Friday 25th September, 2020
Earlier this month, the world’s longest glass-bottomed bridge opened in Guangdong Province, China. The 526 metre-long glass suspension bridge was made from three layers of 4.5 centimetre-thick tempered laminated glass. Its transparent glass design allows people using the bridge to look directly down the 201 metre drop to the Lianjiang River below.
Walk-on glass experiences are popular at tourist sites the world over, but glass floors are not just for renowned destinations. Glass floors and walkways are the epitome of modern design and the perfect addition to any home or commercial building.
Structural glass floors are specialist glass products, designed to balance load bearing capacity and translucency. Glass floors and walkways can be used for internal or external applications; the required glass specification dependant on the size, span, expected pedestrian load and performance requirements of the glass floor. Whether used internally or externally, the top pane of any glass floor must be capable of supporting foot traffic and loads. Glass floors are made from thermally toughened, laminated glass to ensure that the most essential of safety requirements are met.
Most glass floors are double-glazed, though some internal glass floors can be single-glazed, and depending on the installation setting, may also need to incorporate fire-rated glass.
Glass floors and walkways are an unquestionably stylish feature of the modern home or office. Glass walkways – which combine a structural glass floor with a glass balustrade – offer an alternative to enclosed dark corridors and can even be used to connect different parts of a building from the outside.
Aside from design, one benefit of glass flooring is the light that it can bring into a space. Naturally-bright living and working spaces are much more inviting and stimulating than sun-starved interiors, but it is not always easy to filter natural light into the heart of a property. Glass flooring provides a clever and effective way to transfer illumination between different levels or a building – including into basements.
Glass floors come in a range of finishes, from the safety essentials of slip-resistant coating and thermal insulation, to design favourites including etched glass, frosted glass and coloured glass finishes.