How To Build a Glass Deck Railing

You have completed construction on your deck – now what? Have you installed your railings yet? You could go with a number of different styles but why not go with something that allows you to take in the view as well? Glass deck railings are a popular choice for homes, offices and commercial establishments. They can be designed and customized in a lot of different ways depending on your preference and architectural theme and are as sturdy and stable as wooden or plastic rails. Here is how to build a glass deck railing:

  • The glass. The most important part of your glass deck railing is of course the glass. First of all, they have to be clear and transparent; using one-way glass or mirrors defeats the purpose of installing glass rails. They must also be shatter-resistant so that it is safe for people to touch and won’t break easily. Make sure that the edges are polished and smooth so that people do not cut themselves when they touch it. Of course, the panels will be very heavy so you have to install them in parts. Before you make your order, be sure that your measurements are accurate, precise and final because you won’t be able to change them on-site and ordering new ones can be costly.
  • Clear the deck. Previously installed deck railings should be removed, save for the posts. If posts are weak or rotten, have them replaced. Change them if they are not to your liking.
  • The design. You can design your deck however way you like. They should be tall enough for adults to reach without bending but not so tall that kids won’t be able to reach the rails. What is important is that your design should include sturdy posts at equal intervals because long glass panels are not advisable. They are very heavy and if not supported properly they could slide or fall off. The glass panels should fit in between the posts but not fill up the space completely since you need those for supports. Generally, the glass fits between two posts (left and right) and two rails (top and bottom).
  • Building the glass deck railing. If posts don’t have slots to insert top and bottom rails in, add them now. Make sure they are properly secured with deck screws because they have to be able to support the deck rails. The rails should also have grooves where the glass panels can easily fit but will be secure. Metal rails are more secure than wooden ones. Also, you need to drill water drain holes in wooden bottom rails so that water won’t collect in the rail. Add outside top and bottom plates. These will keep the panel from falling if someone leans or pushes against it. Make sure the glass has been polished before inserting it. Place self-adhesive vinyl bumpers along the grooves of the bottom rail, which will help keep the glass in place. After inserting the glass panels, add inside top and bottom plates. Make sure that when you screw these in place that you do not hit the glass.

Building glass deck railings is not so hard now is it? Your new glass rails will provide security and closure while hardly obscuring the gorgeous view.


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