Stunning modern swimming pool with frameless glass pool safety fencing

Why Glass Is the Best Choice for Swimming Pool Fencing

Nothing turns heads quite like a beautiful, azure-blue swimming pool. Whether at home or on holiday, an outdoor pool offers the ideal place to rest, play, and even exercise.

Stunning modern swimming pool with frameless glass pool safety fencing

But a swimming pool without a surrounding balustrade is not quite complete. Glass swimming pool fencing can to jazz up your pool space while adding a much-needed layer of safety. In this article, we’ll explain why glass is by far the best material for swimming pool fencing, and how designers can use glass fencing to bring out the very best in an outdoor space.

1. Safe and secure

When water is involved, safety must be the number-one priority. Glass swimming pool fencing provides a safe, robust border for your pool area. It greatly reduces the risk of injuries by preventing unsafe access to the water – especially from children.

Modern glass fencing consists of toughened or laminated glass panels fixed to the floor only or joined by patch fittings and newel posts. It’s no different to the safety-first design of glass balustrades, balconies, and staircases.

2. Uninterrupted views

Roof top swimming pool with glass balustrade giving views of New York

Visibility is a key advantage of glass fencing over wood or metal alternatives. Crystal-clear glass panels offer uninterrupted views of your entire outdoor space. This is especially welcome around a swimming pool area: Why hide your shimmering, luxurious pool behind opaque barriers?

To achieve even fewer sight obstructions, designers can opt for frameless glass. This stripped-down look allows for a seamless glass fencing design, with no metal components to get in the way (except for at the base).

3. Multiple glass finishes

Frosted glass balustrade with floating stainless steel handrail

Modern glass processing techniques allow for all kinds of creative finishes and decorations. This allows for an added layer of privacy while enjoying the the outdoor pool. The most popular finishes are frosted or tinted glass panels, implemented as part of the glass laminating process.

Adventurous designers can opt for dozens of decorative glass patterns, from vibrant textures to cool veins. Back painted glass, meanwhile, comes with of hundreds of RAL colours to choose from.

4. Little-to-no upkeep

Maintenance is always a factor when selecting materials for a design project. Fortunately, glass fencing requires very little upkeep versus wood or metal. Glass is unaffected by wet conditions, is resilient against the elements, and requires no painting or protective coatings.

Best of all, glass fencing panels are remarkably easy to clean. Just use a basic glass cleaner spray and cloth – no specialist products required. And for added protection and convenience, the glass can be coated with a water repellent coating that helps to keep it clean and free from water marks and calcium deposits.

5. Any size or specification

Water jet glass cutting at abc Glass Processing

Glass balustrades aren’t an “off the shelf” solution for protecting a pool. Instead, glass panels can be cut and shaped to fit any kind of bespoke design. This flexibility allows manufacturers to supply glass fencing for all swimming pool dimensions. No matter your preferred height, length, or shape, there’s always an answer.

At abc Glass, for example, we use several CNC and waterjet cutting machines to produce made-to-measure class panels. This includes detailed cut-outs for any components that your design calls for.

 

Are you considering a glass fencing solution for a swimming pool? If so, abc Glass’s technicians will cater to your exact specifications with robust, stylish glass panels Check out our wide range of glass processing services, or contact us if you have any questions.

 

 

Decorative laminated glass shower door

What is Decorative Laminated Glass?

We hear this question a lot from our clients. And no wonder: decorative laminated glass is growing in popularity year-on-year. By combining the toughness of laminated glass with the beauty of customised patterns, textures and colours, decorated laminated glass offers a robust yet stylish solution for livening up a home or commercial interior.

 

Decorative laminated glass shower door

 

In this article, we’ll show you how decorative laminated glass is actually made in our Portsmouth factory. We’ll also explore the glass’s unique properties and reveal how laminated glass can be decorated with a choice of hundreds of artistic features. Finally, we’ll run through some of the best uses for decorative glass both indoors and outdoors.

How is decorative laminated glass made?

At abc Glass, our process of making decorative laminated glass differs only slightly from that of standard laminated glass. The key thing to remember is the extra mesh or fabric “interlayer” sheet added during the laminating process. This sheet, made from either polyvinyl butyl (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), can be decorated in a myriad of ways, as we’ll explore later.

The step-by-step process is simple. First, our technicians insert the decorative interlayer between two toughened or untoughened glass sheets. Our state of the art glass laminating machine bonds the three layers together to form the final product. And bingo: your decorative laminated glass is ready.

Tougher stuff

 

example of shattered laminated glass

 

To the untrained eye, decorative laminated glass may seem a purely stylistic choice. But as we’ve seen, it’s also an extremely robust product. In the UK, all decorative laminated glass must meet EN 14449 safety standards to be considered legal. This ensures that, when shattered, the glass sheet keeps its original form, displaying a trademark “spiderweb” crack pattern. Contrast this with untreated regular glass, which breaks into a handful of unsafe sharp shards – disastrous in the event of breakage or a fire.

Further benefits of decorative laminated glass include better sound insulation as well as blocking out harmful UV rays. What’s not to like?

A layer of personality

 

Decorative laminated glass examples

 

The most exciting aspect of decorative glass is, of course, the decoration. You can add an incredible array of patterns and colours to your mesh or fabric interlayer. Our website showcases just a few of the patterns we offer, from cool metallic to sandy textures.

Putting decorative glass to use

 

Shower screen by Drench with decorative laminated glass

 

In theory, anywhere that normal laminated glass is found can be kitted out with decorative glass. Popular uses include for glass balconies, glass partitions, glass balustrades, glass table tops and shelves, glass staircases, glass flooring, frameless glass shower enclosures, and much more.

Bear in mind, however, that certain spaces may not lend themselves to added decoration. In some cases a simple clear or frosted laminated glass sheet will work better – far be it from us to judge!

Before ordering any decorative laminated glass, we recommend speaking to one of our in-house glass experts. We’ll explain the process for processing and supplying glass for your specifications and show you the many patterns and colour options available.

Woman looking at a city view from a glass balcony

5 Great Reasons to Invest in a Glass Balcony

Glass balconies are one of the most overlooked options for expanding your outdoor space. A lot of myths persist about the safety and cost of glass, which we hear in anxious questions from customers: Are glass balconies safe? Do they offer value for money? Are they suited to small spaces? The answer to all is an emphatic “yes”.

To explain more, we’ve put together our five top reasons to invest in a glass balcony…

1. Superior views from any angle

 

Glass balcony by P&P Glass offers far reaching views

 

The great flaw of traditional balconies – i.e. those made from wood, stone or metal – is that the view is often obstructed. This becomes a problem when sitting down: who wants to eat breakfast while staring at an opaque balustrade that blocks your view?

By contrast, glass balconies offer a fully unobstructed view of your surroundings. Clear toughened glass panels are a godsend, letting you lie back on your balcony without missing out on the view. Furthermore, glass allows sunlight to shine across the entire balcony area, with no ugly shadows forming throughout the day.

One day, perhaps, someone will invent a see-through metal sheet. Until then, glass balconies are the only option for guaranteeing the fullest, most dramatic views from the comfort of your home.

2. Perfect for tight spaces (and limited budgets)

 

Frameless glass Juliet balcony

 

Space can be overrated. After all, the main purpose of a balcony is to offer views, rather than a space for swinging a cat. Many of our favourite glass balconies offer a limited amount of space, such as Juliet balconies and simple glass balustrades across a large door. Such designs are ideal for small homes and apartments that lack the space for a full-on glass balcony. Unsurprisingly, these compact balconies cost rather less than their bigger, more imposing cousins.

Another bonus to glass is the relative ease of installation. The glass can be cut and predrilled to suit a variety of prefabricated clamping systems, making it easy to install the glass panels quickly.

3. Can be 100% frameless

 

Frameless glass balcony provides uninterrupted views

 

Frameless made-to-measure glass panels are a staple of modern shower rooms, partitions and doors, staircases, and more. But they can also be harnessed to create stunning frameless glass balconies and balustrades. We use glass edge polishing techniques to give the exposed panels a smooth, rounded edge ideal for frameless glass balconies. They’re also a natural choice for smaller balconies such as simple glass balustrades.

 

4. Dozens of laminated or decorative glass options

 

Frosted glass balustrade with floating stainless steel handrail

 

In our experience, many homeowners opt for laminated glass panels when designing their balcony. The most common reason is privacy – frosted or tinted glass prevents anyone from peeking into your balcony space, while still allowing plenty of sunlight to pour through. You could even go big and bold with coloured glass panels, or steal the show with decorative glass patterns.

 

5. Just as safe as traditional balconies

 

Glass floored balcony at the top of a skyscraper

 

Framed and frameless glass balconies are exceptionally robust. The glass panels serve as load-bearing supports that can withstand all kinds of abuse and footfall. Modern designs use extra-strong base mounts and clamps to help bolster the integrity of the structure. Toughened safety glass is often used for glass balconies – our machines can produce toughened panels up to 2.5m x 4m in size.

Are you interested in a glass balcony for a domestic or commercial project? abc Glass offers 20 years’ experience in glass processing for all kinds of glass balconies. Our experts are happy to answer any questions you may have – just get in touch via the contact page.

 

Glass staircase balustrade with dark oak steps

5 Stunning Stairways With a Glass Balustrade

When it comes to interior design, there are virtually no limits to what you can do with glass. Fancy some wow-factor in your garden? Glass garden features are your friend. Zoning off a room without using a wall? Simply put up a glass partition. However, the most popular glass trend we’re seeing now is something much different: glass balustrades for staircases.

Glass staircase balustrade with dark oak steps

There’s nothing to revitalise the hallway quite like a new glass staircase. After all, your stairs are often the first thing people see when they walk through the front door. To meet this demand, we’ve partnered with staircase specialists Multi-Turn to design some truly stunning glass balustrades for staircases.

There are a number of benefits to glass balustrades for staircases. These include:

  • More natural light – glass staircases let more light in, brightening your staircase and leaving a clear view
  • Illusion of more space – as with any glass feature, the see-through nature of the material tricks the eye into seeing more space
  • Aesthetics – glass staircases boast a wow-factor unmatched by any other material.
  • Long lasting & durable – with abc Glass’s low-maintenance clear toughened glass, your stairway should last a lifetime

So, what are the main types of glass balustrades for staircases? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five of our original glass staircase projects, each showing a different approach to glass staircase design.

 

1. Rebated balustrade

Rebated glass balustrade in new build home staircase

Rebated balustrades are one of the most popular design solutions for glass staircases. It simply involves fitting the glass panel into a tight groove in the woodwork, creating a near-seamless look. The two examples above show rebated glass at its finest, taken from a bespoke residential side in Romsey.

 

2. On Brackets

Large glass balustrade with stand off brackets

For larger projects with longer balustrades – such as this huge landing in Southampton – a glass brackets system does the trick. This particular style is called “stand-off” brackets, which leaves ample space between wood and glass. It’s also common to find glass fitted by stainless steel clamps to the railings and posts. This leaves a slither of space around the entire edge of the glass pane.

 

3. Glass Risers

Staircase glass risers with built-in LED lights

For a more elaborate look, why not choose glass risers for your next staircase? Risers can be seamlessly blended into the design using hidden fixing bolts, like this recent project (above). We used small sheets of 12mm toughened glass below each step, combined with discreet in-built lighting that reflects the surface. As glass staircases go, it doesn’t get more luxurious!

 

4. Structural glass

Structured glass balustrade with no handrail

Frameless balustrades are popular with homeowners seeking a minimalist look. For this private house in Guildford, we used 12mm toughened structural glass – integrated into the wooden staircase – for an incredible “freestanding” effect. With no handrails or traditional supports, the entire glass structure has a unique look.

 

5. Glass spindles

Glass spindles rebated into staircase balustrades

Most glass panels found on staircases are large and imposing. But with glass spindles you can create a totally different look, inspired by traditional balusters but with all the advantages of glass. Small individual panes are rebated into to the staircase structure, with no need for brackets. The end result is a light, airy and seamless look that any homeowner would be keen to show off.

 

To find out more about our glass balustrades for staircases, or how you can incorporate glass into the home, please speak to our expert team. We’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have, and to help you on your way to a stunning new glass staircase.

Frameless glass balustrade for a staircase

Are You Using Glass Balustrades to Their Full Dramatic Effect?

Glass balustrades can be used inside and outside the home (or commercial property) to add both functionality and flair. There are many other advantages of glass balustrades though, especially high quality creations by Portsmouth’s abc Glass Processing, and we’re here to make sure you’re in the know and that your glass safety barriers give you maximum bang for your buck.

What is a glass balustrade?

Woman looking at a city view from a glass balcony

A glass balustrade is a safety barrier where glass is used to infill the gap between the floor and hand rail, perhaps on a balcony or staircase. Frameless glass balustrades can be used, decoratively as well as practically, in place of spindles or as structural components instead of newel posts and handrails.  Structural glass balustrades are often referred to as frameless glass balustrades and can add wow-factor to your interior design or exterior design project.

Where can you use glass balustrades?

Frameless glass stair balustrade with timber handrail

You can use glass balustrades as a style statement in homes with either a contemporary or classic décor theme as well as in stylish commercial properties such as retail outlets, offices, restaurants and hotels. Here are the most common glass balustrade applications:

  • Balcony balustrades and Juliet balconies
  • Glass deck panels (bordering garden decking)
  • Staircases (glass railings, glass stair banisters etc.)
  • Frameless glass balustrades for internal landings
  • Glass fence panels / garden partitions

What are the benefits of glass balustrades?

Large balcony with stainless steel and glass balustrade

Glass balustrades made by the experts at abc Glass Processing hold a number of advantages for your development or design project, which we’ll break down for your here:

  • Drama – The addition of a glass balustrade inside or outside will enhance the appearance of any space. Create clean lines in small spaces. Make balustrades of different custom glass designs a feature in a large atrium. Combine plain glass with glass sandblasting effects or decorative fabric interlays for textural style. Coordinate your chosen colour palette with our glass painting service.
  • Light – As glass is inherently see-through, frameless glass balustrades allow more natural light to flow within a property and won’t block fabulous views. To make the most of highlighting and brightening add feature lighting to your balustrade or glass railings.
  • Space – The reflective nature of glass banisters and balustrades helps create the illusion of a larger and more open space. It also adds a fresh and airy feel that’s much sought-after for new-builds and modern barn conversions.
  • Versatile – The adaptability of glass balustrades as architectural pieces, and the variety of applications they offer, creates myriad design opportunities. Combine glass balcony and balustrade panels with wonderful woods for a more naturalistic vibe. Team with chrome or stainless steel balustrade fittings for a cool contemporary twist. Incorporate cement and exposed brickwork for an up-to-the-minute urban touch. Remember that our advanced CNC cutting machinery allows accurate and detailed cut outs and holes for components such as clamps and handrails to make your glass balustrades all the more versatile.
  • Quality – When made by abc’s master craftsmen, you can be sure your glass balustrade or glass fence will meet the highest strength, quality and safety glass standards. Created from laminated glass in a variety of thicknesses suitable for all types of balcony balustrades and glass fence panels or toughened glass (with 5 times the mechanical and thermal strength of annealed glass), our glass balustrades will not shatter your interior design illusions!
  • Easy – As well as being easy to install, frameless glass balustrades and glass fence panels are easy to maintain. Keep them looking as good as new by polishing regularly using a quality glass cleaner. We also offer an optional ClearShield glass coating, which can help to reduce water marks and discourage the build-up of calcium and dirt on external glass balustrades.

Frosted glass balustrade with floating stainless steel handrail

Contact abc Glass Processing for more information on our glass products or to get a quote for your exact glass balustrade requirements today.