How to choose the correct balustrade clamps
A balustrade is an essential addition to your balcony or staircase. Any platform at height needs to have some kind of protective barrier to prevent accidental falls and so on. Thus, a balustrade is an obvious solution.
However, a balustrade need not be bland or boring. The balustrade of any project, external or internal can add a certain wow factor to the finished project. And this is why many people opt for glass balustrades.
The basics of a balustrade
Regardless of the material it is made from; a balustrade needs to be able to offer several things:
- Visual appeal – it needs to look neat and tidy, adding something to the final look of the project and not detracting from it
- Strong and robust – people will lean on the balustrade, sometimes with considerable pressure thus, it needs to be able to withstand all kinds of use
- Height – for domestic situation, a handrail should be set at a minimum height of 90cm on stairs and landings. In public spaces, on stairs, the minimum height should be 90cm but for balustrades on landings, the minimum height increases to 110cm. Between any balustrade openings, the gap should be no wider than 10cm.
With these three factors in mind, the time has come to design, build and install your glass balustrade. This means the use of various components, including glass clamps. Ensuring you choose the correct ones is simplified when you seek advice from a reputable company but also by bearing in mind the following seven key points:
I. The post they are being fitted to – material
Some glass balustrade panels are part of a frameless system, meaning that no clamps will be needed. But, when posts are included, you need to choose the right clamp for fixing the panel to it.
There are slightly different fittings for those connecting to metal posts and those glass panels being fixed to the wooden post. It is important to get the right clamp and not opt for ‘that’ll do’ because if they do not purchase correctly against the post, there will be movement in the panel. This can cause damage as well as giving way under pressure, such as when someone falls against it.
II. Size of the post the panel is being fitted to
Likewise, you will need to have an accurate idea of the size of the post as some glass clamps are more suited to some sizes than others. In all cases, the clamp is responsible for holding the glass panel is position with minimal movement.
III. To weld or not
Also bear in mind that some glass clamps are secured in position through the use of a screw, whilst other projects will need clamps that can be welded.
Clamps that hold with a correct screw fitting are robust and strong, and certainly have enough strength to securely hold a panel in place.
IV. Internal and external glass clamps
External projects will be subject to an additional set of pressures, mainly weather. As a result, most external glass clamps are of a higher grade than those used for internal project although this does not mean one is better than the other – it just means the glass clamps meant for external use are much better at withstanding weather.
V. Glass thickness
You will also need to bear in mind the thickness of the glass panel. Glass clamps come in a range of sizes, such as 6 to 8mm, 8 to 10mmm and 10-12mm. A rubber piece can be fitted into the clamp to ensure that it fits securely.
Clearly, the clamp needs to grasp the panel with the right amount of pressure – too little and the panel will move, too much and the panel could be damaged.
VI. Number needed
As part of the project, you will also need to ensure you have the correct number of glass clamps for your project. The number you will need will depend on how many you need per glass panel.
The panels come in a variety of sizes up to a metre square. Clearly corner clamps will be needed along with other spaces along the long and shorter edge of the glass. To make sure you have the right number for a sturdy finish, always follow the manufacturer advice.
VII. The final look
Glass clamps are important in such a construction, but clearly, they form part of the final look. Clamps are as minimalistic in design as they possibly can be. There are curved or square clamps and providing they meet all the requirements for keeping the panel safely in place; the final look is yours to decide