Glass is glass right? Wrong! There is a variety of types of glass flooring out there for you to choose from, and each is going to give you a slightly different look. From the opacity of the glass to its shape and colour, the options are numerous. To help you make some important decisions, we’ve pulled together a list of elements to consider.
Types of glass flooring
When it comes to structural glass flooring, your two main choices are toughened and laminated glass. Toughened glass is roughly five times stronger than standard glass, thanks to the unique process by which it is made. During its creation, it is heated to 650°C and then swiftly cooled. Toughened glass is incredibly hard to smash but should it do so, the glass crumbles rather than shatter into shards.
Laminated glass, meanwhile, contains a thin layer of plastic. Should the glass shatter, the shards stick to this resin layer and prevent them from flying through the air. The shards themselves are smaller and rounded than standard annealed glass. Adding plastic to the centre of the glass necessarily makes it thicker, resulting in a great insulator.
Depending on your preferences, you might want to choose a low iron glass for you structural glass floor. Most types of glass flooring have a slight blue-green tint to them due to the presence of iron within the glass. Iron is necessary to the creation of glass but the levels can be lowered to give a clearer glass without the tint.
Whichever glass you choose, ensure that it has been subject to architectural testing. Any supplier, such as Glass and Stainless, should be able to confirm this.
Shapes of glass flooring
Glass is an incredibly versatile material which can be cut bespoke to your needs, whether that is a traditional square or rectangle or something a bit different, like a circle or triangle. With more unusual shapes you will need to consider the distribution of the glass’s weight and how it will be supported. We are more than willing to provide you with advice on this subject.
If you wish to create a grid-like effect with multiple smaller glass panels, we would recommend that you choose glass pavers. If you want a sleeker look with large sheets of glass, possibly even just one, you will need bespoke cast glass. Ensure that any panes aren’t so large that they become unwieldy and difficult to install.
Opacity of glass flooring
Having a glass floor doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice your privacy, in either the upper or lower space. You can choose whether you have a transparent or opaque glass. With an opaque glass, light can still pass between the spaces but people won’t be able to make out distinctive shapes. Sandblasting and acid etching are both options for creating the distinctive frosted effect.
Safety of glass flooring
The smooth surface of glass can be a concern for the more clumsy among us! Thankfully, anti-slip technology exists to make structural glass floors more practical. A common approach is to acid etch a subtle design into the top of the glass. We would certainly recommend that you apply an anti-slip surface to any external glass flooring. Inside the house or commercial space, we would suggest that you use it in areas with high traffic, such as corridors. Kitchens are another area to consider given the number of spillages.
Glass and Stainless can advise you on different types of glass flooring for your situation. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.