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Exploring Frameless Glass Railing Hardware Systems

Exploring Frameless Glass Railing Hardware Systems

deck with glass railing and nice seating area at sunset. Text on top of image reads exploring different glass railing systems

At J.R.E. Hardware, we offer top-notch glass railing hardware solutions. Whether you want to enhance your staircase, create a seamless deck, or secure your pool area, we’ve got you covered.

Glass railing systems offer style, safety, and practicality. Our strong 12mm laminated glass panels can be held in place by various mounting methods, providing clear views and weather resistance while exceeding safety standards. Understanding the different types of glass railing hardware can help you make an informed choice that complements your space.

 

The Types Of Frameless Glass Railing Hardware

 

Standoff Glass Railing Systems

Photo of a standoff glass railing hardware piece next to an image of it in use on a glass railingThese systems feature glass panels that are anchored to the facia of the structure using standoffs, creating a sleek and unobtrusive look. Our durable stainless steel standoffs provide vigorous support while allowing the glass panels to appear to float. Mounting the standoffs securely to the fascia provides a stable foundation for the glass. Once the standoffs are in place, the pre-drilled glass panels are carefully positioned and attached to the standoffs using specialized hardware.

 

Short Post Glass Railing Systems

a black and wood building with a frameless glass railing against a bright blue sky

Unlike traditional railing systems with long vertical posts, short post systems use shorter posts spaced along the railing area. This product is created from high-grade 6063 T6 aluminum, which is built for strength and corrosion resistance. The short posts mount to the fascia of the surface, resulting in a secure system with a low profile that allows for unobstructed views and maximum transparency. This system is a breeze to clean and maintain and an outstanding choice for decks, balconies, and stairs.

 

Base Shoe Glass Railing Systems

bass shoe glass railing hardware in use in a bright home with wood floorsThis system features a heavy channel known as a base shoe. Created from high-grade 6063 T6 aluminum, the base shoe serves as the primary support structure for the glass panels. We have two kinds of base shoe systems; top-mount, which is mounted to the floor or structure, and facia-mount, which is attached to the fascia (the edge/end of the surface). Whether used for balconies, staircases, or terraces, base shoe glass railing systems provide a safe and stylish solution that enhances the overall aesthetic of any space.

 

 

 

Spigot Glass Railing Systems

piece of spigot glass railing hardware next to a photo of it in use with frosted glass panels

This system uses durable stainless steel spigots, or glass clamps, to hold the panels in place and provide stability and strength. Installation of spigot systems involves positioning the spigots along the designated railing area, securing them to the structure, and then inserting the glass panels into the spigots before securing. With fewer components and simplified assembly processes, spigot systems can be installed quickly and efficiently, saving both time and labor costs. This beautiful and secure system is the perfect choice for balconies, terraces, stairs, or pool fencing.

 

Baluster Glass Railing Systemsglass railing in a concrete stairwell

Also known as post mount, baluster railing systems are the most common and classic systems. Baluster systems feature evenly spaced vertical posts that support the glass panels on either side using clips. Installation of baluster or post mount systems involves securely mounting the balusters or posts to the floor or structure, ensuring stability and durability for the glass railing. These systems are simple to clean and maintain and are an excellent choice for pool surrounds, decks, balconies, and stairs.

 

 

 

Collage of photos depicting different glass railing hardware systems. Text on the side reads comparing standoff, spigot, base shoe, short post, & baluster systmes

Aesthetic Differences

When it comes to visual appeal, each railing hardware system offers distinct aesthetic advantages. Standoff systems provide a minimalist look, as the glass panels are mounted directly to the side of the stairs or balcony, creating a seamless and floating appearance. Spigot systems also have a modern appeal, with glass panels held by discreet, floor-mounted spigots that give a clean and uncluttered finish. Base shoe systems have a more substantial presence, with glass panels set into a continuous metal shoe, offering a sleek but prominent look. Short post systems combine traditional and contemporary styles, featuring shorter posts that provide a subtle framework for the glass panels, balancing visibility and structural support. Baluster systems, the most traditional of the group, consist of vertical posts or balusters that support the handrail, offering a classic and timeless appearance suitable for both traditional and transitional designs.

Functional Differences

Functionally, these systems vary significantly. Standoff systems are known for their strong support and are ideal for creating an unobstructed view, but they may require more precise installation techniques. Spigot systems are flexible and can be adjusted easily, making them a popular choice for DIY projects and renovations. Base shoe systems offer robust structural integrity and are excellent for high-traffic areas due to their sturdy construction. Short post systems provide a balance between aesthetics and function, offering sufficient support while maintaining a low-profile design. Post mount or baluster systems are highly versatile and can be customized with various materials and designs, providing robust support and a traditional feel. Each system’s structural features influence its application and ease of installation.

Suitability for Various Environments

Choosing the right system depends on the specific environment and requirements. For a modern, open-concept home or commercial space where unobstructed views are paramount, standoff or spigot systems are ideal. They enhance the sense of openness and are perfect for maximizing natural light. Base shoe systems are well-suited for environments requiring extra durability and safety, such as public buildings, commercial spaces, or high-traffic areas. Short post systems are versatile and can adapt to various settings, providing a balanced solution for both residential and commercial applications. Post mount or baluster systems are perfect for environments that seek a more traditional or classic aesthetic, such as historic buildings, residential homes, or settings where a more detailed and decorative look is desired. Each system’s suitability varies based on aesthetic preferences, functional needs, and specific environmental conditions.

entryway with wood accents, boho details and glass railings in nanaimo home

Choosing The Perfect Glass Railing System: Key Takeaways and Next Steps

To recap, each type of glass railing hardware system we offer at J.R.E. Hardware brings its own set of benefits:

  • Standoff Systems: Provide a sleek, minimalist look with panels that appear to float.
  • Short Post Systems: Offer unobstructed views and easy maintenance with a low-profile design.
  • Spigot Systems: Feature quick installation and a clean, modern aesthetic.
  • Base Shoe Systems: Deliver robust support and a prominent visual presence.
  • Baluster Systems: Combine classic appeal with strong structural integrity.

Choosing the right system is crucial to achieving the desired balance of style, safety, and functionality. Your selection should be based on the specific requirements of your environment and your personal preferences.

We invite you to explore the extensive range of glass railing solutions available at J.R.E. Hardware. Let us help you create a stunning and secure space with our high-quality glass railing systems. Contact us today for more information, visit our catalogue to start building your quote now, or pop by the showroom and chat about your project in person.

 

JRE Hardware Inc. Announces Glacier Lite Panels – IN STOCK!

JRE Hardware Inc. Announces Glacier Lite Panels – IN STOCK!

With the cost of [literally] everything rising to unknown heights, JRE Hardware has found a way to decrease the cost of the glass railing portion of your next project.  “How?” you ask?  Allow us to introduce Glacier Lites Mirror & Glass Supply Co. our source for large volume, tempered glass panels and annealed 6mm mirror glass. We have brought in panels for a variety of our railing systems making us a one stop shop for a complete supply package.

Let’s get into a little more detail about what all of this means using a few of our railing systems as an example.

Glass Stand Off Frameless Glass Railing System

JRE Hardware has been well known for the quality of our solid or adjustable, 316 stainless steel two-inch diameter glass stand offs.  They come in a variety of projections with some sizes being offered in matte black.  This product has also undergone

pre-engineering testing which benefits the customer or installer in several ways, specifically during Inspection or site-specific Engineering stages.   During this testing, two means of re-enforcing the panels were presented to ensure the system would meet Engineering requirements; mall clamps at the top of the panel or our structural cap rail.  As a quick rule of thumb, each panel requires two pairs of stand offs that are mounted an adequate substrate.

We have full stock of all of our stand offs, clamps and cap rail… and now we’re stocking up on a variety of widths in our 12mm laminated glass stand off panels (6mm on 6mm tempered, with 0.76 PVB interlayer) all of which are made to a 52” height with holes pre-cut for easy install.  Should additional sizing be required, we have the means to order custom panels at approximately a 2-week turnaround.  The cost of these panels are subject to our Supplier’s pricing however, our Glacier Lites panels can be as low as $295 each.

Exterior Spigot Frameless Glass Railing System

Moving along to another one of our pre-engineered systems – the glass spigot.  This is one of our most versatile products that we carry as it can be used for various applications such as; railing and pool enclosures.  

We’ve stocked up on 12mm laminated panels (6mm on 6mm tempered, with 0.76 PVB interlayer) ranging in widths all made to 40.5” height.  This allows for these panels to also be used in our exterior top mount Slimline base shoe, exterior top mount post system (square and round), as well as for our interior fascia mount post systems.

Again, pricing per panel is around $295.

For both of these glass panel types we estimate that frameless glass railing systems using our stainless-steel hardware and the new glass panels could be in the range of $125 per lineal foot.

To start your project quote, call us at (250) 824-5555 or send us an email at info@jrehardware.com

Frameless Glass Railing Systems

Before embarking on your next topless or frameless glass deck railing system project, make sure you have all the information you need before you build.

Frameless glass railing systems for residential construction add a high class design to any project but they can be a bit tricky here in British Columbia.  This is mainly because neither Part 4 or Part 9 of the BC Building Code touch on the strength and resilience of glass or the hardware holding it. There is a presumption that frameless glass railings are not allowed or are an unsafe option however this is not the case. Glass railing systems when done properly can easily exceed the standards of today’s railing and guard requirements.

There are many different types of glass options and each have their pros and cons.  The main consideration of any Engineer or Building Inspector is built in redundancies or secondary break safety. What this means is, if the glass panel fails, what is in place to keep people safe?  The idea is that each panel on its own has sufficient strength to support the loads required by the building code.

The information below is based on past JRE Hardware customer projects as well as reports and information that we have had access to. Glass standards and industry regulations change frequently. If you are commencing a glass railing project, please review your local Building Codes and consult with an Inspector or Engineer for project-based requirements.

Glass Panel Options

Monolithic, Clear Tempered Glass Panels

If you’re in the market for a heavy glass railing system and are looking for the most cost relaxed glass option, we would recommend a monolithic, clear tempered glass panel.  These panels are typically installed with 10mm or 12mm thick glass.  Keep in mind, a cap rail that spans all panels will be required to act as a secondary break; either on top or in front of the panel using through-glass handrail bracket. This glass option is the cheapest but will likely end up costing you a little more on the hardware side of things.

Photo of the exterior of a home with a second floor deck featuring frameless glass railings.

Another way that topless glass railings can be achieved is by using laminated glass panels where two tempered glass layers are laminated together with either Poly Vinyl Butyral (PVB) or SentryGuard Plus (SGP) materials between the glasses. Both materials have various thickness options that allow you to customize your panel and find the most cost relaxed option. 

Tempered Panels Laminated with Poly Vinyl Butryal (PVB)

PVB is a clear, flexible plastic material that is available in a variety of thicknesses. If both panels break the glass will slump over however will stay intact. Glass laminated with a PVB interlayer is commonly used in topless glass railing installations where there is support at the top of the panel and no extreme spans are required. In this scenario, a 6mm tempered panel w/ 1.5mm interlayer and another 6mm panel would suffice.  This type of glass railing system puts you in the middle of the price point compared to the other options.

Tempered Panels Laminated with SentryGuard Plus (SGP)

Moving along to laminated glass with an SGP interlayer. Again, varying in thickness, SGP is a clear interlayer that is made from a solid material and is 100 times stronger on its own when compared to PVB.   Furthermore, when laminated between glass layers, it gives the panel 5 times the strength of a PVB interlayer.  If either of the glass layers are broken, the panel will remain rigid.  For this reason, when using an SGP interlayered panel, it is possible to have a completely frameless glass system that will meet or exceed the code requirements with no additional support other than the structural hardware holding the panel in place. This type of glass railing system is the most expensive option.

Railing Hardware

Now for the exciting part: The Hardware. There are a number of standard ways to mount your topless glass railings.  Overall aesthetics and personal preferences play a major role in your decision however project specific elements need to be considered as well. There are fascia and floor mount baseshoe systems, glass standoff systems with multiple projections and patterns, rectangular or square standoffs as well as glass spigots and mini posts.  At J.R.E. Hardware Inc., we offer all of the above.  Further to this, we have taken the time to have our railing system components reviewed and engineered by BuePoint Consulting, a Vancouver Island Structural Engineering Firm.

Baseshoe Railing Systems

 


Baseshoe railings are a popular frameless glass railing system that can be used in a large variety of ways and gives you the freedom to decide the level of obstruction you desire. Like other frameless glass railing systems, the baseshoe can be used with the glass options we’ve discussed above. Baseshoe railing systems come in a few different styles; fascia mount clamps with cladding, top mount clamps with cladding or JRE’s exclusive Slimline top mount base shoe. All of our baseshoe systems are dry glaze and can be installed on whatever material that you, or your construction professional sees fit. These railings will give the appearance of the glass coming seamlessly out of the floor and are a great look for residential or commercial railings or partitions.

Glass Stand Off Railing Systems

Glass stand offs are a beautiful choice for both interior railings as well as exterior railings. Stand off railing systems are very versatile and can be used in a number of combinations including stairs or even glass canopies. J.R.E Hardware stocks this product in a number of different projections and colours so your frameless glass railing is easily customizable. Standoff railing systems are typically mounted on the fascia of a deck or wall allowing the glass to stand clear, or “stand off” of the floor. This type of mounting gives the perspective of uninterrupted glass protruding past the floor and can be used with 8mm on 8mm SGP laminated glass for a completely frameless glass system. The same system can be more affordable as a topless glass railing system with only mall clamps between panels using 6mm on 6mm PVB laminated glass or alternatively, the standoffs can be used with a 12mm monolithic panel with a structural cap rail or handrail in front.

Glass Spigots or Mini Post Railing Systems

Spigot railing systems are a great option when it is possible to mount your railings on the surface of the floor or ground. These are essentially a mini post that will accommodate 12mm monolithic or 12mm laminated glass. This glass mounting hardware is most popular for pool fencing, windbreaks, sneeze guards, deck railings or interior railings. They are easy to install and there is no glass manufacturing necessary making installation a breeze.

No matter the look that you are going for J.R.E. Hardware Inc. has the components and knowledge around the topless glass industry that will enable you to complete your project successfully. Any of our systems will look great in residential or commercial construction or renovation projects.  Contact us today to start your project off on the right foot!

Westcoast Weatherproof Railings – Bring it On!

Westcoast Weatherproof Railings – Bring it On!

As British Columbians, we are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth; Canada’s warm spot due to the lush rain forests and coastline – but let’s face it, it rains… a lot. Architects, developers and contractors are making sure home owners are getting the most out of the stunning vistas and environmental artistry by building homes with amazing outdoor living areas and decks. But all of this moisture means that the structures behind these invaluable nooks must hold up to what Mother Nature throws at it.

 

There are several material choices available when building these spaces. From wood, to composite, to aluminum to stainless steel. Which will hold up best to corrosion and provide the best stability? Can you achieve the look you want and ensure your investment will stand the test of time? Whether you’re building the home for yourself or are building on someone’s behalf – you want to have your cake and eat it too.

We believe the answer is simple: stainless steel in 316 alloy. All of our stainless steel railings hardware is manufactured to this grade to ensure our product will last the lifetime of your home. Both 304 and 316 Stainless steel are non-porous metals and are comprised of nickel iron, copper, manganese and chromium as an anti-corrosive. 316 stainless has less chromium however increased levels of nickel and molybdenum is added into the compound. Molybdenum is used in to increase strength, hardness, and resistance to corrosion and wear.

Enough with the technical mumbo-jumbo.

We have put our hardware to the test. In the ocean. Yes, IN the ocean. One of the many benefits of living by the Pacific is hobby sports such as boating, scuba, and of course fishing & crabbing. The General Manager of JRE Hardware, having nothing else available, had recruited one of our 316 stainless glass stand offs to weigh down his crab trap on one of his trips out. It had worked so well that he decided it should continue it’s work and remain aboard the trap and carry out the remainder of its life as a functioning part of his crab operations. That was 8 years ago, and about 120 crabbing expeditions later. This hardworking little standoff has been submerged directly in saltwater water for upwards of 60 or so hours. As you can see from the photo, this stand off has suffered no corrosion, only some damage due to rocks and shells. All of our railing hardware is comprised of the same alloy materials and compounds as the stand off in this picture so we can confidently say that our hardware will stand the test of time. Bring on the rain. Bring on the ocean spray. You can have your crab & eat it too.

JRE Hardware in 316 stainless steel:

Contact us for custom quotes for your next project.