Cable rail systems are a popular option for home, business or industrials uses. Strong, yet lightweight, cable railings offer an unobstructed view while providing a safety guard around stairs, porches, decks, platforms, and docks.
Several variations of cable railing systems are available; choosing the correct cable rails will depend on your end use and size requirements, so we ask that you call our wire railing specialists at 888-794-0584 to place an order. They can help you order the stainless steel cable railing that will work best for your needs. We also suggest you research your local building code requirements before purchasing your cable railing system.
Cable Railing Assembly Kits
Complete cable railing assembly kits are available and include everything you need (angled railings may require additional hardware) for installation. All of our assemblies are available in 1/8", 3/16", and 1/4" diameters of stainless steel type 316 wire cable. The 1x19 construction creates a semi-rigid feel with minimal stretch. It can be used for most railing applications as it can be safely bent up to 45°. A 7x7 construction is available for more decorative uses where the ability to bend greater than 45° is needed. All of our cable rail systems can be machine swaged or hand swaged.
Investing In Cable Railing Systems
Cable railing cost will vary depending on size and style and installation method. Machine swage systems require more exact cable measurements when ordering, but do not require a swaging tool for installation. Hand swage systems offer more flexibility because exact cuts are made during installation.
Our cable railing assemblies are intended to run horizontally from a fixed end, through intermediate posts, and secured or tensioned at opposite end posts.
We suggest choosing an assembly that includes a turnbuckle, as it will allow you to easily tension the cable if it begins to sag over time. Although it is not structurally necessary for cable runs less than 28", including a turnbuckle in your assembly can also increase your cable span allowance to up to 50". Adding an additional turnbuckle can increase your run span even more.
For corners, it is recommended to terminate the cable and start a new run at the change in direction. Experienced contractors will sometimes set up continuous runs around corners, however this impacts the allowable cable span. If you choose to run a cable around a corner, the maximum angle is generally 45° for 1x19 cable to preserve the integrity of the cable, and can be achieved by using a two post corner.
Configuring the location of your end and intermediate posts is the first step in configuring your cable railing system design. This is necessary in order to determine your cable length, number of cables and assemblies, and any additional hardware necessary for attaching to the post, rounding corners, and accommodating angled runs. We recommend installing posts prior to gathering cable measurements.
Important terms you should know before selecting your cable railing hardware:
End and Corner Posts
End posts in stainless steel cable railings are located at each starting and stopping point for each cable run. The distance between the starting end post and the terminating end post is considered one cable span. Typically, end posts for deck cable railing is placed at least 3"- 4" away from the house or wall to allow access for attaching cable end fittings. Corner posts commonly refer to the post located at each change in direction. A complete assembly (end fitting, cable, and if applicable, a turnbuckle) is needed for each cable span.
Intermediate cable railing posts do not support any tension load, as their primary functions are to keep the cable spread and to support the cap rail requirement. Recommended maximum intermediate cable rail posts spacing is 4".
Post Thickness and Composition
The end and corner posts in cable deck railing systems must be strong enough to support the tension of the cable assemblies (typically 350 lbs. per cable assembly). Our wire railing systems will work with wood or metal posts. Composite posts are not recommended as they can warp when the cables are tightened.
Rail Height and Horizontal Cable Spacing
Requirements for rail height and horizontal cable spacing will determine the number of cables and assemblies needed for each span of your cable rail system. Typically, the rail height must be a minimum of 36" from the surface for residential uses and 42" for commercial uses. Stair or grip cable handrail may have different requirements. Most codes recommend horizontal cable to be spaced no more than 4"on center apart. Spacing should be targeted at 3" in order to meet a 4" code for wire deck railing. Construction codes will vary between city and county.
Cable attachment refers to the method by which the railing cable is secured to the fitting or turnbuckle. The cable can be attached, or swaged, to the fittings by three common methods: machine swage, hand swage swage/hand crimp, or mechanical/swageless.
End Fitting Attachment
While end fittings for a stainless cable railing is selected primarily based on style, consideration should be given to how the fitting will attach to the post. The three most common attachment methods include: face mount, through mount and tab/eye mount.
Tensioning the Cable
Tensioning steel cable railing is critical during the initial set up and adjustments may be needed overtime as the cable may stretch. Generally, cable railing for decks, stairs, etc. is recommended to be tensioned at 350 lbs. in order to maintain the integrity of the railing and to meet standard code. For shorter runs, a threaded terminal will also allow you to tension the cable when needed.
Ordering Your Stainless Steel Cable Railing Systems
Choosing cable railings for decks, platforms, stairways and docks will vary depending on the size and scope of your project. Because there are so many variables, we ask that you call and speak to one of our cable railing supplies specialists to order your assemblies. This will ensure you order the correct wire deck railing and hardware for your needs.