What is a Glass Railing?
Table of Contents
- Section 1: Glass Railing Infill
- Section 2: Glass Railing Post Materials
- Section 3: Glass Railing System Handrails
- Section 4: Glass Railing Ideas and Design Trends
- Section 5: Glass Railing Applications
- Section 6: Glass Railing Types
- Section 7: Glass Railing Hardware and Accessories
- Section 8: Glass Railing Installation
- Section 9: Glass Railing Code and Regulations
- Section 10: Glass Railing Prefabrication
Schedule a FREE DESIGN CONSULTATION or continue reading to learn more about glass railing infill, glass railing post materials, glass railing system handrails, glass railing ideas and design trends, glass railing applications, glass railing types, glass railing hardware and accessories, glass railing installation, glass railing code and regulations, and glass railing prefabrication.
1. Glass Railing Infill is Extremely Versatile
Glass panel railing systems use glass panels as infill. Infill is the part of a railing system between vertical posts and below a horizontal handrail. The glass railing cost per foot varies based on the type of glass that you choose as infill.
Tempered Glass Panels
How-To Video: How to Etch and Sandblast Custom Designs on Tempered Glass Panels
Tempering is a process that makes the glass stronger by subjecting it to heat treatment in an industrial oven followed by high-pressure cooling. Tempered glass applications include vehicle windows, skyscraper windows, skylights, shower walls, patio furniture, microwave ovens, and more.
Tempered glass railing systems are a popular choice because they provide a completely transparent look that is difficult to replicate with other types of infill. These panels also serve as an excellent windbreak for outdoor applications like on a deck or a patio. Unfortunately, the cost of tempered glass railing systems is slightly higher than railing systems with traditional glass. However, structural glass railing systems significantly improve safety.
Tempered glass railing panels will be up to four times stronger than panels made of traditional glass. In the unlikely situation that tempered railing glass panels break, they will fracture into blunt pieces rather than sharp shards to prevent cuts. These factors improve safety and make tempered the perfect option when considering types of glass for railing systems.
A range of patterns can be etched or sandblasted on tempered glass panels to match your unique style and preferences. Since sandblasting makes the glass more likely to shatter, it is always better to seek expert professional help. Etching them involves tracing a stencil with your artwork adhesive masking material and applying etching cream. For sandblasting, you will need to trace a stencil with your artwork on adhesive masking material and then blast it with sand. Avoid breakage or a reduction in strength by performing cutting, etching, or sandblasting before tempering the glass. Cutting, etching, or sandblasting will be much more difficult afterward because tempered glass is highly resistant to abrasion. LEARN MORE
You can mix and match infill types like stainless steel cables with glass panels to create hybrid infill.
2. Some Glass Railing Post Materials Are Better Than Others
Glass railing post materials include plastic, wood, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Plastic and glass railing systems use lightweight and come in many colors. Some applications include water pipes, fences, window frames, and patio doors. It can be transparent, translucent, or opaque, just like glass. Plastic is unique because it does not require a finish. Unfortunately, plastic can melt when exposed to hot temperatures. It also becomes brittle enough to crack when exposed to cold temperatures. Additionally, plastic is impossible to fix when it becomes damaged. You might as well just buy brand-new plastic posts when that happens.
Wood and glass railing systems can be affordable and naturally beautiful. A wood and glass staircase railing can reduce stress, improve productivity, and promote positive emotions. Wood may be renewable, but exterior wooden posts and balusters can rot as a result of moisture. In that case, chemical preservative treatment and a waterproof finish would be necessary to prevent rot.
Aluminum glass railing systems will never catch on fire like wood, but they don't stand up to corrosion like stainless steel. Aluminum is also a very soft metal, which means that glass railing posts and handrails made from this material could acquire chips and dents over time.
Stainless steel glass railing systems are highly resistant to corrosion and provide the best long-term value. The stainless steel components for a glass and metal railing system will be easy to install and 100% recyclable. A Glacier stainless steel railing with glass panels has finishes that include brushed, mirror, and powder coat.
3. Glass Railing System Handrails Come in Different Styles
Handrail options for glass railing systems include flat handrails, round handrails, and wood handrails.
FAQ Video: How is a Curved Handrail Made?
Wall Mounted Handrail
Post Mounted Handrail
A flat handrail is minimalist and creates clean lines for modern interior designs.
A round stair railing uses a uniquely shaped handrail to produce strong lines for contemporary interior designs.
A glass railing with wood handrail components provides the flexibility to pair well with interior designs like rustic and farmhouse.
Glass railing systems need to be customized for height and direction changes to form a continuous handrail. A flat handrail transition is composed of several welded components, while a curved round handrail is bent into the desired shape.
This video demonstrates how to bend a handrail into the desired shape.
Wall mounted glass railing brackets mount a handrail on an interior wall when adding an entire glass railing system would take up too much space or be too close to surrounding walls.
On the other hand, a post mounted glass railing bracket works better for exterior spaces without any walls nearby. Post mounting also adds beauty and functionality to exterior glass railing systems.
4. These Glass Railing Ideas and Design Trends Are Popular
Some ideas for interior glass railing systems include curved glass panels and glass panel gates. Stainless steel glass railing designs include modern and contemporary.
Curved Glass Railing
Glass Railing Gate
Modern Glass Railing
Contemporary Glass Railing
Custom curved glass railing systems typically have curved glass, a curved metal handrail, and straight posts. For example, making a curved glass stair railing requires building a mold for the curved glass.
A glass railing gate should have a pair of stainless steel hinges to resist corrosion and a latch to prevent it from swinging around.
A modern glass railing interior or exterior design uses lots of stainless steel and glass.
A contemporary glass railing interior might create a focal point or a unique point of interest.
5. Glass Railing Applications Seem Practically Limitless
Glass can be used on stairs, balconies, decks, patios, porches, lofts, and roofs.
Glass Stair Railing
Glass Balcony Railing
Glass Deck Railing
Glass Patio Railing
Glass Porch Railing
Glass Loft Railing
Glass Roof Railing
A modern glass stair railing is a perfect addition to an interior. Notice how the stairs railing glass is gorgeous. The glass stair railing cost per linear foot will seem low when you recognize what you get in return.
This glass railing balcony has wicker chairs overlooking a backyard, and a placid lake. Glass balcony railing systems often use transparent rather than translucent or opaque panels to minimize obstruction. A balcony glass railing will allow you to observe spectacular scenery from a higher vantage point. Additionally, the glass balcony railing cost is relatively reasonable when compared to other types of infill.
A glass deck railing system acts as a window for observing another extension of your home.
Transparent glass patio railing systems are impressive and let you always keep an eye on your guests. On the other hand, a screen made with opaque glass panels has the opposite effect and allows for more privacy.
A glass porch railing is the first thing that people will see when they walk past your home.
Indoor glass railing systems for lofts offer a glimpse at the rest of your home.
If you aren't afraid of heights, then you might want to consider outdoor glass railing systems for a roof to provide breathtaking panoramic views.
6. Glass Railing Types Have Unique Benefits
Types of glass railing systems include commercial and residential.
Commercial Glass Railing
Residential Glass Railing
An architectural glass railing for a balcony on a commercial project probably uses stainless steel components with tempered glass panels to meet the highest standard of quality. A tempered glass stair railing would be especially important for commercial buildings. It is essential because tempered stair railing glass will prevent personal injury lawsuits.
However, you also shouldn't neglect tempered glass panels for deck railing systems in your backyard. Residential glass railing systems will keep you and your loved ones safe by reducing the risk of injury.
7. Choosing Glass Railing Hardware and Accessories Can Be Fun
Examples of glass railing hardware and accessories include glass clamps and base plate covers.
Base Plate Cover
Glass railing clamps are made of 316 stainless steel. The width of the clamp determines glass railing thickness. This width can be adjusted with rubber inserts to hold glass panels with thicknesses of 1/4-in, 5/16-in, or 3/8-in. You can mount these glass railing components on stainless steel posts by using screws.
8. Learning How to Perform a Glass Railing Installation is Quick and Easy
Before performing a DIY glass railing installation, you should understand the techniques for inserting a glass panel and mounting the posts.
How-To Video: How to Install Glass Railing Systems
Top Mounting Method
Side Mounting Method
A top mount glass railing is placed on top of a flat surface like the floor of a loft.
A fascia mount glass railing would be attached to the side of a deck.
9. Following Glass Railing Code and Regulations is Necessary for Compliance
Glass railing safety considerations include the IBC, the IRC, and the ADA. A glass guard rail manufactured by AGS Stainless will be available in 36-inch or 42-inch heights to meet these standards.
International Building Code (IBC)
International Residential Code (IRC)
American Disabilities Act (ADA)
The International Code Council (ICC) developed the IBC to ensure that commercial glass railing projects would adhere to public health and safety standards.
The International Code Council (ICC) developed the IRC to ensure that residential glass railing projects would adhere to public health and safety standards.
The United States Congress enacted the ADA in 1990 to ensure that walking surfaces, ramps, and stairs would be accessible to people with disabilities. As a result, a glass railing or handrail had to be more than 34 inches tall.
10. Glass Railing Prefabrication Improves Quality and Cuts Costs
Prefabrication is a vital factor to consider when comparing glass railing manufacturers. AGS Stainless is a glass railing manufacturer that performs fabrication entirely off-site. The components for exterior or interior glass railing kits and systems will be shipped directly to you for on-site assembly with a few simple tools.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Fiber Laser Cutting
A fiber laser cutting machine uses lasers for precisely cutting stainless steel components to an accuracy level of 4/1000ths of an inch in a fraction of the time that the process would take with a computer-numerical control (CNC) machine.
CAD is design software that ensures absolute precision down to the last glass railing detail. A CAD drawing with custom glass railing details to meet your specifications only takes a few short weeks. The cost of glass railing system designs is often included in the total price of the railing system.
After that, the stainless steel components are numbered, and some of them are welded together. Metal inert gas (MIG) welding completed by robots still can't match the level of quality for tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding performed by artisan craftsmen.
A prefabricated glass railing kit or system dramatically reduces the amount of labor required for an installation. Glass railing prices for prefabricated solutions will be slightly higher upfront. However, after accounting for labor, the total glass railing price will be much lower.
Why Buy a Glass Railing from AGS Stainless?
After you submit a simple drawing with basic measurements and any relevant photos, a dedicated design consultant will work with you or your contractor to discuss options, expectations, applications, budget, time frame, constraints, compliance, and maintenance. Design decisions determined at this point include measurements, handrail, infill, finish, mount, and any stair specifics. Then your design consultant develops a detailed cost estimate for your consideration at no cost to you.
Once you have approved the cost estimate for your railing system, a specially trained designer establishes a working relationship with you or your contractor to go over every detail. After that, your designer creates exact computer-aided design (CAD) drawings to ensure that you receive your desired look with a perfect on-site fit.
After you've approved your final CAD drawing, the fabrication process can begin. Meticulous planning allows the components to be fabricated off-site, which improves quality and simplifies the installation process. The fabrication team at the AGS factory brings expertise built on years of experience to perform fiber laser cutting, tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, and finishing for the components before they are carefully packaged and shipped directly to you.
Schedule a FREE DESIGN CONSULTATION to get started.