Balustrades are an important part of the staircase or balcony as they are the safety barriers and handrails that you will hold onto and that hold the glass together.
Glass balustrades are very popular as they allow natural light to penetrate into buildings freely, which will enhance the appeal and overall beauty of the structure.
Glass looks great with anything – whether you are going for a traditional or modern and minimalist look for your home. Of course, in order to make your glass railing or balustrade work, you will need to choose the right glass balustrade fittings.
How Do Glass Balustrade Fittings & Fixings Work?
Glass balustrades not only have to be beautiful, they have to be practical as well.
They have to look stylish and also support the glass in a safe and reliable way. The glass used in balustrades is toughened glass, which is approximately 5 times stronger than normal glass.
However, if it is subject to rough treatment it will still shatter, crack or chip.
This is why it is so important to have a compatible fixing that can hold everything in place, without exerting a great deal of pressure. Glass clamps and fixings are necessary, but they should be as small and sleek as possible so that they will not distract the eye and take away from the light, transparent look of the glass balustrade.
Most of the fittings that work best with glass tend to be the type of clasp fittings that squeeze the glass on either side in order to remain attached. Often there are rubber protectors on the inside of the metal clamps, which ensure that the metal will not rub on the glass and place more pressure on the material.
The clasp is designed to exert a constant pressure on the surface area of the glass, but not so much that it will be concentrated in one spot. If the fittings squeeze the glass too tightly in one spot, it will mean a great loss of strength and create a risk of the glass cracking.
It is also important to position the glass clamps correctly so that you can make sure that they are in the right places. They can be placed along the straight panel edges, but you might need corner glass clamps as well. The corner clamps can help to spread the load and ensure that the glass is positioned correctly.
Which Glass Balustrade Fittings to Use?
So, which are the best options for glass balustrade fittings? There are a lot of options to consider and you will need to keep in mind the size of the glass panel and the thickness of the glass. You’ll also need to consider the style of the balustrade and how it should look – will the clamps be polished or matte? What size will the clamps be and how many of them will there be?
Here are a few of the top choices that are available to you:
This option is usually made from aluminium due to weight, as it would be too heavy if it was made from steel. It can be treated with a powder coating of any colour, depending on what you choose to match the surrounding decor.
This type of balustrade can be fixed vertically or horizontally and there is the option for a dry or wet glaze fixing method.
Another option is the wet glaze glass balustrade. It can be made from steel by any engineer and incorporated into the deck or staircase design as well. The glass will be aligned and positioned perfectly using the blocking method and the props.
Then, once the glazier feels satisfied with the position of the fence, they will position a non-shrink grout compound within the base channel. Once the glaze has been poured and it has set, the glazier will return to remove the props and top up the channel with capping grout. The glass will be cleaned and then the job is finally complete.
With this type of system, the glass will be positioned within a mechanical clamping system that is located within the channel. Each of the clamps is tightened onto the bottom of the glass. The system is very adjustable, but this means that it can take a lot longer to install due to the amount of small fiddly parts.
This type of balustrade is available with vertical face fixing only, but it comes in various diameters and depths of disks and shapes. It can be used as a countersunk option in order to hide the fixings.
The fixing can be used in almost any substrate, including timber, block work and concrete. This is a great option for your glass balustrade, because it is very sleek, simple and effective.
This style of glass balustrade fitting is one of the most popular methods for fixing because it is easy to install and reasonably priced. Usually made from 316 stainless steel it is simple, sleek and very effective.
They are mainly downward fixing and they can be either screwed and base plated, grouted and core drilled or attached with threaded rod.
This is a glass vice range that looks elegant and chic.
It can be face fixed if required (although this is not common) and it is often used in fencing around pools or on landings.
Which Glass Balustrade Fixing Is Right for You?
These are just a few of the options for glass balustrades available. Each glass balustrade product is recommended for different situations depending on the specific conditions of the site. The options will be considered carefully in order to provide the best possible aesthetic appearance.
Also, the ease of transition from one method to another will be considered, if this is required. The hardware available also comes in a range of different finishes such as polished chrome or satin.