Glass has long been associated with idea of elegance and aesthetic design. Says Aditya Bhutani, COO – AIS Glasxperts, “The inherent beauty of glass as a material, its sustainable properties and contemporary design sensibilities make for an irresistible combination when used in interiors”.
In interiors, glass helps enhance the visual appeal of living spaces and adds a touch of modernity. Whether it’s lacquered glass for kitchen consoles, bar counters and wardrobes, glass backsplash in bathroom, glass mosaic tiles for living room or fabric laminated glass, coloured, etched and laser etched glass for internal doors and partitions. Gone are the days of metal grill and shutters with the freedom of laminated security glass. For the eco-sensitive home owners, the heat reflective glass and solar control glass helps cut down the level of heat entering the house. What’s more, architects and designers are using glass in increasingly innovative ways from skylights and floors to railings and staircases.
The range of internal glazing solutions and specialised products available today not only make interior space look beautiful, but also keeps it visually connected with other spaces and finishes offering an expansive view from any angle. Apart from the conventional uses such as partitions, seperators, mirrors and table-tops, the novel applications of glass in interiors consist of customised furniture, stairways, balustrades, floors and canopies. Variety of glasses like lacquered, crackled, etched and frosted, tempered, laminated, ceramic frit, patterned, printed can be used to create sophisticated and contemporary interiors for home or office.
• Mirrors can bring about a complete transformation to interior design. The wide range of available effects, patterns and colors gives contemporary and stylish look to the interiors. Mirrors in kitchen give it a very light visual, weight balancing out other ‘heavy’ elements in the kitchen.
• Glass Screens and Shower Enclosures are specifically designed to cater to the modern lifestyles offering utility as well as aesthetic appeal. Glass sacreens and shower enclosures are made of high quality tempered glass which is safe and durable. The use of glass provides illusion of more space and at the same time separates wet and dry area.
• With recent innovation in glass and glass fittings, glass is being used in stairways. Various designs can be explored in options of tempered, heat strengthened and laminated glass with pipe handrails, glass fins and glass slides.
• Glass furniture like dining tables, glass centre table, chairs, shelves and cabinets change the look and feel of a room. Because glass goes with anything, it can be paired with wood, leather, metals or any other material to suit modern or traditional design theme. Glass like lacquered, crackled, etched and frosted can be used to create sophisticated and range of furniture without the fear of breakage for both home and office areas.
• Partitions movable or fixed are the creative answer for facilities needing a physical, not a visual, barrier. Glass partitions custom made in tempered, laminated or art glass include frame less, acoustic and weather-resistant dividers.
• Balustrade is an important safety feature in the design of any building. The use of glass in balustrade, either as a stand-alone material or in combination with a metal, can add significant prestige and value to a building.
• Lacquered glass especially in kitchens looks fresh and innovative. It can be used in humid environments. Functionally, it is easily maintainable and hygienic. It is also durable and remains unaffected by scratches.
• One of the advantages of glass is that it can be patterned, laminated, frosted and customised as per client’s requirements to various levels of translucency for privacy and design. These can be used as glass walls because the degree of transparency can be altered with the type of glass used, its style, glass thickness and colour options.
• Adding creativity in residential or commetcial space is a glass floor. Reinforced glass or hollow glass blocks in combination with a metal frame not just add more light and make spaces look brighter but also add an element of interest.
• A popular perception is that glass is transparent. However, with technological advances glass can also finds application as a privacy solution. New products like glass with integrated blinds, view control film and switchable glass help in maintaining the connection between the indoors and oudoors, while also maintaing private space.
Novel Options in Glass
The space that people occupy at home or work is an extremely personal statement. It is an extension of their taste and an expression of their individuality. People are now looking beyond traditional materials and exploring new ideas in glass for living and commercial spaces.
The trend in architecture these days is large span windows from floor to ceiling to bring in more light. Likewise, shop fronts must bring maximum visual communication and daylight without compromising on safety. The Securityglass provides the ability to be safe without compromising on design. It is a laminated glass comprising of two or more panes of glass with one or more layers of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between them and treated. When the laminated glass breaks due to violent force, the PVB absorbs large amount of impact energy and disperse it rapidly. It provides security as well as safety as it eliminates injury due to fragments and breakage of the glass facade which remains intact till replacement.
Acoustic Insulated glass is a combination of laminated glass with acoustic PVB in insulated glass unit (IGU) which provides a 90% sound reduction. When compared to normal 5mm ordinary glass, Acoustic glass provides an extra 50-60% sound reduction. It is ideal for homes, offices and shops in high traffic zones or near railway-lines and airports and finds application in doors, windows, facades and partitions.
Stacked Glass is another innovation that captures designer’s imagination. It consists of many layers of precisely placed glass, stacked and deep-carved to form a three dimensional unique sculpture which can be mounted to walls, floors, stands or banisters.
Integrated Blinds in IGU
Glass, though a clear substrate with the property of transparency, can solve the privacy purpose of homes and interiors. This type of glass offers best-of-both-worlds innovation, where both the Insulating Glass Unit (IGU) and automatic motorised blinds are blended in one single product. The blinds are sandwiched in between the glasses, which in turn is encased in a white uPVC sliding system to deliver both privacy and aesthetic appeal at the same time. Depending on their design, or choice of colour, the blinds are available in various shades, and in terms of usage, these can be used for doors, in balconies, bedrooms, restaurants and offices.
Also known as smart glass, this ‘Generation-Next’ glass is a high-tech transparent glass that changes light and heat transmission depending on the ambient temperature. It looks like ordinary glass but with the click of a switch it turns into coloured or tinted glass. This technology allows people to choose the amount of light they want to let into their house or office by just pressing a button.
Glass by its very nature is durable, tough and easy to maintain. Cleaning during construction activities should begin with soaking the glass surfaces with clean water and soap solution to loosen dirt or debris. The frequency of cleaning depends on the surrounding environmental conditions and pollution levels. It can easily be wiped clean with water or sometimes with a bit of neutral detergent added to water.
Coated glasses have a metal oxide coating that is applied to the glass. These coatings are highly resistant and durable. No particular precautions need to be taken when the coating is positioned on the inside of the insulating glazing unit. If the reflective glass surface is exposed, either on the exterior or interior, special care must be taken when cleaning as scratches to the reflective glass surface can result in coating removal and a visible change in light transmittance. Cleaning tinted and reflective glass surfaces in direct sunlight should be avoided, as the surface temperature may be excessively hot for optimum cleaning.