glass railing systems available to choose from. 1) Framed glass railings that is a railing system such as aluminum, wood or composite that has glass panel 'inserts' that naturally provide a fixed top guard rail incorporated into the design.
2) Frameless glass railings with support posts are structural panels of glass that are supported on either side with posts made of either metal, wood or sleeved composite that have no bottom or top rail. With the glass and aluminum post system we use a tall (40") or short post (24") can be used in the railing construction.
The glass panels can be either 10mm or 12mm thickness glass depending on how far a span you would like to see between posts and wether you want to pay extra for the thicker 12mm glass. This style offers the best value for topless glass railings but special attention should be placed on how the posts are constructed if you would like to see less post and more view.
3) Frameless glass railings without support posts should always be constructed from 12mm glass that can be either side mounted to the fascia board with steel 'stand off' spindles or top mounted with various options depending on other criteria. When the glass guard rail system is mounted to the fascia board it requires more glass to be used which increases the cost along with the thicker glass requirement and the stainless steel 'stand off' spindles making cleaning difficult in this area.Note: Proper structural provisions will be required for the added weight of glass railing systems.
It is important to remember that anything built with 'structural or load bearing glass' such as any frameless or topless glass guard/deck rail or glass deck cover will be subject to the glass code section (CAN/CSB-12.20-M89) of the National & Provincial Building regulations as well as the guard rail sections (Div. B-Part 9.8.7)
Each municipality has interpreted and supplemented there own variation of regulation with risk assessement in mind which makes it a bylaw that will determine on wether or not you will be required to have an additional continuously and fixed structural top rail guard or hand rail guard added to your desired 'topless' glass railing.
Some municipalities are now consolidating on this matter and stating that topless glass guard rails will need a professional engineer assurances and field review documents that alleviates everyone from liability if for some reason a glass panel shatters or fails while someone is leaning on it or 'pushing' on it at a force less than the 240 lb's minimum requirement. Note: All glass railings are made from tempered glass regardless of thickness.