Friday Harbour in Innisfil is an exciting place to live. We’ve been brought in on an exciting project in Friday Harbour.
Uncovering our area's First Glass Floor
A well-known area contractor, Michael Brocklebank of TROC (The Renovators of Canada/Barrie), invited us to follow him from beginning to end ‘Uncovering’ the VERY FIRST glass floor installation in Barrie and area.
Michael first met his client last year when there were some thoughts on changing staircase railings. Joking around when he mentioned how great glass railings and a glass floor at the top would let in more light,
Michael was tasked with doing just that which made the decision historical.
Enormous Research Involved
Initially, the staircase was all knee-wall, ending in the centre of a sliding door on the 3rd floor. Immediately seeing that the design cut out a large amount of light along with usable space, Michael began his homework.
Now, this man LOVES a challenge. Michael would be doing enormous research with glass experts even before heading to the city inspectors.
No one Locally
The local glass experts have never had involvement with a project like this, so going further afield, Michael found a company in Mississauga.
Being very cautious with load-bearing, Michael had to have a structural steel frame built to support a glass floor that was 2 inches thick and covered an area of 4 square feet. The support weighs three hundred pounds and can support one thousand pounds in total. This support allowed for the floor to not only be a visual focal point but a usable one as well.
The company tasked with designing the floor broke the glass four times before meeting the challenge. Promising safe delivery to the site they asked that Michael be responsible for getting it up the two flights of stairs (40 Steps) in one piece. With only having space for two people to manoeuvre on the staircase, this took some finessing.
OH NO - That Isn't What we Wanted...
Even when the glass was ready to place, there were some pretty big challenges. There must be small bumpers placed between the structural steel and the glass to prevent breakage. Once the floor was set in place and a sigh of relief exhaled, the men realized that the bumpers were totally visible from below; Not the visual impact they wanted. More research led Michael to the use of clear cushioning tape. However, this meant that the floor needed to be lifted out again, tape put down, and the floor repositioned. What a chore that was – but successful in so many ways.
Everything is Unique
Even the handrail going up the stairs is unique. Rather than the very industrial modern railing supporting the glass, it’s is the other way round; the glass supports the railing. This highly polished steel gives a very different look to the entire unit. Next, the stain on the stair nosing needed to be matched, as well as the tile and grout work; Again, with research and due diligence, this was also perfected.
Last but not least, the homeowners wanted their fireplace changed out for something more sleekly modern. Once again, Michael found a winner. The fireplace is stacked versus a subway design, with a built-in fan that uses beautiful crystals with electric heat. The fireplace even comes with a colour changing remote to set the mood for any occasion. What more could you want?
Be the Next Exciting Project in Friday Harbour
Every townhouse in the Friday Harbour complex had been built with drywall knee walls up the staircases. Nearly all of them have changed to glass now. Michael feels that it’s essential to let the homeowners know that the glass floor makes the lighting even more spectacular.
It’s been an exciting challenge to be a part of this in our community and Barrie Uncovered loves that Michael Brocklebank of TROC asked us to ‘Uncover’ this project from beginning to end.
We’ve even included a video for you!
A Look at Before and Afters
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credit: Veronika Kovecses
Video Credit: Mike Fennel: Fennbot FPV
We hope you’ve enjoyed this exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at this spectacular project. Let us know by leaving a comment.