The Crazy Cost of Lucite

I saw the following photo in Veranda and immediately began to lust after the pedestal table. It's made by Spectrum Limited so I looked it up on their site and found the price list. It's quite the bargain at $60K. I'll probably give them as Christmas gifts this year ;)

Here's my question: why are some lucite pieces are so ridiculously expensive and others are affordable?

For example, here's a $3,000 lucite trunk from Vivre...

then here's a sleek console table from CB2 for only $349.

Shapely cocktail table...grab one for a smidge over seven grand!

Poor man's version - ringing up at $249 at Overstock

I realize that high-end pieces require more craftsmanship and often use more/thicker pieces of acrylic but come on, we are not talking about platinum here! Please enlighten me if I'm missing something in this equation. Lucite sure is pretty, however, I'm not likely to pony up that much money for what is essentially plastic.

On second thought, I do fancy this lucite vanity...maybe when I start blowing my nose with $100 bills, I'll order one :)


  1. wow..your right...ridiculously expensive...and not sure why?
    I would have guessed that the pedastal table was glass though...if you hadnt mentioned it being Lucite...but still 60K..thats insane!

  2. I'm not sure either why they are so expensive? I do love the Kartell Ghost Chairs, though! they are more realistic...not 60K, that's nuts!
    have a good day! love your blog!

  3. I suspect the cost difference has something to do with the manufacturing process. I don't know if it's how it really works, but I imagine that the cheaper pieces could be made with sheets of thinner acrylic, cut, heated and bent to shape. The more expensive pieces might have to be custom molded. Or they have joints, and it's hard to make clean looking joints with acrylic. (That trunk still seems dumb expensive to me though.)

  4. I was told that the material is petroleum based. Thus, the cost of oil can drive up the price. Also, like glass, small amounts aren't that expensive, but add weight, extra long lengths or widths and the price skyrockets! A lot of that does have to do with needing special manufacturing facilities. I love anything lucite and acrylic- most of my finds are vintage.

  5. I know, right???? I love lucite but some of it is over the top!

    Love the trunk. Amazing.

  6. Petroleum prices is right, when the price of oil is high the manufacturers pay more. Also, the labor is expensive because any blemish is very noticeable. Maybe the cheaper pieces aren't really lucite?

    Luella & June

  7. I was just going to say the same as anonymous above. Acrylic/Lucite is a petroleum based product, so the materials cost fluctuates like crazy. I know several furniture manufacturers that have quit working with acrylic because it is too hard to price to ensure profitability. Perhaps part of the huge price tag is a large cushion factor to compensate.

  8. A lot of the cost too has to do with the way the pieces of acrylic are put together...Cheap is with glue (which means it breaks much easier). A lot of higher priced pieces use chemicals to fuse the acrylic & therefore make it much sturdier.