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Custom Metal and Glass – Design, Fabrication and Installation
 
“Though glass railings may seem very straightforward,
in truth there are a wide range of design and installation options available.”
What’s In a Glass Railing? Get a Project Evaluation

Glass railings can be a versatile addition to a balcony, deck, patio, or level of an open-air building. Because they are made of glass, which is fairly weather-resistant, glass balconies do not require frequent replacing. Though they do require cleaning, they’re seen as a fairly low-maintenance addition to a space. Further, they add a great splash of personality to a deck, patio, floor, or balcony by creating a modern look and by drawing the outside world in.

Though glass railings may seem very straightforward, in truth there are a wide range of design and installation options available. Architectural metal and glass companies all offer their own distinct approaches to glass railings. However, many of the components that go into a glass railing are fairly standardized. Below, you may read a breakdown of the typical parts that make up a glass railing.

1) Glass Paneling
The most obvious component in a glass railing is, of course, the glass. The glass panels for glass railings are typically approximately three feet high. Depending on the space and the design, panels can range in length from four to six feet. Glass will almost always be at least 1/4 an inch thick, but thickness beyond 1/4 an inch will vary depending on the manufacturer of the glass panels. The glass used in glass railings should always be tempered so as to increase its strength.

2) Anchoring Posts
The posts on a glass railing are attached directly to the floor that the railing will be coming up from. Screws and bolts are used to affix the posts to the floor. The posts act as an anchor by supporting the glass when it is placed between them. Different designs exist for corner posts and posts to be used in the center of a railing. The number of posts that are needed across an installation varies based on how big the installation will be.

3) Caps
At the top of each post, a cap is placed so as to prevent weather elements or environmental elements from getting inside the post. Caps are often also decorative, adding to the appearance of the post (and the overall glass railing) by including adornments or intricate designs. Since most the glass in glass railings tends to be undecorated, caps provide an excellent opportunity for personalization.

4) Support Rails
Support rails are installed on the top and bottom of each glass panel. The rails installed on the bottom of the glass keep the glass from laying on the ground. The rails that are installed on the top of the glass often act as a hand rest. Top rails also increase the stability of the overall railing by acting as a connector for the anchoring posts.

5) Support Legs
Between the bottom rail and the floor of the deck, balcony, or building, support legs are installed. The function of these support legs is to prevent the bottom rail from buckling beneath the weight of the glass paneling. Support legs are typically placed in the center between posts.

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