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All You Need To Know About Glass Railings

These days, glass is the most popular material for modern railing. We can see why it’s a popular alternative to hardwood handrails and spindles.

The glass railing creates a striking visual impact, enhances openness, expands areas, and allows light to flow freely. When built and installed properly, it adds luxury and value to a home while also being incredibly secure and practical.

Tempered glass is commonly used in glass railings. Tempering strengthens the structure and protects it from cracking and damage. Glass railings are popular among modern home builders because of their adaptability, exquisite design potential, and cheap upkeep.

With their streamlined look, low maintenance requirements, and high personalization potential, glass railings are the future of railing systems. This is ideal for use on staircases, decks, pathways, and pools. Glass railing systems are adaptable and attractive and a practical architectural option.

Fig 1: Glass railing in home
Fig 1: Glass railing in home
Courtesy: Geo.Bezdan

Types of Glass Railing System
Some of the types of glass railing systems include:

Standoff Glass Railing
Standoff glass railing is a system that uses standoffs to secure the glass panels. The glass has pre-drilled holes, is leveled in position, and the standoffs hold the panel to the stair and floor system’s vertical face. It’s possible to have a frameless railing system with very little obvious hardware. Because of the fastening mechanism, the decision to employ this system must be taken during the frame stage, as adequate underpinning is required to support the glass.

Fig 2 China mounted stainless steel standoff glass railing
Fig 2: China mounted stainless steel standoff glass railing
Courtesy: Shenzhen Ace Architectural Products Co., Limited

Dadoed Glass Railing
Glass railing panels are attached within the top railing and bottom shoe in a system known as dadoed glass railing. The glass is essentially contained within a wooden structure. Because no clips or hardware are required, this railing has the cleanest appearance.

Fig 3 Dadoed Glass railing in home
Fig 3: Dadoed Glass railing in home
Courtesy: Houzz

Clamped Glass Railing
Clamped Glass Railing is a method in which the glass panels are held in place by glass clips attached to posts or, in certain cases, the railing or shoe. Because of the high frequency of posts required, this system allows you to use either wood or steel posts, and you can highlight your hardware (steel or black) if you want to. This is an appealing style for some people.

Fig 4 Clamped Glass railing in home
Fig 4: Clamped Glass railing in home
Courtesy: Pro-railing

Pros With Glass Railings
Some of the pros with glass railings include:

Increases Visibility
When it comes to constructing a living environment, light and visibility are the most important considerations. Glass railing systems are a versatile and cost-effective answer to many architectural issues. To make an area visible, you can add railings to a stairway in your home, surrounding a deck or pool in your backyard, or at your company. Railings made of wood or metal can be cumbersome, reduce visibility, and even obstruct light entering the space. On the other hand, glass railing systems have a streamlined design that lets natural light in and makes the space feel more comfortable open.

A Barrier To The Wind
An outdoor glass railing can also work as a wind barrier, keeping your patio party from being disrupted by strong breezes, depending on where your deck is placed. It also allows you to enjoy your terrace throughout the cooler months.

A deck is one of the ideal areas to put a glass railing system for greater visibility. Glass railings around your deck reduce obstructions to your view and allow you to enjoy your deck more fully.

Little Maintenance Is Required
Glass railing systems, unlike timber railings, are low-maintenance. To keep their color and gloss, wood systems in internal applications must be polished and stained regularly. When wooden railings are used outside, upkeep is required to increase dramatically. The railings quickly deteriorate due to exposure to the sun, wind, and water. Glass railings do not corrode as quickly as wood railings and do not require much upkeep. Simply wiping the glass with soap and water can restore its original appearance.

Longevity and Durability
On decks, exterior glass railings survive significantly longer than wood railings. There’s no bending or splitting here, and there’s no risk of termites or other bugs destroying the material’s integrity. In addition, you won’t have to stain or paint outdoor glass railings to keep them protected from the elements. However, consult our metal usage guide to verify you’ve chosen the correct alloy for your outdoor metal railing project.

Flexibility In Design
Glass is one of the only porch railing systems that can include several design components without being cluttered or haphazard since it appears sleek and polished. When it comes to the actual design of your outside space, this allows you more flexibility and possibilities.

Cons With Glass Railing
Some of the cons with glass railing include:
Slightly More Costly
Outdoor glass railing systems are probably less expensive choices. It is, however, a smart purchase if you are willing to make an initial investment in a product that will last for decades.

Both Sides Have An Unobstructed View
While many individuals will appreciate the luxury of enjoying the open vista and gorgeous surroundings, this may not be ideal for others seeking more seclusion. With a glass handrail, keep in mind that the unobstructed vision goes both ways.

A glass handrail deck can be a fun and inexpensive way to add seclusion. Using tall plants or bamboo to create a shady spot in your outdoor space could be just what you need to unwind.

Cleaning Is Required On A Regular Basis
Maintaining smudge-free glass on the inside and exterior might take a lot of effort, especially if you’re picky. As a result, you might want to investigate cable deck railing as an alternative to outdoor glass railings. But keep in mind that any railing will need to be maintained at some point. Wood fences may warp and split with time, requiring costly replacements, and cable railing require some maintenance.

Inadequate Air Circulation
While some people may like that a glass deck railing system blocks the breeze, others may find it oppressive. The glass can trap heat in a hot climate. It depends on your preferences as well as the weather in your area.

Glass Handrail Installation is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project
You will almost certainly need to engage a professional to install a glass railing around your home or place of business to assure the strength and quality of the glass and metal components. Adding a glass railing to your property is not a weekend undertaking like other garden additions.

Glass is an appealing option if you want to see more while seeing less of your railing. It is a stunning contemporary style that elevates your deck to new heights. Glass railing has several advantages. However, there are several disadvantages to using glass railings. Glass is costly and will need to be cleaned frequently. Glass is a bad railing option if you don’t have the funds or don’t want to clean it on a regular basis.

5 Things You Need To Know About Glass Railing – Specialized Stair & Rail. (2019, December 3). Specialized Stair & Rail.
Glass, N. (2018, June 8). Glass Railing Systems | Improve Your Home Or Business With Glass Railings – Nvision Glass. Glass Railing Systems | Improve Your Home or Business With Glass Railings – nvision Glass.
Moylan, J. (2020, February 19). Glass Railings for Decks : The Pros And Cons. Glass Railings for Decks : The pros and cons.
Glass Deck Railing Pros And Cons | Decks By E3. (2020, June 12). Decks by E3.
The Pros & Cons Of Installing Glass Handrails On Decks | B & L Glass. (2019, December 6). B & L Glass.
Pros and Cons: Glass Railings for Decks | Bezdan.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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