Everything You Need To Know About Glass Clamps
What are glass clamps?
It’s more and more common to see glass balustrades in all kinds of commercial and domestic settings. Along stairs, around balconies, on the edges of decking and around a pool, glass panelled railings are attractive, practical and affordable. In order to keep the glass in place, glass clamps are the best solution, as drilling holes can weaken the structure.
How are glass clamps used?
Glass balustrades look equally great in a domestic home, commercial shopping centre, an office building, or a public space. In the past, there were quite a few restrictions on where you could reliably and safely use glass, but with modern technology, they have far more applications.
Innovations in glass clamps are one of the reasons glass can be more widely used in a variety of different settings. Glass clamps safely and securely hold the glass in place, preventing it from sliding, moving or wobbling.
Why choose glass clamps?
Glass clamps are always used when affixing glass to a balustrade or railing system, as it allows for them to be safely installed and utilised. They are necessary to connect glass panels to central posts and handrails without damaging the glass. Even if you expertly drill holes in tempered glass, the holes weaken the overall structure and make the glass far more susceptible to shattering. Toughened glass is very robust and strong, and in order to keep it that way, glass clamps are a must.
Glass clamp designs
Most glass clamps have the same basic design – a double-sided rubberized clamp with an L shaped bracket that is screwed into the posts/wall/bricks etc. The edges can be square, rectangular or rounded, and accommodate glass thickness between 6 to 12.76 mm.
The advantages to using glass clamps
There are many advantages to using a glass balustrade and glass clamps, including:
- A glass railing can add much-needed light and airiness into small decks, balconies and spaces
- Glass is stylish and modern, and adds a chic and ‘expensive’ feel at an affordable cost
- You can choose from many different styles of toughened glass, and the safety of the glass clamps means that you don’t have to worry about accidents.
- They are very easy to clean, and far less likely to grow mould and mildew.
- It is extremely easy to wipe them down, keeping them clean and sparkling at all times.
- They are tough! Toughened glass (in combination with glass clamps) is an extremely durable and tough
When would you use glass clamps?
Glass clamps come into play whenever you are installing and fitting a series of glass panels into a balustrade. You will most commonly need to use these on staircases, balconies, pool surrounds, terraces and landings.
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How many glass clamps do I need?
The amount of glass clamps you will need is always going to depend on the specific project and location you are working on, as well as the thickness of the glass. That said, a good rule of thumb is that you will likely need approximately 4 glass clamps per square metre of glass to ensure safety.
How to fit glass clamps?
With any glass clamp installation, it is of the utmost importance that you double check your fixing points and ensure that they are equal. Failing to do this will make your glass sit unevenly, ruining the effect and purpose of your glass balustrade system.
When installing glass clamps, it is often possible to attach the glass panels to the balustrades on your own, as a DIY project. Remember – while these glass panels look great, they are also primarily installed for safety reasons, so you need to ensure that your glass clamps are fitted correctly.
o Fitting glass clamps together – checking the size
Remember – when you are buying glass clamps, you need to double check that you have selected the correct size for your thickness of glass. If you neglect to do this, the glass could potentially be too loose, and the glass will not be properly secured. It will jiggle dangerously, and could break or fall apart. Conversely, if you have selected clamps that are too tight, the glass will simply not fit.
Most glass clamps come with a series of adjustable screws that allow you to tighten the clamp around the glass panel. They usually also have rubber gaskets that stretch and bed around the glass as you fit it into place on the balustrades. It is always a good idea to gradually tighten all of the glass clamps at the same time, rather than just tightening one all the way it can go. This could cause the glass to bend, crack and even break. If you do this bit by bit, the pressure is much more evenly distributed.
o How do you fit the glass clamps onto a glass surface?
Usually you attach the glass clamps to the posts or shorings first, and then slide the glass panels into the clamps, gradually tightening the screws to secure it into place.
o Tips on the positioning of glass clamps
- Always remember to measure twice, drill once
- The weight of the glass is of paramount importance, as it must be evenly distributed
- Use both a measuring tape and a level to ensure everything is positioned correctly
o What size glass clamps do I need?
The glass clamp sizes you need depends on the thickness and width of the glass you are installing. If you are unsure, consult with an expert on glass balustrade installation.
o What tools do I need to fasten the glass clamps
You will need a level, measuring tape, pencil, and handheld power drill.
o Common errors when fitting glass clamps
- Failure to measure – if you don’t measure correctly, your glass panels will be crooked
- Purchasing the wrong size glass clamps – clamps that are too wide or too tight will not correctly hold your panels
- Not using glass clamps at all – Despite all of this staid advice, some people still elect to drill directly into the glass, resulting in weakening and shattering.
Fixing glass clamps to wood
First, measure out your positions and mark them with a pencil. Double check that all marks are even with a measuring tape and/or a level. Next, pilot drill the holes you’ll be affixing the clamps to. Unscrew the cap screws on the sides of the glass clamps, allowing you to separate the clamp. Feed the fixing screw through the middle of the back of the clamp, and with an electric drill and a 14 gauge pan head screw, screw into the post until completely secure. Do the above for all of your clamps.
Fixing glass clamps to brick
When it comes to fixing glass clamps to brick, many of the steps are the same as above. You still need to be sure to carefully measure the positions, and mark them with a pencil or pen. However, you will need to use a boring tool or drill that can penetrate brick or stone in order to be effective.