WEBINAR: Floating Stairs Made SimpleRegister for Free Live Webinar Starts in

What’s the best railing system for decks?

Choosing the best deck railing can be challenging without understanding all the options available to you.

While there are many deck railing options, this article covers the three modern railing systems that Viewrail offers with Cable railing , Rod railing , and Glass railing. Each system includes its own costs & benefits.

Best Deck Railing System

Some cost more but are more luxurious, while other systems are simple & cost less. It’s all about what you want. You’re investing in your home improvement, so give yourself the power to choose the best railing for your project. Spend the next 15 years enjoying great views and beautiful railing!

Is cable railing the best deck railing?

Cable railing is America’s most popular metal railing system. The simplicity and durability of a cable railing system makes it a customer favorite. As with all of our systems it is extremely strong and can work with either metal or wood posts.

Viewrail Benefit: With Viewrail you get experts who have successfully completed thousands of deck and stair cable railing projects.

The main benefit of a cable railing is offering a cost effective modern railing solution. It is also a relatively popular and simple install, making it easy to DIY (see our diy cable railing system), or find an installer. With our drivetite cable railing kits for wood posts, you can keep costs low while giving your wood posts a stainless steel pop.

Or we can engineer an entirely custom system for your staircase or deck. With years of experience, our experts ensure minimal error from purchasing and engineering to installation.

Rod railing with aluminum posts

A cable railing system with Aluminum posts is going to be our cheapest option in the modern railing series. Express is made for simplicity and a quick delivery.

The DIY Express Cable Railing provides the lowest price point while still providing an amazing finished product, and ships within 2 business days. Meet your timeline, budget, and modern railing needs with the Express Cable Railing.

Our aluminum can come with an amazing coastal powder coat that will protect it from the elements.

However, if a stainless steel system is what you prefer, we have our non-coastal 304 stainless steel or our extreme-coastal 2205 stainless steel posts, which are a significant upgrade from the typical 316 coastal stainless steel.

Cable Railing post Coastal Exterior

The cable is made out of 316 stainless steel, and maintenance is very low. Due to the twists and ridges in the cable, in coastal application sometimes salt can collect. Although the 316 should prevent any corrosion, it is a good idea to wipe away any build up if noticed.

Is rod railing the best deck railing?

Our tensioned Rod Railing is unlike any other railing system on the market. Applying the concept of cable railing to a rigid rod system, we created Viewrail rods. Under tension, these rods have exceptional strength, tripling the weight required by code on a single rod.

Viewrail Benefit: When you purchase a rod railing system you get a one of a kind modern railing solution engineered to be simple, sleek and stronger than conventional cable railing.

Our Rod Railing system is available with Aluminum, 304 SS, or 2205 SS posts. With single corner posts and hidden fasteners, they offer the same type of post layout as a cable railing system. Available in 304 and 2205 stainless steel, the rods themselves are great for both interior and exterior use.

Rod Railing has several benefits over a Cable Railing system. Although slightly more expensive, the strength of the individual rod runs is much greater than that of cable.

Now, you would only ever notice that if you were standing on the lowest run of cable or rod (not recommended), but nonetheless, rods do offer a higher strength rating.

Floating stairs for indoors with rod railing

Rods are extremely durable. With a make up of 2205 steel and a smooth surface, there is little to no maintenance required. Homes both on and off the coast will enjoy a corrosion-free system to last a lifetime. We engineer rod railing for simple installation, now less complex than even cable railing. Your installation does not require tedious measuring and cutting a flexible spool of cable, nor do you have to struggle against flimsy cables.

We deliver rods in straight runs which trim easily with an angle grinder. You’ll find how easy it is to install, just like the many other installers who chose rods over cable.

If you’re looking for a chic interior design with rods, look no further than our Onyx series. Only available for interior use, homeowners and influences rave about the product.

Because of bumps and ridges on cable it is difficult to get a perfect black powder coat finish. However, the finish on rods is smooth, allowing us to provide a first class powder coat and first class design.

Onyx Surface Mounted Rods

Although less popular than cable railing in the modern railing market, you will not be disappointed with rod railing before or after installation.

Is glass railing the best deck railing?

Glass railing is increasing in demand as a modern railing solution. Although it is on the higher end of cost between our three systems, it offers the most benefits over conventional railing systems. As residential building codes continue to keep steering away from horizontal railings, glass becomes a great solution.

Viewrail Benefit: With a Viewrail Glass Railing you are receiving a pre-engineered system custom to your project, direct from a one stop shop for your hardware and low-iron glass panels.

Glass Railing Deck Panels

Your glass railing comes in two different styles: framed or frameless. Using either 1/2” tempered glass or 9/16” laminated glass, both railing styles are some of our strongest systems available.

The framed system is similar to our cable and rod railing, utilizing aluminum or stainless steel posts.

The frameless system uses low profile supports, has several different types of mounting options, and shows the least hardware out of any of our railing systems. Low-iron (Starphire) glass panels give you the cleanest view imaginable, and, with frameless supports, you can barely tell the railing is there. Enjoy your beautiful view and wow your visitors with fascia mounted frameless glass. There is no other system that has completely invisible hardware while looking out across your deck.

Deck Glass Railing

Glass is also a great option when considering a windy area and helps cut down on wind sweeping across your deck.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of glass is the installation. You might expect glass to be the most complicated, but you’d be wrong.

Glass railing is extremely easy to install.

Panels are pre-engineered to fit your deck, and the supports are just as easy to mount.

With your supports in place, you can install entire 4’ sections of your railing at a time! When considering the alternative of cutting and running every cable, glass wins everytime.

Glass Railing Panels with Outdoor Fireplace

One question about glass that we get a lot is about glass railing maintenance. There should be no structural or mechanical maintenance as glass offers an extremely rigid and permanent solution. The only drawback to maintenance are fingerprints. However, fingerprints are a very small price to pay. Just like windows, the problem is solved by windex and paper towels.