“How many glass clamps should I use?”

A house which features glass balustrades


Information on the safe fitting and use of glass balustrades

Glass balustrades are an increasingly common site in both commercial and domestic settings. It is no surprise when you consider the elegance of glass, and what it can bring to a space.

What can sometimes remain a mystery, however, is how everything fits together, what is needed and why. As a safety feature, you need to be confident and trust that it is, in fact, safe to use and should there be an impact against it, that it can withstand it.

As a result, getting the right elbows, clamps and so on is essential – fortunately, this is exactly what Balustrade Components specialise in.

What are glass balustrade systems?

Stairs, balconies, terraces, decking and so on, all have an edge. Clearly, this presents the user with a hazard – falling, sometimes from a considerable height. Placing a boundary edge or barrier in that location is simply essential.

Balustrades are the barrier that form a decorative fence, if you like. They can be made from wood or they can also be constructed using a mix of materials such as thin metal wires and, in this case, glass.

As part of this safety system, you also need a handrail. All of these components need to be securely fixed together so that when in use it offers a rigid and robust barrier.

However, in the past it has to be said, some of these balustrades could be fairly cumbersome; modern-day homes and businesses sometimes need a more streamlined, minimalist approach. The reason why was simple: glass couldn’t be part of the system because no one was sure how to connect it safely to handrail and the supporting posts. Even though toughened glass is strong and robust, it doesn’t take too kindly to have holes drilled in it and pressure from clamps and so on.

However, with clever manufacturing techniques and a sprinkle of physics and chemistry, glass is now commonly used in balustrades, and many other applications too.

Why choose glass balustrades?

As well as being stylish, modern and delightfully dazzling, there are many other reasons why glass balustrade systems are simply perfection:

  • Lighten a space as light can pass through glass, as well as being reflected around a space
  • There are all kinds of systems to choose from, and all kinds of materials and combinations can be used too
  • They are stylish and decadent; there is that ‘something extra’ about glass in a space that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. It is a transformative material; it can look simply dashing and opulent, or it can also look industrial, with clean lines.
  • Maintenance is not an issue either. Glass balustrade panels can be easily cleaned to keep them sparkling, with damage to them rare.
  • The hallway in a home or any building in fact, is important. Glass does not obscure the view and so if you need to see who is in the lobby of your business premises, then there is nothing blocking your view.
  • Strong and tested materials. Glass, metal and wood are all materials that have been known to man for a long time and with the right handling and application, they can provide a myriad of uses in a myriad of setting. Who would have thought that fragile glass could be toughened to prevent a fall over an edge?

Where and how can glass balustrade systems be used?

Placement is not an issue. It is a system that is equally at home in the home or in a commercial setting. There are certain safety criteria that need to be borne in mind to ensure that you get the safety system that you need. A reliable and professional installation company will be able to help you with this.

What are the safety considerations? And, how many glass clamps should I use?

The glass panels themselves need to be of a certain thickness and also need to be toughened glass. Most glass panels are 10mm thick making for an effective safety system on stairs, balconies and so on.

As for glass clamps to fix panel to posts, the recommended is four clamps for every square metre of glass. And so, once you know the dimensions of the safety system that you need, you can calculate the number of clamps needed.

How do I maintain the glass balustrade?

It needs nothing more than a clean with a damp cloth and checking every now and then that the glass clamps, and other fixings, are sound. These systems although they appear and feel rigid, actually need to have some ‘give’ in them to absorb the impact – but clearly, if the balustrade is moving, this is too mush ‘give’!

Do you have more questions? Why not call us to find out the answers?


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