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Tempering a glass table top adds to its strength. Tempered glass is 5 to 7 times harder to break compared to regular annealed glass. Tempered glass is also regarded as safety glass because when it breaks, it shatters into small pebbles that don't pose as much of a danger to you and your family.
In most instances, 1/2" inch thick glass tops are not tempered. This is due to the added strength from the thickness. However, 1/4" and 3/8" thick glass tops are mostly tempered for extra strength.
As a basic rule, tempering the glass does not change its appearance or weight. With that in mind, if you have kids at home or are just concerned with safety, we say, "when in doubt, temper your glass".
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