A Simple Breakdown of Balustrade Fittings
On the surface, a glass balustrade can look complex.
When you consider the fragility of glass, too much pressure can cause it to crack and splinter thus, many people assume that getting the right fixings and components is equally as tough as creating a beautiful piece of internal or external architecture.
The truth is far different as actually, despite its complex looking nature, a glass balustrade system is actually quite easy to put together… providing you know which piece does what, and why you need it!
Angle fixing bracket
Not all balustrades are a straight run of posts and panels and when there is a corner, there will need to be a post placed in that area. This may mean that there is an angle between post and panel. For this, you will need an angle bracket that will hold these two pieces together, allowing for movement as the balcony or stair is used.
There are the small components that hold panels and posts together, usually on straight runs. These components are important because the grasp the two components together, without placing too much pressure or stress on one particular point.
You may also notice that some components are described as heavy duty. There are different needs when the balustrade is outside or placed in a public area, and thus the components will need of a heavier duty or material. Staircases and balconies in particular, have to have balustrades that are able to take pressure and force from people leaning on them. The glass panel will not give or shatter unless the forces per square inch are significant but you also need the fixings to be able to withstand this pressure too.
Weld-able fixings and components
In some situations, parts of the balustrade may need to be altered or modified in order for it to meet building regulations or the situation in which it is placed. As a result, we stock various fixtures and fittings that can be welded into position.
In most cases, domestic glass balustrades will not need weld-able sections but in industrial settings, this may be so. Always check with your installer if this is the case.
These are the square or rounded clams that will hold the glass panel in place. Although we often think of glass as being fragile, in a balustrade system, toughened and tempered glass is sued. This means it will chip, rather than shatter.
However, place too much grasping pressure on one part of it, and it could cause damage in that area. The load of the force or the pressure need to be spread over a wide area of the glass as is possible. This is why you will need specific glass clamps for your project.
The thickness of the glass panels will vary, depending on the thickness that you choose. As a result, in order for the glass clamps to clamp firmly onto the glass, you may need to use a different thickness of rubber seal or insert. This rubber insert will also help in being able to grip the glass without damaging it.
Spacers, washers etc.
You can also choose different types of fixings too that can lift the glass panel in certain settings, such as shelving on a desk, giving the structure height.
In other applications, you will also need to be aware of and counter movement in the structure as it is used. As we walk and move around on staircases, balconies and so on, we create vibrations which will move the material of the structure. These vibrations travel, like waves.
Over time, vibrations will loosen fixings and so on or, if the fixing is too tight, will cause the vibration to be directed toward another section of the structure, like the glass panel. It may mean the glass is scratched or damaged or if the vibration is strong enough, over time it may crack the panel.
Leaving a gap, with a small rubber washer insert or spacer can be the small component that absorbs these vibrations and movements so that things don’t work loose, or the glass panel is not damaged.
If you are using a handrail with your glass balustrade, you will need to choose a fixing to that it is securely connected. In other words, not only does the handrail need to be sturdy when it is grabbed and used, but it also needs to do this job without damaging the glass or post to which it is attached.
We stock all kinds of shapes of handrail brackets, perfect for your minimalist glass balustrade design.
Need help choosing the right fixing? Contact us for help and advice.