So you’ve completed your beautiful decking area and you’re at the stage where you need to start thinking about a balustrade. Or maybe you’re a meticulous planner and you’ve started your thoughts about the balustrade early. Either way, a balustrade system needs to be carefully planned.

Designing your decking for the balustrade

The design of your decking is crucially important as the balustrade system can only be as strong as what you fix to. There are many factors that determine the overall rigidity of your balustrade system. The type of timber you’ve used. How the timber is structurally supported and where the balustrade fixes down to. The shape of the glass balustrade system. The spans between posts and the distance of the overall balustrade runs.

In our experience dealing with various different projects, the balustrade works well when used with a top rail system that is fixed to a solid surface (e.g. the house wall, a structural member of the timber supports etc).

Previous decking projects

Hints and tips to consider in your decking balustrade project

  1. Consider how the balustrade is to be fixed down to the decking (will it be fixed to the supports with your decking timbers notched around the uprights, if using a post system)
  2. Are you going to use a top rail (we always recommend using a top rail with a balustrade bolted to any timber)
  3. What fixings to use. Remember to always consider using the appropriate fixings and material type (in most cases, stainless steel fixings are recommended due to the corrosion resistance)
  4. The spans between upright posts (as appealing it is to have large spans between posts, it should be carefully considered as you will require as much structural support as needed)
  5. How the top rail system is going to be fixed ( if you can, make sure the top rail is secured to a solid supporting surface either at the end of your balustrade or at various intervals)
  6. Shape of the glass balustrade (a long straight run span will not be as rigid as a short span with adjoining corners e.g 90 degree bends). The shape of the balustrade is crucial in determining its overall strength

BS6180 – loading for glass barriers

It is important to understand the loadings criteria for balustrades. BS6180 contains many recommendations of glass thicknesses and overall design criteria for all balustrade systems. A key factor determining the balustrade loading criteria is the type of occupancy. There are various types of load requirements that the balustrade would need to conform to. These are the UDL (uniform distributed line load), point loadings to the infill panel etc

Our glass balustrade systems

You can find our glass balustrade systems under the product section. We’ve installed our Glass balustrade post system on countless decking areas across Sussex. You can view our frameless glass balustrade options, but we highly recommend bolting frameless balustrade systems to either metal or concrete only.