v

GlassKote South Africa Blog

We invite our GlassKote licensed applicators and Architects using GlassKote, to submit their work and showcase the beauty of GlassKote. We hope you find inspiration and ideas for your next project.

Glass Sandblasting

Glass often plays a purely practical role in every-day life – it is used for windows, cutlery and furniture. Yet options to make use of glass in an artistic way abounds. An excellent direction to head in when exploring the creative side of glass is that of glass sandblasting. Glass Sandblasting refers to the propelling of fine bits of material at a high speed to etch a surface. Although the surface is mostly glass, the process can also be applied to other materials such as ceramics and steel. Sand is mostly used, but for health reasons other small particles such as steel grit, copper slag or powdered abrasives can also be used. Since there is a chance of inhaling dust during the sandblasting process, careful precaution should be taken during the sandblasting process by using an alternate air supply, wearing protective gear and ensuring there is good ventilation. The equipment typically consists of the abrasive material, an air compressor and a blaster nozzle. The two techniques used when decorating glass with sandblasting is etching and carving. Glass etching produces a ‘whitening’ or ‘snowing’ effect when abrasive material is lightly blasted at the glass – an ideal effect for words or images on trophies or windows. For different effects, the speed and angle of the sandblasting can be adjusted. The carving process takes place when a stencil is placed on the glass and then glass sandblasted. Again different depths and angles can be incorporated to create three-dimensional art pieces. Besides creating art, sandblasting is also used for decorating glass household items such as bowls, clocks, glasses or vases. Furthermore most...

Glass Windows

It’s hard to imagine a world without glass windows. Yet history shows only in 100 AD did glass windows begin to make their appearance in Alexandria, Egypt. It then took another millennium to refine the process to get the glass windows to look as clear and as flat as we know them today. Types Nowadays glass windows can be purchased in an extensive range of styles, sizes and frames. Some of the most popular styles include: fixed, top hung, side hung, sliding, tilt and turn, bay and sash windows. Fixed windows These are perfect to use in situations where light but no ventilation is needed as they cannot be opened. They also make excellent architectural features where a view can be enjoyed. They are mostly custom made as the sizes will vary greatly. Top hung Top hung windows are opened from the bottom, allowing most ventilation to come from below. This makes them handy in areas which receive plenty of rain as light rain won’t be able to enter. Side hung Side hung windows are one of the most popular choices and opened from the centre outwards on side hinges. They work well with double glazed windows as the latest heavy duty hinges allow them to carry the weight easily. Sliding These windows are mostly used where there is limited space as their panes will not be obstructive. They consist of sliding glass panes, usually two, and can either be opened either way or have one fixed and one mobile pane. Tilt and turn Originally from Germany and most commonly used there, these windows open or and tilt inwardly...

Maintaining a shower

Moments spent under the hot running water of a shower are treasured moments. What is less pleasant is the maintenance thereof.  Fortunately with a few simple steps maintaining a shower will help keep it an inviting place. Shower Heads Shower heads can easily become blocked up with mineral deposits, resulting in poor water pressure and flow. Here are simple steps to maintaining a shower head and keep the water flowing: If your shower head is hard to detach, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and wrap it around the shower head and secure it with a rubber band or tape. Leave the bag for a few hours or overnight. Once the bag is removed, allow water to run through to remove the vinegar. If the shower head is easy to remove, let it soak in a container of white vinegar for a few hours. Once the head has been placed back on, allow the water to run through the shower head to remove any vinegar. If a shower has rubber nozzles, any mineral built-up can be removed by massaging the nozzles by hands or by cleaning them with a toothbrush. Shower floors There are a wide variety of shower floor types and each will vary somewhat as to what is needed to clean them, but these are good general tips to follow when maintaining a shower floor: Start by cleaning the drain. Remove the drain by unscrewing the cap and remove unwanted hair with gloves. If hair is stuck in the pipe an old toothbrush can be used to remove it. Also clean the drain cover with a...

Framed Glass Balustrades

Safety is paramount when it comes to any building or home. The smallest features can make all the difference. This is certainly the case when it comes to balustrades. Balustrades are railings which are erected around areas of height or to separate or enclose a space. A wide range of balustrades are available to suit a variety of styles, one of them being framed glass balustrades. Framed glass balustrades are ideal to use for patios, staircases, decks, pool fencing, handrails, boundary fences, pool gates, wind breaks and for privacy screens. Using framed glass balustrades have the following advantages: Provide safety around heights or pool areas Easy to maintain Customizable as they are available in different shapes, styles and colours Can be incorporated into any building including curved buildings Provide a modern and elegant feel Allow for unobstructed views Play a key role in adding to the aesthetics of a home, hotel, apartments or a high rise building Are durable and often made to withstand tough weather conditions A framed glass balustrade consists of aluminium, stainless steel or wooden frame, glass and steel fixation bolts and nuts. It is best to ask for stainless steel bolts and nuts to prevent rust from harming the product. There is also the option of hidden fixings. When it comes to the glass, different thicknesses and styles can be installed. Thicknesses range from 6-15 mm and it is advisable to ensure that toughened glass is used. For the style of glass, clear, colour, tinted or obscure glass are the typical options available. Popular frame options include full height glass frames, edge frames or split...

What are balustrades?

So, what are balustrades? Although they can easily be overlooked, balustrades perform an essential role in buildings. By installing them, instant safety is added to areas of height. By carefully selecting their design, they will also add to the aesthetic appeal of a space. A balustrade consists of balusters – pillars – which are aligned symmetrically on a base and joined at the top to form a balustrade or railing.  Balustrades are therefore made up of a base, a top rail and the balusters or ‘pillars’.  They are used to enclose patios, terraces, staircases and swimming pools, as well as create architectural barriers in other spaces. Balustrades are mostly manufactured from stainless steel, wrought iron steel, normal steel, wood, glass or a combination of these. Stainless steel is a good option to consider when you want to take the environment into consideration – it is corrosion resistant and durable, along with the ability to be recycled. When it comes to steel designs for balustrades, customers can customize as they wish, with the option of vertical or horizontal bars or even customized laser cut profiles. Cable systems are another elegant, safe and strong option in the steel balustrade range. Using wood for balustrades adds warmth to any space and complements the other materials of the balustrades such as glass and steel, well. With wood, especially outdoors, maintenance however needs to be kept in mind. One of the most popular choices for balustrades are frameless glass balustrades. These have the perks of creating a modern appeal, providing uninterrupted views, allowing light to flood an area, being a wind and sound barrier...

What is a skylight?

What is a skylight? When inviting natural light and fresh air into a space, a skylight is an optimal solution. Skylights are environmentally-friendly fenestration structures installed on roofs which allow light into a building. They consist of three main components – the top structure (visible on the roof), the ceiling frame and ceiling panel and the connecting duct between the top structure and the ceiling frame. Glass or acrylic is the main materials from which a skylight is manufactured from. A variety of skylight types are available, the main ones being fixed skylights, ventilating skylights and tubular skylights. Fixed skylights exist simply to allow light into an interior space and can contribute to the aesthetics of a room. Ventilating skylights are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens where they can be opened for fresh air – either by hand, a remote, or an automatic sensor sensitive to temperature. Finally, tubular skylights are small skylights which work well for space-restrictive areas. They incorporate reflective aluminium for maximum light reflection. When choosing the size of a skylight, it is advisable to not simply go for the biggest skylight to allow the most light in as skylights have much less insulation than roofs. Therefore, it should first be established how much light and heat is desired in an area before a skylight is chosen. North- facing skylights are good for constant yet cool light, east-facing skylights will transmit the most light and heat in the morning, west-facing skylights will again be ideal for afternoon heat and sunlight whilst South-facing skylights will heat up a space in winter, yet also add warmth in summer....

Glass bricks

Glass bricks were first used in the early 1900 to provide factories with more light and better insulation. Today, glass bricks are used in both residential and commercial buildings as well as for many institutions. Light has the ability to breathe life into any space. Although glass is a good transmitter of light, it does not necessarily always provide the necessary privacy or safety. This is where glass bricks become an ideal option. Glass wall blocks are hollow in the centre as they are separately produced as two different sides which are pressed together while the glass is still hot. Glass bricks are not only used for wall applications but also for floors. Floor blocks are either made from a solid piece of glass or as a hollow glass block with thicker sides than normal wall glass bricks. Floor glass bricks are incorporated into buildings by either being laid into a reinforced concrete grid work or by being set into a metal frame. Glass blocks have many advantageous features including that they are excellent light transmitters, they provide a high level of sound insulation – even better than brick walls of the same thickness – and they are highly durable and offer supreme fire-proof and bullet-proof properties. Furthermore, what makes these bricks even safer is that should they break, they will tend to converge inwards instead of exploding outwards as the pressure inside the glass brick is lower than the atmospheric pressure. Some glass bricks can be described as ‘green’ glass bricks as they provide higher thermal insulation levels than brick walls of the same thickness and can be...

Skylight Systems

Light has the ability to transform the atmosphere of any space. Unfortunately architectural barriers can block out most natural light. However, when considering skylights, a completely new light can be shed on the subject. Skylights systems (objects that encloses openings in buildings) installed into a roof which allows light into a space. Major benefits of skylights include that they are a quick and inexpensive way to allow natural light to flood indoor areas and change the room’s atmosphere, they are environmentally friendly as they help cut electricity costs and they can assist with good ventilation. Furthermore, various studies have proven that incorporating daylight has positive physiological effects and can even better sales and productivity. When enquiring about a skylight systems, it is important to state whether you’re simply looking for natural light or also wanting to add aesthetical value to a space. The main types of skylights systems include tubular daylighting devices (TDDs), fixed skylights, roof windows and ventilating skylights. Tubular daylighting devices are ideal to use when plenty of light is needed in a room as the tube incorporates reflective aluminium. These are ideal to use in smaller spaces where the traditional fixed skylight won’t fit. When going for aesthetic appeal, fixed skylights available in various shapes, are a good option to consider. Roof windows work well for spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens, where extra ventilation is needed as they can be opened. These have the added advantage of having the option to have a blind attached as they can be within reach to close. Skylight systems come in a number of shapes and sizes. The most...

Aluminium Windows

Time is one of the most precious commodities. Knowing this, it becomes essential to plan daily tasks as well as home maintenance. Wood, although beautiful, can be timeous to look after. Much time can however be saved when considering aluminium windows. These windows have proven to be a long-term solution for fenestration needs. Making use of aluminium windows has the following advantages: Easy maintenance Simple operation Customizable in that they are available in various powder coated or wood-look coatings Available in a number of styles with unique opening possibilities Can fit glass of different thicknesses Durable Good insulation for sound and water Available in a range of shapes Security features such as burglar, fire and bullet resistant features can be incorporated to make them ideal safety windows Aluminium windows are manufactured in various styles including sliding windows, fixed pane windows, projected windows (also known as casement windows or sash windows), arched windows, round windows, double-glazed windows and cottage pane windows. Projected aluminium windows are a popular choice. This style is available in top-hug or side-hug forms and is identified by panes that swing out from the window’s outer frame. Another popular choice to consider is sliding windows, a good choice for limited space. They are also available in two options: horizontal and vertical. For alternative options, pivot and tilt and turn windows can be considered. Pivot windows has the advantage over sliding and projected windows in that they allow for a wider opening as they pivot around a single point. They are ideal to use for larger window sizes. Tilt and turn windows are unique in that they allow...

Folding Doors

Fresh air and open spaces – these elements can uplift and transform any living space. Although aesthetically ideal, it is also important to keep safety and weather conditions in mind when opening up a house or building. An ideal option to consider when reconciling open space and fresh air with safety and privacy is that of folding  doors. These doors are the perfect link between indoor and outdoor entertainment areas. Options abound when it comes to the specifications for folding doors. In terms of material, options range from laminated wood to PVC, wood, aluminium, aluminium and wood, as well as incorporating glass with any of these options. Powder coatings in all colours, including popular choices such as natural, bronze and white are also available. In terms of the opening styles, customers can choose from styles such as inward and outward opening or folding left or right or both ways. The number of panes depending on the size of the space is also up to the customer – pane selections usually range from two to seven panes a side. Various handles are also available which includes the classic lever handle, a modern flat handle and a pull handle. Glass is mostly used to fill out the frame of folding doors as it adds aesthetic value, allows light in and makes an area seem more spacious. Careful selection of glass is necessary. It is advisable to ask for safety or laminated glass should the folding doors face towards the outside of the house for prevention against burglary or accidents. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the folding doors are weather...

Mirror Glass

Without Mirror Glass, society will have a rather significant amount of disheveled looking people, there will be plenty more road accidents and neither telescopes nor disco balls would exist.  Mirrors play an integral part of our daily lives. But what exactly does a mirror consist of? Most mirrors are manufactured when a reflective coating is applied to an appropriate substrate, which is mostly glass. Glass is ideal as it is transparent, rigid and can take on a smooth surface. There are various types of mirrors and each is produced in a different manner and with different materials. Every day mirror glass, or silver glass mirrors are manufactured when the back of a glass sheet is coated with a silver and copper film as well as two or more layers of waterproof paint- ensuring protection from chemicals and moisture. These mirrors provide accurate reflections and have a variety of uses and benefits, from assisting with driving to making a room appear more spacious to adding aesthetic value. Aluminium mirrors consist of glass which receives vacuum coating. Vacuum coating takes place when aluminium powder is evaporated or ‘splashed’ onto the glass in a vacuum chamber before receiving layers of waterproof protective paint. These mirrors have the advantage over silver mirrors in that they are more environmentally friendly as no copper or lead is used. Aluminium mirrors are ideal to use for scientific instruments. Safety glass mirrors are produced when a protective film is applied to the back of a silver glass mirror. In the case of the glass being broken, the film will prevent injuries. This makes it ideal to use for furniture,...

Shower Enclosures

A great place to start when building or upgrading your bathroom is with the shower. Numerous options are available when it comes to glass shower enclosures: frameless, semi frameless or framed. These options can be further customised to fit the shape of your shower. A wide range of options are available to suit any shower’s shape as there is the option to choose how many panels of glass and the number and type of hinges which will be used. Glass enclosures has the advantage above other shower enclosures in that they are waterproof and easy to clean, as well as creating a spacious look. Frameless glass shower enclosures are an optimal choice to select when going for a modern and luxurious bathroom feel, while semi-framed and framed enclosures serves great practical as well as aesthetically pleasing purposes. Fittings available for shower enclosures include a combination of stainless steel, chrome, solid brass and aluminium fittings. If silicone is used customers can ask for anti-fungal, clear silicone or waterproof polycarbonates which can be removed for cleaning and adjustments. It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. This is true as wonderful moments are spent cooking and feasting together. But somewhere those cooking in this heart have to get rejuvenated. Bathrooms and showers play a key role in everyday homes and lives. Here is where the real transformation takes place – from a weary day’s work to feeling relaxed and ready for the evening or from heavy eyelids and messy hair to being fresh and ready to face the day with zest. Get a...

Frameless Glass Balustrades

Unsightly railings will be a thing of the past when transformed with the modern touch of frameless glass balustrades. Barriers do not only play an important role in life but also in architecture. Without them things can go fairly wrong – one only needs to think of a barrier-free balcony on the 7th floor. However, the fact that they are vital does not mean that they have to be bland. In fact, by choosing the correct balusters, or railings, a living space can be transformed. An optimal choice to consider when looking at making the most of your space and view would be frameless glass balustrades. Frameless glass balustrades are used for staircases, swimming pools, patios and balconies. Installing these balustrades has the following advantages over the use of other balustrades: Space is invited into your living area and can make it appear bigger They offer an uninterrupted view of your surroundings An elegant and modern feel is created They can withstand extreme weather conditions Easy maintenance and cleaning A safe option as toughened glass is used They can be customised to fit any shape The standard glass used for frameless glass balustrades are 12mm toughened glass, although 15mm can also be incorporated for other applications. Secure toughened which can be up to five times stronger than normal glass, is available from all accredited suppliers which meet the safety glass requirements. When it comes to the fittings, polished steel and stainless steel fittings are mostly used. The epoxy – the sealant or substance used to fit the glass into the steel channels and recessed glass, needs to be top quality...

Frameless Shower

As valued time is spent daily in the shower, it makes sense to invest in the best possible fittings for showers. Frameless showers are an excellent option to consider when upgrading a bathroom. They create a modern and clean feel, as well as a more spacious atmosphere. What’s more is that frameless showers provides an uninterrupted view when showering and is easy to clean and maintain. However keep in mind when cleaning that glass cleaning products are best to use and no abrasive powders or scouring pads to ensure the longevity of the protective layer on the glass. Frameless shower glass is usually available in a range from 6 – 10 mm toughened glass.  To fit any bathroom, these showers are mostly custom made – the measurements taken from a completed surface to make allowance for any skew floors; therefore minimizing the use of silicone.  Fitting and hardware options include a combination of stainless steel, chrome and solid brass fittings to complete the modern look. When it comes to the use of silicone it is wise to ask for anti-fungal, clear silicone.  Customers also have the option of using waterproof polycarbonates which can be removed for cleaning and adjustments. By investing in a frameless shower, shower times are guaranteed to feel all the more luxurious. Shower times are precious – those moments when it’s just you and the soothing hot water. The day’s hustle and bustle fades as the bathroom fills up with steam. Your pillow seems like the perfect next step. Alternatively, it all happens just before the sun greets you and you desperately need a wake-up shake-up....

Glass Sliding Doors

With opportunities, it’s all about getting your foot in the door. Miss the door and you’ll miss the opportunity. There is one door in particular, which you don’t want to miss. Glass sliding doors can add endless elegance to your building. From the time when sliding glass doors were first introduced by Japanese architecture and later as an element of pre-war International architecture until today, these doors have always had a significant impact on buildings. Sliding glass doors or patio doors have the advantage over other doors of allowing natural light and views to transform a room. Incorporating these doors in a home or building can improve the sense of space and make an area feel less cluttered. Often used at the entrance of buildings or stores, glass sliding doors are convenient for automatic doors and safety. They usually consist of two glass panels, either one fixed and the other mobile, or both mobile. Other options for these doors include that of the pocket door design which has one or more panels which can slide into wall pockets to bring the outdoors inside, and that of glass sliding doors which consist of various glass panels, able to ‘fold open’. The doors tend to run on smooth-gliding adjustable rollers which can be weather-sealed. When it comes to the glass, you also have options. In terms of the type of glass, toughened glass, which can be up to 5 times stronger than normal glass, 4mm glass or laminated safety glass can be used. An added benefit of toughened glass is that it works well for sound absorption, making it ideal for...

Frameless Glass

Thinking ‘out of the box’ is important if you want to move forward. An easy way to do that is to remove barriers. Or let’s say remove the frames. You’re now free – your options are endless. The same is true when it comes to glass. Remove the frames and your options for elegance becomes endless. Frameless glass is popular for various good reasons: Aesthetically pleasing Available in any shape Easy to maintain Can withstand tough weather conditions without eroding A safe option when enclosing an entrance Allows for uninterrupted views Allows for the option to be toughened, making it a secure fitting option It can make spaces seem bigger Allows for the option to be customized using design Ideal for a modern, clean feel By removing frames and barriers a space’s whole atmosphere can change. There’s no limit to incorporating frameless glass into interiors. Modernize your staircase with frameless glass doors, extend your view with frameless glass balcony screens, splash more with swimming pool frameless glass, add elegance to your bathroom by using frameless glass shower doors or cook up a storm with frameless glass splashbacks. Within these options you can go even further by customizing the way you round the product off when selecting your hinges. When it comes to balustrades, your options range from recessed to side-mount to top-mount balustrades. For frameless glass doors you can choose between pivot, hinge, folding or slider doors. Showers offer you equal amounts of options as you can select your shape; the frameless glass options being ideal for all types of showers ranging from steam to in-line to hinge to...

What is glass?

So what is glass exactly? The Flintstones and glass have something in common. That’s right – since the Stone Age societies have been making use of glass. Archaeological evidence suggests that the first true glass production took place in Ancient Egypt. At some point glass must have been ‘discovered’. Glass can be manmade or found in nature. It’s a solid material known to be fragile and transparent composed mostly of sand and alkali. However soda, ash and limestone are also often used in the manufacturing process. Glass production takes place when the sand and alkali (or other materials) are fused at a high temperature. The solid structure is formed when the fusion is rapidly cooled. As this is done quickly the process does not allow for the product to become a crystalline product. The crystalline form would be quartz. Scientifically, glass has a disordered and amorphous structure. In order to get various colours and change its properties other materials and oxides can be added. Various types of glass, consisting of different materials, exist for a range of purposes. Glass is widely used from being an instrumental part of buildings and homes to electrical transmissions to optical equipment and home ware products. Often used manmade glass includes commercial, lead and borosilicate glass. Commercial glass or soda-lime glass is one of the cheapest glass types available mostly used for jars, drinking glasses and windows. Lead glass has a high brilliance and a soft surface making it ideal for decorating purposes. Borosilicate glass is used for industrial chemical process plants, high-powered lamps and in laboratories. Glass is fully recyclable and known to...

Coloured Glass Prices

Get free quotes from coloured glass suppliers through our partner ThinkQuote Get in touch with us The coloured glass market is well known to architects, designers, businesses as well as general home owners. Colours, designs and styles are freely accessible on the web, equipping you to make  good decisions for a coloured glass project. There is one element however, that usually contains little clarity: glass prices. Various factors influence coloured glass prices: 1. Glass Types: Annealed Glass This glass is standard glass, typically there is a green tinge to the colour of the glass. This is the most cost effective form of glass. Low Iron (Ultra Clear) Glass This glass type is clear due to the lower iron content. This is the preferred glass type for coloured glass. Patterned glass (glass manufactured with a particular design/pattern) Patterned glass adds a decorative flair to glass applications Toughened glass (safety glass) Best used in areas where safety is a priority, like kitchens and bathrooms Annealed and Ultra Clear Glass 2. Colour Finish: Standard (normal solid colours) Metallic (sparkle or metallic effects) Printed (printed designs) Translucent (transparent colours) Patterned glass with silver metallic              Ultra Clear glass with blue metallic Ultra Clear glass with custom print Get a Quote Normal 0 false false false EN-ZA X-NONE...

How to measure a glass splashback

Once you’ve decided to go with the elegant option of a glass splashback your first step would be; how to measure a glass splashback. It’s a simple process and you will need the following: A measuring tape (a 3 metre long measuring tape should be sufficient) Pen and paper to record the values Basic understanding of math (we have assisted you here) Units of measure: millimetre (mm), centimetre (cm) and metre (m) Area calculation formula It is best to measure and calculate in metres (m). This is important in your area calculation later. However, in some cases the area may be small. Use the following calculations to convert millimetre (mm) and centimetre (cm) into metre (m): 1mm / 1000 = 0.001m 1cm/ 100 = 0.01m Measure and record the length and height of your desired size. To calculate the area (m²) yourself, you will be doing the following sum: length X height For example:      Calculation: Convert your unit of measure into metre (m): 950mm/ 1000 = 0.95m and 400mm/ 1000 = 0.4m Multiply the length and height: 0.95m X 0.4m = 0.38m² Once you know your total area, contact a glass supplier and request a quote. Keep in mind you will need have some idea of a colour. Your glass supplier will be able to advise on the correct glass specifications and standards for your application. After your splashback has been installed, enjoy the pleasing aesthetics of your glass splashback. Get a...

Maintaining a glass splashback

A glass splashback can be the main feature in your kitchen or bathroom. Hygiene is a priority in both these areas and so maintaining your ‘splashback’ is important. The following tips are good to keep in mind when looking after your splashback: Use the right cleaning cloth.  Most splashbacks will not appreciate abrasive material used for cleaning so swop a metal scourer for a soft cloth, a microfibre cloth is recommended here. For a streak-free finish, wipe with another dry cloth after cleaning. Use the right cleaning solution For most splashbacks, all-purpose cleaner, glass/window cleaner, or even stainless steel cleaner should get the job done. Dishwashing detergent and water is another safe option. Harsh and abrasive cleaning products should be avoided to maintain the glass finish. Remove splashes and spills as soon as possible Getting in to the habit of removing spills and splashes quickly is highly beneficial. Splashes are the easiest to remove when they are fresh and when removing it quickly the risk of staining the splashback is much lower. After following these simple cleaning tips enjoy the benefits of having an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-clean...