Although a glass balustrading system is put in place for safety reasons, the reason why glass is used instead of other materials such as wood and steel is because when combined with a bespoke feature staircase, you are provided with a seamless and uninterrupted view.
Types of glass used for balustrading
The first step in determining what type of glass should be used in your balustrading project is to work out whether it will be required to withstand a fair bit of weight or whether it is for more decorative purposes.
For a seamless or balustrade system, a cantilevered design using laminated glass is the most common type to be used. This type of balustrade glass has a thin plastic interlayer in the middle of the glass which keeps all the pieces of glass together should the panel of glass shatter for whatever reason.
Using this type of balustrade monolithic glass can be used, in this case the glass is heat soaked as an additional quality controlled procedure to reduce any potential breakage risk. Heat soaking involves placing tempered glass inside a chamber and raising the temperature to approximately 290°C to accelerate nickel sulphide expansion. This is intended to cause glass containing nickel sulphide inclusions to break in the heat soak chamber prior to installation.
Balustrading systems that are intended to bear the full load of the coping or handrail, should use toughened glass panels. These panels are set into metal channels in the treads of the staircase or the floor, to give an added layer of strength.
For those looking to save on costs, installing your balustrade using stainless steel posts and glass clamps would provide an alternative solution that is much more cost effective.
When installing a glass balustrade in a residential or commercial property, for safety reasons it is important to be of fully aware of regulations that dictate the glass’s strength, maximum gaps, height and panel size to ensure that yours complies with current legislation.
To ensure, your glass balustrade is compliant, you should always speak with a glass staircase specialist who should be able to provide you with the relevant advice.
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