Are glass banisters safe?

17th Sep 2021
Glass Balustrades

Clean, green, and incredibly versatile, glazed facades and glass structural elements are favoured in a variety of settings. Particularly popular in contemporary residential architecture, illuminating glass banisters, staircases, railings, and balustrades never fail to create the illusion of more space where it’s needed most.

The ideal solution for creating clear, flowing aesthetics between levels, if you’re wondering whether glass banisters are a safe option to improve your home, we’re here to help.

How safe are glass balustrades and banisters?

It’s a common misconception that glass is delicate. But as long as it’s manufactured and installed to comply with current building regulations and safety standards, modern glass banisters, staircases, and balustrades are incredibly safe. Extremely durable, strong, and low maintenance, glass isn’t affected by the same issues that wooden banisters and metal banisters are susceptible to, such as pest infestation or corrosion.

Banister Square

Banister Square

How to tell if glass banisters & balustrades comply with building regulations

To minimise the risk of collapse and injury, the rules glass banisters and balustrades must adhere to include*:

  • Toughened or laminated glass must be used
  • Toughened or laminated glass infills must have a minimum thickness of 10mm
  • Residential glass balustrades must be able to withstand loads of 0.74 kN/m for every metre of glass
  • The minimum height for all glass balustrades should be 0.9m from the point it is placed on, up to the height of the handrail
  • For exterior glass balustrades, the minimum height to the handrail must be 1.1m high
  • Handrails are usually required for all balustrades, although in some instances (according to section 8.5.2 of BS6180:2011 ‘Barriers in and about buildings – Code of practice’) they can be avoided if the glass is laminated and toughened sufficiently enough for the glass panel to remain firmly in place, even if a laminated section fails.

*correct at time of publishing

What are the safety benefits of glass banisters?

  • Glass is one of the strongest building materials available
  • Toughened glass is up to 5 times stronger than regular glass and rarely breaks
  • Glass doesn’t degrade, fade or lose structural integrity over time
  • Glass is impervious to pest infestation and corrosion
  • Better transparency allows for better visibility and judgment of height
  • Glass balustrades are more child friendly as they can be designed with sections too small for little ones to get stuck in
Glass Banister

Glass Banister

Gorgeous glass banisters & balustrades in Guildford & Surrey

If you like the idea of removing visual barriers in your home with a striking glass banister, we use strong, toughened safety glass for absolute peace of mind. Securely fitted, long-lasting, and extremely low maintenance, our refined collection of high-performance glass products features top-quality glass cut to size to meet your specific requirements.

From modern frameless glass balustrades to more traditional glazed staircase designs, if you’re searching for bespoke glass cutting services near you, get a quote, call us on 01932 344 415 or contact us online to learn more.