What makes a great glass balustrade system?

Is it the ease of installation, the sleek design, that minimal ‘all glass’ look, or safety assurance that makes a great glass balustrade system? OnLevel’s Gary Dean explains.

Glass balustrading is everywhere; across towns, cities and suburban developments, it is well established as the go-to solution for contemporary screening, prevalent on most new-build apartment blocks with outdoor areas and balconies. The same is true of houses, shopping centres, hotels and homes across the UK.

Glass balustrading – whether frameless, point-fixed, post-based or a combination of systems – has been increasing year on year. While balustrades can be made from a variety of materials, glass grabs the limelight.

Glass can be used with a number of materials to create stunning spaces, and it offers design flexibility thanks to colour options, finishes and bevel styles available. Likewise, glass balustrade hardware is available in a range of finishes and colours.

Incorporating a glass balustrade system into an interior or exterior space is a great way of getting loads of natural light into an area, or letting light flood an exterior space such as a garden area. The understated, unobtrusive design of frameless glass balustrades blends seamlessly with the outside world, allowing clear views of the surrounding garden and landscape ahead, while providing a protective low-level screen from the unpredictable changes in the UK weather.

Another benefit of light flowing through interior and exterior spaces is the illusion of more space. This is why glass balustrading systems are great for staircases where light and space are often restricted.

In general terms, installing a frameless or post glass balustrade is quicker than balustrades made out of other materials. Some glass options only consist of glass panels, channel and handrail, which means that the balustrade can be installed swiftly. Alternative glass options may take a bit more time, but they still offer easy, quick installation when compared to alternative materials.

To ensure your balustrade system is geared up to be great, make sure the installation is undertaken concisely, by experienced people using the finest tools to safeguard against misalignment, wonky profiles and posts, and unsecure glass. Products such as OnLevel’s Flex-Fit system provide further ease of installation and reduced installation time. With this system for frameless glass balustrades it is possible to adjust each individual glass plate up to 40mm towards the perpendicular line. With just a simple sliding movement the installer is able to precisely position glass and reduce the assembly time by 30%.

Toughened glass panels used in glass balustrades have a high impact and heat resistance. They are also safe; toughened glass doesn’t break easily but if it does it will break into tiny particles making it safe to use in lots of applications, including the home. Furthermore, all reputable glass balustrade systems go through rigorous testing and have to comply with British Standards (or relevant standards for the country the system is being installed in) for different types of applications, to ensure safety and peace of mind.

Your glass balustrade system will look great, whether in and modern, traditional or indifferent setting. Glass balustrades add value to any building, bringing sophistication and elegance to any interior or exterior space. In recent years the sleek and simple look of glass balustrades has been the preferred choice for homeowner and designer alike. To achieve the ultra-minimal look without a handrail OnLevel recommends toughened laminated glass. Glass balustrades using toughened glass (not laminated) must include a handrail in the UK to comply with building regulations.