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6 Misconceptions About Cable Railing


Cable railing systems have become increasingly popular in recent years as a sleek and modern alternative to traditional wood or metal railings. However, there are some common misconceptions about cable railings that often deter homeowners from choosing this railing style. In this article, we will debunk 6 of the most prevalent myths and misconceptions about cable railings to give you the facts to make an informed decision for your home.

Misconception #1: Cable Railings Are Not Sturdy or Safe

One of the most common misgivings about cable railings is a concern over their strength and safety. Many assume that cables cannot be as sturdy or secure as wood or metal railings. However, modern cable railing systems are remarkably strong and completely safe when properly installed by experienced professionals.

The cable railing infill consists of a high-strength stainless steel wire rope inset with swaged fittings and tensioners. This creates an incredibly secure tension system that meets or exceeds all major building code requirements for safety and strength. In fact, cable railing systems can withstand over 2000 lbs of force, providing safety for people leaning on or bumping into the railing. Proper installation and consistent maintenance are key, but you can rest assured that cable railings are incredibly sturdy and safe when done right.

Misconception #2: Cable Railings Are Hard to Maintain

Another assumption is that cable railing requires difficult and frequent maintenance to keep it looking pristine. However, cable railing is actually quite low-maintenance compared to other railing styles. The cable infill itself requires virtually no maintenance other than occasional dusting. The metal frame and fittings may need re-tightening on occasion as part of routine maintenance, but this is a simple procedure.

Unlike wood railings, cable railings will not warp, crack, peel, or decay. And unlike iron or aluminum, cable railings will not rust, corrode, or oxidize. This makes cable an exceptionally low-maintenance railing choice. With periodic cleaning and selective re-tensioning, your cable railing can maintain its sleek appearance for decades without the need for refinishing or replacement.

Misconception #3: Cable Railings Are Only for Contemporary Homes

Some homeowners rule out cable railings believing they only suit a sleek, contemporary architectural style. It’s true that cable railings beautifully complement modern home designs with clean lines and an airy, minimalist look. However, cable railing can also add a refined modern touch to many other home styles, from Craftsman to Mediterranean to traditional.

With choices like black, galvanized, or stainless steel cables and a variety of wood-tone or colored metal frame options, cable railings can be customized to suit your home’s specific architecture and color palette. They provide an appealing blend of modern style and understated elegance that works well for various design aesthetics when carefully selected and installed. Don’t limit cable railing to just contemporary spaces – consider it for homes of many styles.

Misconception #4: Cable Railings Are Only for Indoor Use

Another misconception is that cable railing is designed mainly for indoor use and lacks the durability to withstand outdoor elements. In fact, high-quality cable railing systems using marine-grade stainless steel cable are specifically designed to endure outdoor installation.

The cables resist corrosion and retain their sleek silver sheen for decades outdoors. Ultraviolet inhibitors and zinc-infused coatings add further protection from sun damage. With proper outdoor prep and footings, cable railing stands up excellently to humidity, rain, salt spray, lawn sprinklers, and other outdoor conditions. It’s an ideal low-maintenance railing choice for any open-air setting.

Misconception #5: Cable Railings Are Too Expensive

It’s true that cable railing has a reputation for being a pricey railing option best suited to luxury homes and budgets. However, the cost for cable railing may be more reasonable than you think. Pricing is comparable to premium-grade wood railing and potentially lower than ornate wrought iron designs.

Also, consider full lifecycle costs – cable railing’s durability and lack of maintenance needs often make it less expensive long-term. Factor in added home value from an updated, elegant railing style as well. With competitive pricing for materials and installation, savvy homeowners find cable railing offers sophistication and value at a fair cost.

Misconception #6: Cable Railings Are Hard to Install

Finally, some assume that cable railing installation requires complex tools and skills beyond an average homeowner’s capabilities. While it’s wise to hire professionals for a clean, safe installation, you may be surprised that cable railing systems are engineered for relatively simple DIY assembly.

Many systems include all necessary hardware and easy step-by-step instructions for assembling the top rail, securing cables, and attaching fittings using basic household tools. Tensioning the cables to the proper tautness and spacing does require precision and practice for safety. But with proper care, preparation, and guidance, installing cable railing yourself is an achievable weekend project for handy homeowners.

Debunking Misconceptions About Cable Railing

In summary, modern cable railing systems dispel outdated assumptions of flimsiness, maintenance headaches, design limits, fragility, elitism, and installation complexity. The truth is, cable railing offers sturdy safety, lasting low maintenance, style versatility, durable weather resistance, reasonable affordability, and achievable DIY-friendly installation – when properly selected and cared for.

Hopefully reviewing these common misconceptions helps provide a clearer picture of everything cable railing has to offer for stylish and practical railing. For more information or professional installation services, companies like Perimetec are great resources to consider. Reach out today to explore how cable railing can add modern distinction to your indoor or outdoor living space.

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