How do I know which cable railing kit is ideal for my desired application?

Depending upon which type of application you desire to use the cable railing kit will ultimately determine which kit is ideal for you. If you are looking to install cable railing in pitched applications, you would need one that specifies that it can be used with such applications. The same also goes for level applications.

You will also need to determine what types of posts that you are going to be installing the cable railing with. We offer a wide selection of kits specifically made for metal, wood, composite sleeved and dual use (wood or metal) applications. If you are still unsure about which kit you will need, try using our Kit Configurator.

What is the difference between pitched and level railing kits?

Pitched cable railing kits are meant to be used with angled applications. The most common installation for these types of kits are with stairways. These kits are specifically designed for use with these applications and will include all the necessary components for installing in such a way.

Level cable railing kits are similar to the pitched kits, however they are meant to be used with level applications only. A common application that these are used for would be along the sides of decks and patios.

Each cable railing kit contains varying components and the included fittings will only work with the types of installations that they are made for, however we do offer several types of kits that are designed to be used with both pitched and level applications.

What is the difference between surface mount, through-post
mount and surface mount to through-post mounts?

Surface Mounts are designed to be installed into the face of the post. These are typically used when one side of the post cannot be accessed. Through-Post Mounts are designed to be installed through a hole that is drilled through the post. These are typically used when you wish to hide the fittings, because it is concealed inside the post. These types of mounts require at least 3 ½” of open space behind the post in order to properly start the cable run through the side of the post where the cable enters or exits.

Surface Mount to Through-Post Mounts combine the elements of both types of mounts. These are for tricky mounting applications that require one fitting to be mounted to the face of one end post and the other to be mounted through the other end post.

Is my cable railing kit covered under warranty?

Stainless steel hardware and cables are covered by a limited warranty for ten (10) years from the date of receipt to be free from defective materials and workmanship.

This warranty does not cover materials which have been abused, neglected or used in any manner other than for pedestrian railings nor for any damage, failure of corrosion resulting from environmental conditions, improper installation, vandalism, insurrection, war or acts of nature. Learn More About Our Warranty Here.

    Posts, Cables and Kit Components

What does it mean for a cable to be 1x19 type 316?

When we state that a cable is 1x19 Type 316, it simply means that the cable is 19 smaller wires that are twisted in such a way to form 1 cable and is made of Type 316 stainless steel.

Type 316 is the grade of stainless steel that is used for constructing the cable. Type 316 is an austenitic chromium-nickel stainless steel which contains the addition of molybdenum. By adding molybdenum, the stainless steel has an increased resistance to corrosion, ability to hold static loads without stretching and a higher minimum breaking strength (1780 lbs. for 1/8”; 4000 lbs. for 3/16”).

When it comes to cable railing, 1x19 Type 316 stainless steel is always recommended because of its increased strength, small diameter and high resistance to corrosion.

What types of preventative maintenance should I use with my
cable railing kit?

To keep your stainless steel cable railing looking as new as the day it was installed, regular maintenance and cleaning should be performed. Inspect the installation on a frequent schedule, taking note of discoloration and stains.

Discoloration can and should be removed by cleaners recommended for stainless steel. We recommend the use of E-Z Clean, a two-part cleaner and protectant. Frequency needed to use the product will vary completely with your location and climate. You should expect to do regular maintenance to clean and continuously apply the protective waterproof lubricant. Regular maintenance should prove to extend the life of your cable railing system. Note: Never use steel wool or harsh abrasive elements.

What are the structural requirements necessary for my posts to
hold the cable tension?

For wooden posts, a minimum size of 4x4 end post is required. Through-Post or Surface-Mount type fittings can be used for these applications.

For steel posts, a minimum ¼” wall is required. Through-Post or Surface-Mount type fittings can be used for these applications.

Aluminum posts require additional reinforcement because of the high tension that is applied. Through-Post type fittings can only be used for these applications.

For posts with composite sleeves, a minimum size of 4½” sq. is required. It is necessary to use a lagged fitting and go through the sleeve until you connect to the core underneath. We offer extended length lag fittings for these applications.

How do I know which type of fitting is ideal for my
desired application?

Looking at each of the different fittings available can be overwhelming when trying to figure out which is the best for your application. That’s why we have created a page strictly devoted to breaking down the purpose that each component in the kit will serve and what application(s) are the most ideal for it to be used with. Learn More About Fittings Here.

How can I prevent the installed cable from tearing into
my wooden post?

This is a common problem that is especially prevalent in pitched applications with wood posts. In order to prevent this from happening, you can purchase a Stainless Steel Post Protector Tube. This ¾” stainless steel tube is wedged into where the cable enters or exits the post and acts as a means or protection by preventing the cable from directly touching the wood.

    Cable railing rules and regulations

What are the requirements for spacing my intermediate posts
and cable runs?

Intermediate posts play a vital role in providing support to not only the end posts, but also the cable that is run through them. International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) regulations state that a 4” sphere shall not be able to pass through the openings between the cables at any point, therefore, the frequency of intermediate posts plays a direct part in maintaining ideal cable rigidity.

To comply with this code, our cable railing kits require an intermediate post to be placed no more than every 48”, cable spacing center to center should be no more than 3.125” apart and cable tension shall no less than 225 lbs. These regulations are stated by the IBC and IRC, however specific city and state rules and regulations may also apply. Check with your local building authorities to learn more. Learn more about the Sphere Pass-Through Requirements Here.

Are cable railing kits safe to have around children?

At first glance, it might appear that railings (guards) with horizontal bars or areas that create a so-called "ladder effect," where a child could put his or her foot would be an open invitation to danger. But, it turns out there is little if any evidence that climbable railings are a hazard at all. In fact, a study the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center concluded in its report in May, 2008 that "the most current and thorough documentation available shows no indication that a problem exists (with climbable guards)"

The report goes on to point out among other things that difficult to climb barrier designs can create a greater challenge to a child to climb, and that it is most likely undesirable to render any environment completely "safe" from children's climbing." Creating a barrier that is not possible to climb may create a safety hazard in the case of an extreme emergency where the only means of escape is to climb over a railing. The NAHB Research Center study was commissioned by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA). That organization has held for years that there is no data to support the contention that climbable guards are a hazard.

After a 3-year study of climbable guards, including 13 open meetings and with the NAHB study before it, the International Code Council decided in May, 2008 that there is insufficient data available to justify changing codes to prohibit the so-called "ladder effect" in railings. A few jurisdictions in the United States still do not permit railings with the "ladder effect," but, as the facts become better knows, these restrictions are being lifted and codes up-dated to reflect the reality that climbable guards are not a safety hazard.

Therefore, conventional railings with horizontal elements, including cable railings, can still be incorporated into designs with peace of mind. See Final Report of the CTC Area of Study on Climbable Guards

    Glossary of Terms

Glossay of Terms

Cable Railing Kit: Cable Railing Kits are all-in-one packages that are designed to be installed by the customer themselves, without the use of professional installers. Each Cable Railing Kit is comprised of a fitting, tensioning device, accessories necessary for installation and a specified length cable wire.

Pitched Installation: A Pitched Installation is an application that is installed at an angle. Generally, these are applications installed alongside stairways or other angled surfaces.

Level Installation: A Level Installation is an application that is installed straight across an area. These are the most common types of installations and require the smallest amount of work.

Swageless: For a fitting to be considered swageless, it must not require any field swaging at all. Swaging is a process by which the cable is mechanically attached to the fitting using an advanced crimping tool, ensuring that it is securely attached and able to withstand the extreme amounts of tension that will be applied to it. In reality though, swageless fittings are indeed swaged, however this is all done beforehand by the manufacturer, meaning that every cable railing kit offered by us will require absolutely zero swaging and will cut out the expensive costs of having to hire a professional to come out and swage your fittings for you.

Fitting: A fitting is a broad term for the device that is attached to the end of the cable run and acts as a means for connecting the cable to an end post. There are many different types of fittings and each is designed specifically for a different type of application. Learn More About Fittings Here.

Tensioning Device: A tensioning device is a kit component that is used for applying tension to the cable run once it is set in place. Every cable run needs at least one tensioning device to ensure the cable can be taut enough to pass building code requirements.

End Post: End Posts are the posts where your cable run will start and end. End Posts are where your fittings will be mounted either into or onto depending on the type of fitting, therefore these must be structurally secure and comply with IBC, IRC and any other city or state rules and regulations.

Intermediate Post: Intermediate Posts are the posts that sit between the end posts and act as a means of easing the high tension that is applied to the end posts, as well as supporting the cable runs as they pass through them. Other than the traditional wooden intermediate post, you may use a Cable Brace which performs the same function as wooden ones, however often providing superior support when compared to wooden posts. These are a vital aspect of any cable run and must be structurally secure and comply with IBC, IRC and any other city or state rules and regulations.

Mount: Mounts are the variable types of processes that cable runs are connected via fittings to each one of the end posts. There are three different types of mounts, each being designed for a different type of application.

  • Surface-Mount: Surface-Mount (also known as Face-Mount) configurations get their name because the fitting(s) literally attach to the face or surface of the post without going completely through the post. These are ideal for attaching to posts where it is impossible to drill completely through because of lack of space or large post thickness. The fittings typically used with these types of mounts are variations of threaded tabs, hanger bolts and lags.

  • Through-Post Mount:Through-Post Mount configuration get their title because that's just what they are. Fittings that are designed to go completely through the post. These are great for concealing the end of your cable runs and also for giving your post a sleek, stylish look. These types of mounts require at least 3-1/2" of open space behind the post in order to properly install and tension the fittings. Fittings typically used with these types of mounts are Pull-Locks, Push-Locks and Invisiware Receivers.

  • Surface-Mount-To-Through-Post Mount: Surface-Mount-To-Through-Post Mount configurations combine both aspects of each of the other types of mounts. One side of the cable run will have a Surface-Mount type fitting, while the other end will have a Through-Post type fitting. These types of mounts are ideal for unusual applications where both types would be needed, such as a deck or patio that has an end post mounted directly against the house and another end post mounted in open space. For this type of installation, you would mount the Surface-Mount type fitting to the end post against the house since you would not have enough room to drill completely through the post, while the other end of the cable run could be mounted through the end post that sits in open space.

You Can Learn More About The Different Types Of Fittings Here.