Frequently Asked Questions on Glass Balustrade

Frequently Asked Questions

Which grade of stainless steel do I require?
The difference between stainless steel lies in its composition. Steel corrodes naturally. Different elements are added to the steel to make it stainless. The industry standard for interior use is grade 304. In comparison grade 316 is more resistant to corrosion and is recommended for outside use.


Which load bearing does the balustrade channel system that I am installing require?
The load bearing requirements for barriers in and about public buildings are set out in BS 6180:2011. This came into effect on 31 March 2011. It requires any instantaneous deflection to be no more than 25mm.

To help you decide which channel system is most appropriate for your application we have included the relevant table from BS EN6180:2011 on our website. This specifies the kN per meter that the balustrade is required to withstand. The structural performance of a balustrade varies depending on the use and occupancy of the building concerned. Advice should always be sort from a structural engineer, particularly when fixing on to concrete.


Do you carry out site surveys?
Unfortunately we don’t offer this service as we are supply only. Again we can recommend installers we supply to should you need this.


Do you supply to the general public?
Yes we sell online and supply to the DIY consumer and trade customers.


Are your balustrade systems cut to size?
Yes, our balustrade systems are supplied cut to your specified size, ready for you to install. You don’t need to cut anything yourself as the system will be supplied ready for installation.

Buying a glass balustrade can seem a bit daunting. In practice choosing a glass balustrade is relatively simple. All of our systems are easy to install. The vast majority of our systems can be installed by any DIY enthusiast or builder.


Do I need a handrail on my glass balustrade?

If your balustrade protects a fall which is greater than 600mm you should either use a handrail ora laminate glass. A laminate glass is two pieces of glass that have been bonded together. One of the panels is designed to remain in place if the other fails.


Which balustrade is the cheapest?

Much of the cost of any balustrade is in the cost of the glass. Usually, the thicker the glass the more expensive the balustrade will be. Generally our stainless steel post systems tend to be cheaper than frameless channel or spigots as they usually use thinner glass.


Which glass thickness is required?

The glass thickness that you need will vary depending on the use and occupancy of the building concerned. You will need to ensure that once secured, your glass is not able to move more than 25mm once a certain amount of force is applied to it. For domestic properties, the force that your balustrade is required to withstand is usually less for internal balustrades (stairs, landings etc) than it is for external balustrades (Juliette balconies/edges of roofs).

Our technical team can give you specific advice, but in general terms we would recommend the following:

Stainless steel posts for internal/external: 10mm toughened glass

Frameless glass/glass spigots for internal: 12mm toughened glass

Frameless glass/glass spigots for external with less than 600mm fall: 12mm toughened glass

Frameless glass/glass spigots for external with more than 600mm fall with handrail: 15mm toughened glass

Frameless glass/glass spigots for external with more than 600mm fall without handrail: 17.5mm toughened laminate glass.

Frameless glass/glass spigots for external with more than 600mm fall without handrail in exposed areas: 21.5mm toughened laminate glass.


If I have stainless steel balustrade, which grade of stainless steel should I use?

The majority of our stainless products are sold in either grade 304 or grade 316. Both grades of stainless steel look the same to the naked eye but grade 316 is extra resistant to corrosion. You should subsequently use grade 304 stainless steel for internal balustrades and grade 316 stainless steel for external balustrades. If your stainless steel balustrade is next to a swimming pool or near to the sea, you should in addition have the stainless steel 316 mirror polished to protect it against chlorine/salt water.

All stainless steel products should be regularly cleaned with a recommended cleaner to prevent discolouring or pitting.


If I have a stainless steel balustrade, should the posts/handrail be 42mm or 48mm in diameter?

For the majority of domestic applications, 42mm posts/handrail will suffice. If you are supporting balustrades that are over 1.1m in height (for instance a privacy screen) it may be that 48mm posts/handrail are required.


Will my balustrade be tested?

The majority of our balustrade systems are tested to a required line load test and we can provide you with a test certificate on request. A line load test is where pressure is applied to the balustrade. Once force is applied it cannot move more than 25mm within its fixing. The key determinants in the strength of a balustrade are what you are fixing to and the thickness of the glass.


How wide should the gap between the glass panels be?

If the area is accessible or frequented by children, a sphere of 100mm should not be able to pass through the gaps between each structural glass panel of the guarding. For structural channel we usually recommend a gap of 10mm between each panel.


How long should each glass panel be?

Each glass panel should ideally not be more than a 1m wide or 1.1m high. This is to meet the test requirements for the balustrade and to ensure that it is easy to install. It may be that the dimensions of your glass panel vary slightly to meet the overall dimensions of your balustrade.


What height should my balustrade be?

The height of your balustrade should be calculated from finished floor level. For internal balustrades (stairs, landings, ramps, edges of internal floors), the requirement for a private residential building is 900mm. For external balustrades (balconies, edges of roofs, external stairs), the requirement for a private residential building is 1100mm.


View our range of glass balustrade systems and get an instant free online quote using our balustrade designer.

Glass Balustrade

Why Choose Origin Architectural

For Your Glass Balustrade

Our glass balustrade products are both aesthetically pleasing as well as being quick, easy and cost effective to install, so you get the best finish for the best price. You can choose from our different glass balustrade and glass railing systems, that vary in surface finishes, glass thicknesses and purpose, as well as selecting individual balustrade components for bespoke applications.

Our team are all highly experienced in designing and creating glass balustrade systems, and they are here to help you whenever and wherever you need it. Contact us today to discuss your glass balustrade requirements.