You may not have paid much attention to them, but you probably see glass balustrades everywhere.

This type of transparent barrier has become a top choice for open staircases, balconies, and terraces – and this blog is here to tell you why.

While injuries from falling are a concern whenever there is a change in floor level, making it a safety requirement to install a barrier, these balustrades don’t have to be an eyesore.

This is where glass fencing comes in. Strong and safe, yet see-through and stylish enough to enhance an area’s aesthetic appeal instead of disrupting it – a glass balustrade has everything.

Read on to find out more about glass balustrades, including where to install them and how they can be an advantage for businesses and residences alike.

What are glass balustrades?

The word ‘balustrade’ is a technical term for a rail supported by ‘balusters’ (e.g. pillars, posts, or panels). These provide a barrier, like a fence, to prevent people from falling from a height or to divide one space from another (or both at the same time).

Typically used on staircases, balconies, and decking areas, they can be made with a variety of materials. Glass balustrades are a popular modern option due to their combination of practical functionality and visual sophistication.

While most glass balustrades feature glass panels combined with metal handrails and posts, it’s possible to have frameless glass balustrades for the ultimate minimalist look. These are only viable when a handrail isn’t required by law.

Since the primary purpose of balustrades is safety, their material needs to be extremely strong. In the case of glass balustrades, these need to be made from toughened glass or laminated glass, with the panels being at least 10mm thick.

They can also be made with frosted glass or tinted glass in some cases, helping to add some personality and privacy in more restricted areas.

Where can you install glass balustrades?

Like any type of protective or partitioning system, there are many applications for glass balustrades – including indoor and outdoor, residential and commercial, and more. Here are some of the places you could install glass balustrades:

  • Staircases and landings
  • Mezzanine floors
  • Walkways and bridges
  • Terraces and patios
  • Swimming pools and jacuzzi decks
  • Balconies (including rooftop and Juliet balconies)
  • Areas for waiting, dining, viewing etc.

These can be found in homes, offices, shops, and public buildings such as schools and hospitals, amongst many other settings. They can be used to divide open spaces safely without making them feel smaller and darker, or to provide a safety barrier for changing floor levels.

However, if you’re using glass balustrades at the edge of stairs, landings or floor edges, or balconies, then you must be sure that your railing system complies with building regulationsfor health and safety. These specify minimum height levels where there are differences in floor levels.

Why are glass balustrades a good investment?

Relatively low-cost yet with a high visual impact, glass balustrades are always worth investing in to make a space both functional and safe. Not only are they the best option when you don’t want to disrupt a view, but they have many other benefits, including:

  • Versatility – wide range of frame styles and glass types to choose from
  • Safety – extremely difficult to break (and doesn’t shatter into sharp pieces)
  • Durability – sturdy and corrosion-resistant enough to withstand challenging conditions
  • Low maintenance – easy to fit, simple to clean, doesn’t require anti-rot treatments
  • More light – transparency and light flow make spaces feel larger and more open
  • Aesthetic appeal – a sleek, stunning look that complements most design styles

Glass balustrades are also an eco-friendly option for modern fencing and railings. Materials like toughened glass and steel have a long lifespan, meaning you won’t need to modify or replace them for years. If you do want to remove them, both materials are easy to recycle.

Order bespoke glass balustrades online

Are you looking for high-quality glass balustrades for your domestic or commercial property? You’ve come to the right place, as Express Toughening can manufacture bespoke glass balustrade panels to meet your exact specifications – and always at competitive prices.

Not only do we supply toughened glass panels in a range of thicknesses, but we also sell a selection of balustrade fittings and balustrade posts, plus frameless balustrade systems to help you achieve a seamless look. Browse our online store today to find the pieces you need.

Need some inspiration before you place an order? Take a look at our gallery for examples of our beautiful glass balustrades in action. If you have any enquiries about our products and services, don’t hesitate to contact us for expert advice from the Express Toughening team.