How Safe Are Glass Balustrades?

Glass balustrades have risen in popularity as a sleek and modern alternative to wood, metal and other opaque materials. This is especially common on the Sunshine Coast, where we have kilometres of stunning coastline; a frameless glass balustrade is said to offer protection and security, without spoiling the view. But are glass balustrades really safe?

Glass sometimes has a bad reputation. Many people associate glass with being fragile and shy away from using glass barriers, concerned about injury and breakage. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and the team at Frameless Glass Installations are here to clear up some of those myths and talk about the safety of using glass balustrades for your balcony or stairwell.

Glass balustrade with view on Maroochy River

Australian building standards

In Australia, there are a variety of rules and regulations in place when it comes to installing a balustrade or barrier. This includes considering the height of the drop from the upper level to the ground, the material being used, and the spacing and height of the barrier itself. Regulations also apply to the way the barrier is fixed to the building and includes specific impact and weather-resistant properties.

Each standard has been tested and defined to offer the highest level of protection, for people of all ages – the smallest gaps are considered in relation to a crawling child, while the height limits are designed to prevent climbing, or leaning too far and overbalancing.

For your safety, all of our products comply with or exceed the minimum safety requirements as defined by state and national regulations. All installations are measured and custom-designed to meet safety requirements, as well as your budget and aesthetic preferences.

Toughened glass balustrades

All of our frameless glass balustrades are made from 12mm toughened glass. By comparison, the minimum standard for window glass in Australia is 4mm, this extra material alone increases the strength of a glass balustrade.

Glass is toughened during manufacture by a process known as tempering. This involves heating the glass to an extremely high temperature and cooling rapidly. This process creates compression and tension within specific layers of the glass to improve the impact resistance. Tempered glass is 4 to 5 times stronger than regular glass, and can withstand greater temperature changes and high winds.

When you drop a wine glass, you may be familiar with large jagged shards that can easily draw blood. If toughened glass does break, it is designed to crumble rather than shatter, and form small, cube-like pieces that are safer and easier to clean up.

Additionally, glass balustrades are easy to maintain and clean and are not subject to rot or corrosion as wood or metal may be. As with windows, simply clean with a soft cloth and mild soapy water.

We don’t compromise on safety

At Frameless Glass Installations, we only use quality materials to ensure not only a flawless finish but the highest safety standards. This includes our 12mm thick toughened glass and marine grade fittings.

Our frameless glass balustrades are a safe and beautiful choice for stairwells, balconies and many other installations. With over 15 years in the industry, our experts will have an affordable and attractive solution whether you’re building from scratch or renovating.

Get in touch for a free quote today.