What are glass stair panels?

Glass stair panels connect the base to the handrail, providing an attractive and modern alternative to traditional spindles.

The term ‘stair panels’ may bring to mind the ghastly, boxed-in look that was popular in the 1960s. However, those stair panels were generally wooden, which completely restricted the flow of light. This resulted in dark and gloomy stairways that were something of an eyesore.

The contemporary glass stair panels supplied by Abbott-Wade provide the opposite effect, by increasing the flow of light into your stairway and making the area appear larger.

Glass stair panels can be installed without a handrail for an unobstructed view or can alternatively be paired with a timber or steel handrail for a stunning effect.

A glass staircase can add a contemporary touch to any house or building, regardless of its existing style and age. This is one of the many reasons why this fashionable design is a fixture in so many modern homes today.

The transparency of glass staircase panels also provides a sense of simplicity, with this barely-there look offering a fluid view of your interior. With all the benefits they can bring, glass staircases deserve to be a main feature of your interior design. Make sure you give your hallways the attention they deserve by considering having glass staircases installed in your home.

At Abbott-Wade, we specialise in the production and installation of glass staircases, so there’s no better team to call if glass staircase designs pique your interest. Our expert team skilfully tackles all jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible without ever compromising on quality.

Are glass staircases safe?

Safety concerns are a key reason for people being reluctant to install glass staircases in their homes. However, our glass balustrades are manufactured from specially toughened glass and are 100 percent safe.

If you have young children or pets, we advise choosing a close-fit solid glass staircase for peace of mind. This means there will be no gaps for little limbs (or paws) to get trapped. Our expert installation team can even cut the glass to the exact shape of your stair treads, ensuring a perfect fit along every edge. So, you can opt for a modern glass staircase, allowing your home to feel lighter and more spacious, without compromising on safety.

All of our glass staircase panels are made from the highest-quality glass around, with 10mm toughened Pilkington glass ensuring that your glass balustrade not only looks stunning but is strong enough to last a lifetime. This guarantees that you’re purchasing a durable glass staircase with 100% safe and secure installation that will serve your home for decades.

Like all our projects, we can tailor our glass staircases to suit any design idea, such as an oak and glass staircase to provide the perfect blend between the two materials. As an Abbott-Wade customer, you can also select from Low-Iron Optiwhite glass or bronzed and sandblasted glass as an alternative to standard clear glass staircase panels. There are so many choices available when it comes to designing your bespoke glass staircase, and we will work with you until every aspect is just as you dreamed.

Why our clients love glass stair panels

Changing from dated wooden spindles to stylish glass stair panels isn’t purely an aesthetic choice. Whilst it’s true that glass stair panels look fantastic and can instantly revamp your staircase, there are also some practical reasons for choosing this material.

Wooden spindles tend to be a bit of a dust trap, and it can be a real chore to paint them when decorating your home. Meanwhile, glass stair panels require only minimal maintenance – a regular wipe down is enough to keep them looking new for years. And there is nowhere for dust to get trapped, meaning that your staircase will be much cleaner – great for those with pets!

Glass staircase design

We create and install each glass staircase in consultation with our talented team of designers, who will discuss the full range of design options with you prior to beginning any work. This way, we can all be sure that you’re getting exactly what you want out of your glass staircase. We use the finest materials whilst keeping the costs of glass staircases down, ensuring that you receive the best value for money service around.

No matter which glass balustrade design you have in mind, the staircase experts here at Abbott-Wade are on hand to help. We understand that the process of creating your dream staircase can be overwhelming, with so many design options available, but we’re here to help. If you have any specific glass staircase ideas in mind, make sure you let us know! We can give you the lowdown on the logistical implementations, so you have an exact idea of what’s possible and how it will look when we finish the installation.

Speak to an expert about glass staircases today

If you’d like to find out more about our glass staircases then get in touch with Abbott-Wade today, and we will gladly discuss any enquiries you have. Give us a call on 01744 632 442 or drop us an email at info@abbottwade.co.uk; you can also fill out our online form for a timely response.

Glass Staircase FAQs

How to install a glass staircase?

The process of installing a glass staircase is easier than what you may be led to believe. It’s crucial that the staircase is installed correctly, ensuring that it’s easy and safe to use in the future. Any mistakes during the installation process could lead to accidents, which of course, no one wants to encounter!

To install a glass staircase panel, you should first remove the existing timber or metal balustrading and handrails. This allows you to dispose of the material that you no longer want in a safe and efficient way. Then we can start getting to work on installing your ideal glass staircase! The installation process will depend on your chosen design – for example, whether you’re going for a seamless look or supporting spindles.

The base rail is usually installed first, followed by newel posts, which tend to be at the top and bottom of the flight of stairs but may also feature at intermediate points. Glass panels are slotted into the groove of the base rail and held in place while the handrail is fitted on top to secure the panels. In some cases, metal clamps are used to secure the top and bottom of each panel to the base and handrail rather than sealing them into grooves in the wood.

How much does a glass staircase cost?

For many, a glass staircase is seen as a more expensive to a wooden one, but often this isn’t the case! Depending on your specific requirements, the cost of staircases can be scaled down, so you can receive exactly what you’re looking for. So whether this is something simple yet effective, or elaborate and show stopping, you’ll always be paying the correct, fair price.

glass staircase renovation is cheaper than a full staircase replacement, as you’ll be keeping the existing structure of your staircase the same whilst adding some new glass elements. At Abbott-Wade, we specialise in staircase refurbishments that work with your existing flight of stairs. We only remove the full flight if it isn’t structurally safe, or if the existing structure won’t work with your desired new design and you’re happy for it to be completely replaced.

Due to the bespoke nature of each of the installations we carry out, we don’t have a list of base rates available. We prefer to speak directly with our customers to obtain a full picture of their requirements before giving a price for the required work. The last thing we want to do is give you an off-putting quote based on loose specifications when the price may actually be much cheaper, depending on what you intend to do with your glass staircase.

To discuss a quote for a potential glass staircase design and installation, you can get in touch with our helpful and knowledgeable team, who can also arrange your free home survey with a member of our design team. Through detailed consultations with our experts, we can help you to finalise a realistic design that works with your stair structure and your budget. We always do our best to provide the best value for money for our customers.

What are the benefits of glass staircases?

Let’s be honest, a glass staircase may not be for everyone on first glance, but once you learn more about exactly how they can make a positive difference in your building, your opinion may change. Here at Abbott-Wade, we have seen many instances where people have been pleasantly surprised with glass staircases and have decided to implement them over other materials.

If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of going for glass with your staircase renovation, here are ten of the major benefits you’ll get from installing a glass staircase in your home:

  • More light

Unlike opaque wood or metal, glass allows light to flow through, brightening the area around your stairway and reducing the need for more artificial light. Natural light is always more aesthetically appealing and cheerier, so why not enhance the ambience in your home by increasing light flow?

  • More space

In addition to making your interiors brighter, glass staircase panels also provide a less restricted view. This reduces the claustrophobic, closed-off feeling that some staircases can have and opens up the space instead. Glass balustrades can make the area feel much more spacious than it actually is.

  • Easy to install

Most glass staircases involve simple glass panels that are straightforward to install, meaning less preparation and an even faster installation time when professionals like Abbott-Wade do the work for you. With this staircase style, you’ll be able to enjoy your new high-quality stairs in no time.

  • Easy to maintain

Glass is a relatively hassle-free material to take care of; unlike wood, you won’t have to reapply stains or wax treatments to maintain its polish. All you have to do is wipe down the glass regularly or whenever you notice marks or stains, with a lint-free microfibre cloth and a simple cleaning solution.

  • Strong and safe

Lots of people have safety concerns about glass balustrades, especially in family homes with young children. However, there’s nothing to worry about, as the specially toughened glass is highly shatter-resistant. Glass panels also reduce the likelihood of things falling through gaps or getting trapped.

  • Extremely durable

Their structural strength and resilience against scuffs and scratches makes glass panels a safe choice for a long-lasting staircase. The material is so robust and requires so little maintenance that it’s sure to hold up for decades, with no noticeable changes to its quality or pleasant appearance.

  • Modern aesthetic

Sleek and minimal modern interior design will never go out of style, so many homeowners prefer to upgrade to this contemporary look from more traditional staircases. Glass stairways offer a special kind of elegant and sophisticated home décor that you simply can’t achieve with another material.

  • Versatile options

There are so many different designs and material combinations to choose from that a glass staircase becomes a truly unique fixture in every home that implements one. With a variety of possible textures and colours, glass also complements other materials including wood and metal very well.

  • Cost-effective

Quick to install, easy to clean, hardwearing – your glass staircase will save you on downtime during the installation, time and money spent on cleaning, and long-term repair or replacement costs. As attractive added features, modern glass staircases tend to increase the resale value of a home.

  • Eco-friendly

Toughened glass is incredibly long-lasting, but if it eventually wears down or if you decide to change your interiors again in a few decades’ time, glass is fully recyclable. It’s an extremely environmentally friendly option for staircase materials with little degradation over time, allowing it to be repurposed.

Does a glass balustrade need a handrail?

It may surprise some people to know that glass balustrades don’t always need a handrail. As long as they adhere to building regulations and are made from the correct type of strengthened glass, even frameless glass balustrades are completely safe. The balustrade itself provides a safety barrier for anyone climbing the stairs to prevent them from falling off the sides of the staircase.

That said, having a handrail provides extra security against tripping on the stairs themselves. Framing the balustrades with a handrail along the top strengthens the structure further, and also prevents the problem of being unable to see the glass panels unless they’re reflecting light. We do recommend having a handrail, but it’s really down to personal choice, and depends on the look you’re aiming for with your staircase design.

For more information on staircase handrails, you can check the UK Building Regulations online (look at Section 8.5.2 of BS6180:2011). Alternatively, get in touch with the team at Abbott-Wade and we can discuss the possibility of glass balustrades without handrails if that’s what you would prefer. If you’re not sure whether you want or need a handrail or not, we’re happy to talk through suitable options with you.

How to look after glass balustrades?

Think about how often you clean mirrors or windows in your home. You should be cleaning your glass staircase at least as often as this, if not more regularly. The best way to keep glass balustrades looking brand new is to clean them with a soft cloth and mild detergent. Avoid harsh chemical solutions or abrasive scrubbing tools, as these can damage the glass. Simple soapy water and a sponge can get the job done easily enough.

If somebody spills something on the glass or you notice dirty marks on it, clean it as soon as possible rather than leaving it until later, as stains can become harder to remove the longer they have to set in. As well as regularly cleaning the glass, you should polish it up with a dry cloth every now and then. You may also want to apply a dirt-repelling protective coating if this is compatible with the particular finish of your glass.

Every time you clean or polish your glass balustrades, be sure to check everything over for even the smallest sign of damage. Whether it’s a scratch or chip, or a loose fitting, you must get it sorted as quickly as possible to prevent it from getting worse. To avoid such damage occurring, ensure that everyone in the house uses the staircase appropriately, and avoids carrying sharp and/or heavy objects up or down the stairs.

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