There are many design considerations to bear in mind when choosing high quality balustrades, as they will not only have an impact on a property’s safety but they’ll also determine the interior or exterior style. Therefore, it is important to make an informed decision before you choose a balustrade system.
Glass balustrades are a superb option as they offer a balance of light, visibility and safety, as well as providing a sleek and timeless appeal. Most reputable balustrade companies will also allow you to choose between framed and frameless glass barriers, in addition to curved balustrade effects. Think about your barrier needs before you make a decision as different types of glass offer different features, such as self-cleaning, tinted, privacy, low-iron and laminated options.
The horizontal uniformly distributed load and glass thickness for a balustrade will be determined by the occupancy of a building and the panel’s size; for example, retail environments will require thicker glass than a single family dwelling. Frameless and framed balustrades will also require alternative glass thicknesses.
Laminated glass is a very popular option as it enhances the safety of the glass whilst avoiding the need for a handrail, as two layers of toughened glass are connected with an interlayer. For this reason, you can trust it will offer unrivalled panel security, because if one panels break the remaining panel will secure the broken glass until it is replaced. Therefore, laminated glass is a highly recommended option for areas which require high levels of security or safety.
Another benefit of laminated glass is that it will not affect the transparency of the glass; however, many interlayers can incorporate different colours, tints, patterns or textures upon request. There are three common interlayer types: PVB (suitable for most applications), SGP (ideal for dangerous environments) and CIP (not a laminated interlayer sheet but a poured resin) but this type can leave a messy edge finish.