Making alterations at home? Smartening up the offices at work? Whatever project you’re on with, if it involved stairs or balconies, you’ll probably be thinking about balustrades. And, given its popularity in the design world, we’ll hazard a guess that someone has suggested using glass balustrades too. But why opt for glass over more traditional materials, such as wood or steel, and is it really safe to do so?
At Square 1 Balustrades we specialise in balustrade systems and can help with all aspects of your project from design and supply, right through to installation. Here we take a closer look at some of the most frequently asked questions about glass balustrades and why you need them…and it’s not just because they look good!
What is a balustrade?
A balustrade is an important safety feature. Acting as a barrier they are usually in areas where nasty accidents could occur – for example, to prevent people falling off or down the stairs, or over the edge of a balcony or outside decking areas.
Why is a balustrade important?
Whatever look you’re going for – from ornate and traditional to minimalist and modern – you need a balustrade for safety and that is its primary purpose. In fact, in many cases it is a health and safety requirement.
Where is a balustrade needed?
For residential property, anywhere with a drop of over 60cm between floor levels needs a balustrade. In all other buildings the rules become even stricter and a balustrade is required at a height of just 38cm – or where there are more than 2 steps. Failure to meet these regulations – especially in commercial settings – can result in costly legal action if an accident should occur.
What needs to be considered?
To guarantee your glass balustrades meet UK building regulations and are as safe and user friendly as possible there are a number of factors that need to be considered. These include:
- Height – a balustrade should be 90cm from the floor to the handrail. If the balustrade is for outdoor use the minimum height to the handrail must be 110cm. Whilst handrails are always considered best practise, they’re not compulsory, provided you opt for toughened and laminated safety glass.
- Weight – balustrades must provide adequate protection against forces that may be applied to it without the risk of breaking or shattering. For example, a balustrade must be able to take the weight of someone leaning on it to climb the stairs – in a domestic property this is 0.36kN/m. If it is unable to withstand these pressures, then it is not fit for purpose.
- Width – balustrades must be fitted close enough together so that a 10cm sphere is unable to fit through, this is to prevent the danger of anything or anybody slipping through the gaps.
How much do glass balustrades cost?
This is a tricky one to answer as the overall price can vary considerably depending on a number of factors. These include the size of glass balustrade you need, the width, the type of frame – steel, wire, frameless etc – and the type of glass – toughened or laminated. What we can tell you is that, here at Square 1, we pride ourselves on always offering extremely competitive prices. Why not read our blog discussing the cost-effectiveness of glass balustrades to find out more?
Why use glass?
For obvious reasons safety must always take precedence and be your top priority but the great news is that glass balustrades not only offer exceptional safety, they are also cost-effective and can play an important role in design too.
Unlike more traditional materials like wood, glass involves minimal upkeep, requiring no expensive treatments, regular repainting or touching up. A quick clean every now and again to keep the glass at its sparkling best is all that is needed.
Using glass helps to increase the feeling of space, creating a more contemporary, open plan feel. It also allows light to flow more freely. These attractive qualities make your home more desirable and can add value to your property should you ever wish to sell.
Find out more about glass balustrades today
All-in-all glass balustrades offer exceptional safety at an affordable price – without compromising on style! So why not find out more about the balustrade systems we have available at Square 1 today and chat to a member of the team about what we could do for you? Fill in out our contact form or call us on 01489 583371, we’d love to hear from you.