Glass railings make for a perfect option to enhance the beauty and charm of a deck, staircase, ledge or balcony. They offer adequate safety as well as an unobstructed view of the surroundings. Consequently, the outdoors makes for a safe and great viewing experience even from the confines of one’s home. They thus justify being called “invisible railings” because of the unblocked view that they offer.
Advantages of installing glass railings
There are certain very practical reasons for the popularity of the glass railing in the recent past. Some of the most important advantages for the installation of the same are:
- Low maintenance
The beauty and durability of these railings can be easily maintained without there being a constant need to stain, treat, paint or finish the same. This gains relevance because of the constant exposure that these railings are subjected to on a daily basis from the different elements of weather. With other kinds of railings, weathering is an evident outcome but glass does not require anything other than a thorough cleaning with soap and water.
Since they are not affected by the corroding action of water, glass railings can be used for a number of purposes and also in varied climatic conditions. Thus they can used in places with extreme climate, maritime climate, tropical climate, temperate climate etc., without any danger of the materials getting damaged.
The fact that a glass railing can be used for a number of years without surface cracking or corrosion makes it one of the most durable materials available for decks, ledges, and balconies.
- Easy assembly
The ease with which these glass railings can be installed makes it a great option for a DIY project. This ease of assembly reduces its installation cost considerably.
Glass railings make for a safe alternative while at the same time presenting everyone with a great view of the outdoors. Thus kids can play safely on the deck and ledges without there being any danger of falling.
Some of the disadvantages associated with the installation of these glass railings are:
- Regular cleaning required
Glass panels installed are vulnerable to blemishes and fingerprints. Hence regular cleaning is required to keep them smudge free and also to ensure drips and deposits left by birds and bugs and spots left by winds and rain.
- No privacy
The advantage of an unobstructed view can be a boon and a bane since while it gives an uninterrupted view of the outdoors, it also enables outsiders a glimpse of the indoors of a house. Thus, lack of privacy is a disadvantage which anyone opting for glass railing has to contend with.
These railings are relatively expensive when compared to the other railing options. In fact use of composite materials for the construction of decks, balconies, ledges etc., is far more inexpensive than glass railings.
Types of glass railings
There are mainly two different types of glass railing which are popularly used for residential and commercial buildings. They are:
- Framed glass railings
They are commonly used today because they offer a beautiful blend of luxury, beauty, and safety. Glass panels for the same are fixed using metal frames which are generally secured to the floor irrespective of the material used to make the floor. The fact that a frame and a top rail form a mandatory part of the railing, make them ideal for use stairs, decks, raised platforms, balconies, ledges etc. The convenience of the top rail also makes for a pleasant and comfortable way of standing and viewing the outdoors.
- Frameless railings
With no frames offering even the minutest obstruction, these frameless glass railings facilitate safe yet stunning unimpeded views. These railings can also be customized to suit the requirements of rooftops, balconies, and decks. Thus they have varied uses along with being a very safe and attractive glass railing option for residences and commercial establishments.
Both these types of glass railings provide elegance and a degree of satisfaction while at the same time blending in comfortably and easily with the theme and décor of the exterior of a house, cottage or commercial establishment. Generally, tempered glass is used since it is resistant to shattering and thus makes for a great option for installation outdoors. The hardware to be used along with this should also be non-corrosive and long-lasting so that it is able to match up to the durability of the tempered glass used for the railing.
There are, however, certain things which need to be kept in mind when installing glass railings for a specific space like:
- Glass railings make no way for any kinds of errors either in the dimensions of the glass or the amount of other hardware required,
- Glass railings need to withstand and hold a minimum pressure of 200 pounds so that they are able to work under all kinds of pressure up to 200 pounds and
- The nature surrounding a house or commercial establishment needs to be given its due respect.
Thus great care should be taken to ensure the correct type of glass and hardware is chosen for the glass railings to be installed. Once the same is done in an error-free manner, the resultant design changes the aesthetics of that space dramatically thereby making it seem much more attractive and alluring than before.