What You Should Know About Tempered Glass Railing Systems For Your Home

A balcony featuring tempered glass railings on a grey building.

Have you been on the lookout for options to revamp your home space? Are you bored with the typical railing for your staircase? Or want to add a stylish and contemporary feel to your balcony that is safe and provides more exposure? Then the all-new Tempered glass railings should be your go-to option. 

Not only do the Tempered glass railings provide that exclusive feel of style, chic and class but also enhance exposure and visual. If included within the home space (either as staircase railings or for the upper portion) they introduce a feeling of space along with light and exposure. If installed outside the home space, they ensure that you can sit back, relax and enjoy the outside views to a great extent. 

Tempered glass railing systems

The tempered glass railing system is designed from a very large sum of individual small glass panels that are crafted together (tempered). These individual small panels are then heated in a blasting furnace around 1200F and instantly cooled to achieve the desired tempered characteristics.

A tempered glass railing with a metal handle.

Tempered glass stair railing is also referred to as the “invisible railings”, primarily because of the fact that they do not block the view and offer no hindrances. They are mostly used outdoors as the railings for decks but find numerous applications within the living spaces as well.

With respect to the safety point of view, they are great in spaces with children and pets. Different glass panels have minimal space between them. This feature ensures no accidents as little hands, feet, and heads have zero chances of getting stuck between them.

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But is it the best choice for your home? Are they affordable, easy to install and durable? Here is a complete guide for you to go through and decide for yourself!

Ideal Specifications of Tempered glass railings to Look Into

The biggest concern for people who are contemplating installing Tempered glass railings in their homes is, “will they be strong enough?” Tempering glass is a sensitive process. Glass that has been tempered properly by following all the rules and protocols of tempering is the best to be used in railing systems. Make sure you invest in tempered glass that checks all the safety boxes:

  • The glass was tempered properly and is safety tempered.
  •  The glass railing system is breakage and shatter-resistant.
  • Edges are prepped and polished. This is an extremely vital step to avoid cuts and injuries in the future.

Another crucial step is to run through the local construction authority while installing Tempered glass railings. You need to be in check with the bylaws to ensure everything is up to the mark. Consider, for example, there is a rule to use a specific tint of glass to match with the house windows so that the birds will not fly into the glass by accident. So it is always a good idea to know the rules.

What is the Standard Thickness of a Tempered Glass Railing?

There are different rules and regulations associated with the Tempered glass railings depending on the area of production and usage. Despite these pre-set standards, there are some standards for the industry and some practices are defined to be the most optimal for Tempered glass railings. Let’s have a look at both.

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A man is working on a tempered glass window in a factory.


The industrial specifications:

According to IBC (International Building Code), a tempered glass panel that will be used in the railing system must fulfill some characteristic requirements. The glass panel should have a minimum thickness (i.e. a quarter of an inch) and should be strong enough to resist load requirements.

Best Practices:

Here are some foolproof recommendations for you if you want to install Tempered glass railings:

  • If you have decided to install a glass railing in your home, the best practice is to build a frame first. This will give exact measurements and you can have the glass panels’ custom made for your requirements.
  •  Tempered glass panels are extremely heavy so ensure maximum strength and best performance use 5 feet long panels. 
  • Another great tip is to use thick channels (1/2-inch-deep) in the rail posts to make sure tempered glass panels are held better.


What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Tempered Glass Railing Systems?

This is what it all comes down to. Why and why not should you choose or reject tempered glass railing systems for your house? Here is a comprehensive answer for you:

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An Estimate of How Much Glass Railings Cost

The tempered glass railing system is not cheap. From the purchase of glass panels to their installation; it is an expensive road.

For the complete system of Tempered glass railings (although the cost can vary)

  • A rough estimate is from $600 to $1000 per linear foot.
  • Installation charges are separate and can reach $200 per linear foot.


A tempered glass stair railing in a building.

The Conclusion

If you have a view that needs to be appreciated and look at, then spending a few extra bucks is not such a bad idea. It’s classy, it’s safe and it definitely has more pros than a few negligible cons.

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