Martha Stewart Tables Are Still Exploding Glass In Your Face

FOX31 reports a family in Colorado was just chilling on the porch during a barbecue when all of a sudden their Martha Stewart glass table exploded, sending shards of tempered glass flying all over the place. The son and his girlfriend bled from cuts and lacerations after they were hit by the glass. This is a line of tables that have racked up similar exploding glass complaints for years and though they are not being sold any more, there are some still out there in people’s homes, ticking glass bombs waiting to go off.

In 2005, a class action lawsuit was filed accusing Martha Stewart Living of making defective tables. The CPSC investigated the tables back in 2006 and asked Martha Stewart Living to redesign them so they weren’t so shattery.

The problem with the Martha Stewart tables seems to be that the tempered glass table has jagged, rather than smooth, edges, and these grind against the metal frame and weaken the top of the table itself, so that when an impact occurs, it explodes rather than implodes.

If you still have one of these tables, you should probably get rid of it.

Reached for comment, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia told Fox31 that it was the retailer, Kmart, whose responsibility it was to fix the problem.

Arvada woman says Martha Stewart table exploded for no reason [FOX31] (Thanks to GitEmSteveDave!)

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  1. sir_eccles says:

    Umm, isn’t someone mixing up laminated glass (windshields) with tempered glass which is heat treated to break into safer pieces not shards.

    • Max Headroom says:

      Sounds like it to me.

    • Scurvythepirate says:

      You sir, are correct.

    • Jfielder says:

      Yep. I was gonna point that out too. In the video shown, the first piece of glass broken is tempered, the second piece is laminated. I don’t think anything in the home is usually laminated glass. Just car windshields.

      • beachmouse says:

        Laminated glass windows let you meet building code for wind-born debris in a lot of areas and are increasingly being installed instead of hurricane shutters in a lot of coastal areas. Impact glass windows aren’t cheap, but it’s quite nice to not to have to worry about trying to find plywood to board up when it’s the day before landfall and your home is smack in the middle of the cone of uncertainty.

    • cosmic.charlie says:

      This is an easy experiment to do at home:

      Step 1: Get two similarly sized rocks or bricks.
      Step 2: Throw one at front windshield. Observe laminated glass.
      Step 3: Throw one at rear car window (or side windows). Observe tempered glass.
      Step 4: Repeat as necessary.

      If you have done the above experiment, what have been you personal conclusions?

      • nonsane says:

        Some vehicles have tempered rear windows. Esp when it’s a hatched back IE: minivans.

      • Costner says:

        If I did that experiment at home my conclusions would be that I’m an idiot for breaking two of my own car windows.

      • bethshanin says:

        Conclusions are: I’m not going to get invited to the neighborhood BBQ this year.

      • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

        Yay! I’m going down to City Hall and giving this a try!

  2. guaporico says:

    Tempered glass DOES shatter, but the shards should be round-ish, not sharp and therefore don’t cut nearly as much as un-tempered glass shards.

    The video shown here from Time Warp is of tempered laminated glass. The lamination keeps all the tempered glass bits together, much like your windshield.

    This article should be rewritten to say that the glass should shatter like the SIDE window of your car (break somewhat harmlessly).

    • PeanutButter says:

      Just because it’s laminated doesn’t mean that the windshield stays together. I crashed my 2009 car into a telephone pole, and there was sugar sized pieces of glass EVERYWHERE. My leather purse, which was sitting on the passenger seat, had huge rips from glass shards, and the inside of my purse + my winter coat were covered in glass. I even got it in my eyes.

  3. guaporico says:

    Another thing — many glass tables use un-tempered glass, which could be deadly if broken. Tempered glass is required for shower doors and fireplaces, but not tables oddly enough.

    Our glass tables are un-tempered and with young kids around now, we are going to get rid of them…

    • Max Headroom says:

      I thought tables were not because, while tempered glass provides safety, it is far more brittle than regular glass. Hence untempered can “give” more than tempered before breaking.

      • Flyersfan says:

        Actually, tempered glass is about 4 times stronger than regular (annealed) glass.

        • Salty Johnson says:

          But tempered glass breaks very easily when impacted on its edge. If you ever need to get rid of a sliding glass door or something, take the glass out, lay a tarp on the ground, stand the glass on its edge and tap it with a hammer. The glass pane will disappear and you’ll be left with a pile of round glass pieces.

      • ebonythunder - Don't worry, I'm from the Internet. says:

        Outdoor furniture is required to be Tempered for safety reasons.

    • ebonythunder - Don't worry, I'm from the Internet. says:

      Fireplaces use a higher heat-rated glass, usually something similar to “Pyrex”. Tempered alone will not stand up to the heat from a fireplace. In fact, I’ve cut Pyrex before, which means it’s not tempered at all, because you can’t cut tempered glass.

  4. ebonythunder - Don't worry, I'm from the Internet. says:

    Tempered glass is absolutely NOT supposed to break like a windshield.

    Windshields are LAMINATED glass, that is, two panes of glass held together with a clear film. If the glass breaks, it is still held to that film.

    TEMPERED glass is also called “Safety Glass” because when it breaks, it breaks into thousands of tiny little pieces (as opposed to large shards). The side windows of cars are made of tempered glass.

    They have not made tempered windshields in over 50 years.

    • ebonythunder - Don't worry, I'm from the Internet. says:

      I worked with glass for several years and would be happy to answer any questions that I know the answers to.

  5. Jevia says:

    Based on legal knowledge I have, while yes a retailer can be held responsible for a defective product, it usually keeps going back to the manufacturer. After all, you wouldn’t really expect Kmart to be manufacturing the tables. So why would Kmart have more responsibility to fix the problem then MSLO.

    • Costner says:

      Probably because Kmart is the retailer, distributor, and most likely manufacturer (indirectly). Martha just puts her name on it to make a few bucks but likely has nothing to do with the actual table itself (short of perhaps approving the design concept).

      I hope people realize that Martha Stewart isn’t actually designing and developing all of the products that bear her name. Oh and by the way, Ty Pennington doesn’t design all that crap at Sears, Kathy Ireland doesn’t design all of those swimsuits sold under her name, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears didn’t develop the perfumes sold under their names, Sean Combs doesn’t design the Sean Jean clothing line, and Donald Trump has most likely never set foot in a design shop that produces his ties although he does like to wear them on TV to cross-promote his name brand.

      • Jevia says:

        Since the CPSC asked MSLO to “redesign” the tables, I presumed they had some part of the whole manufacturing process.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        I think that’s the question, who did the manufacturer actually design and make the table for. Was it originally made for Kmart or Martha Stewart. Or was there a third party involved that brought Kmart and Martha Stewart together.

    • MrMan09 says:

      Because it is very possible that MSLO only branded a product that Kmart brought them to work the MS magic on.

  6. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    I’ve never been a fan of glass table tops period, especially for patio tables. They look horrible when any amount of dust is on them, which is pretty much all the time outside.

  7. mrvw says:

    I like that Martha Stuart Living is blaming Kmart. ‘We just endorse the products, we don’t care if they explode and hurt people’

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I was going say isn’t Kmart just the seller in this case. If Martha Stewart has nothing to do with it this why is her name on the furniture. I’d bet Martha Stewart takes royalties from sales so why not responsibility.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Is it possibly because it’s already been recalled, and in the recall, Kmart was authorized to issue the refunds and get reimbursed from MSL? I’m thinking most recalls tell you to go to the store you bought it at, so maybe this is why it’s happening that way.

      In other news, this was all over the news a couple years ago. I’m surprised there are still any of the defective tables out there.

  8. Costner says:

    Step 1: Find used Martha Stewart glass table at garage sale.
    Step 2: Hit hammer along edge of table to shatter into pieces.
    Step 3: use glass shards to slide gash in lower leg. Stand in place and let it bleed for 10 minutes to make it appear the wound was more severe than it really was.
    Step 4: Sue Martha Stewart, the manufacturer, distributor, and anyone else who ever thought about making a buck from a Martha Stewart glass table.

    Step 5: Profit!

    (No I’m not serious, but don’t think for a second there aren’t people out there thinking of a payday when this type of thing happens)

  9. The Porkchop Express says:

    So the retailer is at fault because? I mean do they actually manufacture the things?

    • Rachacha says:

      Under US Law (Consumer Product Safety Act), the Manufacturer, distributor and retailer are all equally responsible for the safety of products. In this case, the Marth Stewart brand is exclusive to Kmart/Sears so it becomes a store brand of sorts placing more burden on Kmart

  10. framitz says:

    In my experience with tempered glass it breaks into gravel type pieces, not shards and not very dangerous.

    The exploding table had to have been made of inferior non-tempered glass.

  11. Mozz says:

    This sounds like the exploding rear windows on Ford Escapes. Still doing it after 10 years.

  12. Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

    My mom has this table, but since no recall has been issued, I guess she either has to chance it or eat the cost to buy a new one after buying this one.

  13. Flyersfan says:

    Just to add to the knowledge base here, tempered glass can explode at random. If the table glass “exploded” it was probably tempered glass. Regular (annealed is the technical term) glass doesn’t “explode” it just breaks.

    Anything that is harder than glass (steel, concrete, etc) can make tempered glass break. If the glass is resting directly on the steel table, it can break if the glass slides along the table the wrong way or even if the table goes through a large temperature difference. Sharp edges and flaws at the edge are a death sentence for tempered glass.

    I spent 11 years working at a lab that actually tests tempered glass. It’s not a fun thing to do.

  14. Barely Sane says:

    Kmart and Martha Steward. A match made in Heaven. Is Martha out of jail already? Can you guys get her to send me her recipe for Gooseberry Pie.

  15. nsv says:

    Cool! I don’t have to worry, since I don’t shop at Kmart.

    Um… except that all my patio furniture was bought at Goodwill, so I have no idea what brand it is. I’d be happy to get rid of it if I could figure out who made it. (No brand name anywhere.)

  16. Billy C says:

    I love how she says “Nancy NOW believes the tables are unsafe.”

    No shit, Sherlock. She just had one explode right in her face. Ace reporting right there…

  17. Peggee is deeply offended by impetulant, pernicious little snots disrespecting her and violating her personal space at Best Buy. says:

    Reached for comment, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia told Fox31 that it was the retailer, Kmart, whose responsibility it was to fix the problem.

    Oh, honey, no.

  18. Anzy1 says:

    My Table just exploded two hours ago for no reason.I was just looking outside and I seen the table pop!Glass went all over the place. Very tiny shards are all over my deck,outdoor carpets,grass and around my pool area.

  19. Anzy1 says:

    I also ran back inside and picture up my camera and started to film this.The glass was making popping sounds like a bowl of rice crispy cereal.25 mins later the glass was still making sounds and jumping all over the place. I never seen anything like this and the video picked up the sounds. Nobody got hurt because of this and thank god my Son wasn’t sitting on the deck playing this the dog when this happened.