Structure Overview

There are three parts to the main balcony structure. Firstly, the Cassette® balconies ‘skeleton’, this in essence, is a chassis which the rest of the aesthetic items fix to. Secondly, the decking above, soffits below, and then balustrade and fascia at the front and sides.

The balcony Cassette® prefinished with decking, soffits, balustrades and fascia’s are delivered pre-assembled. Once a balcony is installed onto the arms, a stirrup style clamp integrated within the Cassette® skeleton is tightened from above. A second anti-slip device is connected to the arms to provide a secondary fixing as a fail-safe.

Aesthetically balconies are typically one of the few key components which influence the whole appeal of a building. Getting it right starts with the deck structure, particularly when combined with glass balustrades, the soffits and fascia’s are the most dominating parts.

Typically, the majority of fixings are hidden from view, achieved through cleverly engineered clips, slots and positioning of items, for example, the main stirrup clamp fixings underneath of decking boards.

Learn more about the advantages of Glide-On balconies.

Contact us to discuss how our unique glide-on balcony system, can work in your project application to provide a fast, high quality balcony solution for your development.

Cassette® and Crystal® are registered trademarks of Sapphire Balustrades Ltd

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Standard Cassette

Our Cassette® balconies utilise a modular 400mm construction with a range of standard projections.

Whilst utilising standard size balconies enables the most cost effective solution, bespoke widths, depths and projections can be achieved too. The majority of the projects we have supplied/installed use open Cassette® frames with soffits underneath with closed Cassette® frames being used where there are thin slabs or where deck finishes  such as tiles are required.

Generally, an open Cassette® is used, which like floor joists has ‘Rafters’ spanning between the structural front and rear members, and ‘Noggins’ between the end rafters and the second rafter in.

The open Cassette® gives plenty of space for rainwater to pass through, whilst being close enough together for most deck finishes to span between, soffits to span between, and glass balustrades to be well supported.

Locking device

Balcony to arm connections are another example of how the Glide-On™ Cassette® balconies enable speed of install through clever innovation.

The clamps act like a stirrup, allowing the balcony arm to pass through without hindrance while the balcony is being installed. Once the balcony is in position, the internal installers can easily, and safely tighten these from above and fix down the last boards with the clips.

These clamps have been fatigue tested with 7686 cycles to simulate 60 years of loading.

Slim cassette (closed cassette)

Some projects require an extra slim Cassette® balcony often because of minimal floor build up, thin slabs or other building design choices.

To make this possible whilst still maintaining a neat engineered solution with soffits, etc. We have developed a system of continuous profiles so that the structural front and rear frames loading can be spread across the whole balcony enabling a smaller balcony.

These sections are coated to provide neat finish without the extra height of a soffit. This again minimises the whole balcony depth.

An extra slim Cassette® balcony is ideal for projects with limited space in which a smaller Cassette® is required, however, it is a more expensive option and so generally only used when necessary.

GRC Trims

GRC (Glass-fibre Reinforced Concrete) or similar imitations are a recent trend and with it GRC balcony cladding and other similar composite materials, have become more common as balcony fascias.

Typically this is to give the balconies and façade a more flowing aesthetic feel. Most commonly, Sapphire will create a frame, or brackets fixing to the Cassette® to allow the stone fascia’s, etc. to be fixed easier.

Alternatively, there are realistic stone effect powder coatings and finishes which can be applied to standard aluminium soffits, which are lighter and can often be a cost saving, as well as avoiding further finishing works during or after balcony delivery/install.

GRC balcony cladding would typically be added after delivery of the balconies to site and before balconies have been installed. However, adding the GRC balcony cladding can be done once the balcony has been installed.

Deck finishes

Deck finishes need to consider both the functional use and also the aesthetic appearance, as seen from inside the apartment...

Deck Finishes


Different balcony structures have different drainage requirements. Concrete balconies, for example, tend to be treated like a flat roof and are...