If you’re thinking of taking the DIY approach and want to learn how to fit glass stair panels, this is a good place to start. Whether you’re using a clamp or channel system, we’ll guide you through the basics.
How To Fit Glass Stair Panels
The Importance Of Measuring Twice
At Glass & Stainless, all our glass stair panels are made from a form of safety glass called tempered glass. Why? Because it is four to five times stronger than standard glass, helping to give you peace of mind when using the stairs. It can withstand a great amount of pressure. In the incredibly unlikely event that the glass does smash, it will break into smaller and more rounded pieces that pose less of an injury threat to passers by.
However, in order to gain this remarkable strength, the glass panels must be heated to over 600 degrees and then rapidly cooled. The outer layers of glass cool at a faster rate than those closer to the centre and so a tension develops between the two, elevating the panel’s strength. Cutting into the glass following this process will break that tension and cause the glass panel to shatter. As a result, tempered glass stair panels cannot be cut down for size once created. Accurate measurements at the time of order are thus incredibly important.
To determine how many glass panels you require, we recommend measuring the length of the base rail of the stairs. You can then divide this measurement by the width of the glass panels you have chosen. With bespoke glass panels from Glass & Stainless, you can choose the width that you’d like, rather than be constrained by a prefabricated system.
Bear in mind the fact that under UK building regulations, there cannot be a gap greater than 99mm between each glass panel. You are also required to provide a balustrade for all but the last two steps in the staircase.
Fitting The Glass Stair Panels
How you go about fitting your glass stair panels will come down to the design you’ve chosen. Under one system, glass panels are clamped onto the base rail and handrail whereas in another, the panels slot into a pre-existing channel. The latter is used to create a stunning and contemporary frameless glass balustrade effect.
Glass clamps are commonly used in conjunction with stainless steel balustrade posts. If you buy the two as part of one system, the balustrades may come with holes pre-drilled for the clamps to be screwed into. If not, you will need to create the holes yourself, ensuring that they are all perfectly level. This is slightly more complex on a staircase installation than a standard balustrade because the angle must be taken into consideration. When deciding how to position your glass clamps, take into consideration the weight distribution of the glass. Use at least four clamps for each panel, at the bottom and at the top.
With the glass clamps in place, it is simply a case of sliding the glass stair panels into place. A layer of stretchy rubber on the inside of the clamp helps to prevent any damage to the glass and creates a secure seal around the panel, holding it firmly in place.
Do you have more questions about how to fit glass stair panels or would like to speak to one of our experts about installation? Get in touch with Glass & Stainless today.