Are Glass Handrails Durable? And Other FAQs

Are Glass Handrails Durable? And Other FAQs

If you are considering glass handrails in your home or business, you probably have a few questions. Today, we are answering all of the commonly asked questions about glass handrails.

If you want a contemporary aesthetic and modern vibe in your home, glass handrails are the perfect way to achieve this look. Installing a glass railing for stairs or your balcony is a fantastic way to update your space, add a striking visual impact, and overall improve your space.

This beautifully stunning addition is highly luxurious and adds value to your property. But before you make any big design decisions, even adding a glass handrail for stairs in your home, it’s important to get all of your questions answered and thoroughly understand various aspects of getting them installed.

Continue scrolling to find the answers to all of your questions about glass handrails, such as whether they are durable, what the benefits are, and more.

13 Frequently Asked Questions About Glass Handrails

Below you will find all of the answers to any questions you might have about a glass railing for stairs and balconies:

Q: Are glass handrails durable?

A: Glass panels used in glass handrails are extremely durable. Similar to windows, glass railings are designed to stand up against everyday wear and tear, as well as weather and impacts. Of course, like windows, glass railings are not indestructible. The type of glass you select, its thickness, and how well you maintain it directly determine how durable the glass is.

There are varying types of glass that are designed for different conditions, such as indoor and outdoor railings.

Glass handrail in the stairs

Q: Are there different styles of glass handrail systems?

A: Yes! There are several ways to install glass railings. Each style is a bit different from one to the next, so thinking about how each of these styles would fit into the overall design and aesthetic of your property is key. Here are some of those different systems:

  • Standoff Glass Railings — Standoff railings have stainless steel cylinders, also referred to as standoffs, which are secured to the glass panels. The glass features pre-drilled holes and is leveled in place.
    The standoffs secure the panels to the vertical face of the floor or stairs. Home or business owners can choose a frameless look or a standoff railing system that has more visual hardware. A decision regarding the fastening method must be made during the framing process since sufficient backing needs to be in place to support the glass.
  • Dadoed Glass Handrail Systems — A dadoed glass railing system features glass panels held within an upper railing and lower shoe. In other words, the glass is built into a wood frame. This railing style is clean and minimal in terms of visual appeal because there is no hardware or clips.
  • Clamped Glass Handrails — The glass in a clamped glass handrail is secured with metal clips that are mounted to the railing, posts, or shoe. This system allows home and business owners to choose frames and posts made from wood or metal. 

Q: What are the perks of installing glass railings throughout my property?

A: There are many benefits of having glass handrails throughout your property. Here are a handful:

  • Easy to Maintain — Glass railings are easy to maintain, especially compared to wood or iron railing systems. You do not need to worry about rust, decay, or rot. There is no need to paint, stain, or replace parts.
    Of course, there is some regular maintenance and care required, but it is not nearly the same long-term commitment as other railing materials. It’s probably safe to say that the majority of property owners would agree that glass looks better when it is clean and clear than when it’s dirty.
    Thankfully, maintaining your railing system is pretty straightforward and will not require too much extra daily work. By using a soft cloth, cleaning solution (store-bought or homemade is fine), and a little elbow grease, you can get your glass handrails crystal clear. Avoid using scrubbers or abrasive products to keep the glass looking its best.
  • Extremely Strong — Tempered safety glass is treated at extremely high temperatures, giving it incredible strength. That is why most impacts and extreme weather pose little to no threat.
  • Unobstructed Line of Sight — Does your property feature a stunning backyard view or beautiful interior architecture? If you want to preserve the views, a glass railing system is nearly invisible and the perfect way to provide a seamless flow within your property and/or the surrounding landscape.
  • Light, Bright, and Spacious — Because glass railings are inherently see-through, they allow so much light into your space, helping the rooms feel brighter. Moreover, glass handrails will give the appearance of additional space, making your space appear more spacious than it is.
  • Easy to Customize — Glass is a material that is figuratively flexible. You can customize it exactly how you would like. A glass handrail can be designed to match your home’s current décor and theme with ease. There are different sizes, shapes, types, tints, glass textures, and transparencies to choose from for your railing systems.
  • Improve Property Value — If you are looking to sell (soon or far into the future), installing a glass railing system is a great investment and adds a lot of value to a property. Even years after its installation, glass railings look great and enhance a building, optimizing a potential sale of the property.
  • Environment Friendly — Glass is an eco-friendly construction material, making it an awesome choice for railings. The glass used in a railing is recyclable and chemically inert. It is safe for the environment, even for long-term uses!

Q: Are there any cons associated with glass railing systems?

A: Sure, there are pros and cons to any type of railing system you use. Property owners must weigh the benefits and compare them against any disadvantages to help them determine which system is best for them. Some cons associated with glass railings could include the following:

  • Time and effort (though minimal) to keep them clean.
  • Glass can create a greenhouse effect and make some areas feel warmer in the summer months.

Q: So, does the glass get hot?

A: No, the glass used in your railing system will have a low thermal conductivity but traps heat and reduces airflow. The glass itself will not be hot to the touch, but it can create a greenhouse effect, allowing you to spend days on your balcony as the temperatures cool.

Q: Can I do a glass railing DIY project?

A: Sure! But we do not suggest it. Interior and exterior glass railing for stairs and balconies are complex and most often require a professional to install them. For the safety of you, your loved ones, guests, and anyone else that might come in contact with the railing, it is best to have a knowledgeable and trusted professional install it — especially if it is a custom job.

Q: Do I have to have a modern property to have a glass railing system?

A: No! A really cool thing about glass handrails is that they are super versatile. They offer versatility, flexibility of style, and ease of implementation regardless of what your property’s current style is. Of course, most homeowners want a cohesive look, which is no problem since there are many styles that will match your home’s aesthetic. Whether you have a traditional-style house or your business office is super modern, there are glass railings in many different designs that are very adaptable.

Q: Is a glass handrail worth it?

A: Glass handrail systems are one of the most popular choices among commercial and residential property owners. The value and benefits they are sure to bring to your property make them a worthwhile investment.

Q: Is a glass railing system difficult to keep clean?

A: As mentioned above, no, glass handrails are not difficult to keep clean. Yes, there will be some regular cleaning that you’ll need to do to keep the glass free from splotches and smudges. But, overall, it’s not difficult in the slightest. There are cleaning solutions available today that help your glass be water and smudge resistant and streak-free!

Q: How much money is a glass railing system?

A: This question can be tricky to answer without knowing all of the specific details. To give an exact quote, a professional would need to know which materials you’re using, the measurements, and several other factors that can affect the costs of installation, such as accessibility for the installation crew. Based on these answers, your glass railing cost can vary greatly. 

Q: Are glass handrails safe?

A: Did you know that the glass commonly used in glass handrailstempered glass — is four times stronger than regular glass? Some people are nervous when they see glass handrails or glass walls or floors in a property; however, some glass materials can be safer and more durable than some flooring materials! Of course, using the right materials for your project is key.

Safety, when it comes to glass railings, is a feature that shouldn’t even be up for debate! Glass railings provide a maximum amount of security as they protect against high winds and accidental falls, stand up to extreme weather, and more! Glass railings can even be used for pool safety fencing that features self-latching or self-closing gates to further your family’s protection.

Glass handrail in the floor

Q: What building and safety codes do I need to be aware of?

A: It’s very important, regardless of the materials you use for your handrail, to make sure you thoroughly understand and strictly adhere to local building and safety codes. When it comes to glass, it’s crucial to use the right type of glass in your railings. 

Tempered glass is glass that’s been treated by heat, changing the break pattern and increasing surface stretch. Laminated glass is a safety glass that is made up of two or more panes of glass fused by layers of plastic to add strength and safety. If laminated glass is broken — which does not easily occur — one pane shatters while the others remain intact.

Utah building codes state:

“Glass used in a handrail, guardrail or a guard section shall be laminated glass constructed of fully tempered or heat-strengthened glass and shall comply with Category II or CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.”

Q: Can I hire just any glass company to do the job?

A: It’s no secret that glass railings for stairs or your balcony can be a beautiful and exciting addition to your property. However, that said, it’s important to hire a professional that knows what they’re doing. Not all companies, contractors, or installers have the same standards, nor were they created equally. 

An improperly installed or manufactured glass railing looks horrible. But more than that, it poses a huge safety and liability risk. Taking time to find a professional who is experienced, trusted, and insured that provides their customers quality work, and has a proven track record may be the most important thing you do when finding someone for your glass railing projects.

Want a Glass Handrail for Stairs? Contact the Pros at New Concepts Glass Design Today!

Are you looking for a great, modern railing alternative? Look no further than the glass handrails that the experts at New Concepts Glass Design can help you with!

Our team has over 30 years of experience in the industry and can help your glass dreams and visions come to life. Whether you want a glass handrail, a glass surround for your balcony, or have another custom glass project in mind, our pros can handle the job!

We’ve worked tirelessly to be Northern Utah’s leading glass company and are proud to be the trusted experts for all custom glass projects for residential and commercial markets. We proudly serve those in Salt Lake City, West Valley, Park City, and surrounding cities throughout Utah. 

Contact our team today to schedule your free estimate for your glass handrail for stairs.