Cable railing systems are unmatched in strength, beauty, and versatility. That said, there are some things you should know about them before you green light an installation. Some people install the wrong type of cables in their railing systems or fail to take into account the extra safety needs of commercial installations. Here’s what you need to know before you choose a cable railing system.
All Cables Aren’t Made Equal
To achieve a cable railing that never sags, buckles, or warps, we use marine grade stainless steel cables in 1/8-inch thickness. This thickness balances strength with beauty. Thinner cables may be too weak for your application.
Further, different types of cables may be too weak or too vulnerable to the elements to be safe. They typically also wear out over time, which means you will repair or replace the cable down the road. Two types of cable you should avoid are:
- Galvanized cable: While galvanization is meant to protect steel from water, it doesn’t last very long. Over time, it can corrode and wear out.
- Vinyl-coated cable: This is an even worse cable that will develop several problems. It weakens where it passes through a post, can’t handle corners well, will break down when exposed to the sun, and will fade quickly.
How Cable Railings Can Be Made Better
There are many ways that we go above and beyond to make a better cable railing system, including:
- End posts: Thick end posts ensure that the railing will be strong and durable. If we are installing a wood railing, we use either 4×6 or 6×6 wooden end posts. Metal end posts are stronger at smaller sizes.
- Fittings: The right fittings make a big difference in the quality and beauty of your railing. We prefer to use swageless fittings from Feeny Inc as they allow us to use very small holes for the cables. Smaller fittings result in a sophisticated rail.
- Cable thickness: We may use thicker cables for commercial applications where crowds might be using the railing. We’ll discuss your needs in detail before creating a plan for your railing.
- Fascia mounted posts: Installing your railing posts onto the roof fascia preserves room on your rooftop or balcony, so you have more space.