or minimalist and wood would be better suited. Having said that, glass does suit a great range of styles and interior décor and can complement a wide range of design.

Thirdly, you need to consider safety. If the shelves will be quite low and you have young children then glass can be a hazard even though most glass shelves these days are made of toughened and strengthened tempered glass which is much stronger.

Glass shelves are particularly suited to bathrooms which are often smaller than other rooms and do not need to display heavy or bulky items. Also, tinted glass can work well with bathroom colour schemes which tend to be blue or green hues.

Glass shelves are easy to clean and maintain with no veneers or varnish to worry about. Even scratches and chips can be repaired and they allow light to shine through and are less obtrusive than wood so you can see the objects displayed from all angles without needing to pick them up.

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Glass shelves can also look very elegant and striking with the use of mirrors behind them to reflect the light and objects further. When coupled with spot lighting, mirrored glass shelves can be very dramatic especially at night.

Modern glass handling and cutting techniques mean that curves and wavy edges are easily produced and although custom shelving can be expensive, it you have your own shelving ideas, you can take them to a glass cutter and manufacturer and have them produced to your own designs.

Another striking look can be achieved by using a floating glass shelf which uses no brackets at all but a tongue and groove system to support the shelf. This will give a clean look which can be both a focal and a talking point.

If you are unsure how to hang your glass shelves on the wall, consult a professional but most shelving can be a DIY job to hang so long as you ensure that your brackets or other fittings are level and strong enough to support both the shelves themselves and what you intend to put on them.

Glass shelves are used in such a wide variety of situations that they are almost ubiquitous. Many bathroom suppliers offer a wall mounted mirror with integral glass shelves which looks both dramatic and light because it reflects so much around the room including the objects on them. Another very popular use of glass shelves is in TV stands especially using black glass which matches LCD and plasma screens. Yet another striking use of glass shelves is when they are combined with other materials such as wood. One manufacturer offers a simple bamboo strip with three staggered glass shelves positioned down it’s length.

Comprehensive information on shelving systems and glass shelving at

Author: Nazima Golamaully
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Canadian-US cross border flight

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