Domestic Glass Balustrades – All Your Questions Asked
Thinking about installing domestic glass balustrades? Then you’ll probably have a few questions. We’ve pulled together some of the most common questions about glass balustrades and answered them for you here.
Are domestic glass balustrades safe?
Balconette’s domestic glass balustrades are very safe. To comply with set safety standards, we use toughened glass or toughened laminated glass at a thickness that will withstand weight and very high impacts. It would take a significant amount of force to break the glass we use; more than the occasional stray football or an accidental fall against the glass.
If this safety glass does break, it breaks ‘safely’, shattering into small pieces in the same way that a car windscreen breaks. This means you’re not left with dangerous shards of glass, making the clean-up operation easier and safer.
How thick should a domestic glass balustrade be?
The thickness of a glass balustrade is determined by several factors such as how the area is used, the wind loading and whether your balustrade has a handrail. But the most important factor in the thickness of a domestic glass balustrade is safety. Different manufacturers use different glass thicknesses, and although thinner glass panels are less expensive, this could mean that they’re not strong enough to stand up to strong winds or unusual amounts of pressure.
For your peace of mind and safety our handrail balustrades are made with 10mm toughened glass as standard and our frameless glass balustrades are made with 21.5mm laminated and toughened glass. Handrails increase the structural integrity of a glass balustrade so a thinner glass panel is safe to use on a balustrade with a handrail. Where there’s no handrail, you need laminated glass with the strength to withstand a deflection (bending) of 25mm – which is why we choose to use 21.5mm laminated, toughened glass. You can find out more about glass thickness for domestic glass balustrades here.
Does a domestic glass balustrade need a handrail?
Not all domestic glass balustrades need handrails. Balustrades made with laminated glass do not need handrails per UK Building Regulations – our frameless glass balustrades are a beautiful example with their unobtrusive and sleek appearance. Glass balustrades made with toughened glass instead of laminated glass do require a handrail – such as our traditional Orbit handrail and contemporary Aerofoil handrail systems.
How much does a domestic glass balustrade cost?
The price of a domestic glass balustrade depends on the size of the area you are balustrading, the system you use and what sort of configuration you want. Type your details into our price calculator to get a quote for your glass balustrade. Custom glass balustrade configurations are priced differently – call our customer service team and they will be able to give you a quote for your project.
What height should a domestic glass balustrade be?
The minimum legal height for a domestic glass balustrade depends on whether you’re installing it inside or outside. An internal glass balustrade should be a minimum of 900mm from the surface on which you stand, whilst an external domestic glass balustrade must be a minimum of 1100mm from the surface on which you stand.
What type of glass is used for domestic glass balustrades?
Domestic glass balustrades must use safety glass. There are two types of safety glass – toughened glass and toughened laminated glass. They are produced in different ways and used for different reasons but do the same job – keep people and pets using the area around your balustrading safe.
Are glass balustrades hard to keep clean?
Because glass shows up the smudges and smears you wouldn’t normally see on wood or metal, you’d be forgiven for thinking glass balustrades would be harder to keep clean. But surprisingly they’re easier – here’s why:
- With glass balustrades there are no bars or railings for spider webs, dust and debris to collect in.
- Your window cleaner can give them an easy once-over when he or she is cleaning the windows on the rest of your property.
- You can choose glass coated with BalcoNano® Self-Cleaning Coating. This coating fills the microscopic pits that would otherwise collect dust and grime building up on your glass balustrading. The result? Balustrades that stay cleaner for longer with less effort on your part.
What are the load requirements for domestic glass balustrades?
Internal glass balustrades must be able to take 0.36kN/m – that’s the equivalent of 36kg of pressure per metre. External glass balustrades need to be stronger – they must be able to take 0.74kN/m, the equivalent of a 75kg person leaning their full weight against the balustrade every metre. Want more detail? You can read more about load requirements for domestic glass balustrades here.
Are domestic glass balustrades easy to fit?
If you’re an experienced DIYer or a professional builder, you’ll have no problems fitting a Balconette glass balustrade; the steps involved are straightforward. Just make sure you have someone on hand to help with the lifting as they can be heavy depending on which type of balustrade glass you’re fitting. You can download instructions from our website and watch detailed instruction videos. And if you come across any problems, you can call our knowledgeable team for some extra help.
Not too good with a toolbox? We have a network of registered installers who can fit your glass balustrades for you.
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