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You are a person of distinguished taste, looking for a unique design feature that will make your home stand out. Something that melds convenience and beautiful in a functional and innovative way. More importantly, it has to be something that not everyone has! A glass railing fits this bill and even more.
If you are considering installing a glass railing in your home, then you are definitely not the type of person that thinks they are a luxury you can do without. Glass guardrails perform the same way as their wood and iron counterparts. You get to secure your home’s interior and exterior spaces without worrying about blocking the view.
Apart from a need to keep yourself in one piece, glass railings add a touch of chic style to your home. They bring that wow factor that takes your house from drab to fabulous.
What is a Glass Railing?
The introduction of architectural glass revolutionized the building industry. It brought a certain pizzazz to typically dreary corporate buildings. But, people clearly were not impressed with the boring monoliths these businesses were putting up. Glass envelopes came in to save the day, softening up the look of these structures and attracting a higher caliber of clientele.
As people usually do, they wanted to bring this innovation into the home. This brought about the creation of glass railings. They started using glass to partition internal spaces. It also became the go-to material when they wanted to make an architectural statement. Soon, glass stair railings, deck and balcony railings, and even pool screens were the in thing among the cultural elite.
These railings do not use just any type of glass; you do not want to fall or get cut up by doing this. Instead, tempered glass was developed. This is a safety glass that has been reinforced and laminated for increased strength.
Also, it has a nifty feature that allows it to shatter into tiny square pieces when broken. So, if your crazy neighbor decides to throw a rock through your tempered glass railing, it will break in a way that will not endanger you or your family.
Tempered glass is also usually treated to make it four to six times stronger than regular glass. This is why you have to make sure that you get the real thing from a verified supplier. For glass railings, The Deck Shoppe is your best option.
Glass railing thickness
The standards that tell you how to bring your glass railings up to code are defined in the International Building Code (IBC). The minimum thickness of glass used in art handrail or guardrail assembly should be at least six millimeters or a quarter of an inch. Invisirail glass panels are typically ten millimeters thick.
This restriction applies to only monolithic or laminated tempered glass, and laminated heat strengthened glass. You also need to ensure that the glass railing can resist its load requirement.
This means that, if you use it in an architectural or structural way, it has to be strong enough to avoid crumbling under pressure. You do not want your house falling around you because your new glass wall could not support the structure around it!
Glass railing base shoe
If you are fascinated by engineering marvels, then the glass railing base shoe will blow you away. This is a piece of hardware that eliminates the need for vertical posts, giving you an unbroken view through the glass railing. It leads to a clean and sleek look for both interior and exterior installations. A glass railing base shoe is simply a heavy channel shaped into a groove that holds the glass. It will be a particular hit with your guests because the base shoe makes it look like the glass is coming right from the floor.
Curved glass railing
I bet that when you think of glass, all you see are rigid, straight lines. But glass is much more versatile than that. Today, you can find great quality curved or bent glass railing systems that do not box you into the stereotypical confines of right angles and straight lines.
Curved glass perfectly marries beauty and function to give you a guardrail that interacts organically with the surrounding nature. Curved railings usually use glazed panels of tempered or laminated glass.
Glass railing standoffs
If you want to go with the more classic railing system look, using standoffs is the way to go. These are supports that are used when installing frameless glass railings. Invisirail “Invisipost” standoffs typically come in 36-inch and 42-inch options.
Pros of Glass Railings
1. Low maintenance
Glass railings are the most no-fuss option you can go for today. Once installed, there is no need to worry about replacements or repairs. All you have to do is keep them clean and enjoy the natural environment around you.
They are also very thick and resistant to cracking or breaking when exposed to everyday stressors. This makes glass the perfect material to use for low maintenance decking.
2. Treated glass railing systems do not corrode
Tempered glass is an inorganic material that does not rust with exposure to the elements over time. This is also the case for the aluminum or stainless steel posts used to install them. You do not need to worry about corrosion with glass railings, assuring you many years of great service and value.
3. The glass surface tolerates extreme temperatures better
Tempered glass has been treated to be impervious to high temperatures. You can be sure that installing it on your sunny island getaway or Midwestern ranch will not cause cracks, breaks, or even fading over time.
4. Easy to assemble
5. Aesthetic appeal
Glass railings add a clean, modern look that beats any other railing system. Because of this, they are seen as the gold standard for guardrail design for many people.
6. Uninterrupted views
Many people pick a particular property to buy over others because of its views. The last thing you should do after finding the perfect place is block its stellar landscape views with a stocky railing system.
That is why glass railings are the best of the bunch. They give you and your guests a magnificent vantage point over your surroundings.
7. Highly customizable
Glass naturally looks clean and neat. This means it is the only railing system that can take various design elements without looking cluttered. You do not want to look like a design amateur, or have bad taste!
Whether you want it straight, curved or in an abstract shape, the versatility of glass lets you express your artistic side without creating an unpleasant, hodgepodge look.
Cons of Glass Railings
1. Cleaning and maintenance
The only maintenance glass railing needs is regular cleaning. Of course, this can be tiring because they must be cleaned on the outside and inside for the best look. If you expect a spotless look, regular cleaning is inevitable.
Some people may see this as a minor inconvenience but we’ll worth it. However, glass railings that are installed outdoors are usually designed in a way that makes cleaning them quite hard. This can become problematic over time.
Glass railings typically cost between 200 and 409 dollars per foot. This is quite expensive when compared with other decking material. But, this is not surprising considering just how beneficial glass systems are to their owners.
3. Lack of privacy
Glass is transparent, meaning that it will (obviously) let people see through it. While that may be what you are going for in interior spaces like staircases, it can pose a problem when placed outdoors.
For example, you may live in a low rise building and want to be shielded from prying eyes when you are on your balcony. Anything less may lead to some uncomfortable questions!
However, there are many types of glass panels available for you. From frosted to etched glass panels, Invisirail has the perfect option for you.
Stainless Steel Glass Railing Systems
Stainless steel and glass have been used together multiple times to create a really beautiful and unique look. Glass panels interchanges with stainless steel posts and clips gives an impression of solidity and fragility at the same time. It is like having a living work of art in your home or office.
Stainless steel hardware for glass railings
Glass railing does not need a lot of hardware to install. But, Invisirail can supply you with all the stainless steel hardware you will need. These include the stainless steel posts, screws, clamps, spacers, and even cover plates.
Glass railing designs using stainless steel
Using a combo of stainless steel and glass gives your space a timeless but distinctly modern look. Stainless steel is durable, versatile, and does not corrode or rust. It gives you an unlimited choice in how you can mix and match your design ideas to come up with something you like.
You can also take the minimalist route. Use transparent, clear glass with stainless steel base shoes to make an unobtrusive railing that almost looks invisible. The stainless steel hardware will add a touch of drama that flows seamlessly into the rest of your house.
Should you Add Glass Railings to your Deck?
Take a walk around your neighborhood, and I can guarantee that a majority of the decks and balconies there are glass railing systems. People typically went for options like wood, wrought iron or PVC railing systems before glass came along. But now, glass has become a very popular way of securing and sprucing up the home’s outdoor areas.
Glass is a great choice for people who want to keep their kids and pets safe. This is because it does not have large spaces between the panels, minimizing the risk of little heads getting stuck in there. With a glass railing, you can send the children off to play without running around them to keep them safe.
Glass systems are also known as invisible railings. This is because they do not obstruct beautiful views around you. They are like a kind of picture frame, showcasing the scenery.
Using glass railings has a few disadvantages, but it does give you a lot more benefits. They are durable, versatile, resistant to bad weather and rust, impervious to cracking, and able to handle high temperatures. They are also the most beautiful railing systems available today. So, they would make a great addition to any household.
Where can you Use Glass Railing?
Glass railing systems have the widest range of applications available today. You can use them outside on your deck and balcony, or even indoors on your staircase.
Using Glass Railing Indoors
When you use glass inside the house, you open it up to get more sun and natural light. Say goodbye to dank rooms and high electricity bills with these glass systems!
Glass also makes any space look bigger and more spacious. It does all this while creating an interesting centerpiece that your guests can fawn over.
Indoor glass railing systems
Glass railing systems are a quite new to building and construction. But, it is already a favorite of many professional designers. Today, you can find interior glass railings in homes, offices, and even shopping malls.
The most important function of any railing is to keep you from falling and getting injured. However, combining glass and stainless steel will leave you with a sturdy and functional object that is also very eye-catching.
Glass Railing for Stairs
One of the most popular design ideas today is to use glass railings as part of your stairs.
Stair glass railing system
A glass railing system for staircases from Invisirail consists of three key components: the glass panel, Invisiposts, and standoffs or base shoes. These components meld together seamlessly for a sophisticated, polished look.
Glass railing staircase
Using a transparent glass panel as a guardrail allows the geometric design of the staircase to shine through and meld seamlessly with the rest of the house. This modern guardrail will make your home the talk of the town.
Outdoor Glass Railings
Whether you want to enjoy the view, impress your neighbors, or ensure your privacy, glass railings are your best bet. These panels are designed to stand strong against the weather, wind, high temperatures, and breakage.
Set up to leave small spaces between panels, they also keep your children and pets safe. Glass panels can be used on the patio, deck or balcony to give you a great, uninterrupted view.
Glass Railing for your Balcony
The balcony is an urban haven that is created to help you decompress and relax. A glass railing will keep you safe as you sit outside to enjoy the scenery and open air.
Glass railing design for balcony
You can design your balcony glass railing in any style you want. Classical or modern? Minimalist or eclectic? Glass is a very versatile material that will let you do anything you can imagine.
Modern balcony glass railing design
Modern designs involving glass are usually quite sparse and minimalist. Combine clear glass with stainless steel hardware for a thoroughly modern look.
Glass Railing for Decks
This is the most popular use of glass railings today. From private homes and offices to hotels, they make your deck look sophisticated and chic.
Glass railing system for decks
Plexiglass railings for decks
For you, glass may be a bit too costly or something that needs too much investment of time and energy. In that case, plexiglass is the next nest option for you.
Plexiglass is cheaper and does not break. It also does not need regular intensive cleaning like glass.
However, it does have some downsides. It scratches very easily. It also reacts to the sun, which makes it darken and become discolored over time.
Exterior Glass Railings
Glass is usually used as an envelope around the external walls of a building. This is usually done for safety reasons. As such, external glass railings are reinforced, strengthened, and laminated to ensure they can hold up under large structural weights.
Exterior glass railing design
Exterior glass railings typically use a very simple and functional design. They are also treated to filter light to comfortable levels.
Modern glass railing design exterior
Modern glass railings are usually treated to make them easier to clean. Most of them are also able to convert solar energy into electricity for the buildings that use them. This foray into green technology makes exterior glass railings an important part of office buildings today.
Frameless Glass Railing
If you are thinking of closing off your pool, a frameless glass railing is the best way to go. Frameless simply means that the railing is set up with nothing between the glass panels to obstruct your view.
Frameless railings use thicker glass panels, making them more costly. You can get the best quality frameless glass railings from Invisirail.
Tempered Glass Railings
Tempered glass is simply safety glass that has been toughened against breakages. If it does break, tempered glass will shatter into tiny square pieces. It is often used in unframed glass railings for commercial purposes.
Tempered glass can be up to six times stronger than normal glass. It is also treated to make them harder to shatter when exposed to heat.
Glass Railing Kit
A typical glass railing kit has four main components: the glass panels, posts, clamps and mounting clips. Since we have already told D a lot about the first two, we will focus on the latter two here:
Glass railing clamps
These are the brackets that are attached to each post to hold the glass panel. Invisirail offers a great range of clamps that can hold glasses of varying thickness.
Glass railing mounting clips
Glass railing mounting clips are used to make it look like the glass is flowing right out of the floor.
Glass railing in Calgary
If you are looking for quality material to build your own glass railing in Calgary, The Deck Shoppe is a great resource for you. Not only can you buy material, but you can also find the best contractors to do the job here.
Plexiglass is a kind of plastic polymer that looks like glass. But, it is cheaper to buy and install.
Plexiglass railing system
This is quite similar to the glass railing systems, except that they use plexiglass instead of glass!
Plexiglass railings for decks
You can use plexiglass to secure your outdoor deck space. It looks just like glass and can serve you well for a couple of years. But, it does scratch easily and fades quickly through exposure to the elements.
Glass Railing Manufacturers
Glass Railing Installation
If you are the handy, DIY type, then putting up a glass railing should be as easy ad pie for you.
But before anything, consult a professional to make sure you know what you are doing. Glass kit material is often very expensive; make sure you do not run a loss through incompetence.
Here is how the installation of Invisirail glass rails should go:
1. Take measurements
Start off by taking measurements between posts for the glass panels. Move systematically, installing a post and making sure its distance to the next is accurate. Make sure that they are as straight as possible too.
2. Install the top bracket
Use lag screws to install the top bracket to the post at a height of at least 42 inches from the deck surface. Make sure it is as close to 90 degrees as possible.
3. Install the bottom bracket
Drill a hole into the post, six inches above the ground. Ensure it is parallel to the deck. Attach the bottom brackets using a nut and bolt through this hole.
4. Install the glass
Take the glass sheet to be installed and align with the notches you see at the bottom of the post. Fasten the top and bottom brackets in turn to secure the panel. Make sure you do not fasten them too tight to keep from stripping the glass.
How much do Glass Railings Cost?
Glass railings are indeed quite expensive, but not too much. It typically costs between 200 and 400 dollars per foot to buy the material and install the railing.