Glass Balustrade FAQs
Glass might seem too fragile for balustrades, but toughened glass is extremely strong, and tested according to building safety regulations to make sure it can bear a reasonable load. Whether you lean on an outdoor balustrade to take in the view, or accidentally trip or drop something on a glass balustrade, it’s designed not to break that easily.
Structural toughened glass is very durable and usually fitted flush to the floor and end walls, with minimal gaps to prevent anything from getting trapped or falling through. This is especially important for balustrades beside greater heights, such as long staircases or balconies. Glass balustrades are safe for children, as there’s nothing to grab and climb on – and no need to anyway, since they’ll have a clear view through to the other side.
Assorted balustrades from Glass Interiors can bear line loads from 0.74kN up to 3kN, come in a range of thickness options from 10mm to 21.5mm, and are also available as laminated glass balustrades. Our expert fitters always install our glass balustrades to the highest standards in line with British safety laws.
Glass balustrades are suitable for a variety of environments and can make a stunning contemporary addition to any residential, public, or commercial space. By installing glass balustrades from Glass Interiors, you could benefit from:
- The illusion of more space – Installing barriers for safety doesn’t have to mean restricting views or cutting areas off, especially if you opt for frameless glass balustrades.
- Increased light – Glass allows both natural and artificial light to shine through to enhance the atmosphere and create that spacious feel.
- Strength and durability – Robust toughened glass and additional stainless steel elements are much more resilient than wood and can withstand all manner of environmental conditions.
- Guaranteed quality – All glass balustrades and fittings are manufactured to the highest standard to achieve a superior finish every time.
- Versatile design – Fully framed, partially framed, frameless, with or without railings, with added frosting or coloured patterns… the choices are endless.
- Appealing aesthetics – The clean lines of our well-fitted glass balustrades create a sleek modern appearance and can complement a variety of interior design styles.
- Less maintenance – Resistance to scratching and corrosion limits the possibility of future repairs, and a quick wipe-down and occasional polish is all you need to keep your balustrades looking brand new.
Just imagine how incredible your space could look with so little effort when we put in the design and installation work for you.
Balustrades have plenty of indoor and outdoor applications, whether in a residential home, a public building, or commercial space. Here are some of the most popular uses for glass balustrades:
- Juliet balconies
- Swimming pools
Balustrades are a requirement where there’s a significant change in floor levels to comply with safety regulations. However, they can still be used in any area without a change in levels simply to section off the space for a particular use, such as a dining area, garden, or waiting area.
Glass Interiors provides high-quality balustrade systems for a variety of functions, never compromising on safety or appearance. Get in touch today to learn more about how our glass balustrades can help you to provide protective barriers and smoothly define boundaries with minimal disruption to the space.
Glass balustrades don’t always need a handrail if they’re made of laminated glass. This is because a secondary barrier needs to be in place if the glass panel should break – where this would usually be the handrail, the second layer of the laminated glass should stay intact even if the first cracks.
You can look up Section 8.5.2 of BS6180:2011 to consult the UK Building Regulations for handrails, or check with your local building control office. While we would recommend handrails for stair balustrades to make them more accessible, it really comes down to personal design preferences.
Even true frameless glass balustrades are capable of withstanding up to 1.5kN of force from a person leaning on them. The glass panels will also have a highly polished edge for safety and style. If you need advice on choosing glass balustrade handrails, feel free to contact Glass Interiors.
The necessary height of a balustrade depends on where it’s installed. According to UK Building Regulations, balconies and most situations require a glass balustrade height of at least 1100mm from the floor. Stairs, ramps, and landings require a balustrade at least 900mm high. Balustrades around a seating area must be at least 800mm high (when up to 530mm away from fixed seating).
This height is from the finished floor level to the top of the handrail or frameless panel, not including recessed channel systems. Glass partitions that aren’t balustrades can be any height. Ideally, each glass panel in a balustrade shouldn’t be more than 1m to 1.2m wide, to allow for adequate testing. If there are gaps between the panels, we recommend these to be no more than 10mm wide.
When it comes to glass balustrade thickness, the thinnest toughened glass is 10mm thick. This is usually only suitable when steel posts and handrails are also used. For frameless balustrades, the glass should be at least 15mm thick. The required thickness generally depends on the fall height (more or less than 600mm) and the presence or absence of a handrail. At Glass Interiors, we offer toughened glass in 10, 12, and 15mm, plus laminated glass in 13.5, 17.5, and 21.5mm thicknesses.
With hygienic glass that’s easy to wipe clean, glass balustrades are relatively low-maintenance. While glass should be cleaned regularly, wiping away marks when they appear and thoroughly cleaning and polishing once a week, it requires less long-term care than a wooden balustrade.
That said, if you opt for timber handrails, these will need regular upkeep with wood treatments such as stains and polishes in addition to standard cleaning. Stainless steel handrails should be wiped down regularly for sanitary reasons, but they’re highly resistant to corrosion and stains.
The downside of frameless glass balustrades is that people are more likely to touch the glass panels, meaning fingerprints and smudges will build up more quickly. However, wiping the panels down is fast and easy enough, so you can keep your glass balustrades in sparkling condition.