Back to Blog
a frameless spigot glass balustrade

Why choose a spigot frameless glass balustrade system

What is a glass balustrade?

Firstly, what is a glass balustrade? And what is a frameless spigot glass balustrade system?

A balustrade, according to Britannica, is a “low screen formed by railings of stone, wood, metal, glass, or other materials and designed to prevent falls from roofs, balconies, terraces, stairways, and other elevated architectural elements.”
Originally, a balustrade would have consisted of a handrail supported by upright columns, or balusters – hence the name balustrade.
The main purpose of a balustrade system is protection. It is there to prevent anyone from falling from height. For example: off the side of a flight of stairs or the edge of a balcony. But it can also be made to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

A glass balustrade system is simply a type of balustrade system comprised mainly of glass.

Why choose a glass balustrade system?

Glass balustrades are both attractive and popular to homeowners looking to renovate their property and architects designing housing because they can help to create a sleek, open, and airy appearance. The glass panels provide clean lines, giving the balcony, stairway, or any other location they’re installed a transparent border and adding a more sophisticated, contemporary style.

Glass balustrades allow for more natural light to enter your home and the transparent borders add the illusion of increased space wherever they’re installed. Whilst glass adds the appearance of space, they are still solid structures, which provides a barrier for both safety and wind breaking without obstructing your view.

Are frameless glass balustrades safe?

Glass is often considered to be quite fragile and easy to break, creating sharp edges that can cut and cause injury once broken. This can easily lead people to believe that glass balustrades are not as safe as other materials such as wood or metal. The thing is, when installed correctly, glass balustrades are very safe.

UK safety regulations for glass balustrades dictates that the balustrades should be comprised of safety glass. Safety glass comes in two forms: toughened glass or laminated glass.

Toughened glass is glass that has been tempered, which means it has been heated to around 700°C and then quenched (cooled very quickly). This locks any tension within the glass’ core, creating a strong and durable layer on either side. This process makes it four times the strength of regular glass. It also ensures that should the glass break, it will shatter into small pieces that are far less dangerous than the glass shards that can occur with regular glass.

Laminated glass is made up of two toughened glass panels with a resin or plastic membrane sandwiched between them. Each toughened glass panel is constructed as above and the membrane in the middle provides the added safety that, should one glass panel shatter, it protects the other panel from shattering too.

At Trade Balustrade, we offer both options to our customers and our frameless base fix spigot balustrade systems are supplied with toughened laminated glass thicknesses of 12mm to 21.5mm.

Glass balustrades are a perfectly safe option for your home – they must be by law. So, you can rest assured in knowledge that you can achieve both an aesthetically pleasing and safe balustrade system for your balcony, stairwell, pool surround or any other area in which you wish to install.

Do glass balustrades need a handrail?

Because Trade Balustrades supply our frameless base fix spigot balustrade systems with toughened and laminated glass, there is no need for a handrail.

BS6180:2011 Section 8.5.2 states “a handrail should always be used unless a laminated toughened glass construction is used that would remain in situ if a panel fails.”

Because our frameless base fix spigot balustrade systems are used with toughened and laminated glass, even if a glass panel were to fail and shatter, it would still remain in place and provide a safety barrier. This means that the requirement for a handrail is negated. However, many customers do opt for a handrail to be included with the balustrade system on stairways either as part of the balustrade system itself or connected to an opposing wall to provide an extra safety feature or for aesthetics.

How to fit glass balustrades with a base fix spigot system

Our base fix spigot systems for frameless glass balustrades are quick and easy to install either by a tradesperson or by someone skilled in DIY.

With no need to drill holes in the glass, the base fix spigot systems have just two fixing points and come with a choice of rubber inlay kits that correspond to the selected glass thickness. With just two bolts, the spigots can be quickly installed and ready for the glass panels to be securely slotted in with the accompanied rubber inlay kits to hold it in place.

Three spigots can support up to 1500mm wide panels of glass, with two spigots required per metre of glass panelling, and can be securely fixed to brick, concrete, steel, or wood.

Our frameless base fix glass balustrade systems can be easily installed on a balcony, stairs, decking, and more.

If you require installation of your balustrade by a professional, we use several experienced installation teams throughout the UK but for jobs of under 20 linear metres, we recommend using a local builder or tradesperson. If you are an experienced DIYer, self-installation is an option too and we are always available for help if you have any questions.

How to clean glass balustrades

Glass balustrades are not only easy to install, they’re also easy to clean and maintain too!

Since they are made from glass and because they’re frameless, all you need is regular glass cleaner to keep it clean and free from marks regularly. Just clean the glass panels like you would any other glass surface within your home.

Other balustrade materials such as wood can corrode over time, requiring regular staining to help prevent this. Glass on the other hand ages very slowly and can last for decades without any noticeable changes to its appearance if cleaned regularly. Even if the glass becomes scratched you can usually restore it quite easily with a simple polish.

Glass is also a pretty sustainable and eco-friendly material as it can be recycled and is chemically inert.

Our base fix spigot systems are also made from durable stainless steel too, making them incredibly easy to clean and maintain!

Why choose a frameless balustrade with a base fix spigot system?

Easy to install, easy to clean and maintain, very safe and secure, aesthetically pleasing, and providing a lighter and airier environment to enjoy with the illusion of extra space. Why wouldn’t you choose a frameless balustrade with a base fix spigot system?

View some of our frameless balustrade projects that we’ve completed for a bit of inspiration, contact us for more information or to discuss your project, or get an instant quote with our system builder.

To get arrange a survey email us at [email protected] and provide us with the dimensions of your project.

Check out our entire range of balustrade systems here.

Follow us on Instagram to see our entire range of balustrade concepts.

Share this post

Back to Blog