Choosing The Ideal Glass Canopy For Your Front Door

Glass canopies are brilliant for giving visitors an excellent first impression of your building, whether it be a commercial premises or your own lovely home. They’ll be particularly thankful when the weather is awful and they want to shelter from the rain or hail. Meanwhile, you aren’t left rushing to answer the door as quickly as possible and can take your time instead. As well as providing shelter, a glass canopy can also be a stunning architectural feature. It’s just case of finding the right design. Here are some of our best tips for choosing the ideal glass canopy for your front door.

Why choose a glass canopy for your front door?

When it comes to an entranceway canopy, we would almost always recommend using glass. This durable yet incredibly elegant material suits a wide variety of architectural styles. Unlike a solid metal, brick or timber canopy, an abundance of light is still able to reach the covered space. This stops the entrance from feeling or looking enclosed, which can be quite off-putting to visitors. You could use plastic instead of glass but the overall effect tends to be diminished.

Glass is an easy material to clean and maintain. You simply need to use a cleaning solution and cloth. Your regular window cleaner may even be able to do it as part of their round.

Our glass canopies are made from toughened glass, also known as safety glass. In the unlikely event that the glass smashes, any resulting shards will be small and have rounded edges. This will vastly reduce the chance of injury.

What type of glass?

When it comes to choosing the glass canopy for your front door, your options are near endless. We can cut glass bespoke to your design and requirements. Coloured glass can be used to brilliant effect in a glass canopy as the passing light throws gorgeous colour onto your entrance.

If blocking out a hot summer sun is your primary concern, we would recommend choosing a frosted glass. Light is still able to pass through but the shaded area remains cooler. This is particularly useful if your front door contains a glass panel and the hallway is prone to heating up.

What style of canopy?

Crucial to the success of your canopy will be its shape and pitch. We would always recommend that you choose a pitched canopy, even if the angle isn’t huge. A flat roof can be problematic as there is simply nowhere for any water or detritus to drain. Pools of muddy water and piles of leaves begin to build-up and need to be removed by hand.

A curved, convex glass provides excellent drainage and also directs the glass to the left and right of the doorway. If you choose a glass canopy that slopes downwards away from the building, you run the risk of directing water into the path of anyone approaching the front door. Furthermore, if you have a wooden door it is worth considering whether any water is likely to gather close to the door and pose a risk of rot.

Choosing the right frame for your glass is the key to nailing a specific aesthetic. Stainless steel will give your entrance a sharp-edged and contemporary look whereas timber will suggest a more rustic vibe. Often, people like to match their canopy structure with the material and colour used in their front door or window. At Glass and Stainless we can create bespoke canopy structures that perfectly match the architectural style of your building. For example, we could add lots of curved metal flourishes in order to complement an art deco building.

Glass and Stainless can help you create the ideal glass canopy for your front door. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

Uses Of Internal Sliding Partition Doors

What are the uses of internal sliding partition doors?

Internal sliding partition doors are having something of a renaissance. With many people having embraced open plan living and started knocking down internal walls left, right and centre, there is now an emerging desire to claw back some of that separation. This is known as ‘zoning’ and it is one of the most common uses of internal sliding partition doors.

Even in large open spaces, we use certain areas for very specific tasks, such as eating, working or simply relaxing and unwinding. Defining these areas without making them feel enclosed and cut off can be a difficult task. We believe that glass is often the answer. When used in internal sliding partition doors, it allows light to flow freely through the entire open plan room whilst giving you the ability to temporarily split it up. As well as maintaining excellent light levels, an additional benefit of sliding glass doors is the added insulation. If you’re particularly financially or environmentally aware, you may appreciate the ability to only heat one specific area of an otherwise large open space.

One of our favourite uses of internal sliding partition doors is to create a peaceful work environment at home. It’s not uncommon for parents to want to get some work done whilst simultaneously keeping an eye on their children. With glass partition doors, you have the security of being able to watch their antics in a quieter space.

Another frequent use of internal sliding partition doors is to divide a kitchen and dining area. On a day to day basis they might not be used regularly, but they truly come into their own on special occasions. When you’re hosting a dinner party, you don’t particularly want people listening to you cooking and preparing the meal. With a simple slide of a door, the distracting sounds of the kitchen can be muffled. Choose a frosted glass and you’ll be able to hide all those dirty dishes that you’re putting off until the guests have gone home.

Frosted glass can also be used to great effect in an ensuite. En-suites often suffer from a lack of natural light as they don’t always have a window. By replacing a standard door and wall with a glass internal sliding partition door, light can flood in from the bedroom. Frosted glass will ensure that you retain your privacy. To tie it altogether, we recommend choosing a door handle that matches your bathroom fittings.

The biggest advantage sliding partition doors have over traditional framed glass doors is the amount of space they save. Sliding doors don’t swing out into the room so are left with more usable floor space. You can place furniture closer to the door without worrying that it is going to be damaged by an overzealous swing.

What type of glass should you use?

For safety reasons, we would also recommend that you use toughened glass for your internal sliding partition doors. Four time stronger than standard annealed glass, it can take the repeated stress and pressure of people opening and closing the door. In the highly unlikely situation that the glass smashes, the resulting shards of glass are small and rounded in nature. This makes them far less likely to cause injury.

If you’re worried about privacy, such as in a bathroom, intelligent or smart glass could be a option. With just the flick of a switch, the glass transforms from totally clear to a more opaque finish.  

Glass and Stainless can cut bespoke glass internal sliding partition doors and apply a range of finishes. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

 

Satin Glass Panels: Beautiful Yet Private

Satin glass panels (or acid-etched glass) are an elegant and sleek form of privacy glass that can be made bespoke for your needs. It is an excellent choice for bathrooms, shelving and other areas where you value your privacy. You could use it in large panels to split up a room or in smaller pieces to front cupboards. The options are endless. Aside from its architectural uses, satin glass is also frequently used in decorative art.

Satin glass is produced by applying hydrofluoric acid or hydrofluoric acid fumes to float glass. The strength of the acid means that it is able to cut through the uppermost layers of the glass to give a satin-like look and feel, and remove the shine.

Satin glass panels still allow light to pass through, so there is no compromising on light levels. This means that satin glass panels are often a superior choice to standard walls or timber partitions. One pleasing side effect of the satin finish is that it softens and diffuses light.

From a practical perspective, satin glass panels work well because their smooth finish is easy to wipe down. In addition, the more opaque finish is perfect for hiding grubby fingerprints and hand marks.

If you really want to obscure an object, simply place it further away from the glass. The greater the distance between glass and object, the fuzzier the view through the glass. Wherever you put something though, you won’t be able to see any details.

Adding Beautiful Designs To Satin Glass Panels

Even though satin glass panels are already partially opaque it is possible to add incredibly intricate designs through etching. Glass etching is achieved by sandblasting the glass with fine abrasive material at a high pressure. With standard glass, the design would take shape by masking the desired area so that it remained clear.

Satin glass panels require a slightly different approach as you still want to retain your privacy. Only the reverse side of the satin glass is sandblasted, in the shape of the design, and this produces a different level of opacity. When viewed from the side of the glass with the satin finish, the design appears softer and more subtle. From the etched side it is clearer and crisper. Your privacy will remain intact however, as the no part of the glass is left clear.

At Glass and Stainless we can etch satin glass panels with any design of your choosing. You could even add a colour tint for added interest and definition. Blue is a particularly popular colour choice.

Installing Satin Glass Panels

If you wish to install satin glass panels as your shower or bath screen, it is best practice to face the acid-treated outwards, away from the water. The team at Glass and Stainless are more than willing to talk you through the installation of any satin glass or simply do it for you.

Glass and Stainless can design and create bespoke satin glass panels in line with your specification. Contact us today to discuss your specification.

 

Get Summer Ready With Glass Railing For Your Deck

Whilst it may not feel like it right now, spring is well and truly here. In between downpours and unexpected snow showers, now is the perfect time to get your garden ready for summer. Work hard now and you’ll reap the benefits in the sun. For a clean and contemporary look, why not invest in glass railing for your deck?

Nothing says summer like outdoor living. On a hot sunny day, it can be deeply satisfying to open a set of sliding glass doors and step out onto a deck. A deck is an incredibly versatile space. It can simply be somewhere for you to sip a lovely cold drink whilst watching a beautiful sunset, or can be transformed into a modern entertainment space, perfect for barbeques and parties. If you’re a regular party animal, you could even install a bar or cooking area.

Choosing A Glass Railing For Your Deck

To elevate the look and feel of your deck, we recommend that you invest in a glass railing for your deck. Both functional and aesthetically pleasing, a glass railing will help to open up your garden whilst improving safety. Glass railings are easy to clean and require little maintenance.

The obvious advantage of frameless glass balustrades is the unobstructed view they provide. If you are fortunate enough to have a wonderful garden view, you should make the most of it. A traditional wooden or stone balustrade might look impressive, but it rather defeats the point of having a view.

However, if you’d rather that your decking area remains secluded, we can produce an opaquer glass. Frosted glass is perfect for anyone searching for a little privacy whilst retaining a sleek and ultramodern feel.

Glass panels are simply held in place by glass connectors, so there is no need for any supporting metal, wood or plastic posts which can impede your view. Laminated glass is exceedingly strong, resilient and shatterproof, so works well as a safety barrier. For extra security, we would recommend that you add a handrail. This can be made from a variety of materials but our favourite option is stainless steel.

Making Your Glass Railing Stand Out

For added interest, you could add additional decoration to the glass railing for your deck. One subtle embellishment is a colour tint. If you’re keen to create a cohesive look outside and in your home, you could choose a colour that matches the interior décor or the garden furniture. Another decorative option is etching. We can etch any design of your choosing into the glass panels, from flowing florals to precise geometric shapes.

At Glass and Stainless, we can provide you with bespoke glass that is cut to your exact requirements. If you wish to install a glass railing for your deck yourself, we are more than willing to provide you with the necessary guidance. Alternatively, we can install the balustrade for you.

Glass and Stainless have the knowledge and expertise to create the perfect glass railing for your deck. Contact us today to discuss your specification.

 

Can glass table tops be painted?

Can glass table tops be painted? In short, yes. You just need to get the preparation right. This means thoroughly cleaning the glass, priming the surface and using high quality products. Painting a glass table top may seem like a bold move but the payoff can be brilliant. In the perfect example of upcycling, a tired and dated table can be completely revitalised and made to look chic or modern.

When painting a glass table top, you can paint either the underside or top surface depending on the finish that you would like to achieve. Painting a light layer underneath the glass is the subtler option as the glass above lessens the effect. However, you’ll need to choose a shade that complements any tint already present in your glass table top. Such tints tend to be blue-green in colour.

Preparing The Surface

Before you get stuck in with the paint and let your imagination run wild, you’ll need to prepare the glass table top. If possible, remove the glass from the rest of the table and place it on a surface where it’s unlikely to be scratched. It’ll be far easier to paint once separated and you won’t need to worry about damaging the wood, metal or plastic. If the glass cannot be removed, cover any at-risk sections of the table top in masking tape.

Oil and impurities can prevent paint from adhering to the glass so it’s important that they’re removed to the best of your ability. We recommend that you use your normal glass cleaner, whether that’s a shop-bought product or homemade solution. It just needs to remove any lingering dirt, grease or stubborn fingerprints. Make sure you don’t use any abrasive sponges or clothes as they may damage the glass.

The non-porous nature of glass means that many paints will struggle to adhere to the smooth surface. To help the situation, we recommend that you apply a bonding paint primer. If you’re painting the top of the glass table top, you could also very lightly scuff the glass with a coarse grit sandpaper.

Choosing Your Paint

For quickly painting a large surface area, spray paints tend to be the go-to option. As well as being easy to use, they don’t leave behind any obvious brush marks. Just make sure that you are even in your application or you’ll end up with some unsightly blotches. The recommended distance to hold the can is normally around 30cm away from the glass but you should always follow the instructions provided.

To create something truly special, why not try a mirror spray paint? Applied in several layers to the reverse of the glass table top, this remarkable paint can transform it into a beautiful mirrored surface. You just need to be extra careful about cleaning the glass as the spray will lock in any dirty fingerprints or smudges forever and spoil the effect.

Sealing Your Painted Glass Table Top

Stop your paint peeling off in future years by applying a thin layer of polyurethane varnish on top of the dried painted glass table top.  This particularly varnish is known for its durability, making it ideal for a frequently used glass table top. In addition, it is water-fungus, mildew and heat resistant and available in several finishes.

At Glass and Stainless, we can elevate your glass table top further by etching a bespoke design into the surface. This would look wonderful with a complementary shade painted on the underside of the glass. Get in touch today to discuss your design and specifications.

Frameless Glass Doors For Shops

As high streets modernise, frameless glass doors for shops are proving incredibly popular. Unlike traditional shop fronts, these doors don’t use aluminium door stiles or railing as framing. Instead, glass connects to glass. This creates a more open and welcoming entrance in which window shoppers are given a wonderful view of your products or service. Think of them as floor-to-ceiling shop windows that can open.

Advantages of Using Frameless Glass Doors For Shops

Frameless glass doors allow an abundance of light into the building, reducing the need for harsh unflattering lights and lowering your electricity costs. They’re relatively easy to maintain as the glass just needs a regular wipe down with a standard window cleaning solution and sponge. If you employ a window cleaner they should be able to clean the doors as part of their service.

Despite looking sleek and elegant, frameless glass doors for shops are remarkably robust thanks to their use of safety glass. Put simply, safety glass is glass that has been toughened or laminated to prevent dangerous splinters flying off when smashed. When it does break, which is difficult to do, the glass fractures along a web-like series of stress lines. Any pieces that come away are quite small and have rounded edges, limiting the damage potential. You’ll have seen it used in bus stops, phone boxes, car windows and fridge shelves.

The Practical Details

Instead of an all-encompassing surrounding frame, the panels of glass are held in place with aluminium or steel components known as patch fittings. These can typically be found in the corners of the frameless glass doors, connecting the doors to any side panels.

Security is obviously a major concern for any commercial premises so sophisticated locks are highly important. Frameless glass doors for shops might look incredibly slim and elegant but there is always room for a locking mechanism. These are generally located within the patch fittings and join with the ceiling or floor. As well as traditional locks, electronic locking systems are also available, including sensors.

When it comes to handles, your options are near limitless. Aesthetically, we find that stainless steel handles tend to work best with the glass and they are easy to maintain. Both double-sided and single-sided fixings are available. From a practical perspective, small door knobs are probably best avoided as they don’t satisfy current UK disability guidelines for businesses. Anyone struggling with arthritis or a weak grip can find them difficult to use.  Lever or push/pull handles are generally preferred and the optimum height placement is 1000mm above finished floor level. In addition, it is recommended that you choose a handle finish that contrasts against the glass, such as stainless steel, to aid those with visual impairments.

Frameless glass doors for shops are available in both free swinging and self-closing varieties. With the latter, the door is able to hold itself open at a 180 degree angle without us of a latch, a highly useful feature on commercial premises. On a self-closing door you can typically adjust the tension by altering the spring-loaded hinges.

Remember, glass doesn’t necessarily mean plain! If you want to get creativity, why not request a design to be etched into the glass or add a touch of frosting or bold pop of colour. Your frameless glass door can be as unique as you and your business. With bespoke glass, you can customise to your heart’s content.

Glass and Stainless can design and cut frameless glass doors for shops, whatever your unique requirements. Contact us today to see how we can transform your shop front.

Do Juliet Balconies Require Planning Permission?

Named for Shakespeare’s most famous leading lady, Juliet balconies are incredibly stylish and elegant features. Suitable for a variety of homes, a Juliet balcony is essentially a balustrade fitted to the exterior of a large window or French doors. They are available in a wide array of styles and aesthetics, ranging from highly decorative Victorian metal to frameless glass. Traditionally found in Mediterranean countries, Juliet balconies can increasingly be found on UK homes. This rise is in large part due to their easy installation, relatively low cost and modest impact on the building’s appearance.

Do Juliet balconies require planning permission?

Typically, the answer is no and they can be installed under permitted development rights. However, there are always exceptions.

The main difference between Juliet balconies and other designs is the lack of extending platform for anyone to stand on or place items on. Some models are marketed as being Juliet balconies but do have a very narrow floor space. As this can legally be considered a raised platform, you are more likely to require planning permission.

You are also likely to require planning permission if the property is listed, located in a conservation area or part of a block of flats. In addition, if you are only a leaseholder of the property, you will need to secure the consent of the owner. It’s always worth double checking whether there is anything within the property deeds that prevents any type of alteration being made to the exterior.

In conjunction with installing their Juliet balcony, a lot of people will also plumb for a window replacement or inward-opening French doors. Whilst these changes don’t give you any additional floor space, they do allow for a greater amount of light and fresh air to flood into the room. As part of that work, the window area may need enlarging, which can sometimes require planning permission.

To mitigate against any potential objections, we would recommend that you position the balcony to the rear of the property where it can be seen by fewer people. Remember that you may be required to make such modifications as part of the planning permission process.

Even if your Juliet balcony can be installed under permitted development rights, it is still worthwhile notifying any close neighbours of the work. This will help mitigate against any negative feedback and gives you the opportunity to assuage their worries, particularly any privacy.

If you’re at all unsure as to whether your Juliet balcony plan is covered by permitted development rights, we recommend that you seek advice from your local planning authority.

Juliet balcony regulations

Unsurprisingly given their purpose and location, balconies are a keenly regulated architectural feature. All Glass and Stainless Juliet balconies comply with current UK building regulations but we would always encourage you to double check, whoever you’re buying from. The main regulation to be aware of concerns the required railing height. It must be at least 1100mm high from standing floor level with no gaps wider than 100mm (Part K of the Building Regulations Act 2000).

At Glass and Stainless, we offer easy to install, no maintenance Juliet balconies that can be made bespoke to your needs or bought ‘off-the-shelf’. Get in touch today to discuss your requirements and style options.

What is architectural glazing?

We’ve come a long way since those early days of small and practically opaque crown glass windows. Nowadays, glass is everywhere, in all manner of shapes and sizes. Advances in technology and manufacturing have led to the production of a far sturdier and more robust glass, commonly known as architectural glazing. Available in a variety of finishes, these large panes of glass have become an intrinsic part of modern architecture.

Architectural glass panes tend to be a considerable size and are frequently introduced as much for their aesthetic qualities as any practical purpose. A giant wall of glass certainly helps make a statement. Architectural glazing is frequently installed within a curtain wall where it doesn’t have a load-bearing role and is effectively a form of sophisticated cladding. This means that it can be used in large quantities on commercial buildings, such as wrapping around a skyscraper.

On residential properties, architectural glass is generally in used in smaller quantities in specific well-thought areas. For example, extensions to the rear of a property will often feature wall to wall glass. Generally, there is greater privacy at the rear of the property with views out across the garden, which can be easily accessed through sliding glass doors.

What is architectural glazing? The Materials and Finish

The framework in which the architectural glazing sits can be constructed from a wide range of materials, including aluminium, timber and uPVC. These frameworks can be built to accommodate the various thicknesses of glass available. In a commercial building insulating glass tends to be approximately 1 inch thick. Residential buildings generally use a thinner glass whilst buildings which require sound or temperature control can use a thicker one. Panels are pre-fabricated in a factory and so are fairly easy to install on site. The standard shape used is a rectangle but given the versatility of glass, you can specify any bespoke design.

Architectural glazing can be further divided into a whole range of glass types, each offering their own unique advantages. Using coloured glass can truly set your property apart from anything else, especially if you choose bold and vibrant colours. It works particularly well on balconies, canopies and other areas where a perfectly clear view isn’t required. Laminated glass boasts superior safety features, making it ideal for any space where human contact is likely e.g. windows and balustrades. For perfect clarity, low-iron glass doesn’t have the blue-green tint that can be found in large sections of glass.

Glass and Stainless can provide you with any of the above types of glass for commercial, residential or industrial use. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

Choosing Glass Door Designs For Wardrobes

If your wardrobe is looking a bit old, tired and dated, you may want to consider fitting sparkling new glass doors. They’re perfect for adding a touch of elegance, class and splendour to your bedroom. With bespoke glass, you can choose from a wide range of styles and finishes, all of which can be precisely cut to size.

Your first decision will focus on the doors’ opening mechanism. Essentially, your options are sliding or outward opening. The former is a brilliant space-saver and works particularly well for larger fitted units. Alternatively, outward opening doors work well on traditional free-standing wardrobes.

A Practical Mirrored Glass

A mirrored glass door design for wardrobes has one quite obvious practical advantage — the wardrobe can double as a mirror. This means you don’t necessarily need one anywhere else in the room, saving you previous wall and surface space. Handily, a wardrobe fronted mirror is highly likely to be full length, always the best option when it comes to mirrors. No more squatting and jumping to assess your full outfit!

A less obvious advantage of using a mirrored glass door design for wardrobes is its innate reflective qualities. Large mirrors are brilliant for making smaller spaces appear larger than they are. With a bit of clever and well-thought out positioning, this effect can be further enhanced by maximising the amount of light that hits the glass during the day. This light is then reflected around the room, making it appear brighter and more welcoming.

Taking A Risk With Clear Glass

A rarer and more unusual glass door design for wardrobes involves clear glass. Completely translucent, this type of glass door is probably not suitable for the messy and disorganised. All your clothes will be on display for anyone to see and subsequently judge your organisation skills. If you do like to keep everything neat and tidy however, these could be the doors for you. The impact of seeing perfectly laid out and organised clothing through clear glass doors can be quite striking, especially paired with a solid black frame.

Adding That Finishing Touch

Plain glass can make a strong enough statement on its own, but there is nothing stopping you from adding an extra touch of pizzazz. Glass etching can look achingly beautiful in its delicacy. If you wish to maintain the practical advantages of having a mirrored wardrobe, why not choose a gorgeously intricate border design?

Wherever you place it, we can provide you with a completely bespoke design. Traditional, minimalistic, art deco, we can do it all. To create a truly cohesive look, we suggest that you find other decorative elements within your current décor which can then be complemented in the etching.

Glass and Stainless can create your perfect glass door design for wardrobes, whatever your stylistic preferences. Contact us today to learn more about how they could be utilised in your home.

 

How To Clean Glass Splashbacks

Boasting a stunning shine and eye-catching colour, glass splashbacks can be a stand-out feature in any kitchen. They’re brilliant at reflecting light around the room and help to give the impression of greater space. Both hygienic and aesthetically pleasing, they are a must-have for any modern, elegant home.

Having invested in a high-quality glass splashback, you’ll want to keep it looking impeccable for years to come. To do this will require time and a little bit of elbow grease. Failure to keep your glass sparkling clean will eventually result in it losing its distinctive sheen. Dull glass doesn’t make quite the same impact. Read below to learn how to clean glass splashbacks as thoroughly as possible.

To get the best possible results with the least amount of effort, ensure that your glass splashbacks are cleaned on a regular basis. Otherwise, the grime and grease will just begin to build up in a rather unattractive manner. The more dirt there is, the tougher the cleaning job and the less enthusiastic about it you’ll feel. Build the glass splashbacks into your regular kitchen cleaning schedule, preferably once a week. If you clean up a spill or splash as soon as it happens, you’ll make your life a lot easier in the long run.

How To Clean Glass Splashbacks: The Equipment

When cleaning your glass splashback, try and ensure that you use a glass specific cleaning product to achieve the best results. Check online reviews if you’re unsure about which one to try. There are however alternatives. White vinegar has long been lauded for its brilliance at cutting through greasy marks and wiping away sticky fingerprints. For easier application, simply move the vinegar into a spray bottle. For an even simpler method, just mix together some warm water and a mild dishwashing detergent.

Whichever solution you plump for, make sure that you use a soft cloth rather than anything with an abrasive surface. With any abrasive, you run the risk of scratching the glass and ruining the overall high sheen impact. Instead, just allow your chosen solution to sit for several minutes on any of the more stubborn stains. To help achieve a higher quality finish we recommend using two separate cloths. Use the first to clean the glass splashback with the solution and the second to dry, polish and remove any streaks. The latter should be lint-free.

Follow these tips on how to clean glass splashbacks and you’ll achieve that flawless finish!

Glass and Stainless can supply you with the highest quality glass splashbacks in a wide variety of colours, shapes or styles. Contact us today to learn more about how they could be utilised in your home.