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  • Writer's pictureJess Court

5 Things You Need To Know About Glass Railing

By far, glass is the most popular choice for modern railing right now. It is a trending alternative to wooden handrails and spindles and we see why!

Glass railing has stunning visual impact, adds openness, makes spaces feel bigger and facilitates light flow. It adds luxury and value to a home and when designed and installed correctly, is incredibly safe and functional.

Let’s walk through 5 things to consider when looking into glass railing for your home:

1. There are different types of glass railing systems.

There are a variety of ways to install glass railing. Look at the different systems and consider how these styles fit into the overall style and feel of your home.

Specialized Stair and Rail categorizes interior glass railing into 3 main categories: dadoed, standoff, and clamped.

Dadoed Glass Railing

Dadoed glass railing is a system where the glass railing panels are secured within the top railing and bottom shoe. Essentially the glass exists within a wooden framework. Because there is no need for clips or hardware this railing has the cleanest visual appeal.

Standoff Glass Railing

Standoff glass railing is a system where the glass panels are secured with standoffs (round stainless steel cylinders). The glass has holes pre-drilled, it is leveled in place, and the standoffs secure the panel to the vertical face of the stair and floor system. This can be a frameless railing system with a minimal amount of visual hardware. Note: due to the fastening method, a decision to use this system needs to be made at the framing stage as sufficient backing needs to be in place to support the glass.

Clamped Glass Railing

Clamped Glass Railing is a system where the glass panels are secured with glass clips mounted to posts or occasionally the railing or shoe. This system gives the option to use wood or steel posts and if you want to highlight your hardware (steel or black) this is possible because of the frequency of posts required. To some, this is a very appealing style.

2. Consider safety and local building codes

It is important to consider the local building code requirements in your area regarding the type of safety glass (tempered, laminated) required or allowed.

Specialized Stair and Rail offers tempered glass of the highest quality. Tempered glass is a kind of heat treated glass that increases surface strength and changes the break pattern. If tempered glass breaks it shatters into tiny cubes for safety reasons.

Laminated glass is 2 pieces of glass fused together with an inter layer. This provides strength to the glass and extra safety. In the event of breakage, one side of the glass will shatter while the other side remains in place.

3. Glass railing requires maintenance

Glass railing as a whole, has less overall long term maintenance than a wood product. But, depending on your lifestyle the day to day maintenance will need to be consider railing looks drastically better than dirty. A soft cloth, soap/vinegar and water is all you need, stay away from any abrasive scrubbers.

4. Consider budget and cost

Glass railing is generally on the higher end of railing pricing. Within the styles, dadoed glass railing is the most cost effective as it can be thinner (6mm vs 10 or 12mm), has less machining, no holes, less polishing and does not involve any pricey hardware. Often with stainless steel or other glass hardware you get what you pay for so note quality when making selections as money invested at this stage will significantly improve the style and function.

5. The experience of the company and installers is very important

Our railing is a made to order, measured specifically, custom designed and installed system. The exactness of design and installation is crucial for overall quality and style of the finished product. An improperly installed railing can not only be an eye sore but dangerous as well. Select a company that has experience and look to see examples of finished products.

If you'd like more information about glass railings, contact Instrument Glasses today.

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