Global design trends have moved toward purity and clean, uncluttered design. Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada-based ThinkGlass glass stair treads are a case in point.
“Glass is a chameleon material that can meld into any decor or space,” says Michel Mailhot, ThinkGlass glass master, artist and co-owner. “Throughout history, it has always been present in construction regardless of the current fashion or trend.”
Observing that existing glass treads on the market had their edges covered with stainless steel or aluminum to hide the lamination lines, ThinkGlass set out to find a way to emphasize glass’s ethereal and luminescent qualities. “Glass should not be forced to be cluttered by other elements in order to hide a technological limitation,” Mailhot says.
Glass may not be the first material to come to mind when it comes to stair treads, and some remodelers and builders might question its suitability for the application.
They shouldn’t worry, according to ThinkGlass: “Glass is strong and durable. In fact, glass treads of 1 1/2-in. thickness are stronger than granite or stone, and they can bear a load of 1,800 lbs. at the center of a 36-in.-wide tread. All ThinkGlass treads pass mandated strength requirement testing and are laminated on the underside with an invisible safety film for extra security.”
ThinkGlass treads have passed the following tests:
- Concentrated Load Test (Section 2409 of NYSBC)
- Concentrated Load Test — Long Term Effect (Section 2409 of NYSBC)
- Uniformly Distributed Load Test (Section 2409 of NYSBC)
In addition, the ThinkGlass stair treads are slip-resistant. An imbedded texture provides an anti-skid surface that is scratch-proof and easily hides any smudges or streaks. The stair treads exceed current “coefficient of friction” requirements as specified by ASTM section c1028, Underwriters Laboratories UL-410, and ADA.
Treads can be sized and shaped to fit any space, from a dramatic grand staircase to a compact spiral design. Staircases may be made entirely of glass treads, or simply accented with a few glass steps.
The treads are available in aqua and crystal and in four textures. LED lights can be installed on one or both ends or can be placed at the back within a track. LED lights allow for thousands of colors to be displayed within the treads.
Aside from wiring for lighted treads, which is not complicated, most contractors comfortable with staircase work can install glass treads
ThinkGlass has applied glass to more than just stair treads. Other applications include a shower floor, a tub surround, a tombstone, a sculpture, a chocolate fountain and outdoor monuments with carved lettering.