Staircase constructions that consist of glass elements visually increase the space; they don’t look rude and massive and can be installed in any interior. For example, glass railings are a beautiful and strong detail of construction.
Characteristics of glass stairs
Recently, the stairs with glass elements become more and more popular. If you install the glass railings in accordance with all requirements, they will provide safety of the whole structure.
Glass stairs look equally great in the two-story houses, multi-level apartments, shopping centers and stores. However, some options require the stairs with non-railing fixing of glass railings, and the other – safe constructions with the racks from other material.
Glass stairs have positive differences from the other materials used for manufacturing the stairs:
- the quality of glass and its appearance are not affected by the low or high temperature in the room, humidity and sun exposure;
- if you choose the right design of glass stairs and develop the possibilities for combining of glass elements with other materials, the building will blend in with classic and modern interior;
- glass steps don’t slip, even though they look very unsafe. They are covered by special invisible film, or the surface can be slightly loose;
- glass (as a part of stair construction) easily transmits light, which is why it becomes visually wider and bigger;
- convenient ways of fastening the glass railings and steps mean that the stairs don’t take much free space, which is very important for the rooms with a small quadrature;
- glass staircase look rich and gorgeous; however, some materials are quite cheap. Therefore, the construction with glass steps can become the main element of interior decoration.
Types of material
Special types of durable glass are used to make the stairs safe and reliable:
- Tempered glass. This is a special type of glass, intended for the stair construction, resulted from the processing of common glass. To get especially strong type of material, the glass must be heated to 680 degrees, and then cooled in a specific way. Cooling should be made uniformly. For that, air is supplied evenly on both sides of glass sheet. This procedure and heating and cooling makes the glass heat-resistant, durable and strong. This option is considered the safest for using in houses. Even if the railings or step breaks, the pieces will fall without flying off. You can destroy the detail from tempered glass by blowing on the end. Then it will cover with a web of cracks.
- Triplex. This material usually consists of three layers. Two sheets of glass are connected to each other by means of adhesive layer or polymer film. Due to such inner layer, both tempered glass and triplex doesn’t shatter in case of damage. Using triplex, you can get high-quality and beautiful stairs. Designers place special fabrics, films with drawings and patterns between two composite glass plates, which serves as an additional method of decorating the material and the whole construction.
- Armor-piercing glass, which is suitable for use in specialized premises.
- Outdoor stairs require special frost-resistant glass, which is easily affected by the low temperature and humidity.
- Acryl or plexiglass. This material belongs to the representatives of economical class, but acryl doesn’t lose its high quality. The glass has its own characteristics:
2. reliability and durability;
3. resistance to the chemical agents;
4. resistance to high and low temperature;
5. it doesn’t prevent the transmission of sunlight to the room.
Main drawback of acryl is its tendency for inflammation and the fact that acrylic products easily get scratched.
- Bend glass. During bending, the glass easily acquires the shape necessary for work, which is why every stairs made of this material is especial and unusual.
Only by adhering to all stages of glass processing, you can achieve durable and high-quality material. If you disrupt the technological process, you will get the glass, unsuitable for building the stairs.
Accessories for the glass stairs
Even though the glass used is special, you require the strong fastener for the stairs to provide better safety of stair system. There are several ways to attach the glass railings to the steps:
- point. Point method allows you to attach the railings to the end part of the stairs. Due to the fact that the space remains between the railing and the stairs, it is very easy to keep the construction clean and remove the dirt in hard-to-reach places. If you use such fastening, the space of stairs doesn’t reduce;
- rack-mounted. Stair railings are fixed by means of bars, which can be made of metal or wood;
- hidden fixings. This construction includes solid railings (while the metal fixings are hidden). Material is attached to the end of the stairs. Fastening elements are masked by means of wooden linings or polished plates from stainless steel;
- ”coin” mounts;
- clamping profiles;
To fix the glass in the construction, you require special accessories, such as:
- Clamping profiles. Clamping profiles consist of the bar (tire) and special fastenings for the glass, bolted to the bar. After installing the glass, the tire is closed by means of decorative latches. The profile for mounting the glass can look like a rounded bar. Non-latch mounting remains visible. Aluminum, plastic, steel and wood are used for creating the profile.
- Connectors. There are three types of these fasteners:
- clamping. These accessories are suitable for stationary fixation of glass stairs. The look similar to clips. One side of clamping connector has the glass holder, while the other is equipped with a hole for the screw. Due to this structure, the connector is bolted to the floor or wall. Such mounting is masked by means of decorative linings;
- point. On the outside, connector reminds of sucker. But unlike sucker, it is not glued but driven into the glass railing. For this, make a hole in the glass. From one side of this hole, you should put the plastic spacer for safety. After that, you must put the cone-shaped sleeve and fixing bolt with a plug. From the other side, you must install the rubber gasket and mounting base, in which you must screw a bolt;
- spiders. They look like metal fasteners with 1-4 holes. Spiders can withstand heavy loads. Therefore, they belong to the most reliable type of fastenings:
- Decorative elements, such as tips for the racks, lids and plugs. Their main function is to decorate the building.
- Glass holder.
- Cable system.
- Anchor equipment for the point mounting.
- Handrail brackets are used to fasten the railings to the wall.
They are available in several variants, depending on the profile used (rounded, figured or oval).