How to choose fittings for your glass balustrade?
Glass balustrades are an excellent idea around your pool or on a staircase. They look fantastic and require surprisingly little maintenance. If you haven’t already considered replacing your existing balustrades with glass balustrading, then you should!
Despite what you may think, there is actually an array of options when it comes to glass balustrades, glass can come in a huge variety of styles. Alongside the style of the glass, you’ll find that the fittings can also make a huge difference to the finished look. That’s why you need to spend some time thinking about the right fittings for your glass balustrade.
Don’t forget, this will also help to ensure you comply with the local regulations.
Glass balustrades should be constructed from toughened glass, this is safer if there is an accident. It should be at least 10mm thick and every glass panel will need to be clamped into position, a general guide is four clamps per every square meter of glass.
This choice means there is no visible framework, the glass panels are the strength of the balustrade. The look is clear, in fact, the balustrade will be almost invisible. But, you’ll need laminated glass that is at least 15mm thick.
The fittings are all in the base, there will be a special ‘U’ shaped channel for the glass to sit in, the panels will be attached by pressure clamps, wedges, or even glued. The channel must be securely adhered to the structure of the building.
It’s common for these panels to be separated from each other by approximately 10mm, helping to ensure they won’t all collapse at the same time if something did go wrong.
This is a nice option to remind people that there is a balustrade present. The steel posts are slim and discreet but add a nice context. Each post will need to be securely attached to the floor of the building. The post has a channel on each side which the glass balustrade panel slots into.
This prevents them from moving and ensures they have the strength they need to operate as a safety barrier.
Another option is to create a frame that the glass panels sit in. This can be a frame that encompasses the entire balustrade or individual frames for each panel. In effect, a base is secured to the floor of the building. You then need uprights at each end of the balustrade, and between them, if you wish. A top piece is then added, effectively framing the balustrade and ensuring safety.
The great thing about this approach is that the frame can be made out of wood, metal, or almost any other material you can think of.
Choosing The Right One
There are several things to consider when choosing your balustrade fittings:
- The aesthetics of the fitting system
- How well the fittings blend into the rest of your property
- The safety level, if you have children you’ll want something particularly robust.
- The cost
So there are so many different styles of glass balustrade to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits and enhances the style of your building perfectly. The type of fittings you choose will depend on the style of glass balustrade you are installing and where you are installing it. Framed, semi-framed and frameless glass balustrades are the three main systems available.
All in all, the style of fittings you choose will depend on the look you want to create. For instance, glass balustrades are typically a very contemporary, urban design feature, which tends to sit well with stainless steel clamps, handrails, and posts. But wooden options for handrails and posts are also available, offering a very attractive alternative. Therefore, the choice is yours!
By Jesse Huges