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Beyond Walls: The Sheer Elegance and Functionality of Glass Partitions

Glass Partition
Glass Partition

Beyond Walls: The Sheer Elegance and Functionality of Glass Partitions

Interior renovationsBeyond Walls: The Sheer Elegance and Functionality of Glass Partitions

Do you want to partition off a space in your home without erecting walls? Looking to combine your kitchen and living room without wafting cooking smells? Or simply setting up an office space that isn't windowless? The glass partition is just what you need. 

The Benefits of Glass Partitions

Glass Partition

Bright, Open-Concept Setting 

Not all homes are brightly lit, as achieving such a setting depends entirely on the number and size of windows bathing the interior in sunlight. 

Opt for interior glass partitions to increase the amount of natural light filtering into your home without knocking down walls.

Having such a feature still divides two distinct spaces, yet allowing for more natural light to filter in through the greater number of windows. For dwellers, interior glass partitions can also serve as a way to brighten up a windowless room, such as a home office, which we’ll circle back to later in the article.

Stylish and Aesthetic 

Interior glass partitions are versatile, and several models are available:

  • Half-wall, half-glass

  • Full wall

  • Transom

The half-wall, half-glass partition is the most common. It’s found in many homes as a sort of makeshift window, opening onto another room. 

As for a wall-full glass partition, it doubles as a wall. It divides a space in two, thereby creating a new space. 

Last but not least, the glass partition transom is the smallest of all retailed models. It’s a small window positioned above a doorway. 

Versatile and Modular 

A glass partition is without a doubt a fixed feature, yet its pairing can be modular. What does that even mean? Its positioning and appearance (window muntins, glazing, etc.) can be customized. 

To benefit from this versatility, turn to products retailed in kits. The latter allows you to install your partitions glasslites using self-adhesive dry joints. As such, you can build a glass partition that perfectly mirrors your interior décor.

The Different Types of Glass Partitions

Glass Partition

Interior Glass Divider: An Aesthetic and Practical Choice

The aesthetic of the interior glass partition is coupled with a practicality that’s expressed via the following: 

  • the division of space; and 

  • the retention of light.

Not only can a glass partition be used to divide two open-concept spaces, but it can also serve as a decorative feature, as we already mentioned, that can be customized and personalized when purchased in a kit.

Sliding Glass Door: Optimize Your Space

A glass sliding door is a space-saving feature given that it’ll open and close on a wall-mounted track, freeing up the area directly in front of it. As such, it allows you to design the room onto which the door opens differently. It’s an absolute space gain, whichever way you look at it. 

Roof Glazing: For a Skyward View

Modular skylights are designed and retailed by companies like VELUX. Rooflights aren’t solely made to allow sunlight to filter through, they can also be opened, guaranteeing fresh air intake.

Inside, roof glazing provides a stunning view of the sky above, offering a greater sense of space and unparalleled unconstrained living.  

Half-Height Glazed Partition: For Industrial Architecture

A meeting of the minds between the fixed full-wall partition and the half-wall, half-glass partition, the half-height glazed partition is defined as a two-part divider: 

  • Full bottom-half

  • Glazed top-half 

The half-height glazed partition is often found in workshops or corporate workspaces, ideal for dividing a break room. 

Specifics to Consider When Picking Out an Interior Glass Partition

Glass Partition

Fixed vs. Movable Partitionings 

Maintain control over your workplace or your home’s interior layout. Movable glass partitions are designed to be easily moved with self-guided carriers and a curved intersection track system; they can be opened and closed at will.  

As for fixed glass partitions, they’re just like a good ol’ regular wall. Your choice will thus be based on how you wish to use the divider. 

Thickness

Typically, glass partitions are available in one of the three following thicknesses:  

  • ½ in (12 mm) 

  • ⅜ in (10 mm) 

  • ¼ in (6 mm) 

In terms of thickness, one thing to keep in mind is the thickness of the wall on which the glass partition will be secured or that of the wall on which the partition will rest.

As such, based on the chosen partition, the supporting wall must be at least 2 inches (50 mm) thick, while other partitions require walls to be at least 2.9 inches (74 mm) thick to be surface-mounted. 

Finish

There are also different finishes. The latter depends on the manufacturer, which can retail:  

  • a basic finish (e.g. epoxy powder coating); or

  • a refined finish (e.g. powder paint). 

Custom-Made Aluminum Models

Tailored-made interior glass partitions are typically manufactured with anodized aluminum frames, meaning the partitioning is shielded and decorated by anodic oxidation, which renders it resistant to:

  • Heat

  • Corrosion

  • Wear 

Naturally, glass partition manufacturers can produce custom-made aluminum models. To do so, simply measure the space where the divider will stand, or hire a professional to properly measure the space for an error-free result.

Depending on the glass partition of your choosing, you can, for example, measure the following: 

  • Thickness of the half-wall on which the glass divider will sit

  • Length of the glass partition in at least three distinct areas

  • Height of the glass partition in at least three distinct areas 

Acoustic Insulation: Single-, Double-, or Triple-Glazed

The question of the glazing’s acoustic insulation is rather complex, as it relies on several variable factors: 

  • Glazing’s weight

  • Sound frequency

  • The angle of incidence of sound waves

  • Presence of weak points (frame, sash)

  • The material’s rigidity and ability to absorb elements

  • Sound reverberation in the room 

The difficulty in choosing the right type of glazing is related to various factors that were made evident in numerous studies carried out to determine which glazing is the best acoustic insulator: single, double, or triple glazing.

The answer is almost definitively neither of the three, barring particular conditions, which we’ll now delve into.

Indeed, the studies done not only demonstrated that performative results divert from theoretical predictions, notably on account of the “alcove effect,” but also because double glazing isn’t more effective than single glazing, unless the double glazing’s air space is at least 2 inches (50 mm) or if it’s extremely thin (for resonance).

Along the same lines, in practice, triple glazing, in terms of acoustic insulation, has shown to be unfortunately no better than double glazing.

The truth of the matter is, that what makes all of the difference in the world is the presence of a frame (or not), coupled with the quality of the sash. As such, you can achieve a certain level of control over the acoustics by installing double glazing mounted on two separate frames.

In other words, in order for the partitioning to act as an acoustic insulator, the frames must be relatively large and properly sealed. Without so, the slightest gap between the glazing and the sash will result in a significant loss of acoustic insulation. 

The frame is another important feature. Glazing devoid of a frame is much more effective in terms of acoustic insulation compared to those with a frame. Hence why numerous interior glass partition manufacturers suggest frameless glass partitioning. 

As a result, if you’re looking to rework the soundproofing of a designated area, the interior glass partition is an option, provided that certain conditions are met. 

Practical Uses Around the House

Glass Partition

Use Glass Partitioning to Define Without Enclosing

First and foremost, glass partitions are used to divide a space without erecting walls. By not building walls, you’re bypassing the idea of making a room feel smaller than it was or that of enclosing a windowless room. 

Elegantly Revamp Your Home

Between Lakeside Studio in San Francisco and the Maison de Verre (House of Glass) located at 31, rue Saint-Guillaume, in Paris, glass is instilling itself as a symbol of elegance and increasingly refined architecture.

Often perceived as the framework of avant-garde buildings, glass always finds a home in a highly modular space, in which all rooms can morph into one another, and in which the stairs can too spiral. 

Where’s your mind at? Is your new interior glass partition making you want to revamp your home?  

Design a Bright and Inspiring Office Space

North America is famous for its open-plan corporate offices, divided into several smaller workspaces or cubicles; the bane of many workers’ existence. 

Interior glass partitions—fully glazed and open-concept—set the tone for a whole new workplace layout. The space in question automatically becomes more inviting, and less delimited. The newly created space fits perfectly within the environment as an extension of the workspace but also provides a sense of privacy by way of the glazing’s see-through characteristic.   

How to Install an Interior Glass Partition

Glass Partition

Step 1: Pick its spot

Given the size of the partition and the fact that you have to be able to manoeuvre it to its intended location, its installation spot is very important. 

Will it fit through doorways or make it up the stairway to its final resting spot? If not, check with the manufacturer to know whether it can be divided into several modular sections. 

Next, make sure that the wall you intend on cutting into isn’t a load-bearing wall. If so, call in a professional. 

Then, figure out what’s in the wall and in the floor beneath it, where the—in this case, interior window—will be positioned. Indeed, you may end up cutting into a section of wall that has electrical wires or a water/gas line. Likewise, make sure there isn’t a heating system on the floor next to where the interior window will be secured. 

If you don’t know where the wires or household pipes are located, get ahold of a material scanner to ascertain their location.   

Step 2: Cut out a section of the wall

Outline the shape of the interior window on the wall on which it will be installed. Mark its edges directly on the wall. Carefully read the label affixed to the purchased divider to ensure your measurements are correct. 

Cut the wall or drywall with an oscillating multi-tool made to that effect. Proceed the same way on the other side of the wall by outlining the exact same shape. Cut out the opening and remove the drywall panel. 

Next, cut the wall studs. 

Step 3: Reinforce the wall

Once the studs holding up that section of the wall have been sectioned, reinforce the cut-out with aluminum beams that are the size width as the wall’s thickness.

Start by positioning the beam along the cut-out and mark the area where you will need to cut the beam to ensure it fits snuggly within the opening, then position it in such a way as to frame the inside of the hole.   

Proceed the same way with the next three sides, then add screws that are designed to anchor drywall into aluminum beams. There should be a 4-inch (10 cm) or so gap between every screw.

Now measure the wall’s thickness (drywall + aluminum beam). Transcribe the measurement onto a separate piece of drywall and cut out the outlined shape. 

Apply glue over the aluminum beams to then secure all four drywall framing pieces. Allow to dry. Then, apply a wall putty over the screws along the opening and paint over the sides of the wall.   

Step 4: Install the glass partition

With someone’s help, install the glass partition into the freshly made opening in the wall. Using the manufacturer-provided screws, secure the glazing as the manufacturer intended.

Screw caps are also provided and allow you to conceal every screw head. 

Lastly, check the following: 

  • the interior partition is level;

  • the partition lays flat inside the wall cut-out; and 

  • the finishing details were thoroughly done.

Make any necessary changes.   

How much does it cost to install a glass partition?

In 2024, budget for the following: 

  • Roughly $11,000 for a glass partition fitted with a door

  • About $18,000 for a full-wall glass partition 

Maintenance Tips

Glass Partition

In terms of maintenance, cleaning an interior glass partition isn’t any different than a standard window. For that purpose, allow us to simply reiterate the tips provided in our article dedicated to window-cleaning guidelines. In said article, we mentioned that the best window cleaning solution was dish soap, which also happens to be a degreaser.

However, don’t overlook the use of white vinegar, which is also used to make the ideal DIY window-cleaning solution: 

  • ¼ cup of white vinegar 

  • 16 oz (500 ml) of lukewarm water

  • A dollop of dish soap   

Once mixed, wipe down your interior partition’s glazing with a clean rag. 

Bright and Stylish: The Benefits of a Glass Partition

Glass partitions are an elegant and functional way to modernize interior spaces. Given their versatile design, they suit several—if not most—interior architectures as well as specific needs. Glass dividers, on account of their capacity to partition spaces without weighing down their visual aspect render them particularly precious in small or confined areas, as well as open-floor plans.

Choosing a glass partition is opting for a solution that will merge the sheer beauty of see-through glass with a layout versatility, rendering every space more inviting and dynamic than the next. As such, all things considered, interior glass partitions turn out to be the best option for those looking to bridge the gap between a modern, bright, and well-suited décor, whilst planning the layout of their next home design project.


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Last modified 2024-04-04

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