How can I secure a glass table top in a house with a toddler?
January 3, 2015 6:10 AM   Subscribe

I have a dining room/kitchen glass table, with a round tabletop that sits on top of a metal base without any attachment point. It's sort of similar to this item. My daughter is 1 year old and just starting to become mobile. I'm concerned she might push or pull on the tabletop and cause it to fall, injuring her. I've been stumped on how to find a way to secure it. The best I've found are some round discs to attach somewhere, but I'm suspicious that they will really work. Has anyone successfully babyproofed such a table?
posted by scottso17 to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For now, go to a thrift store and find a solid, wooden table that you can live with and use that. Put the glass topped table in storage. Pick one for shape and then spray paint it a hip color that goes with your decor.

Frankly, glass topped things are counter-indicated for households with children. You'll be forever cleaning the damn thing or worried that rough-housing will cause it to break.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:14 AM on January 3, 2015 [24 favorites]

I wouldn't be the prettiest, but you could strategically place some suction cups on the underside of the glass preventing shifting of the glass. Your daughter would probably go after them too unless you're able to rest some of the weight of the glass on top of them.
posted by txtwinkletoes at 6:31 AM on January 3, 2015

Came to say nearly exactly what RB said above. I grew up with that type of round glass top table. It went into storage until my younger brother was 3+ (we used a very plain, very sturdy wooden table my dad biult us in the meantime) but I think even that was too soon. If you leaned on the edge of the table it moved (scary!) and we got yelled at all the time for driving hotwheels across the top and doing other things that would scratch it. There are at least two times I remember that the table top got slid off balance, teetered off, and would have hit the floor if my dad hadn't been there to execute his ninja moves.

This is not a good table for you. Get something safe and destroyable to use for a few years.
posted by phunniemee at 6:32 AM on January 3, 2015 [10 favorites]

Oh and those round discs aren't for attaching. They're for creating a buffer between the table top and the metal base to level out the surface and protect the glass top.

They were also used to wage passive aggressive war against my parents. If my brother or I were getting yelled at about something during dinner we'd just very barely use our knees to imperceptibly lift the table top, which would cause all those little plastic discs to fall off of one side of the table onto the floor. Man, that pissed them off. Anyway, those things don't do shit to secure your table.
posted by phunniemee at 6:37 AM on January 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

The only way I see to do it is to put another wooden table top, which would be secured to the frame, underneath the glass one so that it can't tip. Possibly could work, possibly could make the table top heavy and unstable that way.

Just sell it.
posted by zennie at 6:41 AM on January 3, 2015

I agree with the others. There's too many things that can go wrong with that tabletop. For your sanity and for the family's safety, I'd find some alternative table.
posted by amanda at 6:49 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Earthquake putty, perhaps?
posted by Verdandi at 6:50 AM on January 3, 2015

I have the same type of table and you are right to be concerned. My 1.5 year old pushed the glass once and it came right off the base and landed on 3 of the chairs. I put the glass back up on the base and it was so heavy that I could barely get it up (to be fair, I am petite).

I immediately started looking for a new table. On a whim I picked up these type of things while I ordered a table. They are in the same aisle at Home Depot as the ones you linked too. I am not sure if what I linked to is exactly the same since mine are square but they are vinyl/silicon like.

We still have the glass table because those suckers ANCHORED that glass. It is not going anywhere. I can put my weight on it and it stays firmly on the base. Try it and if not, get another table. It was SCARY when it came off. Yes, you can see them under the glass but at least now I know it's safe.
posted by polkadot at 6:51 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

We have a similar table, though much thicker and heavier, so our main concern was preventing our daughter from cracking her head off the edge. (she just turned 2). So we use this edge guard linked below, it has saved us/her manys a time. Here.
posted by kev23f at 7:02 AM on January 3, 2015

Even if the top stayed on, the whole thing could fall over and break, or she could climb on top of it and drop something (when she's older).

To be fair, I was prone to climbing when I was a kid.

However, on second thought, I also have several (small) scars on my face, from falling _into_ things, including a glass-topped coffee table (it didn't break), when I was a small child.
posted by amtho at 7:30 AM on January 3, 2015

Can you get one of those fences for sticking kids in when you want to restrict them to one space, and when you don't have the kid in the pen, put the pen around the table?
posted by biffa at 7:51 AM on January 3, 2015

I used to have a glass topped dining table. Then I got a kid. And a wooden table.

There are multiple ways to secure the glass SOMEWHAT to the top-- you can use stick-on bumpers to keep it from sliding, but the adhesive on those wears out after a while and they fall off; you can put silicone disks in to create friction, but as mentioned those can fall out when the table top gets lifted up (which can happen not only on purpose due to kid shenanigans but also by accident when adults sit under it). I am sure there are a number of other semi-permanent solutions you could come up with. But even with the top secured, your child could still scratch the table, chip the table, tip the table, or run head-first into the edge of the table. And yes, you could spend thousands hours of your life watching your child near the table and training your child to be super careful around the table but trust me, this is not the hill you want to die on. You are already going to be spending enough time teaching your child how to behave around the stove and electrical outlets and animals and cars.

Get a table a kid can climb on and make a blanket fort out of and race cars over and drum on with a spoon while you bake cookies.
posted by BlueJae at 7:58 AM on January 3, 2015 [6 favorites]

If I recall correctly, glass furniture does not necessarily have tempered glass in it.

Glass tables: An overlooked safety threat

I have personally broken glass panels from a glass topped table as an adult.
posted by bq at 8:08 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

My little brother and I were playing one day, hopping from the couch to the glass topped coffeetable; this sounds crazy, but when you weigh like 35 pounds there are different types of playing that people who aren't 2.5 feet tall can't understand.

He eventually crashed through, requiring a trip to the ER and a trip to the emergency room.

Even if you secure the two pieces together, that's still a lot of glass that a small child sees as OMG FUN PLAYTIME AREA and not as something that can break and cause injury.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:12 AM on January 3, 2015

Hi I am in my third year of being a grandpa and I freaked out a lot with our glass table and the toddler thing. The compromise was putting strong velcro tabs on the glass and table, silicone stays (we used those first) didn't keep stationary: also we put foam edging around the glass. It was trimmable and adheres to the glass edges. Actually I was surprised but the edging we bought didn't look bad. After awhile the adhesive wears off, so we put velcro dots on the adhesive area and table and it stays secure- great. If I find the brand I'll let you know. PS if you do have a choice get another non-glass table in the interim.
posted by Upon Further Review at 8:21 AM on January 3, 2015

Toddler Jungle is 2.5 and we had to get rid of our glass table because at about one year old she discovered both climbing and throwing, two terrible activities for glass tables. We replaced our table with this one from Ikea and we actually really like it now, I don't see us going back to our old table. We have it folded to seat two with the flat leaf against the wall and her highchair at the end and when people come over we can extend it out to seat 6. Added bonus: we keep bibs and cloth napkins in the drawers so they're always handy.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 8:42 AM on January 3, 2015

A bead of clear silicone adhesive along the glass support while not the most esthetically pleasing option will keep the table connected to the legs and is reversible with a little work in a few years if you wish. Cheap too.
posted by Mitheral at 9:09 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

We ran a daycare for five years. I've worked construction for more than a decade in the past. I'm pushing 200 pounds. I've seen workers half again my size be defeated by silicone [especially marine grade] sealant.

Your daughter isn't going to manage to dislodge the tabletop if it's secured with silicone. The problem with a glass tabletop, though, is that she won't see it when she is running around all happy, especially if it's at eye level.

I would maybe look to trade your table for another.
posted by vapidave at 10:42 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Get another table. Really yucky anecdote to follow. Skip if squeamish.

For all the reasons above plus: kids have a tendency to SLAM things down on tables and glass can explode, spray and really f*ck up anyone who is near. I say this as a parent whose kid had a glass accident where her arm was severed almost clean off. Do not screw with kids and glass.*

*Thanks to an amazing team at Childrens Hospital in Boston where she was treated by a pioneering surgeon in the field of reattachment, her arm was saved. But she still has serious mobility issues in her hand, 20 years later.
posted by kinetic at 12:25 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

If the goal is to baby proof this table, simply close off the room with gates or whatever. Only bring baby into room for meal time.
posted by 724A at 2:30 PM on January 3, 2015

Response by poster: Wowsers, you all confirmed my gut instinct on this. We're going shopping. Thank you all.
posted by scottso17 at 6:02 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

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