GlassWalk™ Structural Glass Floor Systems

With over 25 years of proven performance in glass flooring, GlassWalk™ Structural Glass Floor Systems can’t be beat.  A glass floor can help to open up any area while creating an eye-catching addition to your interior or exterior space.  Structural glass is the perfect application to allow light to pass to areas beneath and likewise illuminate your outdoor spaces during the evening.

The GlassWalk™ Structural Glass Floor System includes 1″ fully tempered, laminated structural glass units.  Typically an anti-slip, traction control frit pattern can be added to the top surface of the glass unit.  Traction control, ceramic-based frits are permanently heat-fused to the walking surface of the glass to achieve slip resistance.  Acid etch anti-slip surface process is also available.  Both surface treatments meet or exceed the most stringent code requirements.

The heart of the glass floor system is a modular aluminum grid.  Our aluminum grid is strong, lightweight, easy to install, and proven in hundreds of applications.  Grids contain over 25% post-consumer recycled content, making them compatible with popular green-build standards.The glass and aluminum can also be engineered in custom shapes and sizes.

Glass floor panels are 2- or 3-ply laminated glass units, with a layer of fully tempered glass for added impact resistance.  These glass units combined with the performance of the aluminum grid have been tested in independent labs to meet code requirements for load and impact.  Glass floor panels are offered in standard glass or low iron, with a variety of translucent and transparent options available as well.  GlassWalk Structural Glass system holds individual glass units up to 48 inches wide, set in a sturdy aluminum grid that comes as a kit, pre-manufactured to your exact specification.

For more information or design assistance with a custom shape, contact a GBA design expert today.

glass walk structural glass floor

Structural Glass Floor Design Features

  • Standard glass (greenish/blue hue) or low-iron glass
  • Both standard and low-iron glass is available in 2 or 3-ply laminated glass units
  • Customize the translucency or transparency of the glass
  • Traction control frit patterns can be added to the top surface of the glass to aid in slip resistance
  • Add color to the interlayer of the glass to add a unique splash of color to any structural glass floor system
  • Structural glass can be custom cut in any shape or size to match the projects’ design
Glasswalk glass deck

Architectural Grade Aluminum Grid

  • Constructed of 6063-T6 aluminum making the framing both lightweight and stong
  • Available in clear anodized, matte silver finish
  • Aluminum framework can be powder coated to match any design
  • Custom shapes and sizes can be created as intended by the design
  • 25% post-consumer recycled content in aluminum structural members
structural glass floors in houses

Glass Flooring Installation

Like all GlassWalk systems, each structural glass installation is shipped as a complete kit, with all elements pre-cut to your exact specification – including the glass units themselves.  GlassWalk floor systems utilize a patented aluminum grid, whose standard clear anodized finish offers an attractive view from any angle.  Custom colors are also available.

Glass floor systems can be easy to install as long as you follow all instructions and carefully read construction details as well as provided shop drawings.  It is vital to have approved shop drawings at the time of installation to verify the required opening size and glass floor dimensions are correct.  Examine all components to ensure the glass did not break, chip, or scratch during shipping.  Once all components have been examined and the opening dimensions has been verified, you are ready to start installing your glass floor.

Assemble the glass floor system according to the instructions provided by manufacturer into the opening.  The top surface of the glass should lay flush with the adjoining floor surface, unless otherwise specified in the drawings.  Apply sealant around each of the glass units and between the grid.  Once all pieces have been installed and sealed with the requirements per the specifications, clean the exposed top surface.

Structural Glass Floor System Applications:

•Glass Floor Balcony

•Display Floors

•Wine Cellars

•Pedestrian Bridges

•Residential Glass Floor

Glass Deck

•Stair Landings

Architects: For a CE unit in any of 6 different programs, take our free online class: Glass Floor Walkways and Stair Treads.

FAQs About Glass Floors

Yes. Despite the refined or even fragile appearance of glass, the term “structural glass” refers to glass elements that are used as load-bearing components in a building or structure. Unlike glass used for windows or decorative purposes, structural glass is engineered to bear structural loads. Structural glass is used in various architectural applications to create transparent or visually appealing structures while maintaining structural integrity.

Some examples of structural glass applications include:

  • Glass floors and stairs: In certain architectural designs, glass is used for floors and glass stairs to create visually striking and transparent elements. This requires specially engineered glass to support the weight of people and other loads.
  • Glass bridges: Similar to glass floors, glass bridges use structural glass to create a transparent walking surface. The glass must be designed to support the loads imposed by people walking across the bridge.
  • Glass canopies: Structural glass canopies are used to provide shelter while maintaining a sense of openness. These canopies are often found in entrances, or outdoor spaces.
  • Glass facades: Structural glass facades are large, transparent surfaces that serve as the outer covering of a building. These facades can be used to maximize natural light penetration, improve energy efficiency, and provide a modern aesthetic.

To meet strength and safety standards, structural glass is often treated or laminated to enhance its durability and resistance to breakage. Technologies such as tempered glass, laminated glass, and heat-strengthened glass are commonly used to ensure that structural glass meets the required performance criteria.

Safe and successful installation of glass floors requires careful planning, engineering, and adherence to safety standards. Here is a general overview of the process for installing glass floors:

  • Structural Analysis and Design:

Before installation, a thorough structural analysis determines the load-bearing requirements of the glass floor. Architects consider factors such as the expected loads (including people walking on the floor), the dimensions of the glass panels, and the support structure.

  • Material Selection:

The type of glass chosen is crucial for the project’s success. Typically, tempered or laminated glass is used for floors because of its strength and safety features. The glass may also be treated for additional properties like anti-slip surfaces.

  • Support Structure:

A sturdy support structure is essential to bear the weight of the glass floor and the loads it will encounter. This structure may consist of steel or other load-bearing materials. 

  • Support Structure Installation:

The support structure is installed and secured to the building’s existing structure. This involves careful positioning and alignment to ensure the load distribution is even.

  • Panel Installation:

Once the support structure is in place, the tempered or laminated glass panels are installed. The edges of the glass may be framed with a metal structure for additional support and aesthetics.

  • Sealing and Finishing:

Proper sealing is crucial to prevent water infiltration and to maintain the structural integrity of the glass floor. Sealing is done at the joints between the glass panels and along the perimeter where the glass meets the supporting structure.

  • Testing and Inspection:

After installation, the glass floor undergoes testing to ensure it meets safety and load-bearing requirements. This may include load testing, impact testing, and other evaluations to confirm that the installation meets building codes and standards.

Glass is an inherently durable and inert material, and under normal conditions, it does not undergo significant deterioration. However, some factors can contribute to changes in the appearance or performance of glass over time:

  1. Weathering: External environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight, rain, wind, and pollutants can affect the surface of glass.
  2. Corrosion: Certain environmental conditions, such as exposure to corrosive gases, can lead to corrosion of glass. This is more common in historical glass artifacts, versus modern architectural applications.
  3. Alkali-silica reaction (ASR): In some cases, the alkali content in concrete adjacent to glass can react with the silica in the glass, leading to a gel formation that may cause cracking over time. This is a consideration in construction where glass is in contact with concrete.
  4. Scratches and abrasions: While glass is a hard material, it can still be scratched or abraded over time, affecting its appearance. Care should be taken to avoid abrasive cleaning materials.
  5. Moisture infiltration: Improperly sealed joints or damaged seals can allow moisture to infiltrate between glass layers or at the edges, leading to potential issues such as mold growth or degradation of the supporting materials.

Modern architectural glass is treated or coated to enhance its durability and resistance to environmental factors. Following manufacturer recommendations and industry best practices during installation can contribute to the long-term durability of glass in various applications.

Yes. Glass floors are as safe as any other type of flooring when properly chosen, engineered, and installed. Tempered glass (heat-treated for strength) or laminated glass (layers of glass bonded together with a layer of plastic between them) are commonly used for floors as they provide strength and safety features.

The glass should meet load-bearing requirements for the application, and the support structure for the flooring must be adequate. Anti-slip treatments can enhance safety. Regular maintenance, inspections, and adherence to safety guidelines ensure ongoing safety.