Are you thinking about installing a frameless glass pool fence but are worried about safety?
Does all that glass seems risky with kids running around?
And how strong is a glass pool fence in the north-easterly’s on the Northern Beaches?
Other common questions about types of glass for pool fences include
• What type of glass is a pool fence made of?
• Is a glass pool fence really safe?
• How thick should the pool fence glass be?
• Is all glass the same quality?
• What about DIY glass panels?
Pool Fence Glass is Safety Glass
Safety glass, also called tempered glass or toughened glass is used for pool fencing
Like the design and location of your pool fence, the glass used in pool fencing must meet strict Australian Standards for safety. If it doesn’t, your pool fence will not be certified.
The type of glass used in pool fencing is the same type of glass used in shower screens, sliding doors and car windscreens. Tempered or toughened glass (these words generally mean the same type of glass) is made specifically for these uses where higher strength glass is needed.
Toughened glass is manufactured with controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength. Tempered glass is significantly stronger than regular plate glass (in regular windows).
The manufacturing process puts the outer surface of the glass into compression and the interior elements into tension. This means that if a glass panel does break, it breaks into the small chunks we’ve all seen, rather than the jagged and very sharp chards like plate glass.
This is why once a piece of glass has been toughened, it cannot be cut or resized. Cutting tempered glass breaks the tension in the glass – and the panel explodes. For the same reason, mounting holes in pool fencing panels must be exactly right – no onsite adjustment can be made.
Australian Standards mark
The glass used in your pool fence should be clearly marked in one corner with the Australian Standards compliance number. This shows it is toughened glass made to the correct standard.
How Thick Should a Glass Pool Fence be?
Glass panels come in a range of thicknesses, from 6mm up to 18mm, depending upon the size they need to span. The bigger the panel, the thicker a frameless glass panel needs to be.
Yes, thicker glass costs more, and a cheaper quotation may be using thinner panels. We do not recommend 6mm or 8mm panels as they are just not sufficiently strong enough in our opinion.
We recommend 12mm thick fence panels for frameless glass fences or balustrades. Pool gates can be thinner and lighter using 8mm or 10mm glass, depending upon size and hinges. Thicker glass gate panels require stronger hinges and can causing sagging.
Semi-frameless fencing has more support, so 10mm glass panels can be used, however the cost savings on glass is usually offset by more expensive posts.
Is Glass Pool Fencing Safe?
You will occasionally hear of glass panels spontaneously “exploding” for no apparent reason.
This is why pool fences, like windscreens, are made of toughened glass which shatters into squarish chunks and not dangerous jagged shards like plate glass. Its safer for anyone nearby and also makes clean up much safer too.
However, there is always a reason toughened glass shatters.
The most common reasons that a pool fence panel may shatter include:
• contaminants in the glass that create defects which create stresses
• minor chips or nicks in the edge that develops into a stress point
• binding of the glass panel in a mount as the panel expands and contracts with the weather
• inadequate thickness for the wind load
Ensuring glass is sourced from a high quality manufacture is important to minimise the chance of contaminates.
Word Of Mouth Fencing has been using the same supplier for glass panels for over nine years to ensure high standards of toughened glass panels for every pool fence installed.
How good is glass as a pool fence?
As a pool fence, glass has an advantage over other fences as it is very smooth with minimal gaps.
This reduces the chance a very active child could climb up and over the fence. With virtually nothing to hold on to, climbing a glass pool fence is almost impossible, making it a very safe pool fence choice.
What size will the glass pool fence panels be?
Regulations for Pool Fencing in NSW require a pool fence to be at least 1200mm from natural ground level.
As a glass pool fence is generally installed off the ground, the panels are typically less than 1200mm high.
Each frameless glass panel can be up to 2m long. Semi-frameless tend to be shorter due to using thinner glass.
Ideally you want all the panels in your fence to be the same length as it will look more stylish than several large panels followed by a single small one. DIY glass panels tend to only come in set sizes, limiting your design options.
Custom glass panels can be made almost any size or shape. This means that where you need to fit the fence over a garden rock, or up stairs, the look of your pool fence is maintained.
Conclusion on Glass Pool Fencing
Whilst the glass required for a safe pool fence is regulated, using a reliable pool fencer to design and install your pool fence can minimise risks of issues.
When considering installing a frameless or semi-frameless glass pool fence ensure your quote includes:
• reliable glass supplier for quality glass panels
• experienced glass installer
• 12mm + glass panels