So you want a glass floor?

glass-floor-blog-photoMany people think that glass flooring is a new product - the "latest hot new trend". In actuality, glass floors have been a feature of architectural design for approximately 100+ years. Of course 100 years ago the safety standards that are in place now were not in existence. Glass floor panels "back in the day" were typically poured cast glass 1" thick plus and not laminated for safety. Many of the 100+ year old installations are only now being updated and replaced due to wear and tear and to meet current safety standards. Hopefully this assures the owner, architect, interior designer, and contractor that Glass Flooring is an enduring product.

The second myth in regard to glass floor panels is that the walking surface of glass floors is slippery. In this matter we encourage you to rely on Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) testing. UL410 specifically states that a floor must exceed .5 coefficient of friction (COF) to receive a UL rating. In fact, Glass Floor made to meet UL410 and tested by UL exceed the COF of many popular flooring surfaces such as marble, granite, and the like.

The final myth is regarding strength. Are glass floors strong? Will they hold pedestrian traffic? Absolutely! Glass floors should be engineered to hold pedestrian traffic 100 to 150 lbs per square foot. Additionally, the analysis (we strongly recommend finite element analysis) should take into consideration that the glass must be partially compromised (broken) and yet still hold the load. Today the ASTM and other standards dictate that glass be produced to minimize potential liabilities and in turn be safe for all. Jockimo is a contributing member to the ASTM glass floor development committee where we are developing standards for all to follow in the producing of glass floors and glass stair treads. This new standard dictates that all glass floor panels should be laminated for safety.

Stay tuned to this blog for more details on glass flooring design and details.

Igor Beaufils
North American Sales Manager
Glass Flooring and Slump Cast Glass Division
Jockimo Inc.