Balconies can make a world of difference to your home. From creating additional space on an upper floor to providing outdoor access to an apartment, balconies are popular across a range of building types, including houses, holiday villas and commercial offices. As well a offering a practical way to add outdoor space, balconies also make a great feature for the exterior of a building. And that is one reason why glass balconies in particular are soaring in popularity, combining the best of contemporary aesthetics with a practical way to maximise light and space outdoors. If you want to learn more about this elegant architectural feature, read on for our beginner’s guide to glass balconies.
A Beginner’s Guide To Glass Balconies
What is a glass balcony?
A glass balcony is an elevated outdoor area enclosed by glass surrounds or balustrades. It is the choice of glass to enclose the balcony, rather than, say, metal railing, brick or wood, that gives a glass balcony its name.
Types of glass balcony
Glass makes a highly flexible panelling material that can be used for a wide range of purposes. It can be used just as effectively on small balconettes or Juliet balconies as it can on larger seating areas.
There are two main types of glass balcony, framed and frameless. Framed glass balustrades make use of supporting posts, often made out of stainless steel, which hold the glass panels in place. Frameless glass balustrades have no posts and instead support the glass panels using a grooved channel at floor level. With balconies, panels can also be attached to the outside of the balcony base. Top rails can be added to provide additional support and also to provide extra comfort if people want to hold onto it.
While standard glass panels are flat and straight and are therefore ideally suited to cuboid balcony designs, the availability of curved panels gives you the freedom to experiment with the finished shape.
Are glass balconies safe?
Glass balustrades provide as much support and protection on a balcony as any other material. Whether used in a framed or frameless design, the glass panels are load-bearing supports, i.e. they have to take the weight of anyone who leans or knocks into them. They therefore have to be built to stringent standards for safety and endurance. Laminated, heat-tempered glass is used because it is extremely strong and also shatter resistant. Mounts, including the use of base mounting shoes and clamps for frameless balustrades, are designed to add tensile strength to the whole structure.
Benefits of glass balconies
One of the main attractions of having a balcony is creating an extra space where you can sit outside and enjoy the weather when the sun is shining. One of the great benefits of glass balconies is they offer no impediment to the sunlight, it shines through freely onto the seating space at all times of day with no shadows. That also means that whatever view you get from your balcony, you can enjoy it in its full glory with completely open lines of sight.
Finally, glass balconies have the benefit of being simple and cost effective to install. While heavier materials like wood, stone and brick take some labour to get into position, glass panelling is relatively lightweight and the pre-fabricated clamping systems make fixing everything into position a swift, simple job.
Now you’ve read our beginner’s guide to glass balconies, get in touch with Glass & Stainless to discuss your needs and requirements.