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.

How To Install Cantilevered Glass Staircases

Cantilevered glass staircases, commonly known as floating staircases, are a bold statement of interior design. With an almost sculptural aesthetic, they quickly become a talking point and source of intrigue. Whilst commonly installed in contemporary settings with lots of flattering light, they can complement any style of interior design. Treads can be made from a variety of materials including wood and metal, but only glass can truly give you that sensation of floating in mid-air.

 

How To Install Cantilevered Glass Staircases

Sadly, floating staircases aren’t actually held up by magic. Each tread is affixed to the wall on only one side but the attachment is hidden. None of the treads are connected to each other, hence the illusion. There are several means of attachment for you to choose from but your decision will most likely depend on the state of the load-bearing wall. Cantilevered staircases are easiest to install during an extensive renovation or a brand new build as support can be built into the very fabric of the building. They can be retrofitted in most homes but we would recommend that you seek the professional opinion of a structural engineer.

In a new build situation, we would recommend that you construct the load-bearing wall with the staircase in mind. Prior to pouring concrete into the form structure, you should insert prefabricated anchor points as well as reinforced steel. Can use temporary inserts whilst you plaster or clad the wall and then affix the real treads when you’re on the last finishes.

Alternatively, you could use a stud partition wall and steel string.  The steel string is attached to a foot plate anchored to the floor as well as being affixed to the stud wall. Anchoring pockets can then be used to install the treads. This wall may be further reinforced by metal sheeting.

In order to meet UK building regulations you will need to ensure that all treads are placed the minimum distance apart. Toughened glass is more than equal to the job of supporting your weight, but if you want further reassurance you can add a balustrade or handrail system. Another popular add-on is foot level lighting, which could even be coloured for that wow factor.

Glass and Stainless can cut glass treads to your perfect size and provide complimentary balustrades. Contact us today to see how we can transform your staircase.

Benefits of a Fire-Rated Glazed Partition

Whatever the construction or alteration project you are undertaking, you are never completely free to build according to your fancy. Designs and plans have to take into account various regulations, and it is often a case of striking a balance between compliance and your original aesthetic vision for a glazed partition.

Fire regulations are amongst the most important, and stringent, in construction. Setting out first and foremost rules on building materials which place strict controls on the use of flammables, they also cover layout and enclosure to ensure buildings restrict rather than encourage the spread of fire.

This latter point poses a key challenge for interior designers and architects, especially those looking to create free-flowing open spaces in modern commercial premises. The requirement to partition and enclose as part of fire safety protocols can seem to scupper the open-plan approach.

There is, however, a compromise solution – fire-rated glazed partitions. Using fire-retardant glass to create walls and partitions can satisfy both the demands of fire regulations, and create a bright, modern space which retains a light, open feel.

Fire-protective vs fire-resistive

Fire-rated glazed partitions are available in two forms – fire protective and fire resistive. Both types involve having glass treated or reinforced in some way to make it resistant to heat and flame. Typical methods include reinforcing glass with wire, special forms of tempering or glass ceramic techniques.

The difference is in the extent of the protection offered. Fire-protective glazing is suitable for stopping the spread of flames and smoke, but will have ratings for the amount of time it is considered effective for and over what size area. These are reflected in restrictions placed on its use in the fire codes.

Fire-resistive glazed partitions are suitable for use when the regulations require ‘enclosed protection’. They stop the spread of heat as well as being flame resistant, and typically involve a multi-laminate structure where layers of reinforced glass are mixed with layers of non-conductive materials.

Flexible, easy installation of a glazed partition

Compared to other materials rated as suitable for the creation of fire walls and partitions, fire-rated glazing is quick to install and can be flexibly adapted to suit a wide range of designs.

As with all glass building products, glazed partitions can be bought in pre-cut panels for rapid, convenient installation. But then if you do have a particular feature in mind, or your space has an irregular shape, you can also get fire-rated glass cut to order to suit your needs.

This makes installing glazed partitions much easier than building walls out of fire-rated bricks, board or other materials. Once you have the design measurements and the pieces ordered, it is simply a case of piecing them together like a jigsaw.

Glazed partitions are also less intrusive on the footprint of your premises – they are much thinner than, say, brick, and so take up less space. That is coupled with the fact that, made out of glass, they maintain open lines of sight and allow the free flow of light around your space. Partitioned areas can retain the feel of being part of the wider floor space, while still meeting the requirements of building regulations.

Glass and Stainless have experience working with both fire protective and fire resistive glazed partitions. Contact us today to discuss your bespoke glass specification.

Flexible Partition Wall Systems

Partition wall systems are simply non-loadbearing walls which are built within a frame construction. Thanks to their flexibility, they are a nifty device for quickly separating a space. Commonly found in offices, hotels and other commercial spaces, they are fast increasing in popularity. Available in a whole range of styles, we would recommend that you first consider what function the wall needs to fulfil. For example, if it is privacy that you need, a transparent glass partition wall system probably isn’t going to be the best option.

Benefits of Partition Wall Systems

The most obvious advantage of using a partition wall system is the wonderful flexibility it can provide. Unlike a standard wall which takes enormous time and effort to move, a partition wall can be rearranged with ease. In a commercial setting such as an office, this flexibility can be invaluable. As teams grow or shrink, your office layout can change with you. From open plan to individual cubicles, the possibilities are endless.

The ease with which these walls can be moved ensures that disruption is kept to a minimum. Walls can be quickly re-configured without causing the massive drop in office productivity that you’d expect with a traditional building project.

For the budget conscious, partition wall systems are the perfect solution. With much lower associated labour and material costs, they are often the cheaper option and can generally be installed by anyone with DIY knowledge. Unlike a conventional wall, they don’t need multiple tradespeople to put up and as an added bonus, you may even be able to repurpose a wall!

Advancements in technology and use of materials mean that a partition wall system can blend right into the building’s existing fabric. Whether it’s glass, metal or traditional wall panelling, you’ll be able to find your ideal match. Furthermore, they need not be simple plain walls. Doors and windows can easily be slotted in, as can all manner of electrical cables.

At Glass and Stainless, we can provide gorgeous glass partition wall systems in a variety of styles and finishes. Get in touch today to discuss your specification.