How to Build Glass Stairs

What You'll Need
Measuring Tape
Specialized Glass Connectors
High Tension Glass Panels
Glass Drill Bits

Glass stairs are one of the most striking and architecturally modern features that you can install in your home or office. One thing that should be noted if you are even thinking about undertaking a project like this is that this is significantly more time consuming, technical, costly and potentially dangerous than the vast majority of do-it-yourself projects. There are many considerations that must be taken into account to make sure that your glass staircase is safe and practical for people to walk on. Additionally, there are a good number of specialized tools and connectors that must be used to complete this project. If this does not dissuade you, however, the potential is there to create an impressive and modern staircase in your home or office space.

Step 1: Measuring

Measure the area where you will want your staircase to go. From one floor to the next, this measurement is known as the "total rise." After you have this figure, in inches, divide by 7.5 inches in order to determine the number of steps it will take to cover that vertical distance. Once you have taken these measurements, you will need to purchase the materials you will need for the stairs.

Step 2: Buying Materials

When buying materials for this project, be aware that you will most likely be purchasing some sort of glass staircase kit with directions included that you will want to follow closely. In general, you will be looking for a high tension, thick glass that will be able to hold a great deal of weight in order to provide proper safety. Since you cannot simply hammer nails or screw into glass, you will be dealing with specialized connectors that will allow you to connect two pieces of glass together, or a piece of glass to a piece of metal. The main things you will have to worry about when buying materials are that you took accurate measurements and your budget.

Step 3: Constructing the Staircase

Individual instructions for installing a staircase will vary greatly depending on which glass staircase installation kit you purchased. In general, you will be constructing a frame first - most likely out of metal - to which you will eventually be attaching the individual glass panels that you bought along with the staircase kit. Take your time and construct this frame very carefully, as this will provide the main structural integrity upon which the entire staircase will be dependent. Use quality tools and materials to complete this job, since stairs can be extremely dangerous if they are not constructed properly.

Once you have carefully constructed the frame, you will be ready to begin attaching the glass slabs. Use the connectors included with the staircase kit and follow the directions to attach each glass panel to the metal frame. When using glass connectors, always remember that there is a fine line between over- and under-tightening that must be taken into account. If glass connectors are overtightened, cracking may occur. If they are under-tightened, the stairs may be too loose. Follow directions closely and you should have no problem with your construction.