A balustrade is legally required anywhere where there is a 1000mm fall or more from the level of which someone is standing to the level of which they could potentially fall.
For frameless glass to comply as a balustrade, it must have some sort of handrail that ties the panels together. Usually this rail will be the same shape and finish as the spigots or other hardware used with the frameless glass fence.
The most common type of rail for frameless glass is the u-channel shaped top-rail. The rail, normally made from 316L stainless steel, slots down over standard glass panels and is held on with a rubber sleeve. Top rail comes in a round or square profile, and also in several sizes. Although there are several sizes available, most people always opt for the smallest size, as it can otherwise detract from the frameless look.
It is important to note that a floating rail is not suitable for pool fence applications, as the rail could be considered a foot hold, which could be used to stand on or assist a child trying to scale the fence to make it into the pool area. Floating rails are most commonly used in stair balustrades as a handrail, normally running up and extending around onto normal balustrading. The issue with floating handrails is that every panel of glass must be customised, as the rail affixes to the glass through 2 holes in each panel. Although most people opt for a round floating handrail, it is available in a square profile and again both styles come in a polished or brushed finish.
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