Frosted Glass Balustrade

Frosted Glass Balustrades

UK Leading Manufacturer Of Balustrade Systems
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Frosted Glass Balustrade

What is frosted glass?

Elegance and privacy combined, obscured frosted glass is a popular choice in modern architectural design. While most glass starts as basic clear sheet glass, frosted glass is the result of chemical or sand treatments that create a cloudy, translucent appearance. Sometimes the effect can be achieved by applying a film or spray to the glass, but this is less durable than an authentic frosted glass product. Making the glass partially opaque creates an area free of intruding eyes, but allows the light to distribute in a soft and uniform way.

Which type of frosted obscured glass should I choose?

Sandblasted Glass

Most commonly, we will supply sandblasted glass as frosted glass. The process involves using fine sand under high pressure, removing small pieces of glass from the surface creating a frosted private appearance whilst still allowing light to travel through. Don’t worry – all of our sandblasted glass is protected with a self-cleaning coating, so it’s still smooth to the touch! A popular choice for frosted glass, it offers a high level of privacy.

Satin Obscura

Satin obscura is a variation of frosted glass, using an acid-etched technique to corrode the top layers of the glass, it’s the smoothest form of frosted glass available. It’s often considered to be a more luxurious form of privacy glass, as it appears warmer and has more of a matte finish compared to standard clear glass.

Screen Printed

Screen printed glass has ink “printed” onto the surface of the glass, using a fine mesh screen, once the ink is applied the glass is heated to cure and permanently adhere the ink to the surface ensuring durability and resistance to the end product. It’s a more cost effective solution for frosted privacy glass.

Once you decide which type of frosted glass you’d like to proceed with, you need to think about how you’d like your balustrade to look! All of our systems are fully customisable to be available in frosted privacy glass.

Get Professional Advice

Our expert team can guide you through the process, from design to installation, we’re here to help you with your frosted glass investment! If you’re interested in installing glass that adds aesthetic value while still transmitting light, why not contact us today at 0113 277 4316. If you’d prefer to email us, our team is also available at

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • With our wealth of expertise and experience in the industry, we can confidently say that our obscure glass is incredibly versatile and ideal for a variety of applications – you can use it anywhere! The flexibility of frosted glass allows you to bring privacy to a room without compromising on light quality. Commonly used for shower enclosures and opaque glass balustrades, from frosted glass on furniture, to glass partitions in your office, privacy panels offer both function and style.

  • Yes! Opting for a frosted glass privacy screen as opposed to a solid material such as a metal or brick work is a great way to introduce light onto your balcony. Keeping the space open, it’s a touch of low maintenance luxury to your balcony. Your local council may have regulations and building codes in place that require you to have a privacy screen on your balcony. These regulations not only ensure the privacy and safety of residents in surrounding properties, but also helps to provide you with some privacy too! As the height requirements and level of privacy vary from city to city, we can fabricate bespoke solutions to meet your needs! To ensure compliance with your local council’s requirements, it’s essential to contact your local building department to consult with them on the most recent guidance regarding frosted privacy screens in your area.

  • The frosted glass is visible to birds and greatly reduces the chances of them colliding with the glass.

  • The answer is no it cannot. Once you have made a decision to go with frosted glass then it cannot be subsequently changed to clear.

  • The glass will always remain obscure. With sandblasted glass with a RITEC non stick coating, the coating will need to be repeated after usually after a couple of years. This is relatively easy to do.

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Balustrade Technical Support

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Building Regulations

The building regulations that apply to your balustrade will vary depending on the use of the balustrade and the how the building in which the balustrade is used is occupied.We set our below the most commonly asked questions to help you to ensure that your balustrade meets building regulations. You can call our technical team who can answer any questions that you may have.

How high should my balustrade be?

In a domestic single occupancy house, the height of a balustrade for a landing, ramp, edge of internal floor or stairs should be 900 mm from floor level. For external balconies(including Juliet balconies), decking and edges of roofs, the height of the balustrade should be 1100 mm from floor level. The height of the balustrade is measured from finished floor level to the top of the balustrade.

Do I need a handrail?

You will need a handrail if the balustrade protects a fall that is 600 mm or more unless laminated glass is used.Laminated glass is two pieces of glass that are bonded together with an interlayer. If one panel fails, the other panel will remain in place.It is considered to be safer than toughened glass. If a handrail is used, it should be properly secured to the glass.

What is a line load test?

A line load test is the pressure per meter that the balustrade can withstand before it starts to move within the fixing.Once that pressure is applied it should not move more than 25 mm. The amount of pressure is usually expressed in kilo newtons per meter.

Will my balustrade meet the required line load test?

A number of our balustrade systems are tested.Our technical team can advise you on whether or not your balustrade is tested to the required line load test and provide you with a test certificate on request. Whether or not your balustrade is tested will usually depend on the type of balustrade used and which material you are fixing to.

What line load test will my balustrade be required to meet?

The line load test that your balustrade will be required to meet will depend on type of building and the level of occupancy of that building. There follows a table which sets out the line load test that your balustrade will be required to meet.

How to Measure for your Balustrade

Stainless steel posts – Metalwork

You should start by setting out the centre line measurement for your posts. We would recommend setting out your posts 75mm in from the edge of the reveal. This excludes any overhang.

The space between each post (and therefore the width between each panel) depends on wind factor, glass type and glass thickness. If the panel is too wide, it will put too much pressure on the glass clamp and could cause the balustrade to fail. For most applications, we suggest having a gap of around a meter between each post. This may be slightly more or less depending on the configuration of your balustrade.

Stainless steel posts – Glass Width

When measuring the width of your glass panel, you should measure from inside of one post to the inside of the next post. You should then deduct from that measurement the width of the metal section at the back of the clamp that sits between the outside edge of the glass and the inside edge of the post. This deduction should be made for each post.

For a 10mm glass clamp, this measurement is usually 20mm as per the drawing below. The total deduction to be made from the measurement of inside of post to inside of post to calculate your glass width would subsequently be 40mm. By way of example, if you were using a 10mm glass clamp as per the drawing below and the measurement from inside of post to inside of post was 1000mm, the width of the panel would be 960mm.

The thickness of the meal section at the back of the clamp may vary depending on the spec of the clamp that you have been supplied. If you have any concerns as to what that measurement is, please speak to our technical team.

Stainless Steel posts – Glass Height

The height of the glass panel will depend on a number of factors such as glass thickness, whether or not you have a handrail, the thickness of the tube that has been used to manufacture the posts and the line load test that the posts are required to meet.

For a 42mm diameter post with an end cap, where the height of the post is 1100mm from bottom of post to the top of the end cap, we would usually recommend the height the panel being 1010mm, leaving a 900mm gap from the bottom of the glass to the floor. This may vary depending on the application of your balustrade.

For a 42mm diameter post with a handrail bracket and 42mm diameter handrail, where the height of the post is 1100mm from the bottom of the base plate to the top of the handrail we would recommend the height of the panel as 898mm. This leaves an 80mm gap from the finished floor level to bottom of glass and an 80mm gap from top of post to bottom of handrail.

Stainless Steel Posts – Safety Pins

All of our glass clamps are supplied with safety pins. The purpose of the pin is to provide an additional safety measure to prevent the glass from slipping through the clamp once the glass clamp is tightened. We can supply the glass with a hole through which the safety pin will sit if specified at point of ordering.

There are three measurements which need to be taken into account:

Firstly, the distance from the right/left side of the glass needs to the centre of the hole should reflect the mould of the glass clamp. For the clamp below this would be 28mm.

Secondly, the distance from the top/bottom of the panel should match the distance from the top/bottom of the post.

Thirdly, the diameter of the hole should be slightly larger than the pin. For a standard 10mm glass clamp, we would usually recommend a diameter of 9mm.


Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is two or more thicknesses of glass bonded together by an interlayer. At Origin we supply toughened laminated glass. This is two pieces of toughened glass that are laminated together. We use what is called a PVB laminate as an interlayer which is at least 1.52mm thick and creates a considerable barrier to penetration. When broken the pieces are retained by the interlayer and if well supported the glass has an increased likelihood of staying in place. If you are using laminated glass in your balustrade you usually will not require a handrail although having a handrail will greatly improve the structural integrity of the balustrade. Laminated glass is usually more expensive than toughened glass.

Toughened Glass

This is glass that has been heat treated after it has been formed to a particular shape. The glass is heated to approximately 700 degrees centigrade and then rapidly cooled. If it is ever broken, toughened glass fractures into small relatively harmless fragments and will no longer support a load.

If you are using toughened glass in your balustrade and you are protecting a fall of 600mm or more, you will require a handrail.

Frequently Asked Questions