Advice on Installing a Glass Staircase

Every glass staircase has 3 basic components: stringers, risers and treads. Stringers are present on either sides of the staircase. They are often called the sloping columns of the staircase. They are responsible for rendering structural strength to the staircase. The tread forms the stepping area of the staircase. It is often referred to as the footing area.

The riser is small, vertical section that connects to the next stair section. Installing a glass staircase becomes slightly, more demanding since glass components need to be cut and fixed with negligible room for the smallest error. This is because unlike wood or concrete staircases, making late adjustments to a glass staircase is almost impossible. Please consider the following tips when installing your glass staircase.

Tip 1 - Staircase Stringer Installation Tips

To calculate the stringer spread, stretch a tape measure from the starting and end-point of the planned staircase, along the slope. Ensure that the total tape-run equals the calculated stringer length. A miscalculated stringer can not be repaired at a later stage, so measure twice. Even if you are using precut stringers to remodel an old staircase, ensure that they have the same degree of opaqueness as the existing stringer. Ask the retailer about the load-bearing capacity of a precut stringer.

Ideally, there should be no difference between load-bearing measurements of a precut (retailed) and your existing stringer. Ensure that the number of stringers used in the staircase comply with the building code for your home. Conventionally, 2 to 3 stringers are recommended for most domestic, glass staircases.

Tip 2 - Staircase Riser Installation Tips

You can use a simple formula to approximate the ideal height of each riser. Calculate the total rise of the staircase—the vertical distance between the topmost tread and the point directly beneath it—on the ground surface. Divide this measurement by the total number of planned risers to get the approximate value. Pre-cut all the riser sections before installing them.

Secure each riser using trim-head screws. If a riser does not sit comfortably on top of a stair, don’t force the issue by screwing it hard. A glass staircase can not afford to have screwing stress created from risers. Such stress can later induce cracks around the point where the risers and the stringers meet.

Tip 3 - Staircase Tread Installation Tips

When installing treads, start at the bottom of the staircase and proceed upwards. Accurately measure every tread, particularly those that have an angular layout. Label each tread to ensure accurate positioning of the screws. For best results, pre-drill the holes since this provides some room for late adjustments. Lay treads upon the risers, and even if the pre-drilled holes are slightly misplaced, the tread can be enforced and screwed tightly with trim screws.

Here, the screwing stress is induced vertically upon the risers and is further distributed, when directed towards the stringers. Therefore, it usually doesn't cause cracking. However, over-screwing beyond a certain point can be as damaging and can also induce squeaking in the staircase. After screwing the treads, use a level to verify that each tread surface is even.