Balustrades are an affordable and attractive form of fencing for your home, that looks perfect both inside and outside your home. It’s both easy to install and easy to maintain.
There are two main types, or styles, of balustrades – metal and glass. Metal balustrades are made of metal and are available in a range of styles and colours. Poles used can be square, round and even twisted with different options for the decorative capping at the top of the balustrades rods.
The poles in a balustrade are called balusters, and they can be made from wrought iron, anodized aluminium or stainless steel. The metal is treated to prevent rust, and it can also be made to be resistant to dust and other weather elements. Because balustrades are common around swimming pools, they can be made to resist salt and chlorine damage.
Aluminium tube balustrades recreate a time when wood-lined patios surrounded a house, so using a metal baluster gives your fence – and home a warm, rustic, country feel, while glass balustrades give a more sleek, clean and modern look and feel.
For use around a swimming pool, metal balustrades are recommended, they need less cleaning than glass balustrades, which, when around or close to a swimming pool will end up with lots of watermarks and splashes. The metal poles fence off the pool securely while still giving you a full and open view of the pool – crucial if you have small children or pets.
While glass panels also give you an uninterrupted view, they will require extra cleaning; it’s for this reason metal is a popular choice. Keeping the glass spotless can be a challenge, and there is more chance of swimmers running into them. Whenever glass is used around your home, people always think of the dangers associated with broken glass, the good news is, all the glass used in glass balustrades is – Safety Glass.
How Long Do The Balustrades Last?
This depends – glass sections of balustrades can last indefinitely (unless they are broken) most glass panels range in thickness from 6mm to 10mm which makes them quite durable.
In many glass balustrades, rubber bushing is used to attach the glass to the frame, and rubber can be affected by heat – including sunlight. It can also be damaged by cleaning products used to clean the glass sections. It is for this reason that the rubber may need to be replaced a few times during the lifetime of the balustrade.
The balusters themselves are quite durable, with the main issues that can cause damage including weather and oxidation. Humidity and moisture can corrode metal which makes it weaker and more susceptible to damage; however, most balustrades have been made of a reinforced metal.
Metal balustrades have been given additional strength because they are most commonly used on balconies and around swimming pools. Sunshine, heat, chlorine, salt, moisture and humidity can affect metals, so it is for this reason balustrades have been made to withstand it.
Most balustrades have been powder coated to protect them from weather damage. Alternatively, they can be made from stainless steel which doesn’t corrode and is weather resistant. The structure of the balusters adds to their strength.
The poles are placed close enough together to stop any *body parts* getting stuck between them, it is the proximity of the poles that provides extra integrity, so the balustrade can support the weight of anyone leaning up against the balcony. Glass balustrades can be strengthened by using a metal frame around the glass as well.
If your balustrades have been installed properly, they can last indefinitely. You will still need to check your fencing/balustrade for signs of any damage and clean it once or twice a month to prevent a build-up of dirt and grime – which may compromise your fences lifespan.
Balustrades can be used anywhere – in houses, commercial premises, leisure centres, factories, swimming pools, shopping centres, walkways, ramps. Their main use is to provide protection and safety.
Consider the space you have available if space is limited try using fixtures made from glass or wire as this can be space saving.
The look of your office or building and how a balustrade blends in will help make your home or business really stand out. Glass is great as it lets light through and gives your home a more contemporary look but isn’t recommended if you have kids as it can be hard keeping that glass clean.