Can You Use Monitor Mounts On Glass Desks?

Monitor arms are easily one of my top 5 desk accessories. We have dedicated articles on all the benefits you get with a monitor arm. You get more space, a cleaner look, quick and easy monitor movement, etc.

Most of us have wooden or MDF desks that can handle these types of clamping monitor mounts. However, it gets much more risky to use a clamping monitor arm on a glass desk, which is much more fragile.

In this article, we’re going to talk about what you should consider before using a monitor arm for your glass desks.

Key Takeaways

  • Typical monitor mounts have a small clamping area and are a dangerous choice for glass desks.
  • Large profile desk plates and softer interface materials can spread this load for a safer installation.
  • Freestanding monitor mounts will be much safer and will give you the most peace of mind.
  • Wall-mounted monitors are a great way to remove any load from your table, though this is not an option for everyone.

Can You Mount A Monitor Arm on Glass Desks?

Most aftermarket monitor mounts are designed to clamp onto your desks. While these are great for most wood and engineered wood desks, they are less ideal for glass tables.

If you have a hollow core table like the ones from IKEA, check out our article on weak desk monitor mounting.

Here is what a typical aftermarket monitor mount looks like. They have a pretty small clamping area to hold your monitor.

monitor mount connected to desk with lip

Most of these monitor arms are also grommet mountable. Glass desks don’t come with these grommet holes, so that is not a viable option.

The first issue with using a monitor mount on glass is that you are applying the entire weight of a monitor into a relatively small area. This is exactly how glass breaks. 

The second issue is that many of today’s monitor mounts do not keep the monitor load in line with the clamp. The monitor is usually placed away from the clamping location, not directly above it. 

See the image of my 4K monitor mount below. The clamping location is on the right side of the monitor and not in line with the monitor.

BenQ ScreenBar On Monitor

When your monitor’s load is offset from the clamp, it creates more stress at the clamp location. This position can work for strong wood desks but is risky for weaker or brittle desk materials. 

The monitor and monitor arm will likely be within a glass table’s weight rating. However, this does not mean it is safe to use a monitor mount on glass tables.

If you have a heavy monitor and stretch it far from the clamping location, you will increase the risk of shattering a glass desk. For these reasons, it is generally not advised to use clamping monitor mounts on glass desks.

How To Mount A Monitor Arm on Glass Desks

Though we don’t recommend using clamp mounts, this has not stopped people from trying it anyway! Here are a few examples of Redditors who have successfully mounted their monitor arms to their desk.

Use these methods at your own risk!

Example 1 – u/TheLangatang

In this Reddit thread, u/TheLangatang shows off how he used bare monitor arms on his glass desk as shown in this image below:

You can immediately tell that this user did not use any reinforcement load-spreading plates for his monitor setup.

He is also mounting the monitors offset from the clamping area. They are also pretty large 34″ and 43″ monitors!

While this is definitely a risky setup, this user’s glass desk is clearly handling the glass monitor arms very well so far. Here is the monitor arm being used in the above image with the wider base.

VIVO Aluminum Ultrawide Monitor Stand
  • Holds monitors up to 49 inches
  • Comes with clamp and grommet mount
  • Includes wide 200x100 VESA pattern
  • Holds screens up to 39.6 lbs.
  • Supports desks between 0.4" and 3.3" thick
  • Tilt bolt needs lots of tightening
Check Price On Amazon

Example 2 – u/rohitruls

In this Reddit thread, user u/rohitruls came up with a solution for a very popular standing desk from Costco: the Tresanti 47″ Standing Desk. This desk comes with a glass tabletop that is made to be a handy dry-erase board.

Due to the desk’s popularity, many people have been looking for ways to use monitor mounts with this desk. This user came up with a fantastic off-the-shelf solution that you can duplicate as well!

Here are the images of how they were able to successfully use a monitor arm safely with a glass-top desk.

They used a combination of three items: a monitor arm, reinforcement plates, and 2.5″ wooden cubes. All of these products are readily available on Amazon. Click on the images below for the product pages.

Example 3 – WannaBuyIt

In the video below, a monitor mount with a pretty small base is being used on a glass desk very casually. The underside of the clamp is padded with cardboard to protect the glass from any hard metal edges.

Use Reinforcement Plates For Monitor Mounts on Glass

While this is risky, if you insist on using a monitor arm on your glass desk, I highly recommend spreading the load with a reinforcement plate.

These plates take the tiny clamping area and spread it over a much larger area.

Plates like the product shown below include soft anti-skid pads that don’t allow the metal plates to contact the glass directly. This is a critical item for use on glass desks!

WALI Monitor Mount Reinforcement Plate

This reinforcement bracket kit adds extra support to your monitor mount and fits most types of monitor mounts using C-clamps. It increases stability by spreading the load and protects your desk from damage and scratches.

Check Price on Amazon

Monitor Mount Arm Alternatives For Glass Desks

Because monitor arms are overall pretty risky on glass desks, here are some monitor clamp arm alternatives. These won’t be a direct replacement for the clamp-style monitor arms, however, they will have a similar set of benefits.

Freestanding Monitor Mounts

If you want more peace of mind, forget the clamping altogether. You can replace your monitor’s factory mount with a more useful freestanding mount. 

Many factory monitor mounts are large and curvy and can take away from desk space. Aftermarket freestanding mounts can tackle this issue very well. 

Take the mount below for example: 

This mount supports two monitors while giving you a nice flat space that can actually be utilized. You can store desk organizers, small plants, and more. 

Don’t need a dual monitor setup? Here is a clean flat base for a single monitor. These are dead simple solutions if you want to change up your factory monitor mount. 

Freestanding Single Monitor VESA Mount

This monitor desk stand is compatible with most monitors up to 32 inches and has an ergonomic design with adjustable tilt, swivel, rotation, and height. It has a tempered safety glass base and steel pole that doesn't require drilling and cable management to hide wires. It also has foot covers to prevent skidding and desk scratches.

Check Price on Amazon

Wall Monitor Mounts

Wall-mounted monitor arms take a bit more labor, but the end result is very worth it. Wall-mounted monitors are one of the most attractive and seamless ways to integrate a monitor into your workspace.

Wall mounts are not ideal for the following setups:

  • Your desk faces a window
    • There is no reliable way to mount monitors to a window.
  • You are not allowed to drill your walls
    • If you are in a rental property, landlords don’t love the idea of tenants drilling into walls.
  • You use a standing desk.
    • Standing desks constantly need their monitor to move up and down with their desk.

If you are able to wall mount, this adds zero load to your glass desk and keeps it completely safe.

Make sure you attach your wall monitor mount to a wooden stud in the wall. The drywall will not safely support a monitor attached to a monitor arm.

Here are more wall-mounted monitor brackets on Amazon: 

Mount-It! MI-2829 Low Profile Monitor Wall Mount

This monitor wall mount fits screens 9-25 inches and has a low profile design that allows the screen or all-in-one computer to tilt and swivel. It's compatible with any brand of PC monitor that has the 75mm or 100mm VESA hole pattern.

Check Price on Amazon
WALI Articulating Wall Monitor Mount

This heavy-duty wall mount is compatible with most 13 to 32-inch flat panel displays and is adjustable for viewing flexibility. It places the TV just 2 inches from the wall and extends up to 15 inches. The wall mount plate can be mounted on any vertical wood studs, brick, or concrete walls.

Check Price on Amazon

Consider Monitor Shelves

The last recommendation here is to use monitor shelves, also known as desk shelves. It’s more of an accessory that supports a monitor than a monitor mount.

Desk shelves don’t replace your current monitor mount like a typical VESA mount. They instead give your monitor mount another place to rest, freeing up space on the surface of your table. 

This is a terrific solution if you don’t have a VESA-compatible monitor in the first place. We have articles on how to mount non-VESA monitors as well as What Are VESA Mounts?

I actually use a desk shelf/monitor shelf myself:

aothia desk shelf with ultrawide monitor on desk

Monitor shelves can do a lot for your workspace. They improve ergonomics by lifting your monitor, adding more space to your desk, and just making your desk look better. 

Most importantly, they don’t add a highly stressed area to your glass desk! The desk shelf I use has soft cork feet which would be very glass desk friendly.

Here’s the monitor shelf I am using in the image above:

Aothia Large Dual Monitor Desk Shelf
  • Comes in three wood grain colors
  • Made with real poplar wood
  • Supports up to 100 lbs.
  • 43 inch by 9.4 inch surface
  • Affordable compared to other wood desk shelves of the same size
  • Cork legs are not the prettiest
Check Price On Amazon

Before You Go

Check out our article on how these desk shelves compare against monitor arms.

If you want to take your glass desk cable management to the next level, check out our dedicated article on glass desk cable management.

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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