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When you are designing a staircase or balustrade system there are far more choices available to you than there were in the past.
The range of materials you can use includes glass, steel and of course more traditional timber based systems. However, for many people glass handrails are the one single most important element when it comes to adding a particular finishing touch.
Using glass in such a way might have been unthinkable in the past for many reasons, but today’s modern manufacturing and production methods mean that glass handrails can be adapted to a wide range of different settings whilst also fully adhering to all the relevant regulations regarding building safety.
Here are some of the main points to consider when you are thinking of choosing a glass handrail system for your home.
Because of its unique durability and long life properties, glass is an ideal solution for both indoor and outdoor applications. Having a glass handrail could just as likely be your choice for a garden patio area as it could be for interior staircases.
In the past railing choices were limited to using hardwoods such as redwood and cedar but today lightweight metal frames with glass railings securely fitted can bring a whole new set of design characteristics to a wide range of installations.
Whereas wooden materials, no matter how expensive or high quality they may be, always need finishing in some way whether with paint or varnish, glass railings don’t need similar treatments. Obviously this can be an important element in any decision for an outdoor setting, but for interiors it means that longevity is inbuilt and cleaning and maintenance is both simple and straightforward.
Tempered glass panels are rigorously tested for stress levels and conform to the highest safety standards. Modern glass fittings are almost unbreakable in terms of shatterability and therefore are as safe, if not safer, than wooden counterparts.
In order to make a choice that is the best one for your own needs, bad as well as good points must be taken into consideration. The only real drawbacks that using glass can have is that it can be an expensive option. However, as with any other type of domestic improvement, a greater outlay is usually reflected in an increase in the overall value of your property.
This is especially true for any changes that add an extra ‘wow’ factor and the correct use of glass railings can certainly do that.
No matter when your property was actually constructed, using modern materials within interior design schemes can have strikingly effective results. Of course, minimalist contemporary looks are based around the idea of clean lines and the use of modern materials but clever use of lighting indoors can also play a big part.
Whether it is allowing natural light to spread around the home or to use artificial lighting to best effect, the use of glass in stair systems and balustrades can allow you to let your imagination run riot and creativity reign.
Good glass based balustrade designs can transform the overall feel of an interior in the same way that they can present a clean and clear definition to an outside space within seeming to limit it.
Using modern materials such as metal and glass means that the installation process is far more streamlined but can also be adapted to individual circumstances to give unique bespoke results.
If you use a reputable firm of qualified professionals to do the work for you any building regulations that need to be adhered to will be looked after on your behalf and all the necessary paperwork will be done for you.
The fact that glass handrails offer such a flexibility when it comes to how you choose to use them means that even the positioning of a staircase need not be dictated by any existing layout. If you are designing an interior from scratch the ability to have a virtually ‘see through’ staircase can allow truly challenging ideas to take shape.
Likewise, a period property can benefit from the use of glass handrails by the striking effect such a modern approach can bring to a building with traditional proportions.
With the only real downside to choosing glass handrails being the possible expense, some people look to acrylic substitutes for a similar effect.
Although it is true that similar results can be achieved when it comes to positioning and lighting, the bottom line is that such materials are nowhere near as hard wearing as glass, and everyday wear and tear will soon start to show on panels leading to a degradation in aesthetic appeal.
All things considered, choosing glass handrails means that you are opting for a solution that is as versatile as you want it to be whilst being as at least as practical and hard wearing as any other.
Francesca Holmes is a writer and and often writes on home designing and decoration tips. When not on a mission to bring high-end architecture to the masses, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors.