Glass Railing vs Cable Railing Considerations

In terms of modern railing options, glass railing vs cable railing are the main candidates. But which one is better? 6 considerations to help you choose.

Do you enjoy the great outdoors from your deck or balcony? Spend time gazing at the scenery below from a reclined chair on a lazy afternoon? Do you gather with your family to grill up some patties? Maybe it’s your retreat area after a stressful day at work? Regardless of the specific purpose, you have for your deck, it’s likely that you want a quality railing that will make sure you enjoy the great outdoors without any distraction. In terms of modern railing options, glass railing vs cable railing are the main candidates. But which one is better?

Here are important things to keep in mind as you consider the best infill solution for your home:

Glass Railing vs Cable Railing

Glass Railing with Purple Flowers


Glass railing is more expensive to purchase and install than cable railing. Cable railings provide versatility, minimalist design, and ease of maintenance, which makes it a wise investment for anyone looking to keep costs down after the initial installation. And because they are relatively easy to assemble, you can cut out the installation costs if you do it yourself. With glass railings, you will need to hire someone to install or help you install the glass panels.


Glass railings on the interior or exterior offer unimpeded views. Whether you’re watching the children play in the pool or gazing at the landscape, transparency means you get a clear and unobstructed view.

However, water stains and smudges are common with glass railings and can distort the view of your scenery. Cable railing is relatively thin and also preserves your view. Because your eyesight focuses beyond the rail, the cables trick your eye and seem to disappear. In essence, the only obstruction of your scenery is a sleek top rail.

Stainless Cable Railing on Rounded Deck
Cable Railing offers an uninterrupted view of the lake.


When it comes to ease of maintenance, cable railings win hands down. Unless you’re passionate about glass and window washing, the regular maintenance that glass railing requires is tiring. Glass railings require cleaning on a regular basis to keep them transparent. Bird droppings, salt air, fingerprints and such can all be factors for cleaning more often.

Cable railing will only require minimal periodic cleaning with a mild detergent like car wash soap and water. Occasional tensioning of the cables will also be required when using cable railings, whereas glass railings do not need adjustments after installation.


Not only is glass susceptible to permanent damage, if it is hit, it may chip. The material is also highly prone to scratches. Additionally, abrasive cleaners can cause damage and scratches that build up over time. This can be buffed out, but this service is expensive and there’s no guarantee that all the scratches will be removed.

Stainless steel cable railings are designed to withstand very harsh environments, so they don’t deteriorate when exposed to sunlight and precipitation. When installed and maintained properly, you can count on the system to last for many years.


Glass offers a clear view, but it can be potentially hazardous for pets and children. It can also injure and kill birds because they cannot see it and fly straight through.

Cable railings are made to be rigid. The posts hold cables secure in place in order to keep anything wider than 4 inches from passing through the rails. And while a cable railing system doesn’t distract you from the view, the cables are still visible, making it easier to avoid than glass. Also, birds can see and pass between the cables, avoiding a collision.


The most important thing to remember is quality makes a big difference. Investing in a high-quality stainless steel cable railing will keep the system and your deck, stairs, and balconies looking great for years to come.

At Atlantis Rail Systems, we manufacture quality stainless steel cable railing systems that are easy to install, low-maintenance, and can be used both outdoors and indoors. If you have a railing project for home or business, check out our versatile range of railing systems.