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  • Paulo Ferreira

Glass balustrades - 3 things you should consider

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Glass balustrades are becoming increasingly popular for both home and business premises. This is not really surprising considering glass balustrades are stylish, modern, simple to maintain and easy clean. Despite popular belief, glass balustrades installations can be cost-effective. So what should you consider when opting for glass balustrades in your home or commercial space?

Glass balustrade used internally on staircase
Above: Glass stair balustrades installed by Prism Glass, on behalf of Preedy Glass

1. Plan ahead and research Planning is vital to ensure any project runs smoothly and within budget. Moreover, it's best done sooner rather than later. Once you have decided where you want to install your glass balustrades, set a date when you want to start and complete your works. Start researching early by looking at various designs available and note what's important to you for your glass balustrade project. There are many types of balustrade systems. These include frameless balustrades, Juliet balconies, posts and rail systems and more. Consider creating a list of your requirements and examples of design styles you like. Retain these for when you discuss your project with potential suppliers and installation teams.

Frameless external glass balustrade
Above: External frameless glass balustrade installation

For external balustrades, care needs to be taken not to break any waterproof membrane (so water does not enter the building), this can happen when drilling. It is also important to consider drainage if a continues base system is used on a balcony or flat roof area.

You should also look at what potential suppliers and installers you want to contact. To simplify things, you may want to contact local companies that can both deliver and fit your glass balustrades - like Prism Glass. We, at Prism Glass, have extensive experience in installing glass balustrade systems both around Wimbledon and Greater London. The glass balustrades installed at London Waterloo Station upper-tier is an example of our capabilities.

Glass balustrades installed on upper level of London Waterloo Station
Above: Glass balustrade at London Waterloo Station installation by Prism Glass

2. Always consider safety

Wrong materials and incorrect installation methods not only could become costly, but they could be very dangerous too. A balustrade should stop someone from falling over an edge or from a height. Further, there are regulatory requirements concerning glass balustrades which need to be complied with.

External glass balustrades should have a minimum height of 1.1 metres from the point of standing, and internal glass balustrades should have a minimum height of 0.9 metres (from the point of standing). Safety glass must be used. Toughened glass (sometimes called safety glass) when broken will break into small pieces of glass, rather than larger sharp bits. The glass panels should be laminated (2 glass panels bonded together with an approved plastic or resin-based interlayer). Loading pressure and glass thickness is another important consideration - this will often be down to the location, size and type of glass used, balustrade system and the chosen design.

It is not possible to cover all safety considerations in detail; these considerations will depend on the glass balustrade project specification, application, requirements and location. This makes the selection of potential suppliers and installers you choose all the more critical. Suppliers and installers should have good knowledge of balustrade safety regulation requirements, and able to advise you in this regard.

3. Check costs

Costs will often be dependant on the system and design you choose. Generally speaking the less metal support in a balustrade design, the thicker the glass will need to be, and this will raise costs. Also, opting for low-iron glass (low iron levels removes the green-blue tint that is more obvious on thicker glass) will drive costs up. Thus it may be an idea to set a budget early and keep an open mind when looking at various options available.

Finally, you should meet up with your supplier and installation team on site. Once costs, design specifications and dates have been agreed, the site will be prepared, measurements taken for glass production and installation.

By planning early, adhering to safety standards and keeping an open mind when looking at design options, a glass balustrade installation in your home or commercial space can be straightforward. Remember to choose a reputable installation company with the extensive experience and knowledge required to install your glass balustrade project, while meeting building and safety regulations.

If you have any questions or require a free quote for your glass balustrade installation, write to us or call us on 0208 947 8428 (office hours are Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm).

About the writer: Paulo Ferreira has extensive experience in project management and worked at Prism Glass for two years, where he managed glass installation projects and day to day operations. He also has extensive experience in financial services. His skills include graphic design, branding, content marketing and blogging.

Note: All content, including blogs, images, drawings and posts on this website are for general information and guidance only. Content is not intended to form any part of a contract and is subject to change without notice as expressed in the website's Terms of Use.

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