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.

Five Benefits of Glass Balustrades And Stairwells For Your Home

Looking for a stairwell solution that looks amazing and offers safe, reliable protection and support for stair users? If you haven’t already, it’s worth taking a look at the benefits of glass balustrades and stairwells for your home.

Frameless Shower Installations has been creating high-calibre, customised glass installations on the Sunshine Coast for the past twenty years. If you want the advantages that an experienced, professional glazing company can bring to your balustrades and banisters, we can deliver exactly what’s needed.

Staircase with glass balustrade

1. Exceptional safety

12mm toughened glass is designed to withstand heavy impact blows, as well as able to cope with a significant amount of pressure. This makes it a safe barrier for use on stairwells. In addition, the installation of a solid glass sheet, rather than stair rails that have a gap between them, reduces the risk of items accidentally falling through the stair barrier. Glass also has an extremely high melting point and doesn’t burn, making it a fire-safe option.

2. Fully customisable

When you opt for glass balustrades for your stairwell, the sky is the limit when it comes to the shapes, sizes and configurations you can select. Glass can be cut to any size, allowing stairwells large and small to benefit from a glass balustrade. Suitable for use on both interior and exterior stairwells, a skilled glazier is able to tailor a glass balustrade to match your exact requirements.

3. Extremely durable

Arguably one of the most durable building materials on the planet, it’s little surprise that glass features in almost all properties. Glass is immune to the effects of water, sunlight, acid rain or most chemicals. It’s also resistant to wind or temperature weathering, as well as resistant to biological weathering (very little will grow on vertical glass).

If you’re looking for a stairwell material that will last decades with no visible signs of deterioration, glass is an excellent choice.

4. Looks amazing

Perfect for properties that enjoy minimalist styling, the ability of glass to reflect light ensures that a glass stairwell provides a stunning feature that can become a powerful accent in a hallway, landing or entrance hall. As glass is transparent, there is the potential to create a breath-taking selection of visual effects by installing a suitable backdrop to the glass panels. A fantastic contemporary construction material, glass works well with both modern and more traditional interior design themes.

5. Easy to keep clean and maintain

Glass usually requires little maintenance beyond a wipe over with soap and water every so often. A very hygienic material, its impermeability ensures dirt doesn’t become trapped on your balustrades. If you want to opt for a stairwell that requires minimal maintenance, at the same time as providing a clean, fresh look, glass is the way to go.

With so many advantages, it’s little surprise that a large number of households are choosing glass balustrades for their stunning stairwells. Why not ask us about the glass balustrade designs we can install?

Call us on (07) 5479 0003 today.