I’ve seen so many places over the years either offices or apartments personally, or on TV that have utilised solid walls when they definitely could have benefitted from installing glass.
Maybe it hasn’t been considered because of the perception that glass is ‘expensive’ or it doesn’t give privacy required. Or maybe it is a simple as glass isn’t even a material that is considered to people who renovate properties.
Glass is a very versatile material, it can give acoustic property and allow privacy especially if it is sandblasted or manufactured with acoustic properties. It’s all down to the original brief and the specification provided by a glass engineer to meet the functionality required. Essentially, Glass walls do open up small spaces and allows light to penetrate the property without losing the privacy required.
In my experience having a solid wall built does not necessarily mean that this allows privacy, voices can still be heard which I find even worse as I can’t see them. Equally, people could also be stood on the other side of the wall and hear every word I’d be saying. No privacy there then!
I recently surveyed a small one bedroomed expensive apartment in Manchester where the space would’ve benefited from the use of glass. The wall dividing the bedroom and the corridor was solid making the corridor very narrow and dark. If a sandblasted glass wall had been built here the space would’ve looked twice the size with light spreading through. The thickness of glass is a fraction of a solid wall and in that apartment every centimetre definitely counted.
Glass isn’t exclusive to the wealthy (going back to the perception it’s expensive) We have built rooms in sandblasted acoustic glass in houses of any size and shape, mainly to alleviate space issues within families with growing teenagers. Everyday homeowners who wanted to stay put and not move due to either the expense or being generally happy with their location. Their houses were tight on space and forming a glass room enabled more function while maintaining the integrity of their homes.
The material itself is already pre-finished; sounds obvious but there is no need to do anything further to it after installation. Therefore it is maintenance free! Also for this reason, it compares favorably with labour costs to building solid walls. It’s a clean installation, no dust from plastering, no messy decorating (sorry trades) but it’s true, it’s specialised but a clean and tidy installation.
So the next time you are considering a renovation of a small space, consider installing glass instead of solid walls and you might be pleasantly surprised at the results that can be achieved for little extra cost