Modern materials that once seemed unfeasible for particular purposes are commonplace now. Modern airplanes like the Boeing 787 are built mainly of carbon fiber rather than metals. Automobiles consist of a high percentage of plastics and glass fibers due to their strength and structural rigidity.
Paradigm shifts are taking place in the architecture and construction industries as well. Durable glass block, for example, is becoming a material of choice for exterior building claddings, interior walls, windows, and even flooring and stairways.
While glass in some forms is fragile, structural glass block for architecture, distributed throughout North America by GBA Architectural Products + Services, is engineered for durability, practicality, and beauty, offering advantages that solid, opaque materials like wood, brick, and concrete cannot.
While the advantages of glass flooring are becoming universally accepted, misconceptions continue to linger. Proponents of alternative materials often champion these myths.
So, what are the 5 myths about structural glass floors?
MYTH #1: Glass floors are not strong.
FACT #1: IBP’s GlassWalk SG are structural glass panels, up to 48” in width, set in pre-manufactured durable aluminum grids. IBP produces the glass panels in two and three-ply glass units that are tempered for strength and impact resistance. Installation calls for accessories that include perimeter pieces, spacer members, silicone cushions, and sealants all designed to enhance durability and make the surface more comfortable to walk on.
MYTH #2: Glass flooring gets slippery when wet.
FACT #2: IBP has addressed the issue of slip-resistance of GlassWalk SG with innovative, traction-enhancing treatments that include 1. ceramic frits are permanently heat-fused into the glass surface and 2. An anti-slip acid application creates a textured surface with eight standard patterns to enhance the beauty of the glass tiles. GlassWalk SG is highly effective for both exterior and interior walking surfaces.
MYTH #3: Structural glass floors are limited in design options.
FACT #3: On the contrary, structural glass floors are available in many textures, designs, shapes, sizes, and formats to match any architects imagination. In that architectural glass is currently used for exterior claddings of many landmark, iconic buildings around the world, walkways, flooring, staircases, and more, the design options are virtually unlimited. Walls, windows, shower enclosures, interior partitions, canopies, awnings, and skylights are enhancing the energy efficiency and beauty of every type of building. Structural glass components are available in varying degrees of transparency, and adaptable to any function.
MYTH #4: Structural glass floors are poor insulators.
FACT #4: The American Architectural Manufacturers of America (AAMA) has awarded IBP glass block flooring systems with a U-value rating of .49, a level of insulation that exceeds highly efficient double-pane glass window material by over 25%. Premium glass block flooring systems are energy efficient in maintaining temperature levels while also allowing both natural and artificial light to pass through, thereby substantially reducing energy costs for lighting and heating.
Besides exploding the 5 myths about structural glass floors, glass block flooring has the sound deadening capability.
MYTH #5: Glass flooring can only be used indoors.
FACT #5: Exterior glass flooring, walls, stairways. canopies, porches, and patios are becoming a notable trend in architecture today. Witness the many exterior applications of glass block in the project galleries of world-class companies like GBA Architectural Products + Services and Seves Glass Block of Italy, a leading global producer and innovator of glass block products. Here you will see award-winning, beautiful and durable exterior applications of all kinds throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Explore the Many Possibilities of Glass Flooring Systems
IBP glass block flooring from GBA Architectural Products + Services is a truly elegant strategy for opening up a space allowing light to pass through to otherwise “dead spaces” below. Consider how the flow of light through a floor or stairwell makes the area beneath come alive and be better utilized.
While refuting the 5 myth about structural glass floors, glass flooring today is being installed to present a secure view of production facilities and unique venues like wine cellars. Visitors and others can witness the processes without physically occupying those working areas.
IBP GlassWalk is Safe, beautiful, and Energy Efficient
For information regarding IBP GlassWalk materials and the fallacies of the 5 myths about structural glass floors, contact GBA Architectural Products + Services. GBA provides state-of-the-art glass and other materials for high-quality construction for floors, walkways, stair treads, and glass pavers to many types of venues. For information and answers to your questions about glass block systems, contact the professionals at one of their three regional phone numbers:
Alternatively, you may complete the short information form on the Contact Us page of the website, and one of the GBA experienced representatives will contact you.