Cable Railing For A Show-Stopping Deck (2023)

General Cable Railing FAQs

How Does Cable Railing Improve My View?

Cable Railing was designed specifically to open up your deck view based on a fascinating combination of the size, color, and texture of the cable.

  • Size: cable infill is smaller than typical metal or wood balusters, to block less of your view.
  • Color: the gray color of stainless steel cable is subtle and organic, allowing your cable infill to effectively blend into the view beyond.
  • Texture: cable infill is made of highly-polished metal. But because each length of cable features so many strands of metal wrapped together, the polished surfaces don’t reflect the light. This non-flashy texture means your cable basically assumes the colors of its environment, like a chameleon in railing form.

Do Cable Railings Meet Building Codes?

In most areas, cable railings meet and exceed building and safety codes. Cable railing is a reliable and widely-used railing option, and when installed properly, it’s very safe and effective. Building codes can vary by location, so we always recommend checking with your local authorities before starting a project. If you’re not sure whether cable railing is the right choice for your project, give us a call at 1-888-824-5316. Our team would love to learn more about your project, your needs, and your local climate to connect you with the perfect railing system for you.

Do Cable Railings Rust?

Cable railing generally uses stainless steel cable, which is very resistant to rust and corrosion - though it’s not completely rust-proof. Rust can still form, especially in marine environments near saltwater.

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You can help prevent corrosion by cleaning your railings with a mild soap and a soft cotton cloth. Never use harsh or acidic cleaners or abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool or wire brushes - these can wear away the protective layer of your stainless steel and allow rust to form.

Is Cable Railing Safe For Pets And Toddlers?

Every railing system we carry has been extensively tested for safety. As long as you install your cable railing properly and keep it tensioned, it’s a safe, reliable railing option.

If you’re concerned about small children trying to climb your cable railings, we’d recommend looking at our vertical cable railing options, or exploring our glass railings, which also promote your deck view. You can call our deck project planners anytime - we love learning about you, your family and pets, and your concerns before finding a railing system that keeps you and your loved ones safe.

What Parts Make Up Cable Railing Systems?

Cable railing systems are made up of (1) rails, (2) cable infill, and (3) posts, but also often include (4) intermediate balusters, as shown below:

Posts are the thick, vertical pieces that give your railing strength. Rails run horizontally between the posts at the top and bottom of your railing. Cable rail always needs a top rail, but not all cable systems have bottom rails. (The diagram above features only a top rail). Infill is a catch-all name for what fills the rectangles created by the posts and rails. In cable railing, the infill is composed of steel cables that either run horizontally from post to post or vertically from top rail to bottom rail. Often, longer cable railing panels will use intermediate balusters to keep cables tensioned properly - the intermediate balusters are smaller metal pieces that run vertically, like posts but smaller.

Does Cable Railing Need A Top Rail?

Yes, all cable deck railing systems need a top rail. Some cable railing systems also feature a bottom rail, but others do not.

(Video) DIY Cable Railing with Metal Posts Built from Scratch!

Do Cable Railings Sag?

The cables in your cable system won’t sag if they are regularly inspected and tensioned. You can easily tension your own cables - here’s a quick step-by-step guide to tension some of the most popular cable railing systems. Our team is always available by phone to help teach you how to tension your cable setup.

What Is The Difference Between 304 Stainless Cable And 316 Stainless Cable?

Stainless steel comes in different types, based on the composition of metals in the stainless steel. Type 304 stainless steel is the more common type and usually costs less. 316 stainless steel adds a metal called molybdenum into the mix, giving the stainless steel extra strength and rust-resistance.

For most installations, you won’t notice a big difference between 304 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel. If you’re installing cable railing in a coastal environment with regular exposure to saltwater, choosing 316 stainless steel will give you a more corrosion-resistant cable.

Where Can I Buy Cable Deck Railing?

Cable rail comes in all shapes and sizes - and at DecksDirect, we’re familiar with all of them. Here’s why DecksDirect is the best place to get your cable railing:

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  • Guidance from real experts: Our deck project planners have been working with cable rail systems for years, planning thousands of railing projects every year. We take the complexity out of shopping for, planning, and installing your cable rail system.
  • Completely Fast Shipping & Communication: We ship 99.5% of our orders the same day they’re placed, and we reach most of the United States in three days or less. No one else can speed up your railing project like we can!
  • Unbeatable In-Stock Selection: Our massive cable rail selection gives you the most options for look, style, and function - and we’ll help you narrow all of the possible options to fit your priorities, budget, and experience.

You can order online anytime, or you can call us during regular business hours at 1-888-824-5316. You’ll reach a personable, dedicated deck project planner who will guide you throughout your journey to cable rail bliss.

Choosing Your Cable Deck Railing

What Cable Railing System Will Match My Deck?

While all cable rail systems have cable infill, there are lots of options for colors and styles of posts and rails.

Cable railing is great at blending into scenic views. If you want the maximum effect, try bronze-colored posts and rails. White posts and rails are a sharp option if your house is white, or features a lot of white trim. Trendy gray decking pairs extremely well with sleek black railing.

It all depends on your vision and the look of your home and yard. For free design advice, snap a photo of your deck and give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 - we’d love to pick the perfect railing to maximize your space.

Installing Cable Deck Railing

How Do I Replace Wood Railing With Cable?

If you’re looking to upgrade a weathered wood railing, one helpful tip is to break your railing replacement into phases. First, you can remove wood balusters and replace them with cable infill. Later on, you can swap out the wood posts for metal or composite posts instead of buying an entirely new railing system at once.

You can call our team at 1-888-824-5316 for help evaluating your current railing. We’ll create a railing replacement plan that fits your needs, budget and timeline - and we’ll help walk you through installation at all steps.

How Do I Install Cable Railing Around Corners?

If you’re installing a new cable railing system, there are usually options for corner posts or corner kits. If not, there are two other options: you can use two posts at each deck corner (called double-posting) or off-set your cable runs. Offsetting cables means that the cables one one side of the corner will be a half-inch lower than the cable runs on the other side - this allows you to attach both sets of cables through the post without weakening its structural integrity.

Here’s a helpful guide to installing cable railing around corners. You can always call our team at 1-888-824-5316 for help planning your railing.

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How Do I Tension Cable Railing?

You can easily tension your own cable railing with this handy step-by-step guide to some of the most popular cable railing systems. Our team is always available by phone to help guide you through the process.

Cable Deck Railing Maintenance

How Do I Clean Cable Railing?

Cable deck rail is easy to clean - typically, all you’ll need is a mild soap and a soft cloth.

  • Step 1: mix warm water and a mild, pH-neutral soap like Dawn of PalmOlive
  • Step 2: Use a soft cloth to wipe down your cables with the soapy mixture
  • Step 3: Thoroughly rinse off your cable with fresh water

Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive tools like steel wool, as these can damage your cables.


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