Glass has a reputation for being fragile and breakable, however, if manufactured and installed correctly it can be a strong and durable material, perfect for a balustrade. But how do you ensure that you choose the right glass type? Keep reading to find out more.
UK Legislation requires a glass balustrade to be made with either toughened glass or laminated glass. But what is toughened and laminated glass? Simply put toughed and laminated glass is put through a rigorous process to make it as safe and strong as possible.
Toughened glass is tempered by being heated to around 700°C and then quickly cooled. This process creates a strong layer on both sides of the glass, locking the tension inside the core of the glass. Tempered glass is 4x stronger than untempered glass making it an ideal glass type for your balustrade. If the toughened glass was to break, it would break into much smaller pieces than normal glass making it less dangerous and easier to clean.
Laminated glass holds together due to a layer of plastic or resin membrane that is placed between two panels of toughened glass. Should one of the glass panels break the membrane protects the second glass panel from shattering.
The height of the glass in your balustrade is important for safety reasons. Height restrictions vary depending on where the balustrade is being installed, for example, internal glass balustrades have to be at least 900mm in height. The height requirements are in place to ensure that no one can lean over the glass, fall and get injured. If a balustrade is located in the garden or externally, it has to be 1100mm in height.
If your balustrade is over 600mm above the ground, you can have toughened glass with a handrail or laminated glass without a handrail. A balustrade that is for domestic use will usually have to meet a lower line load test (the pressure per meter that the glass can take before it starts to deflect or move in the structure) in which case you can use a thinner glass. If it is for commercial use, you usually have to meet a higher line load test and will often have to use laminated glass. At Origin Architectural we are experienced in the supply of glass balustrades including the glass panels which meet all the safety tests and regulations both for domestic and commercial use
Our team at Origin Architectural are expert in glass balustrades. If you have any questions about glass balustrades contact us today. If you need a quote for your project try our Balustrade Designer Tool and receive a free and instant quote. We look forward to making your dream glass balustrade become a reality.
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