Frameless Windows – Understanding the Options

Frameless windows are aluminium and glass products designed to provide a contemporary aesthetic with maximum visible glass and minimum visible window frame. These slimline and modern products are available as fixed or opening windows, sliding windows and combinations of windows with a suitable frameless glass door system. You can also find frameless windows made primarily of structural glass.

Information about Frameless Windows.

Some frameless windows are entirely frameless, using structural glazing engineering and technology.  Other products use a minimal amount of framing.  Some use full framing that is hidden in the building structure to create a frameless appearance when installed. These glass-rich products are available double or triple glazed.

The visual appearance lends itself well to the creation of bespoke architectural glazing, frameless glass products such as lean-to’s and new extensions and stand-alone windows in new or existing structural openings.

Floor to ceiling windows, glass facades, lantern roofs and other specialist glass products can all incorporate frameless windows, depending upon the specific system and how you design it. Bay windows corner windows and complex angles and shapes are all possible as well.

Features of frameless windows.

Like other modern replacement windows and doors, these frameless products provide homeowners, commercial clients, architects and building users all the advantages of modern double glazing. You can expect to find the following standard or minimum features in a well designed frameless window system:

  • Excellent thermal performance and low U-Values.
  • Wide choice of opening or fixed window options.
  • Double or triple glazing.
  • Extensive glass choices such as coloured, acoustic, solar control and security glass.
  • A choice of colour to the aluminium frame where it is visible.
  • Integration with other doors, windows, glazed extensions and screens.
  • Creates a seamless transition to the outside when used with bifolding or sliding doors.
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What is a good frameless window product?

With frameless windows, you get all the benefits of modern double or triple glazing as well as the creation of large or small frameless glazing.  On offer are picture windows, shaped windows and any style of architectural glazing.  The main benefit remains no frame or visible fixings.

For the creation of modern glass rooms, modern houses or anywhere that requires a significant amount of natural light, frameless windows are ideal. Some frameless windows can be made at quite expansive sizes creating floor to ceiling glazing and shapes.  Find a knowledgeable installer and enjoy a cutting-edge window in the home

What type of glass is used in frameless windows?

With glass being the critical component of frameless windows, the construction, quality and performance of glass units help ensure the longevity of the windows. There are many glass options available with frameless windows as these products are frequently required to provide comfort as well as security. Typical features of glass found in frameless products include:

– Quality laminated, float or toughened safety glass from the leading glass processors such as Pilkington Glass or Saint Gobain.
– Sophisticated spacer bar construction helping achieve excellent thermal performance.
– Quality glass coatings for solar control as well as energy efficiency.
– Colouring, polishing and other treatments to exposed glass edges.
– A guarantee on the glass unit.

Considerations and advice when buying frameless windows.

Frameless windows are unlike a standard PVCu, aluminium or timber window. Here is what you should consider or seek further information.

Window Guarantee.

Be sure to check exactly what guarantee comes with frameless windows from the various providers, and what it covers.

Many manufacturers of frameless windows do not make the glass and will carry forward the guarantee available from the sealed unit manufacturer. So while they may market, say, a 10-year warranty, you may find the glass only has five years. The same may apply to windows with integral blinds, glass coatings, switchable glass and other options.

Frameless windows offer fewer personalisation options.

The reduced or lack of aluminium framing can limit the colour, handle and other personalisation options available with PVCu, aluminium or timber windows. This reduced, standardised choice does not apply to every type of window but can apply to many.

Consider Building Regulations with frameless windows.

While frameless windows are suitable for new or existing openings, ensure they are compliant. One example where you may need to make alternative arrangements is trickle ventilators.

Trickle ventilators (or other suitable ventilation) is part of the current building regulations. Some frameless systems will not accept a trickle vent meaning you will have to make alternative arrangements to comply with Building Regulations.

Installation can be complicated and expensive.

Some systems have hidden structural supports allowing for the creation of expansive windows more than 10m2.  With these large glazed products come specialist glass handling equipment, additional labour on site and increased site safety considerations.  All of these can add significantly to the cost of the project.

Where can you buy frameless windows?

There are now many specialist installers of architectural glazing that includes frameless windows. Our advice is to research carefully and ensure your chosen window company has the expertise and track record, making and installing these products. Some of the better-known providers of frameless windows include:

IQ Glass based in Amersham provides some of the most cutting-edge frameless windows as well as a selection of technical glass, windows and doors, roof glazing and architectural glazing.  IQ Glass also provides the world renowned Keller AG suite of frameless doors and windows. 

There are also suppliers such as Apeer with the Lumi range of frameless windows and doors.  Lumi windows are designed to be frameless on the outside only, with a full aluminium frame on the inside. The  Lumi2 range of products suits replacement window applications with a double glazed flush-faced unit.

The Architectural Glazing Company, based in Uxbridge Middlesex, provides a selection of frameless and structurally glazed windows for internal and external use.

The design, construction and execution call for specialism and expertise that falls outside the ability and scope of many regular window companies and double glazing firms. Contact us, and we can put you in touch with some suppliers of frameless windows or frameless doors.