New Stairs in Glass and Light

Glass is proving to be the material of choice also in the creative design of spaces where scenographic impact is important, such as the entrance halls of large corporations, hotels and shopping centres, show-rooms, discotheques and other entertainment facilities.

In designing stairways and steps of whatever size, only glass ensures really spectacular results.

Glass too, however, like any other material used for flooring, must ensure sufficient friction to avoid slipping, especially in places that have to be accessible to everyone.

The provisions of the law are stringent but their application somewhat less so in the case of glass flooring and stairs. One of the main reasons for this is undoubtedly that, unlike common ceramic materials rendered anti-slip by their manufacturers, glass flooring and stairs are often made of simple float glass rendered “anti-slip” by processes such as milling, ceramic silk-screening or sanding: testing of the efficacy of such treatments tends to be overlooked and the durability of some of these anti-slip finishes may be very limited.

The anti-slip characteristics delivered by etched glass, on the other hand, are in a completely different league. In Italy, Vitrealspecchi makes etched glass with an exclusive process that ensures proven efficacy and strength over time. The name of the line is Madras® Flooring. Product certification details the friction coefficients of the various texture models in line with standards in Italy and the other main European countries and the United States.

Because of these characteristics and its aesthetic qualities, Madras® Flooring is used in places of international prestige and high flows of people, like the stairways in Apple Stores around the world, in Louis Vuitton’s New Bond Street store in London, in the Dornier Aeronautical Museum in Friedrichshafen and, also in Germany, in Stuttgart’s City Hall, where people can look down through a hanging glass walkway at a giant topographical plan of the city underneath.

There is a wide choice of Madras®  Flooring textures with characteristics specially suited to small or large spaces but all sharing a carefully studied combination of relief and engraving and of roughness and transparency to offer sure grip in both dry and wet conditions. Madras® Flooring can be strengthened and laminated, which is indispensable for any glass that has to be walked on. When laminated with clear float glass and suitably backlit, it makes very attractive stairs and flooring, (see photo), especially in halls and reception areas. And when laminated with film or mirror glass, it can be used to make sophisticated high-tech “tiling”, also for hanging floors.

The Madras® Flooring line is completed by Ecosat Flooring, characterized by a compact and sparkling texture and certified not only as anti-slip but also as having a high level of scratch resistance.

Technical characteristics:

• Base material: float glass to UNI EN 572-1,2: 2004.

• Anti-slip characteristics certified to the main international standards.

• Ecosat Flooring: scratch-resistance to UNI 9428: 1989.

• Standard plate size: 2250 x 3210 mm.

• Thickness: 8/10 mm.

• Colour: clear, extra-clear.

• Weight: 2.5 kg/m2, per millimetre thickness.

• All mechanical and heat processing techniques are supported.

Cantilever staircase made of Madras® Pixel Flooring (12 mm, extraclear, strengthened and laminated with 12 and 10 mm extraclear float). Led light sources incorporated.

Design and construction: Grazi Cristalli. This company celebrated its first 50 years of business last year and has always been characterized by its product research & development, processes and applications. Its exclusive know-how gives shape to the most creative designs and consistently achieves significant and never banal results. For further information:


Via 4 Novembre 95

22066 Mariano Comense (CO)


T. +39 031 745062

F. +39 031 743166

600450 New Stairs in Glass and Light
Date: 11 July 2012

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