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    How Safe Are Glass Balustrades?

    2023-04-10 18:06:17  News

    Wallkingdon Glass process a large range of glass products suited for glass balustrades. Being a local glass processor, our ability to custom make glass to size provides benefits when aesthetics and quick lead times are a factor. Customers of Wallkingdon Glass can obtain toughened glass certificates guaranteeing glass has been processed in accordance with Australian Standards.

    Whether you are based in the hills, near the ocean or in the city and want to maximise your views, glass balustrades will do this for you. Frameless glass balustrades will take you to the next level providing seamless edges by removing the need for bulky frames or handrail.


    Glass Selections:

    · Toughened Glass:

    · Toughened Clear Glass

    · Toughened Ultra Clear Glass

    · Toughened Grey Glass

    · Toughened Obscure Privacy Glass

    · Toughened Digital Printed Glass

    · Custom Laminated Glass:

    · Toughened laminated glass

    1. Glass balustrades must be made with safety glass

    UK safety legislation requires glass balustrades to be made with safety glass. Two types of safety glass are permitted:

    · Toughened glass (also known as tempered glass)

    · Laminated glass

    Toughened glass has been tempered. This means heating the glass to around 700°C and then cooling it quickly – known as quenching. Quenching creates a strong layer on both sides of the glass and locks tension inside the core of the glass. This straightforward process means tempered glass is approximately four times stronger to impact than regular float glass. If toughened glass does break, it doesn’t break into large shards. Instead it shatters into smaller, less dangerous pieces which are easier to clean away.

    Laminated glass is made by sandwiching a layer of plastic or resin membrane between two toughened glass panels. Should one of the glass panels break under impact, the membrane works like a ‘safety net’ and protects the second glass panel from shattering. 

    A word of caution – safety glass isn’t a cheap choice, it’s a technical material and priced accordingly. Don’t risk your safety and that of others with “cheap” safety glass – buy only from reputable suppliers.

    2. Glass thickness affects a balustrade’s safety

    It’s not just the type of glass that matters. The thickness of the glass can matter too. That’s because different environments and uses mean different loading requirements on the glass and balustrade system as a whole. You can learn more about the loads on glass balustrades here.

    To remove the complexity of choosing the right glass thickness, choose your balustrade from Wallkingdon and you’ll know that every option is made with glass that exceeds British safety standards under all circumstances. Wallkingdon’s balustrades system are made with 10mm toughened glass and their Frameless and Semi-frameless glass balustrades are supplied with 21.5mm toughened laminated glass as standard.

    3. Durable and safe glass balustrades

    Unlike balustrades made with wood or steel, a glass balustrade made with an anodised aluminium handrail and base track, and posts (where needed) needs minimal maintenance and will remain safe with little intervention from you. You won’t need to worry about rot or rust affecting the balustrade’s performance. Our 10-year guarantee on anodising and structural integrity means you can rest easy, knowing your property and its occupants are safe as… houses.

    4. Glass balustrades are a secure option

    Glass is not an easy or tempting surface to climb. Compared to fancy ironwork or wooden balustrades with horizontal bars, there are no obvious footholds. In fact, Wallkingdon’s range of glass balustrades don’t even have visible brackets – which might otherwise act as a foothold for especially determined climbers. This smooth surface is as off-putting to small children as is it is to members of the public who ought to know better, making glass balustrades an excellent choice for public buildings as well as private residences. Want to make your glass balustrade even safer? Our glass balustrades can be supplied up to 1.8m in height – keeping everyone safely enclosed.

    5. Glass balustrades mean an easier view for everyone

    Glass balustrades let everyone enjoy the view. That might not sound like a safety benefit but hear us out. Because everyone can see clearly, no-one will be tempted to stand on furniture or haul themselves up to get a better view. And that means fewer chances of potential accidents. It also makes glass balustrades a perfect choice for families – everyone from little children to elderly parents with restricted mobility can safely watch the world go by. 

    Want to know more about the safety of our glass balustrades? Our specialist customer care team are here to help you with your questions. 



    How do I go about installation? 

    Wallkingdon Glass are specialists in processing and supply of glass products and do not install finished products. We do have an extensive range of installers qualified to undertake on-site measurement and installation we can happily recommend. Contact us.

    Can you make custom panels to suit my staircase?

     Being a glass processor, and specialists in glass processing we can custom make panels in a large range of shapes and sizes. Provided we receive all necessary information and sizes we can process almost any custom panel. If the shape is overly complex, sometimes we will recommend an MDF template be made up in one piece and delivered to our factory. Templates will guarantee a precise match.

    Fully Frameless Balustrades – No Handrail

    · By combining 2 x pieces of toughened glass and bonding them together with an SGP structural interlayer, ToughView™ is the ultimate glass selection when opting for a frameless balustrade without handrail. If broken, the SGP structural interlayer keeps the glass panel intact providing a safe protective barrier. The inclusion of a structural interlayer provides additional safety and strength for frameless balustrades.

    Frameless Balustrades – with Handrail

    · Toughened glass is a Grade A safety glass. If broken, toughened glass will shatter into small particles opposed to large, sharp shards like that of annealed glass. Toughened glass is up to five times stronger than annealed glass.

    Partially Framed & Fully Framed Balustrades

    · Depending on your finished suite and application, your fully framed or partially framed balustrade could consist of either laminated glass or toughened glass. Both forms of glass are Grade A safety glass.

    Regardless of the balustrade application you select it is best practice to consult with a qualified glazier who can provide advice on selection and installation of glass and glazing whilst ensuring regulations are met and safety is not compromised.

    Wallkingdon Glass offers not only one of the broadest selections of architectural, decorative, and specialty glass, but we also offer services that allow our clients to do more with glass. If you want to get high quality glass and the cost effective solutions while keeping quality to highest level, send an email to enquiry@wallkingdonglass.com, we will have the valuable input and creativity of glass design experts to help you.

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