Over the years at Glass & Stainless, in our conversations about glass floors, we’ve found that similar misunderstandings arise time and time again. Not everyone is aware of just how strong glass is as a building material, or how many decorative possibilities it provides. To help you out, we’ve responded to 4 more of the most common misconceptions about glass floors.
4 Misconceptions About Glass Floors
Misconception 1: Glass Is Weak
The number one misconception is that glass is not strong. Within us all, there is a persistent and instinctive feeling that glass simply cannot be as strong a material as metal, wood, concrete or stone. This is in large part due to our lifelong experiences with standard annealed glass, frequently used in items like mirrors, glasses and vases. After one too many unfortunate accidents, we expect glass to crack and smash when exposed to any sort of pressure. But that certainly isn’t the case with glass floors.
All glass flooring is made using a toughened form of glass that is around 4 to 5 times stronger than annealed glass. Not only can it withstand far greater physical pressure than annealed glass, but also greater variations in temperature and sudden temperature changes. As part of the toughening process, the glass sheet is heated to around 650ºC before being rapidly cooled. This creates a degree of tension within the glass which helps hold it together.
Misconception 2. Glass Gives You No Privacy
Yes, some glass is transparent and you can see through it. But not all glass is transparent! Frosted and satin glass both offer a more opaque finish and can certainly be used to create a glass floor. Opaque glass is probably a good choice for glass floors located in bathrooms, bedrooms or similar spaces where privacy is a major consideration. Sometimes, you just don’t want people to be able to look up or down on you. By choosing this type of glass, you still allow light to pass between two spaces whilst maintaining their separate nature.
Frosted glass is produced by sandblasting or acid etching a sheet of toughened glass in order to create a rougher, pitted external layer. As a result, when light passes through the more uneven surface, it is scattered in numerous different directions and the view through the glass is blurred.
Satin glass gains its opacity through a chemical treatment. Hydrofluoric acid burns through the topmost layers to create that sought-after rough surface. Still easy to clean, satin glass ensures that images become increasingly blurred and obscured the further away they are from the glass. For total privacy, you can treat both sides of the glass.
Misconception 3. Glass Is Too Slippery To Walk On
Whilst it is true that untreated glass can be incredibly slippery and dangerous to walk on, at Glass & Stainless, we ensure that all our glass floors are covered with a non-slip coating. It creates a rougher surface on the glass, providing much traction and resistance underfoot. This slip-resistant cover means that our glass floors are suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. The coating is available in a wide variety of patterns, including diamonds, dots and checkered. Alternatively, you could choose to have your glass sandblasted to create a similar rough surface.
Misconception 4. Glass Can’t Be Decorative
When it comes to glass floors, think outside the box. The possibilities are endless. Don’t feel as though you’re restricted to the standard clear glass in a rectangle shape. Glass can be cut into a myriad of different shapes, perfect for filling awkward spaces. Why not bring the outdoors inside by designing a curving glass floor, tinted blue, that could wind across your floor like a river? Or install multiple smaller circles to replicate the look of a porthole?
Choose satin glass and you have the ability to engrave intricate designs into the glass, maybe a geometric pattern or even words? When colour is applied to satin glass it produces a lovely and subtle pastel effect.
If you’ve been reassured by our responses to these 4 misconceptions about glass floors and would like to discuss the possibility of installing your own glass floor, get in touch today.