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 the beautiful, sleek look glass balustrades offer and contrary to popular belief, a balustrade install can be cost-effective.
So what should you consider when opting for glass balustrades in your home or commercial space?
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 including frameless balustrades, Juliet balconies, posts and rail systems and more. Create a list of requirements, collect pictures and examples of design styles you like. Retain these for when you discuss your project with potential suppliers and installation teams.
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). 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 companies that can both deliver and fit your glass balustrades - like Prism Glass. Ensure that they are local or nearby and have extensive experience in installing the balustrade system you want.
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 - this essentially means using toughened glass (sometimes called safety glass, which when broken will break into small pieces of glass rather than larger sharp bits) or laminated glass (2 glass panels bonded together with a 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 glass 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 and 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 9am to 5pm).