How to Install a Glass Balustrade Part 1

  • 6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 45
What You'll Need
Screwdriver bits
Balustrade Kit
Measuring Tape
Lumber (for temporary support)

Installation of a glass balustrade to a patio or staircase in your home gives a look of unequivocal elegance and complements a modern decor like few other balustrades. While there are many companies that offer custom-made balustrades, they are typically much more expensive than kits that can be purchased and installed yourself. Glass balustrades are beautiful, functional, durable, and are a great choice for both residential and commercial applications. They are quick and easy to install, and will last for many years. Glass balustrades can be used on decks and patios, or for staircases on and outside of the home. Here you will find the information needed to prepare a staircase for installation, and the installation of the frame for the balustrade.

Step 1 - Prepare the Staircase

You will want to prepare the staircase by removing any existing balustrade and performing any maintenance on the existing staircase. The staircase should be free of loose boards or risers. Any existing floor covering should be removed, at least where the frame will be installed. Make sure that each of the platforms is level, and address and repair any that are in need of attention.

Step 2 - Prepare the Railing

First, you will want to prepare the hand railing of the balustrade. Measure to make sure that the railing is the appropriate length for your needs. You may need to cut the railing to specific lengths to ensure a proper fit. Typically, the railings are made of steel and can be cut with a hacksaw. Remember to measure twice and cut once. Layout the pieces of the railing and mark on the floor or stairs where the railing will be installed, so that the floor framing will match up.

Step 3 - Install Railing

Your kit should come with all the hardware needed to install the balustrade. Install the hand railing of the balustrade using the hardware provided, and following the directions from the kit. Typically, this will entail mounting the support brackets for the rail to a wall, preferably into a stud at all attachment points. Use the level to ensure that the brackets are mounted appropriately. The railing may need to be supported at landings or other areas where the railing is not secured to a wall. You can use spare lumber to temporarily support the railing at the needed height and keep it from sagging, and potentially bending the metal. These supports may need to be kept in place until the glass is installed. The railing will typically hang on the mounting brackets and be secured with small screws on the underside.

Step 4 - Install Framing

The bottom portion of the framework will be secured directly into the flooring or the stairs themselves. Again, follow the directions for installation on the bottom portion of the framework. Follow the markings that you made with the handrail to ensure that both the top and bottom of the frame match up. Keep your level handy and check the frame as you go to be certain it stays level.