Stainless Steel Cable Railing Complete Guide

Table of Contents

Stainless Steel Cable Railing is a safety guardrail system that can be installed in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. To ensure a smooth installation, you must consider structural requirements, material options, project location, cost, building code compliances, and other factors. Understanding those elements allows you to avoid problems and maximize the effectiveness of your Cable Railing project.

This article will provide you with useful information on Cable Railing Systems.

cable balcony railing kit

Step-by-step buying guide

1. Select Your Posts

The foundation of a cable railing system is the post, which supports the handrail and bears the tension of a taut cable infill. Inox Star Hardware provides some options available as below. Choose the one that appeals to you the most:

2. Select Your Top Rail

It’s the top rail parts, also known as cap rail, connect your posts to form a complete frame. The top rail(s) you choose will be determined by your posts as well as your personal preferences.

As needed, include corner and connector pieces.

cable rail fence

3. Select Your Cable

A cable railing system’s main component is marine-grade stainless steel cable.

Any open frame can be converted into a cable railing with it. Our cables are made of SS304, SS316 Stainless Steel, the highest grade of Marine-Grade Stainless Steel, for increased luster and durability. Prior to shipping, they are also electropolished.

4. Select Your Hardware

The cable railing hardware secures the ends of your cables.

These one-of-a-kind pieces are known as “fittings,” and an “assembly” contains two fittings in total, one for each end of a single cable.

An assembly will typically include one fitting that allows you to tension your cables (referred to as a tensioner or turnbuckle) and one that does not (called a terminal or end).

Browse the assemblies below based on your project’s requirements.

5. Optional Railing Pieces

Depending on your project, you may also require a gate and or handrail in addition to the railing. If your railing includes stairs, you will most likely require a handrail. For specific requirements, check your local building codes.

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6. Installation and Maintenance Tools

Now that the railing has been finished, all that remains are the tools to install and maintain it.

Stainless steel grades

When discussing interior and exterior building products such as fences and railings, we are primarily discussing two grades of stainless steel.

Railing posts and products are available in T304 and T316 stainless steel grades.

Both options provide excellent corrosion resistance; however, T316 is considered a “marine grade” stainless steel product.

T316 stainless is our grade recommendation for salt air conditions right on the coast.

All of our stainless cable assemblies are made with T316 wire and hardware.

Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Cable Railing Systems

When deciding whether or not to use a Cable Railing System, you must weigh the pros and cons and consider all relevant factors.

Cable railing is a popular choice among homeowners for decks and porches.

It is up to you to decide whether Stainless Steel Cable Railing Systems are an ideal deck accessory.

It comes down to cost, appearance, and maintenance performance.

cable balustrade


  • A cable deck railing, stair cable railing, or cable balcony railing is a more practical solution to your railing needs. It can be used in place of traditional railing materials like wood and glass infills.
  • It can significantly improve the appearance of the establishment while remaining clear of the view.
  • With the right products and tools, such as the right Cable Railing kit, which includes post types, tension kits, and cables, it can be easily configured to meet the needs of your space.
  • It is simple to install; in most cases, no professional assistance is required as long as your cable rail kit comes with detailed instructions.
  • Cable Railing Systems are a wise investment, particularly if you are looking for a long-term solution. It can significantly increase your home’s resale value.
  • It is a versatile railing option, especially when it comes to installation, design, and usability. It is suitable for use in homes, commercial establishments, and offices.
  • Stainless steel requires little maintenance and is completely recyclable.
  • The Stainless steel railing system is eco-friendly: Did you know that scrap metal is used to make more than 60% of stainless steel? Stainless steel cable railings can be recycled into the same product without losing quality. 90% of the stainless steel used in architectural applications is collected and recycled. You can earn LEED Points (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for being environmentally responsible by installing stainless steel cable railing in your commercial building.
  • Improve the value of your home or building: Cable railings not only complement but also increase the value of your building. Mount the system correctly, with the appropriate strength and tension, and it will last for decades. Most buyers will check the structural integrity of the balcony, patio, and deck railings. When a stainless steel cable railing system is installed, a potential buyer is more likely to purchase the property.
cable stair railing


  • Although the installation of the wire railing is not difficult, it will take some time.
  • Some cities’ building codes prohibit the horizontal installation of Cable Railing Systems; check with your local building department for more information.
  • Cable railing systems are typically more expensive than traditional all-wood railing systems. The added value compensates for the initial cost to your property.

Stainless Steel cable Railing FAQs

1. What is the recommended strength of cable railing?

Top rails must be able to withstand a concentrated load of 200 lb horizontally or vertically at any point of the railing component, according to the International Residential Code. Local building codes may also require smaller loads of 20 lb per square foot for cable infill.

The presence of cables is what distinguishes cable guardrail systems. The posts must be strong enough to withstand the pulling force of the steel cables. Furthermore, top rails are frequently subjected to light impacts and pressure from objects or people leaning against the structure.

2. What is the ideal height for cable railing posts?

Most state residential codes require railings to be at least 36″ tall. California is an exception to this rule, requiring at least 42″ railing for all residential railing installations. The 42″ railing height requirement applies to commercial building codes as well. The height of the post is measured from the ground to the top of the handrail.

All railing installations must adhere to all applicable standards for post height and cable spacing. You should consider the handrail, the type of location, as well as local, city, and international building codes when determining the height of the railing posts.

3. What is the maximum distance between cable railing posts?

To meet the 36″ or 42″ post requirements and address cable deflection, a maximum distance of 4 ft center to center between the posts is recommended. No gap should be wider than 4 inches. To aid aesthetics, the spacing between posts should be kept consistent (when possible) throughout the cable assembly. The Building Code requires that post spacing not exceed an amount that could cause cable deflection.

4. How far should cables be spaced?

Fewer than 3 1/4 “cable spacing while accounting for cable deflection caused by post spacing The International Code Council defines a 4 “Sphere should be unable to pass through gaps.

5. How many cables?

36’’ cable railing systems: “Ten horizontal cable runs should be used for high posts. 42’’ Cable Railing Systems: “12 horizontal cable runs should be used for high posts. Building codes require that no opening be more than 4 feet wide. The distance between the cables is 3 1/8’’ due to the 10 and 12 cable counts “.

stainless steel cable railing

6. What Is the Best Cable for Cable Railing?

The smoothest construction of 1×19 Strand Stainless Steel Wire is strong with low flex and stretch properties. These specifications make it an excellent choice for railing applications.

7. Are there various types of top rails?

The top rail completes the necessary railing frame for your Cable Railing project. The top rails should be made of stainless steel. The metal is corrosion, moisture, debris, and light impact resistant.

Marine-grade stainless steel is appropriate for railing installed in harsh environments such as outdoor beachfront properties, docks, outdoor decks, rooftops, and so on. Furthermore, stainless steel top rails are appropriate for indoor spaces such as commercial sites, offices, and public buildings.

Some projects may necessitate the use of wooden top rails. Individuals should consider mounting a steel bar under the wood top rail for additional support to ensure long-term structural integrity. This method can assist in keeping the wood component functional and intact, primarily as safety barriers on decks, stairs, and ramps.

8. How Big Should Cable Railing Holes Be?

Drilling intermediate posts are required to get the cable through. To avoid excessive cable deflection, drill holes 5/64″ (or 2mm) larger than the diameter of the used cable.

9. How Long Should Cable Railing Be Run?

When using 1 x 19 Construction Type 316 Stainless Steel Cables with a 1/8″ diameter, the recommended cable run maximum distance is 30 feet on straight runs. A cable run is made up of three parts: a cable tensioner, a cable terminal, and a wire. Cable runs usually come to an end on corners.

10. Is it possible for the cable railing to rust?

The cable railing made of Stainless Steel Grade AISI 316 does not rust when properly maintained, especially in corrosion-prone environments.

11. Is it safe to use cable railing?

When properly installed, the cable railing is structurally sound and meets building codes. The structure of the Cable Railing is dependent on the tightness of the cable infills. End and corner posts must be strong enough to withstand the pulling force of the cables.

Any opening shall not be larger than 4 inches “. Because cable deflects, the gap between cables should be less than 3 1/4 “depending on the distance between cables



There are numerous other advantages to using stainless steel cable railings on your deck or stairway. The best way to reap these benefits is to install your own cable railing system. To ensure a high level of quality and workmanship, it is critical to purchase stainless steel railing systems from a reputable manufacturer such as Inox Star Hardware.

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