How to Keep the Cost Low for Installing Glass Balustrades in Sydney

Glass balustrades give a prestigious look, especially when using frameless glass balustrades in Sydney with stainless steel installation hardware.

Besides sprucing up any balcony space, glass balustrades are also ideal for making a small balcony space look larger.

glass balustrades for your outdoor deck

However, it’s often pricey to fence a larger space with balustrades, especially when hiring a professional to do the installation work.

As such, it’ll help to install glass balustrades by yourself to keep the cost low. We’ve prepared a DIY guide to assist you through the entire balustrade installation process.

We’ll show you how to install a frameless balustrade successfully. Read on to find out more.

Taking Measurements for Your Glass Balustrade

Step #1: Take measurements of the area you desire to install the balustrade

Sketch a layout of the area you want to install the balustrade. Take measurements from the exterior edge. Note the measurements for every run around the perimeter.

Step #2: Determining the fence line

Next, work out where you want the fence line to stand. While at it, consider the edge distance for drilling concrete.

Step #3: Determining the amount of materials

Make estimates for the amount of materials you’ll require for the installation.

Installing a Glass Balustrade Fencing By Core Drilling

You’ll need the following tools and supplies for the job:

  • Chalk line
  • Timber blocks
  • Core drill
  • Core bit (76mm)
  • Measuring tape
  • Template for the core drill
  • Differently sized window packers
  • A long screwdriver (flat head)
  • Electric drill
  • Drill mixer for paint
  • Impact driver
  • Right angle (plastic)
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Level (2m)

Step #1: Marking out the panels and fence line

  1. Take a measuring tape and measure 100mm along the line where you want to install the fence. Use a chalk line to mark the fencing line.
  2. Use the fence layout you calculated earlier to mark an edge on each glass panel. Also, make markings for any gaps. Use masking tape and a marker to mark the edges.
  3. Take measurements from the glass panel edge using the respective balustrade spigot spacing. Take the template for the drill and center the hole of the spigot over the marking on the spigot. Draw a circle (76mm) to mark out the balustrade spigot hole. Use a permanent marker when drawing the circle.

Step #2: Drilling holes for balustrade spigots

  1. Take the drill template and core bit (76mm) and mark the location for each spigot. Wear steel cap protection for your feet, preferably, a gumboot type.
  2. Make a marking 120mm away from the bit’s bottom section. Use the marking as a guide to alert you that you’ve reached the required length. Installing it at 120mm will give you a stable installation.
  3. Turn on a low-pressure trickle of water. Ensure there’s enough water passing through the bit to keep it cool for optimum efficiency when drilling.
  4. Start drilling the hole. A circular drilling motion will fasten the process. However, use a bubble level to ensure that you’re drilling vertically.
  5. Hammer the bits with a flat head screwdriver to loosen them. Once loose, remove leftover bits with tongs.
  6. Next, rinse the surface while scrubbing it to ensure that any slurry that may spill out during the drilling process won’t dry and leave stains on the tiling.

Step #3: Leveling the surface

  1. Position timber blocks on the exterior of the drill hole, close to the edge of each glass panel.
  2. Run the bubble level (2m) over the timber blocks from the perimeter’s edge. Position window packers such that they’re leveled out along the entire perimeter. Move each block from its position to the adjacent block until you’ve leveled out the entire perimeter.

Step #4: Setting up the glass balustrades

  1. Position each balustrade upside down on the timber blocks. The stamp should be on the upper right-hand section.
  2. Mark the exterior edge of each spigot based on the spacing you’re using. For instance, if you’re using a spigot spacing of 200mm, make a marking of 175mm away from the panel’s edge.
  3. Position each spigot over the panels. Line the exterior edge of each spigot along the line you marked in the previous step. Ensure the screws face you.
  4. Use a hex bit (8mm), a right angle (plastic), and an impact driver to straighten the spigot. Also, tighten each spigot until the plate sits flush on the glass panel.
  5. Position the plate covers over the spigots. Secure them beneath the glass edge with masking tape.

Step #5: Install and line the glass

  1. Ensure the spigots are properly tightened against the glass. Position the first panel on the blocks. Ensure the spigots sit in the core holes you drilled.
  2. Take a strut and line the first panel. Ensure the panel is level. Also, ensure the spigots sit in the middle of the drilled hole. The gaps between the panels should be consistent throughout the layout. Save time by doing it the right way from the initial panel to the last one.
  3. Position the next glass panel. Again, ensure you leave a uniform gap between adjacent glass panels throughout the layout. Secure the second panel to the first panel with two pieces of clamped timber. The panels should be secured on both sides. Clamp the top and bottom edges of the panel.
  4. If any section of the perimeter requires more than four panels, repeat step 2 after mounting the fourth panel.
  5. Once you’ve mounted all the panels, check the gaps and leveling of the panels. Make any necessary adjustments before proceeding further.
  6. Create a seamless fencing line by running a string over the glass panes. Line the panels manually by moving each spigot as needed. If you did the previous steps correctly, you’ll be able to line up the panels quickly and easily.

Step #6: Mix and pour grout

  1. Use a non-shrink grout and follow the directions on the packaging to make a smooth and workable mixture. Any top-quality brand should do.
  2. Avoid mixing the entire grout bucket in one round. Grout sets quickly. Thus, it’s advisable to mix it in smaller amounts that can fill four to six spigot holes per mixture.
  3. Hose the surface with water to prevent spilled grout from biding to an unwanted surface. Pour a workable grout mixture into each spigot hole. The mixture should surround the spigot. Avoid overfilling the hole with grout. The grout shouldn’t spill over the surface. In case you have a paved or tiled surface, ensure the grout doesn’t reach the tiles. Grout may fracture tiles in case it reaches them as a result of its expansion.
  4. Once you’ve added grout to all holes, clean any spilled grout from the flooring.
  5. Grout sets in about 15 minutes. However, give it at least an hour to set as you clean the area.
  6. Upon giving the ground enough time to set, remove the struts and clamps. By now, the glass panels will be properly lined and secured along the entire perimeter.

Installing a Stainless Steel Handrail or Top Rail on Your Balustrade

It’s quite simple to install a handrail or top rail on a balustrade. The layout of the balustrade will determine the kind of hardware to use when fixing the railing on the glass panels.

The rails will fit together effortlessly. Use structural silicone to secure the top rail in place. Apply a small amount of silicone after every 30cm.

Mount the rail on the glass as the silicone cures. Weigh down the rail for a minimum of 24 hours for a sturdy and secure finish.

FAQs on Glass Balustrades

What’s the cost of glass balustrades?

The cost will mainly depend on the kind of balustrade systems you want and whether you’ll install them by yourself or hire a professional installer. Standard stock panels cost around $190 to $340 per meter.

What are glass balustrades?

Glass balustrades are safety barriers made of toughened glass panels. The standard thickness of the panels is 12mm.

They’re commonly used as safety barriers for decks or balconies. The barrier is typically used together with a stainless steel handrail or top rail.

How safe are balustrades?

Local safety standards require glass balustrades to be made of toughened glass with a thickness of 12mm. Thus, the panels are highly secure. Also, the top rail should be 1 meter above the ground.

What is the standard height of a balustrade?

A balustrade should have a minimum height of 1m. If you’re using glass balustrades for pool fencing, their height should be at least 1.2m.

Also read: Why Choose Glass Balustrades Over Other Balustrade Types in Sydney?