Nowadays, a glass handrail is one of the most popular options in contemporary and modern homes alike. Glass handrail has replaced wooden handrail in most homes and buildings because of its visual impact, improved light flow, and openness. A glass handrail is suitable for the balcony, deck, and patio. It is both functional and risk-free if installed properly. A glass handrail goes well with any interior style and does not need regular maintenance. But many people are doubtful regarding the safety of glass railings.
Is It Safe?
If you’re choosing the right glass type either for residential or commercial purposes, glass handrails are a safe option. Many people are doubtful whether or not they have to select a glass handrail or not because of their previous experiences with normal glass objects. Suppose if you’ve accidentally dropped any glass objects, you have noticed the glass shards with sharp ends it creates. But the glass used in these applications is entirely different from the glass used for a glass handrail. Normally modified glass is used to ensure the strength and protection from shattering for a glass handrail.
The load-bearing part of a glass handrail is the glass. If a person bumps or leans against the glass handrail, the glass infill takes in the force and prevents the person from falling off. This is not so in the case of the railing with balusters.
Types of Glass Handrail System
Standoff Glass Handrail
Standoffs are cylinders made of stainless steel. These round standoffs are attached to the glass panels that consist of pre-drilled holes. These standoffs fasten the vertical face of the stair to the glass panel. It can be a frameless railing system consisting of less visual hardware.
Dadoed Glass Handrail
In this type of glass handrail, the glass panels are attached between the bottom shoe and a top railing. The wooden framework holds the glass panels. Dadoed glass handrail has typically no hardware or clips, making it more visually appealing than its counterparts.
Clamped Glass Handrail
In this type of glass handrail, the glass panels are fixed to the railing or posts using glass clips. If you want to emphasise more on the hardware, then you can use steel or wood posts accordingly. There is more number of posts in a clamped glass handrail.
Framed Glass Handrail
This is the most commonly used glass handrail system, which is considered safe. A framed glass handrail consists of glass panels held by a frame. Frames are available in different materials, and you can choose aluminium since aluminium framed handrail is maintenance-free. You can fix a framed glass handrail to a concrete surface, wooden decks etc. This type of glass handrail is also used for lining swimming pools, where a clear view is necessary to ensure safety. Since it consists of a rail and frame, anyone climbing the stairs can hold the rail for support, unlike frameless glass handrail that does not have a handrail for support.
Frameless Glass Handrail
As the name suggests, a frameless glass handrail does not have a bordering frame. With a frameless glass, the handrail does not obstruct the view, open up space and has a great appeal compared to its counterpart. This type of glass handrail is apt for decks, terrace and balcony. It gives a maximum view of the other side, ensuring safety.
Types of Safety Glasses
There are two types of safety glass- laminated glass and tempered glass. Laminated glass consists of two glass pieces that are joined together with an interlayer in between. That’s what makes the glass stronger, ensuring safety. If the glass breaks accidentally, only one side of the glass breaks, while the other side remains as it is. On the other hand, tempered glass is strong because it is a heat-treated glass. It has a different break pattern, where it breaks into small cubes.
Maintenance of Glass Handrail
When compared to a wooden handrail, glass handrail needs maintenance. It requires occasional cleaning, using a soft and clean cloth, preferably a microfibre cleaning cloth, vinegar or cleaning solution and water. Never use any abrasive scrubbers for cleaning a glass handrail. With regular cleaning, the glass handrail will look crystal clear. With time grime can accumulate on the glass surface.
The level of cleaning depends on whether the glass handrail is placed inside or outside of your home. If the glass railing is placed outside, you need to clean it once or twice a week. If the glass railing is placed inside, then you need to clean it just like how you normally dust your home.
You can also choose a pressure washer to clean the glass handrail. But you have to begin with low pressure and gradually increase the pressure while cleaning. After you get rid of the dirt in the surface, you can continue cleaning using a cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth.
Sometimes you have to clean hard to reach part of your glass handrail. In such cases, never lean over the railing for cleaning. You can use an extendable squeegee so that you can clean such parts easily.
Benefits of Glass Handrail
Transparency and Unobstructed View
If you want an unobstructed view of your external environment, or an excellent backyard view a glass handrail will be the apt choice. A glass handrail is more apt for a home with an open concept or with more space. It can be used in a home with less space as well, where the handrail creates an illusion of more space.
Easy to Maintain
Other types of railings are prone to decay, rust and rot. A wooden handrail can get infested by insects such as termite. Other types of railings require occasional replacement, painting and staining. But for glass handrail, there is no such need. Moreover, if the glass handrail is placed in the exterior area, it still withstands extreme weather, since it is treated at a high temperature to make it sturdy.
It is much easier to install a glass handrail, and it also gives maximum security. It could withstand heavy wind, extreme weather conditions and prevent any accidental fall from the glass railing. Glass handrail is most widely used for swimming pools as a pool safety fencing. It enhances security by providing an unobstructed view. The self-closing feature of a glass railing ensures the safety of young children.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of glass handrail is its versatility. Many people want a glass handrail system that suits their home. For that, there are various styles to choose from, no matter what the design style of your home is. Glass handrail can be used in homes, and commercial buildings alike.
Since a glass handrail is made of toughened safety glass, it is highly strong. If there is an accidental break, it only shatters into tiny cubes rather than sharp glass bits. This ensures safety.
A glass handrail is an excellent choice for your balcony or deck. Its varied advantages are what makes a glass handrail a great option for your home or building. Unlike other handrails, a glass handrail does not require regular maintenance and can withstand any wear and tear. It only needs occasional maintenance to make the surface free of any dirt or grime. So you can be confident while choosing a glass handrail for your home.