In this overview article, we will talk with you about frameless balcony glazing and the advantages and disadvantages of this highly advanced modern technology..
More and more often today you can see on the balconies of all our cities an interesting aerial structure without traditional frames and uprights. This is how a standard frameless glazing system looks from the outside. Many people praise this technology, but we cannot help but check everything personally and figure out if it is as good as it is painted..
Advantages of frameless glazing technology
This technology is ideal for a balcony or loggia of any age, type, shape, and does not affect the general appearance of the entire building. Glasses of the structure move smoothly and freely on plastic rollers. Such a balcony can be opened by moving the glass to the side, turning it to the wall or neatly folding it in a book. Different firms will offer you different options. According to the standard, it is necessary that the system uses special tempered glass 6-8 mm thick. Even if the glass breaks, it will not threaten you with sharp edges, but will simply crumble gently into cubes. Although it can break only in the event of a very strong blow. Tempered glass does imply increased resistance to damage. The balcony with modern frameless glazing is perfectly protected from noise, dirt and rain. Since the windows are easy to fold, it is very convenient to clean them both inside and outside. Sellers make sure that the glass does not break and the rollers do not break.
At the moment, in our domestic market, you can find two technologies of frameless glazing systems – a Finnish imported system and two domestic systems. Let’s analyze their features separately..
The Finnish system is easy to use and very attractive. To open the loggia, you can simply set the rotary handle of the structure in the open position, after which the glass sash easily slides and opens inward. This can be repeated as many times as you like with all leaves. The system can be equipped with two handles, that is, it can be moved to one or both sides of the balcony or loggia. The Finnish design uses safety tempered glass 6-8 millimeters thick. It can withstand dynamic loads and strong winds.
The durability of the structure is ensured by aluminum profiles and stainless steel parts. In addition, a big plus is the ventilation mechanism, which allows you to fix the open glass during ventilation. In other words, regardless of the strength of the wind outside, the glass will not slam shut and will not cause you problems with this action..
Installation of the window system can be performed at any time of the year. The manufacturing plant usually gives a five-year warranty, subject to all operating and installation rules. Domestic systems are positioned as even more reliable and high-quality systems. The main difference between Russian structures is that glass sashes are attached not only to the upper guide profile made of aluminum, but also to the lower one, and therefore the sash receives four reliable support points at once – both above and below. Thus, each leaf is supported by four pivot pins with three horizontal rollers. All metal parts of this system are stainless. The window sashes are equipped with a latch. If there are small children in the house, you can purchase an additional lock.
Russian systems can also be fitted with two new opening handles. But apart from moving the shutters in straight directions, Russian systems make it possible to move them through any corners. This is what allows you to fully open the loggia of any configuration – round, oval, and so on. Additionally, the systems include the installation of locks for such premises as shops, showrooms, offices, as well as silicone seals to seal the structure. The system uses non-perforated and tempered glass with a thickness of 6 to 8 mm. The load distribution is also carried out thanks to the technology of fastening the glass to the profile without making holes. The ventilation hole is 2-4 mm. The standard width of the glass varies from 500 to 800 millimeters. Glasses with more precise dimensions can be made to order. Outside, both systems, both Finnish and Russian, look very attractive.
Cons of frameless glazing
However, along with the advantages, frameless balconies and loggias also have disadvantages that will seem insignificant to someone, very important to someone. In any case, we will list them.
The first thing to remember is that frameless glazing makes it impossible to increase the room temperature. In other words, the glazed balcony can only be used in the warm season, and in winter the temperature will be only a couple of degrees higher than outside. Artificial insulation will not help. But many citizens are trying to increase the living area of an apartment precisely at the expense of a balcony or loggia, and obviously not only for the summer months.
The second disadvantage is the complete transparency of the loggia. This is especially annoying if you live on lower floors. Therefore, you will have to immediately take care of the curtains or blinds. The mosquito net cannot be nailed to the glass, so prepare yourself not only for the curious glances of passers-by and neighbors, but also for the hungry glances of flies and mosquitoes. Unfortunately, our cities will not allow balcony glass to stay clean for a long time, so to maintain the aesthetics of the balcony, you will have to wash them quite regularly. Fortunately, this is not so difficult to do with a special glass cleaner spray..
Another disadvantage is that you will not be protected from noise. For comparison: frameless systems absorb sound up to 10 decibels, and a glass unit – about 30 decibels. The specialists who manufacture and install frameless systems do not even deny that the main function of frameless glazing is protective, and not at all insulating. In other words, this is a very ideal option for those who do not at all strive for additional square meters, but simply want a loggia that can be simultaneously ventilated and enjoy a beautiful view without glass.
Installation of systems usually takes about 2-6 weeks. However, when choosing a company that will install the system for you, it is very important not to be mistaken. Otherwise, the rollers on which the flaps move will begin to creak or jam. The quality of the fittings is of great importance: the wheels should move freely, the handles should be good and easy to turn, and the sash should fold easily.
Let’s sum up
Frameless glazing is not used for insulation, but for fencing. You won’t be able to use it in winter, but in summer it will be pleasantly cool and beautiful. As for the choice of an imported or domestic system, then choose any. You can just focus on the price. The main thing is that real professionals should do the editing. Our materials are not at all worse in quality than imported ones, and domestic specialists can also do an excellent job. Pay attention to this: the warranty for standard glazing must be at least two years, and for installation – at least a year.
We hope this article will help you decide if you need frameless glazing or if you should prefer something else. Good luck with learning new items.!