An increasingly common sight on the likes of Grand Designs, structural glass floor panels are an innovative way of utilising glass for multiple purposes simultaneously. Like standard glass, these panels allow light to flow freely from one space to another whilst also allowing you to continue standing on the separating surface. They are ideal for any subterranean rooms or other spaces without windows.
Obviously, the biggest advantage of having a structural glass floor is that you can walk all over it, and sometimes even drive! This means that it can be used to form a bridge, an accessible roof light, a balcony or even just a quirky design feature.
How To Support A Structural Glass Floor
For large spaces, the glass panels can be supported by either glass or steel beams. Similar to a structural glass floor, a glass beam is created by layering and laminating sheets of toughened glass, producing a robust yet transparent beam capable of supporting other glass. Naturally, the thickness of the beam varies in accordance with the weight it is expected to bear. For sensitive surroundings such as listed buildings, glass beams are ideal as their transparency makes them less intrusive.
For both a glass floor and beam, we would recommend choosing a product made from low iron glass. To produce these features thick layers of glass are required and with standard glass this results in a distinctive green tint. With low iron content glass, however, you do not get this effect and the glass remains clear.
Using A Structural Glass Floor Outside
Structural glass floors are great for the garden where they can act as skylights to rooms hidden below. If you do plan on installing some panels outside, we would recommend that you choose an anti-slip surface option. These take numerous forms. For example, you can sandblast either the entire panel or a selected area, forming a semi-opaque surface that will still allow light to pass through. Alternatively, you can get dots etched onto the surface, giving a more transparent finish. For an added safety feature, why not install some LED lighting along the edges?
To truly help your new glass flooring stand out, you can always add a bold pop of colour. By simply adding a coloured pigment to one of the glass interlays, we can easily create the impression of coloured glass. Another brilliant interior design trick is to place a glass floor over a secret compartment, rather than an entire room. You could fill the exposed space with sand or wine bottles or anything else that strikes your fancy. Let your imagination run wild!
Here at Glass and Stainless UK, we offer a range of bespoke structural glass floors. Get in touch to learn how they could help to open up your home.