Glass railings are an excellent choice for anyone who wants a more modern and unobstructed look. They can be utilized in both indoor and outdoor settings. The process of buying them and having them installed, though, requires a bit of forethought. Let's take a look at what you should keep an eye out for when shopping for glass railings.
To Frame or Not to Frame
One of the first questions you'll need to address is whether you want to use a system that has visible frames and support posts or if you want a completely frameless design. As you might imagine, the frameless look will likely cost you more, especially if you also want a seamless system.
Attachment points are necessary regardless of how close to truly frameless and seamless the system is. Stainless steel is highly recommended because it can support the extra weight of glass. If you're attaching the railings to a wooden surface, steel supports may have to be added to the floor or the fascia to reinforce the structure enough to support the weight of the glass. Heavier wood structures, though, should be sufficient as long as they can be drilled into for installing mounting points.
Most frameless systems will mount into the fascia of a set of stairs or a balcony. Feet are installed to provide a base, and vertical rails then come up from the feet. The glass panels are attached to the rails using vertical clamps. In a framed system, the full frame is directly attached to the feet.
Considerations Involving Exterior Use
The sun is one of the biggest concerns when setting up glass railings outside. In addition to tinting, you may want to consider having a UV protective coating installed. Tint is also highly recommended in areas with large bird populations, as it can help animals recognize and avoid flying into the glass panels. The glass may also need to be slightly tilted to channel water away.
Costs will range from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on how much glass and how little frame is involved. Materials may cost between $100 and $600 per linear foot, and adding in labor will raise the price between $50 and $250 per foot.
Bear in mind prices for glass railing projects can go well north of $10,000. This is particularly the case if the glass has to be highly customized, such as for a spiral staircase.
For more information, reach out to companies that offer glass railings.
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