When you install a glass balustrade on stairs, walkways, mezzanine floors, balconies and balconettes, you have two main choices for fixing the glass panels in place. One is to fit the panels into a channel in the floor, creating so-called ‘frameless’ glass balustrades. The other is to mount the panels to upright newell or balustrade posts. To do this, you need special glass clamps to hold the sheets in place.
There are different benefits to the two mounting options. Overall, using posts and glass clamps tends to be easier than installing a frameless glass balustrade, which requires the channel to be fixed firmly and securely into the floor first.
On the other hand, some people prefer the fact that you get no posts blocking lines of sight with a frameless glass balustrade, although the posts themselves can be used as an attractive design feature.
Fixing glass clamps
If you choose to use balustrade posts, the first step to safe installation is to choose the right glass clamps. Different glass clamps are available for timber, stainless steel and marble/stone posts. For wooden posts, the glass clamps can usually be screwed straight into the timber. For metal and stone, the posts will need to be drilled first, and plugged accordingly.
To keep the glass secure, you want to distribute the weight of the panel evenly between the different posts. It is therefore important that you spread the location of the clamps evenly across the posts. It is recommended as a minimum to have one clamp close to the top and one close to the bottom of each post, and to measure the location so they are at the same height on each.
The purpose of a glass clamp is to hold the panels securely in place without the tricky business of having to drill the glass. To be able to do this, they have to have a really tight grip so the glass doesn’t slip. It is therefore essential that you choose the right size clamp to match the thickness of the glass you are using, so the fit is perfect.
Make sure you choose glass clamps that have a rubber gasket in the mouth. This is again for ensuring that the grip is tight enough. Firm rubber will stretch enough to let the glass prise between it, but then help lock the glass in place.
Glass clamps come with adjustable screws for tightening the mouth into place around the panel. It is important to make sure these are loose before you start fitting the panels – if you try to force the edge into a mouth that is too tight, you could break the glass.
Similarly, when you are tightening the clamps, don’t screw in one clamp as far as it will go first before moving to the others. This will bend the glass and risks cracking. Your want to keep the pressure from the clamps evenly distributed, so do a few turns of each screw right around the panel, and repeat until each is fully tight.
Glass and Stainless can provide glass clamps, balustrades, railings and more. Contact us today to learn more about how they could be utilised in your home.