The specific cables that you choose for your cable railing does dictate many aspects of its final quality. We only offer two cable choices, because the other options, such as vinyl cables, just don’t make the cut. We happily stand behind the quality of both our steel cable railings and our stainless steel cable railings. Both can meet California building codes. But which option is right for you? We’ll discuss these two railing types below.

1. Strength

Steel railings are quite strong and can withstand 300 lbs of lateral force. This is enough strength for almost all residential purposes and meets building code requirements in homes. However, there are times when you need more. For example, in some commercial settings, you need to have more strength simply because of building design or the number of people who might be leaning on the railing at any given time. Those who own homes also might have a design or a need that calls for extra strength—even if it is just for peace of mind. For these more demanding applications, stainless steel railings provide more strength.

2. Eyes on the View

What about the thinness of your cables? This is an important thing to consider. The thinner your cables, the less they obstruct the view beyond the railing. While this is less important for railings inside of homes or hand railings next to walls, it may be critical for rooftop railings, balcony railings and others that overlook an important view.

Both kinds of cable railing systems perform well in this aspect. They are better than glass because they do not create light effects. Instead, it is easy for the eye to ignore the railings. But the thinner the better. Steel may suit your purposes just fine, but you can get a thinner railing that offer the same strength from stainless steel.

3. Salt Spray Durability

There is a clear winner when it comes to corrosion resistance and performance in environments with salt spray: stainless steel. Stainless steel is more durable in the face of beach conditions. We can use type 316 marine grade cable, which is intended to perform well in wet, humid and salty environments. That is one way we deliver superior performance for railings on beachfront properties or those that are close enough to the ocean to need that extra protection.

4. Cost-Effectiveness

There is also a clear winner when it comes to cost-effectiveness: steel. Our steel railings are more affordable than our stainless steel options. If cost is a concern for you, using steel is a great way to keep the price reasonable without sacrificing too much quality. We can also suggest other ways to reduce the cost of your railing without impacting its strength or durability, like choosing plainer styles and finishes.

5. Stylishness

In this category, there’s a tie.
Our steel railing systems have more customization options, such as wooden top rails and custom post caps, but it’s also hard to beat the look and feel of stainless steel.
The most important thing is that your railing system fits into its environment. Stainless steel looks great with contemporary and modern styles, but steel with wooden posts and top bars might look better on a craftsman-style home.

Need More Help?

Our cable railing specialists can help you evaluate your space and determine the exact pros and cons for each option for your application. With service from Long Beach to Hollywood and everywhere in between, help is never far away.

Call or contact us today to get started.