Should You Add a Glass Railing to Your Deck?

A deck.

Using glass railing is becoming an increasingly popular way of accessorizing the home’s deck or patio area. Conventionally, railing choices were limited to using hardwoods like redwood and cedar. Now, glass railings with an aluminum-based frame are commanding the deck railing marketplace. Before you choose a glass railing system for your home, you should know about its various features.

Glass Railing Pros

Unlike hardwoods, glass railings don’t need repeated painting or finishing for enhancing their durability. This is a vital consideration since decks/patios are continuously exposed to external weather conditions. Glass railings use large panels of glass fixed in a metallic frame. Neither glass nor the treated metal panels corrode when exposed to water. The outer surface of glass panels is better suited to tolerate temperature extremes. As a result, unlike hardwood railings, glass railings are not vulnerable to surface cracking.

Most glass-based, deck railings are made from tempered glass panels. This is a specially manufactured type of glass, offering amazing durability. Unlike ordinary glass, tempered glass does not shatter even if it is cracked. This makes glass railing as sturdy and safe as wood or purely metal-based railings. The use of transparent glass ensures that visibility through the deck is maintained. Blocking of the external view is a major issue with metal/wood railings. Further, glass railings are retailed in an easy-to-assemble, packaged format.

Glass Railing Cons

Glass railings are more expensive than wood-based railings. Though they offer more designer options and are largely regarded as a trendy option, the inclusion of glass makes them expensive. The overall appeal of a glass railing isn't natural like wood railings. If your deck is overseeing a garden area, use of glass railings may negate the ambiance created by the natural, green cover. In such a setting, natural-wood railings would be a better choice. This is why glass railings are often not used in homes where the deck/patio area has a dominant, woody appearance.