If you’re thinking about installing balustrades in your balcony, you have a wide selection to choose from. Balustrades are usually a meter high at the maximum, which makes them ideal for balcony spaces. The low height means they can partially enclose your space without interfering with your view. They are stylish and require minimal maintenance.
There are two main types of balustrades – glass and metal. Glass balustrades can be framed of frameless, depending on your preference. Both tubes are made with safety glass, though if you get a non-professional installer, you can’t be sure about the quality of the glass. Since broken glass can be lethal, make sure you buy yours from a verified source.
Framed glass balustrades are edged with metal panels, while the frameless type might have a metal railing running parallel to the glass, attached by a rubber support node. Glass balustrades can be transparent, translucent, or even opaque, which is where colour comes in. For glass, you can choose to have it tinted or mirrored, for added privacy.
Tint can be selected in any color. It can come tinted from the manufacturer, or you can install colored film over the glass to give it that darkened shade. Fully mirrored glass will take on a silvery colour, while one-way glass is mirrored on one side and clear on the other. From the mirrored side, your balustrade will look silvery, while your side will seem clear.
You can also get more decorative with your balustrade, incorporating the type of stained glass used in churches, or the textured glass common in some bathrooms. If you’d like to install these kinds of glass in your balcony, speak to a glass expert first. This kind of glass may not necessarily have safety glass features, so it helps to do a safety check first.
If you have the budgets for a customized glass balustrade, it’s possible that they can embed or overlay your stained or textured glass with safety film, but it will be quite expensive, and it needs to be done to regulation. Talk to the glassware shop and find out what it involves, and whether it’s a viable option.
Metal balustrades are slightly hardier than glass ones. There are made from metal tubes that can either be anodized aluminium, stainless steel, or wrought iron. These metals are often painted or powder coated to make them resistant to salt and rust. The gaps between the balusters are narrow to prevent pets and young kids getting stuck between them.
Powder coating gives metal balustrade railings an unlimited range of color. Some manufacturers will allow you to order tailored balustrades in your brand colors, as long as you give them prior notice and order a big enough volume.
Other customers prefer to paint their own balusters, though this can be challenging if it already has protective coating. The pre-coat may makes it hard for paint to adhere to the railings, especially if the fence has an anti-graffiti layer on top of the metal.
Most balusters come in standard colors though. Varying shades of black, white, grey, green, and brown are popular choices, because they are muted and go well with anything. Industrial buyers rarely want anything adventurous, so these colors are fast movers. Metallic shades are common as well, for clients who enjoy that shiny glint.
An interesting workaround if you’re unimpressed by the available color options is to mix and match. You could alternate white balusters with colored ones and end up with a highly decorative fence that stands out, and you won’t have to extra expense of customization.
Apart from color options, metal balusters have other options in terms of decorative features. The vertical balusters come in various shapes, from round and square to delicately twisted. At the top of each baluster, you can choose to have a decorative cap that can be tapped or screwed into place. You can also order the bars in different thickness.