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Glass Balustrading 101

Glass Balustrading 101

Before you can begin to design/order your dream balustrade it is important to start at the beginning. What is a balustrade? A simple definition is that a balustrade is a railing or barrier installed on a staircase or balcony to prevent a person from falling. In Australia, a balustrade (or barrier) is required once the fall from a balcony, deck, staircase, retaining wall or any other building structure you can fall from, is higher than 1m from the ground below.

In summary, a glass balustrade must be at least 1000mm high, have a handrail/top rail and have no gaps of which a 125mm sphere can pass through. If the fall from the deck to the ground below is over 4mtrs high, then there must also be no climbable objects between 150 x 760mm from the ground.

What does this mean to you?

If the fall from where you stand to the ground below is over 1000mm then your glass balustrade will need to meet the following criteria:

  • The top of your glass needs to be at lease 1000mm off the ground.
  • You must include a top rail or offset rail in your design.
  • You must keep all gaps between glass panels, walls, post, rails etc less then 120mm (we recommend between 30 and 80mm).

If the fall to the ground below is over 4000mm, you cannot have anything climbable between 150 and 760mm from the ground, therefore if you are using posts, then the glass clamps must not be within this range.

Please use this information only as a guide and contact your local council for further information before you begin. 

Like most things it is not until you start to research your glass balustrade that you discover there are so many options and decisions to make. Many options can be eliminated by making a few basic decisions early on in the research process.

Fixing position 

  • Deck Mounted
  • Face Mounted

Fixing Method

  • Spigots
  • Posts
  • Channel
  • Standoffs

Handrail Position

  • Top Mount
  • Offset Face Mount


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