Types of Finishes for Cable Railing Components

Finishes for Cable Railing Components

Whether you’re designing a modern outdoor cable railing or a classic indoor handrail, there are many components to choose from. The frame — the posts and top rails — come in several options, including brushed stainless steel, powder coat, or stained wood. Depending on your budget and desired look, you can select the option that best fits your style.

The most common frame materials for cable railings are 304 Stainless Steel and Aluminum. Stainless Steel provides a high-end look that resists corrosion. It is typically more expensive than Aluminum, but its durability and aesthetic make it an excellent choice for projects that will be exposed to weathering. Stainless steel can be brushed to produce a smooth, reflective finish, which can be wiped clean with a soft cloth. It can also be finished with a powder coating, which is similar to paint but has the advantage of being moisture resistant and less likely to scratch.

Aluminum is a less costly option than Stainless Steel, and it can be finished in a variety of colors to complement your home or landscape design. Aluminum is also lighter in weight than stainless steel, which reduces the amount of stress placed on each post. This allows the posts to be constructed with thinner walls, which increases strength and stability while reducing installation time and cost. To prevent aluminum corrosion, you can apply a product like Boeshield T-9(r), which is a non-silicone, Teflon-free formula that dries to a waxy finish that protects the post against dirt, moisture and chemicals.

Types of Finishes for Cable Railing Components

Other finishes for cable railing frames include wood and other metals, such as galvanized or black steel. Wood can be stained or painted to produce a color that coordinates with your deck, fence, or home. It can be used to create a rustic, cottage look or to contrast with the sleek lines of a contemporary cable railing.

The final step in designing your cable railing supplies is deciding how to secure the ends of your cables. These unique pieces are called fittings and are available in two different types: one that allows you to tension the cable (called a tensioner) and another that does not (called a terminal or end). Generally, you’ll purchase an entire assembly of end fittings for each cable span.

Other finishing options for cable railings are the handrails and transitions. You can select a flat or round handrail to compliment your contemporary style, or opt for a wood handrail to create a warm, cottage look. You can also add transitions to the corners of a run to accommodate changes in height or direction, such as a gooseneck for stairs with a change in angle, or a spreader bar for runs that require double posts for Code compliance or improved stability.

In addition, you can use a cable railing corner post assembly to connect the handrails of adjacent runs with direction changes. This helps provide visual continuity to the system and improves safety. Stainless steel cable railing corner post assemblies are available in either double or single posts and are complete with end fittings and cables.

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