One of the most prominent events that revolutionized the building industry was the advent of architectural glass. Glass brought a certain pizzazz to the exterior décor, but the monoliths that the corporate buildings were using, soon too got monotonous. The look of these structures softened up with glass envelopes, and now everyone wanted to bring this new innovation home. This is how glass railings came into the picture, with glass being used to separate internal spaces and make an architectural statement.
The Choice of Glass Railing System
These railings did not use just any type of glass though, but a specific tempered glass to provide safety along with a clear view of the outside. It was further strengthened and laminated for increased performance. Tempered glass was also treated in the “quenching” method to increase its toughness.
Another advantage with this type of glass was that it turned into tiny oval pieces, when shattered, instead of sharp-edged pieces. This was a huge relief as it reduced the chances of injury to a great extent.
Criteria for the Right Glass Railing
There are many important factors to note to get the perfect glass railing. Here are the present-day criteria for choosing the perfect glass balcony railing.
There was a time when the traditional wired glass was considered to be a safety glass for architectural application, but in recent years, the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) has taken that status away from wired glass. In 2015, the use of laminated or tempered glass has been strictly specified the International Building Code (IBC).
Depending on your requirements, you can choose between these two materials. While tempered glass is the standard choice for glass balcony railings, you can choose PVB or Polyvinyl Butyral laminated glass for the interior glass stair railings, and EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate for a clearer lamination for the outdoors.
The International Building Code has prescribed a minimum thickness of 6mm or a quarter of an inch for glass panels. This restriction is applicable to both laminated and tempered glass railing systems. However, you would be smart to get panels that are 10mm thick and shatterproof.
This is to make the structure stay strong under crumbling pressure to avoid any damage or injury.
The glass railing base shoe is an engineering marvel, to say the least. This particular piece of hardware can eliminate any requirement for vertical posts, giving you an unmatched clear view through your glass railing systems. Whether you have outdoor or indoor glass railing systems, the clean and sleek look works for both.
The purpose of the heavy base shoe is to hold the glass panels. When fully installed, it makes it look like the glass is coming straight out of the floor.
Glass railings do not mean just the stiff, straight lines of glass; it offers much more flexibility in terms of design and looks. You can find a great variety of quality curved glass railing systems that gives a fresh relief from the conventional dull right angles and straight lines.
If you want a guardrail that naturally syncs with the surrounding atmosphere, then nothing can work better than the minimalist glass panels.
For a classic look, you can use glass railings with standoff fittings. These standoff glass railing systems are perfect for the frameless panels. Of course, there are the framed glass railings too if you feel unsafe without the visible structure of the system.
In the old days you may have had to be satisfied with wood, wrought iron, or PVC railing systems, but not anymore. With outdoor and indoor glass railing systems, you can add safety and enhance the beauty of your home, effortlessly. They even have the widest range of applications, from being used in your deck, porch, balcony, swimming pool or staircase- the options are limitless.