Gaps and spacing between glass panels

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Glass panel sizes

The width and overall lengths of glass panels that are used on glass balustrades are usually made to sizes that can be manipulated easily to the site and around the site, so that they can be easily installed.  From our experience we find this is very important at the initial installation stage, but this also mitigates costs tremendously if, for any reason, glass replacement is required in the future.

Gaps and spacing between glasses

Therefore we tend to use glass panels which are up to 1.2 metres wide. Glass runs will be made up of more than a single sheet and in our designs we allow for the spacing between glasses to be around 15-30mm. The reasons for this are:

  1. Gaps are made wide enough for most fingers to pass through easily.
  2. It makes is easier to install.

It makes lining up the glasses much easier. To line up a 30mm gap is simpler than a 5mm gap because if you are +/- 2mm on 20-30mm it’s almost unnoticeable to the eye whereas with a 5mm gap if you have a 2 or 3mm difference in the top and the bottom it’s very noticeable.

spacing between two glass panels 11712

View of spacing between two glass panels

Frequently asked questions regarding the glass panels

One of the questions asked often “is it possible to have a smaller than a 30mm gap between the balcony glass panels?

The answer simply is that it is possible, yes.  But the reason we have 30mm gaps is to not have finger traps, easier installation and easier alignment of the glasses.

If the client, despite all these reasons, still wants a reduced glass gap, then these can be reduced to as little as 5mm gaps.

We explain that it’ll make installation just that little bit more niggly and not as easy than with a 20-30mm gap.

Must have a gap

Glass panels MUST HAVE A GAP –they cannot touch one another, this could lead to pressure on the glass due to thermal expansion and must always be avoided, you must never have glasses touching.

Larger Glass panels

We usually like to supply the maximum width around the metre wide and this is how we divide the glasses up into.  Customers occasionally ask to have large glass panels, larger than what we recommend are used, which is up to a 1.2 metre wide maximum.

The answer to a wider glass panel is again yes we can supply a larger glass panel and glass panels can be made larger.  There are implications to this, cost and other. Our standard prices represents supplying glass panels of max 1.2m wide.

maximum wide 11712

The down side and implications of using large glass panels are:

  1. It is heavier to lift
  2. Increased chance of breakage on site
  3. More man or manual power required. (You’ll probably require at least two people to install a glass panel where with our system a person can carry a single panel, meaning usually you will only need a single person to install a panel of glass).
  4. Increased delivery and packing costs, because a special pallet will need to be used to supply these glasses.  

In general it is possible to supply larger panels, it is not our standard and you really need to watch out and ensure that you, the customer truly understand the implication and what it means.

Delivery of glass

When we deliver glass panels they sometimes get “handballed” off the lorry which is delivering them.  Once again when you run into larger panels this becomes an issue; all sorts of things that you may not have thought about at the point of ordering. You should try and  understand the reasons why we actually work to these sizes.

It comes from experience; it comes from the ease and importance that is related to installing things and manoeuvring them on site and manoeuvring them to the site, all of these which have led us to recommend use of a certain maximum panel size.

10 mm glass weighs 25kgs a square metre so if you’re lifting one glass panel of a metre by a metre, you’re lifting approximately 25kgs.  Imagine a glass of 2.0m wide you’re lifting double that, you need to lift 50kgs.  It’s much harder, much more difficult to manoeuvre. That is the basic reasoning behind it all.