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5 ways to use glass balustrades indoors and outdoors

As one of the most versatile materials to use in property design, toughened glass can elevate the interiors and exteriors of all kinds of buildings.

Glass balustrades are one of the most popular solutions for securing areas that require safety barriers to protect people from falls, without ruining views or aesthetics.

These systems can be installed in various ways, whether framed with posts and handrails to support the glass panels or frameless with ‘invisible’ fittings for a minimalist appearance.

From high-end homes to commercial premises to public buildings, they can be used in many different spaces – here are five examples of settings that can benefit from glass balustrades.

Staircases and landings

A popular feature that can be instantly upgraded with glass balustrades is a staircase. Whether it’s a smaller residential staircase or wider steps between floors in a shopping centre, they can provide safety for stairs, landings, and mezzanines.

Glass is ideal for this because it opens up the stairwell without compromising all-important safety levels. Handrails can still offer support, while the clear glass panels allow more light to flow through, creating the illusion of a larger open space.

Balconies (including Juliet balconies)

Whether you have a traditional cantilever balcony on an exterior wall, a flat roof balcony overlooking your garden, or an indoor balcony between different floor levels within an open plan, glass panels allow the clearest view of the outdoors, and don’t block light indoors.

It’s also particularly on-trend to use a glass panel across a floor-to-ceiling window or French doors to create a Juliet balcony. This balconette style allows rooms on upper floors to benefit from fresh air and outdoor views without requiring additional exterior floor space.

Decks, patios, and terraces

When it comes to raised garden decking, patio seating areas at restaurants, and rooftop terraces in hotels or apartment buildings, glass balustrades provide a fashionable way of preventing falls and creating a sense of privacy and luxury while still being outside.

This allows people to safely enjoy the views and fresh air in a sophisticated setting, while also providing a windbreak to protect al fresco diners at a seated level from the wind. However, you do need to ensure that the glass can withstand local wind loads.

Swimming pools and water features

From public outdoor pools to those lucky enough to have a private swimming pool in their back yard, glass balustrades can prevent people and animals from accidentally wandering too close to the pool edge and falling in, without closing off the pool from view. 

The same applies for any outdoor water features, such as ponds or hidden fountains. Balustrades can be adapted as clear jump guards for ponds with fish and frogs, or steer members of the public around open water features, so they don’t get a surprise soaking when the jets turn on!

Partitions and boundaries

Wherever you would use a low brick wall or a wooden fence to set boundary lines, you could use a glass balustrade as a modern alternative. This is especially effective in outdoor areas with an impressive view, such as coastal or rural properties.

This type of toughened glass fencing can also be used to separate areas within the property lines – not just patios and decks, but also vegetable patches or plant beds, protecting your greenery from the elements while still letting you enjoy the scenery.  

Where to use glass balustrades for safety

These are just some of the various ways you can incorporate glass balustrades for safety and style – but safety is the most important point. 

Whether the balustrades are preventing falls from heights or on ground level, they still need to meet safety regulations to ensure they are strong enough to withstand loads and impacts.

When choosing a glass balustrade system for a specific setting, be sure to check the following for the minimum criteria your system must meet:

  • Approved Document B
  • Approved Document K
  • British Standard EN 1991-1 (1 & 4)
  • BS EN 12600:2002
  • British Standard 6180:2011

These will instruct you on how to make sure your balustrades comply with regulations for fire safety, protection against impacts, loads, and materials – including the right thickness, height, width, and strength for glass panels. 

Bear in mind that – depending on where you are installing the balustrades and for which purpose – you may need to check with your local authority first to find out whether you require planning permission or regulatory approval.

Order toughened glass balustrades online

Just as pretty as they are practical, glass balustrades offer countless benefits – including being extremely durable, yet easy to maintain with relatively little effort. 

If you’re sourcing toughened glass panels for a balcony, staircase, terrace, or any other setting mentioned here, there’s no better place to order glass balustrades than from the reliable suppliers at The Glass Warehouse. Visit their website today and use their balustrade builder to design your ideal glass balustrade system – then place your bespoke order for delivery within 15 working days.

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