On Do-It-Yourself forums across the internet, owners of patio furniture tell a familiar story: the glass tops of their outdoor tables have shattered and a replacement is needed. This article will show how easy, practical and cost-efficient it is to solve this problem with a custom-cut acrylic replacement patio table top.
The fact that you’re reading this suggests that you already know the greatest weakness of glass table tops. They have a tendency to shatter under pressure, a flaw which presents a serious hazard for children or anyone else who spends time in your backyard. If your table top has shattered, or perhaps become cracked to the point that you need a replacement before it shatters, you should consider acrylic replacement table tops for a number of reasons:
Replacement Patio Table Tops: Benefits
Replacement patio table tops made of acrylic take on the same appearance as glass but are lighter in weight and are far more durable. Additionally, while glass table tops tend to be cheaper when ordered in bulk, acrylic replacement patio table tops are often a less expensive option for homeowners who only need a single piece cut to custom specifications. Due to their fragility, glass table tops are also more expensive to pack and ship.
Cost Considerations: Replacement Top or New Table?
A custom-cut acrylic replacement table top typically costs between $200 to $300 or more and is a good investment to preserve a patio table that is high quality, decorative, and/or part of a set. On the other hand, if your broken table is old or an unimportant component to your decor, you may want to forgo replacing the top and instead purchase a brand new table.
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What to Know Before You Call
- Find out if your table’s design will allow you to install a replacement top. Check to make sure that the table has a removable metal rim or some other design feature that will allow you to set the acrylic replacement top in place. Also, particularly if the frame is metal, check to make sure that it has not become warped by the same impact that broke the table top. If the frame has warped, a new table top may not fit even if it is the same size as the original.
- Determine the size requirements for your replacement patio table top. If the table is circular, stretch a tape measure across the surface from one end of the other, passing through the center, to measure the diameter of the space into which the top must fit. If the table is in the shape of a square or rectangle, measure the length and width. Please note that it is important to record the size the acrylic table top must be in order to fit into the frame. This measurement will most likely be smaller than the diameter of the frame itself! You should also measure the required thickness for the acrylic table top. If there needs to be a hole in the middle for an umbrella, make sure to measure its diameter and precise location as well. If you have a rectangular top with rounded corners, check out this diagram on how to measure the radius of the patio table corners.
- What do you want your replacement patio table top to look like? Acrylic table tops are most often manufactured with a translucent pattern referred to as DP-32 to ensure that they can endure scratching and remain attractive through years of use. Make sure to let the salesperson on the other end of the line know what your own aesthetic requirements are so that they can identify the perfect product for your needs.
- Pick up the phone! While you may not be able to find what you are looking for at your local hardware store, plastics distributors can offer you service that is just as personal. For example, E&T Plastics, a large nationwide plastics distributor, offers custom cut replacement patio table tops (see website for contact information).
Because of their light weight in comparison to glass, acrylic replacement patio table tops are easy to install without much risk of damage. If the acrylic top needs to be set directly on the surface of a table or embedded into a frame that does not have an overhanging rim, simply fit the table top into place. If the frame has a metal rim that must be removed to install the table top, remove the rim, set the table top into the frame, and reinstall the rim. Make sure to keep track of any pieces necessary to fasten the rim back into place!
Once your acrylic replacement patio table top is securely in place, fire up the grill and enjoy!
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