Glass balustrades have evolved over recent years with new contemporary fittings being available which enable clean, unobtrusive lines while also being durable and very strong. Glass balustrades are still associated with silver posts and handrails, but now, aesthetically, they can be completely frameless and have no need for these fittings at all if preferred.
This is due to the innovation of track systems by manufacturers in response to the increasing popularity and demand for minimalistic systems, which achieve the contemporary look. A look which has seen a growth in interest after programmes such as Grand Designs have showcased them and an increase in ideas on Pinterest and Instagram.
These are lovely examples of such a balustrade, it has a frameless top to the glass, keeping the views unobstructed.
Glass balustrades are classed as a barrier where there is a drop to one side and in this instance, glass balustrades are primarily used for safety purposes. The specifications of the fittings and the glass are quite a specialist field. This means that the glass isn’t just regarded as an infill, but a structural barrier. Toughened laminated or laminated glass is widely used for this purpose and to varying thicknesses depending on the specification required, this is often determined by an architect or a structural engineer. The image above will be regarded as such a barrier.
All glass balustrades are made to measure. Therefore, as a result of this, there are many different shapes and sizes available. Fixing of the glass can be at the side or top. This is an example of side-fixed glass balustrade with stainless steel fixings being specifically used on sets of 4’s for the weight of the glass.
This balustrade in the shopping centre above has the same side fixing but has curved glass too which is stunning and calculated with extreme precision. The top rail helps to line the glass panels, but this is still skilled workmanship with the labour involved in installing this type of glass work being intensive, especially because of the weight of the glass.
Fixings can be hidden so they look completely frameless and minimal, taking up very little room as opposed to the traditional solid panels of the past.
This is another example of how glass is being exploited, it’s a look-out point. The gaps between the glass allow the views to be seen, whilst keeping the balustrade’s interruption of the view very minimal. The effect is very contemporary.
Below is of a development near Pathos in Cyprus, which I recently visited, where the two villas sat side by side were identical, but the balconies installed with glass had subtle differences, one having an additional handrail.
These villas overlooked a beautiful seascape so it was imperative to not block the view. I particularly prefer it to the traditional balconies, which there is still plenty of evidence of, in this town. Times are changing though!
Staircase glass balustrades have seen a raise in popularity over the past few years due to the growth of home development programmes on television. While some building regulations differ from country to country these images are perfect examples of how they are being installed in homes.
If you’re interested in finding out more about glass balustrades, it would be a pleasure to provide you with more information or a quote.