Glass handrail systems have become an increasingly popular design choice for both residential and commercial properties. These sleek and modern railings offer a stunning, contemporary architectural focal point while also providing safety and durability.
However, since glass is thought to be a fragile material, many people still have questions about these glass handrails before considering them for their own projects. Here are answers to five of the most frequently asked questions we hear about glass handrail systems.
1. Is a Glass Handrail System Expensive?
One of the most common concerns about glass handrail systems is their cost. While it is true that glass handrails tend to be more expensive than traditional metal or wood railings, they are still a worthwhile investment thanks to their numerous visual and practical benefits.
While the initial cost of a glass handrail system may be higher than other options, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits. For example, glass handrails are extremely low maintenance and do not require frequent repairs or replacements like other materials. They can also increase the value of your property by giving it a modern and luxurious look, securing you a return on investment.
It’s also possible to have a glass handrail system installed at a variety of different price points. The final cost of your glass railing will depend on factors such as the type of glass used, the size of the railing, and the complexity of the project. By compromising in some of the areas, you can find a suitable glass handrail system within almost any budget.
2. Are Glass Handrails Strong?
Another important question people have about glass railings is whether they’re strong and durable. Most people perceive glass as a fragile material, and the thought of it being used as a safety structure may seem counterintuitive.
However, the glass used in a glass handrail system is tempered, making it incredibly strong and durable. During the tempering process, safety glass is heated to a high temperature and then rapidly cooled, which creates a strong final material that is highly resistant to breakage and thermal stress.
You can also rest assured that your glass handrail system is strong because glass handrails are required to meet certain building codes and standards to ensure they’re sufficiently strong and safe. When properly installed and maintained, a glass handrail system can withstand heavy windows, pressure, and impact, making them a strong and reliable option for any residential or commercial property.
3. How Safe Is a Glass Handrail System?
Another common concern among homeowners is how safe glass handrail systems are. For the same reason as above — the perceived fragility of glass — many people assume glass handrail systems aren’t safe for commercial properties or homes with kids
However, glass handrail systems are extremely safe. Safety is always a top priority when installing any type of railing system, and this is no different for glass handrails. The tempered glass used in a glass handrail system is designed to be strong and shatter-resistant. Most glass handrail systems are also installed with metal railing posts or frames that provide additional support and stability.
These posts or frames are typically made from aluminum or stainless steel, which are both durable and rust-resistant materials. In combination with properly installed and maintained glass panels, your glass handrail system will offer visibility while also providing a secure barrier that meets industry safety standards.
4. Which Glass Is Best for Handrails?
When it comes to choosing the right glass for your glass handrail system, there are a few different options to consider. The most commonly used type of glass for railings is tempered glass. This glass is heat-treated to increase its strength and durability, making it a popular choice for safety and reliability.
Another option is laminated glass, which is made up of multiple layers of glass that are bonded together with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) in between. This PVB layer provides extra strength and reinforcement, making laminated glass a great choice for high-traffic areas, hurricane-prone areas, or locations with stricter building codes.
5. What Do You Need to Consider When Installing a Glass Handrail System?
There are several crucial factors to consider before installing your glass handrails:
- Safety: Your glass handrail system must be tempered and thick enough to support sufficient weight. It will need to meet all building codes and local safety regulations.
- Design: Glass railings come in a range of design options, so make sure to choose one that complements your property’s architecture and style.
- Maintenance: Glass handrails are typically lower-maintenance than other railing types, but keep required care in mind when making all of your design and fabrication decisions.
- Cost: Since glass handrail systems can be more expensive than alternative options, keep your budget in mind during the process and don’t break the bank.
- Weather: Your glass handrail system should be able to withstand your region’s most extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, hurricanes, or snowstorms.
- Installation: Proper installation is crucial to ensure a glass handrail system that is 100 percent safe and secure. Take careful consideration when choosing a glass railing installation expert for your project.
Sleek, modern, and easy to maintain, a high-quality glass handrail system can offer great architectural enhancements to your home while improving its functionality. If you want to elevate your home with subtle sophistication, investing in glass handrail installations from Golden Glass is the perfect final touch. Headquartered in Fullerton, Golden Glass is a family-run operation that will give you the personal attention of a small business with the world-class fabrication quality of a national corporation. Give us a call at 800-64-GLASS or fill out our online contact form today to find out more about our glass handrail systems or to receive a free quote for your next project.