Cable railing systems are often misunderstood. Before you make the final decision about your railing options, you should get the truth about cable railing systems, their construction options, how much maintenance they may need, and where you can use them.Join us in de-bunking the six biggest misconceptions about cable railing systems.
1. Cable Railings Will Block My View
Isn’t glass the best choice if you want to have an unobstructed view? Actually, no. Glass creates reflections and glare from the sun or other lights. Cable railings won’t bounce light back in your face, and the thin cables are easy to ignore and see around. After you adjust, you won’t even see the rails anymore, just the beautiful view beyond.
2. Cable Railings Are for Outdoor Uses Only
You may see cable railing systems outdoors more often than indoors, but they are perfectly suitable for indoor use. Your home’s stair railing and hand railings can be cable railing. In a commercial building, you might use a cable railing system as a boundary on a staircase, or where you have an overlook such as an interior balcony or mezzanine.
3. Cable Railings Are Only Metal and Cannot Be Made of Wood
If you want a wood railing, you can get a cable railing system from us. Tom Salas, co-owner and lead installer at Bay Area Cable Railing, has deep knowledge of metalworking and woodworking. He can create a cable railing system for you that uses wooden posts. One common solution he uses to make mixed material system work is adding sub rails to reduce compression on the top rail. Wood and metal railings are safe and give a natural or rustic touch to any property they are installed on.
4. Cable Railings Can’t Be Put on a Roof
Cable railing systems can be mounted to your roof’s fascia. This is a secure wooden board that runs around the edge of your roof. By attaching to the fascia, cable railing systems are safer and maximize the space on your rooftop.
5. Cable Railing Systems Can be Made with Galvanized or Vinyl-Coated Cable
Not all materials are created equal. While you will find installers willing to give you a cable railing system with galvanized or vinyl-coated cable, these materials may corrode or degrade quickly. Galvanized cable corrodes, and vinyl-coated cable wears away where it passes through the post.
Instead of these materials, we typically use 1/8” marine-grade stainless steel cable. It’s thin, strong, and will never sag, buckle or warp. If you’re getting a commercial railing installed, we may use a thicker cable for you to add extra strength.
6. Cable Railings Systems Require Maintenance
When properly installed, a cable railing system does not need any maintenance at all. As our systems never buckle, sag or warp, it is also very unlikely that they will need repair. The cables that we use are rated to 15,000 pounds, so it is virtually impossible for them to break. Consider that the average car weighs 4,000 pounds.