Cable Railing Hardware

Cable railing hardware offers the chance to create a look that complements and enhances your deck or stair design rather than looking conspicuously “out of place.” While the overall appearance will largely depend on the framing material and aesthetics you choose, the finish of your cable railing posts will also play a critical role in how the finished system looks.

The typical finishes available for cable railing hardware include brushed, powder coat, and painted. Brushed finishes offer a subtle texture that hides minor fingerprints and water spots, and can nicely accentuate contemporary glass railing features. Powder-coat and paint finishes are typically available in a wide range of colors, allowing you to perfectly match your cable railing to any deck accent or surrounding landscaping.

If you’re concerned about rust or corrosion, choose 316 stainless steel cable railing posts and hardware. While slightly more expensive, marine-grade 316 stainless resists corrosion far better than lower-quality 304 stainless, and can last decades largely maintenance free.

Ultimately, your budget and anticipated longevity will determine whether a stainless steel or aluminum cable railing kit is best for your project. If possible, consult manufacturers’ warranties to get a sense of how the posts and hardware have performed in real-world use over time. Also, asking for references and cross-checking reviews on third party sites helps you to gauge how well a company stands behind their products and services.

How long of a span you’re planning for your cable railing will also impact the diameter size you select for your terminal and intermediate posts. To maintain optimal structural integrity while avoiding excessive deflection, consult an engineer for precise specifications accounting for the desired cable tension load and span length.

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Typical Finishes Available For Cable Railing Hardware

You may need to add extra terminal posts, intermediate posts, or braces (also known as “mid-rails”) for your cable railing project to meet local code requirements and ensure adequate cable tension capacity. The number of additional posts you’ll need will also vary depending on whether you’re using a curved or straight cable railing hardware layout.

Stainless steel cable railing posts are generally offered in two sizes, 1-5/8” and 2-1/2”. The larger 1-1/2” option is best for most installations, as it is able to handle the largest cable sizes and is a safe choice when running cables up to 8 ft. or more.

The center-to-center spacings of the cables vertically on the end posts should be 3-1/8” to allow for cable flex within allowable limits to meet most code requirements that a 4” sphere shall not pass through at any point. Similarly, the distance between cable runs on the side of a post should be 3-1/8” to ensure the cables are supported properly and not prone to buckling or bending.

Aside from the diameter, other factors to consider when selecting your cable railing posts and hardware are the type of mounting hardware you need, and the mounting method. Most systems come with pre-drilled posts with powder coated holes to save installation time, and a mounting kit that includes all the necessary hardware to securely mount your cable railing system to your deck or stairs.

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