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Cable Railings vs. Glass Railings

The Latest Trend in Home Railings 

There has been a lot of excitement regarding a few innovative choices of railings to grace your home.  We will attempt to offer some pros and cons to these two choices.  This is not an exhaustive list, but we answer some important questions.

Cost:  Cable railings can be less expensive than glass, depending on the type of material used.  If using 100% stainless steel posts and framing the cost will be the similar to free standing glass, in most cases.  You can reduce the cost of the cable rails by using wood posts and framing.Owings Brothers_Navid Residence

View:  The glass railing on the interior or exterior of a home offers the most unimpeded view.  Whether you are gazing at the landscape, your living room below or watching the children play in your pool, nothing can beat the view through glass.  Cable wire is relatively thin and can be a great way to offer a rail with a view.  The cable does preserve your view, as your eyesight focuses beyond the cable rails, it seems the cable disappears and tricks the eye.  The transparency for both is understandably better than wood or wood products.

Aesthetics: Cable and glass railings are suitable for inside or outside, residential or commercial use.  This is an especially desired choice for modern or contemporary design.  They look great with stainless frames or a mixture of materials, keeping the clean, simple look with functionality.  These choices, for railings are especially great in small spaces or with an open floor plan, giving your home a more spacious look.

Maintenance: Cable railings win this contest, hands down!  The most needed to keep your cable railing clean is periodic wiping down of cables with stainless steel cleaner.  Glass railings, on the other hand, do require cleaning on a regular basis, if you want them to be transparent.  Finger prints, salt air, bird droppings and such can be a factor for cleaning more than less often, depending on their application.OWINGS BROS / LALLY

Safety: Cable railings are required to be rigid and posts secure in place, to prevent anything from four inches round or more, to pass through the rails.  This can keep a child from fitting through, but they could still climb up and over the rail.  Glass rails on the other hand, do not allow for a child to be caught between panels or offer availability for climbing.  If safety of children is your goal you may find that the glass would be a better fit.

Other Pros & Cons: 

If you need a wind block for your outdoor railing then glass is the winner, a no-brainer.  Glass can be reflective, so if your concern is glare, have the glass etched or frosted.

To sum it up, the choice for railings; glass or cable, is based on your priorities.  Both types of railings provide a contemporary and airy design both are sturdy and long lasting with less maintenance than wood railings, especially for the outdoors.  The only other point you should consider before you have your contractor install a glass or cable rail would be the building codes for your area.  There may be specific requirements in place, but a licensed contractor in your area should know.

Viva La Difference!