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Chris Breen

Chris Breen

Chris Breen, Principal Owner of Legacy Decks and Outdoor Living and has been serving families in Upstate South Carolina since 2005.

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July 2016, New Glasgow Nova Scotioa location shoot for CPG.

Glass Railings For Decks: Cost, Pros, Cons, And More

In the world of deck railings, there are a lot of options. Glass railings are becoming increasingly popular, but a lot of people are still in doubt about them. “Is there a chance that the glass will break? Are they safe for kids and pets? How much do they cost? And what are the pros and cons of glass railings, anyway?”

Keep reading to determine if glass panels are the right choice for your railings. This article will uncover the pros and cons of glass deck railings, the cost, maintenance, safety, and more.

Pros And Cons Of Glass Deck Railings

There are many benefits to choosing railings with glass panels for your deck. But are the drawbacks worth it? Let’s examine the pros and cons of glass deck railings.

The Pros Of Glass Deck Railings

Unobstructed Views

Do you have stunning vistas from your deck that you want to admire in all their glory? One of the main advantages of glass railings is that they provide unobstructed views. They won’t get in the way like other railing options might, making every detail of the panorama visible.

Stylish, Sleek, Elegant, and Modern

Suppose you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your deck. In that case, glass railings might be the perfect option for you. A sense of sophistication comes with glass railings resembling a high-end hotel or resort. They offer a sleek and modern look that elevates your deck’s style, turning your outdoor space into a luxurious retreat that’s sure to impress.

Acts As A Wind Barrier

Another pro of glass deck railings is that they act as a wind barrier. So if you live in an area with high winds, or if you have small children or pets that might not be comfortable being out on the deck in windy weather, glass railings can save the day.

Glass railings keep the wind from blowing too hard, which makes it difficult to enjoy your deck. Violent gusts can easily topple lighter objects like patio furniture, but glass railings will keep them in place.

More Light Can Pass Through

Glass railings also allow more light to pass through than other railings, making your deck feel brighter and more welcoming.

Additionally, glass railings can make small decks and patios appear much larger than they are. By opening up the view and allowing more light to pass through, glass railings can create the illusion of a much bigger space.

Rot And Decay Free

Glass deck railings typically have aluminum or composite frames resistant to rot and decay. The glass panel infills are also durable and won’t succumb to rot or decay. As a result, you won’t have to replace them as often as you would with wood railings, which are susceptible to weather damage.

Glass railings are low maintenance when it comes to repairs and replacements, making them a great option if you’re looking for something that will last for decades to come.

The Cons Of Glass Deck Railings

Higher Cost

Glass railings look expensive, but are they? Glass panel infills cost more than wood, aluminum, or composite options. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider using your budget for other improvements, such as a larger deck, a pergola, or an outdoor kitchen.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that glass railings are a long-term investment. Glass railings will last longer than wood, so you will have to replace them less often. Therefore, in the long run, glass railings will save you money and headaches compared to wood railings.

Frequent Cleaning

Although maintenance is minimal concerning repairs and replacements, glass railings need frequent cleaning to look their best.

Glass panels can get dirty quickly, so you’ll need to wipe them down frequently to avoid buildup. Frequent cleaning is more important if your deck is close to ground level, as dirt and debris can easily blow onto the glass.

Less Privacy

Glass railings provide less privacy than other infill options, such as aluminum or composite balusters. Your neighbors will be able to see through glass railings, so if you’re looking for a way to create more privacy on your deck, glass railings will not help. However, there are some ways to increase privacy, such as adding privacy panels. But privacy panels can kind of contradict the point of having glass railings in the first place, which is to maximize the views.

Blocks The Breeze

Since glass railings act as a wind barrier, they also partially block the breeze. This can be an issue in the summer if you live in a hot climate and are looking for ways to keep yourself cool. To counteract this, you can include a pergola on your deck to add shade and create a more comfortable environment.

How To Clean Glass Deck Railings

You must clean the glass panels regularly to avoid buildup and make them look their best. For daily cleaning or, as you notice dirt and debris, take a soft cloth and wipe down the glass panels. Then, every week or so, you can use a glass cleaner, paper towels, or a soft cloth to clean the glass like any other windows. You can also use a spray glass cleaner that attaches to your hose. Google “hose spray window cleaner” to find one.

Are Glass Railings Hard To Keep Clean?

Glass railings are as easy to clean as any other type of railing. Cleaning them should be a piece of cake since you are already familiar with cleaning glass. However, they get dirty faster, so you’ll need to wipe them down more frequently to keep them in tip-top shape at all times. If you have kids that like to run around and touch things, be prepared to see marks on the glass and to clean more often.

Are Glass Railings Safe?

Glass railings are just as safe as any other type of railing, if not more. A common misconception is that glass is fragile and can easily break, but that’s not the case. Here are four reasons glass railings are safe:

Tempered Glass

Glass panels are made from tempered glass, a type of safety glass. Tempered glass is four times stronger than regular glass and is highly resistant to impacts. In the extremely rare event that a tempered glass panel does break, it will break into small, pebble-like pieces that are not sharp or dangerous.

Rot And Decay Free

Glass railings will not rot or decay like wood railings. Wood is susceptible to moisture and insects, which can cause it to break down over time, posing the risk of collapse.

On the other hand, the materials in glass railings are resistant to these elements. Aluminum, composite, and glass will last for many decades without any issues. Additionally, they don’t splinter like wood, so there’s no risk of getting a splinter in your hand or foot.

When it comes to safety, glass is a much better option than wood, so you can rest assured knowing that glass railings are safe and sturdy.

Building Codes Are Strict To Ensure Safety

There are strict building codes in place that require glass railings to be safe. These codes ensure that the glass is tempered and thick and that the gaps between infills are small enough to prevent children from slipping through.

Hard To Climb

Glass railings are also difficult to climb, as the smooth surface offers no footholds. As a result, it’s nearly impossible for small children to climb the railing.

No Wide Openings

All the infills we use are safe in this regard, as the gaps between composite and aluminum balusters are too small for a child to slip through. Still, you should know that railings with glass panels have the smallest openings of any deck railing.

Cost Of Glass Deck Railings

So, what about the costs? Glass panel infills are more expensive than aluminum or composite baluster infills. But exactly how much more?

How Much Do Glass Deck Railings Cost Per Foot?

Railings with glass panel infills cost about $200-$250 per linear foot, while railings with aluminum balusters cost about $125-$175 per linear foot.

Conclusion

Glass railings are an excellent option for those who want to enjoy unobstructed views of their surroundings. Whether you’re looking for a sleek and modern look, or something more traditional, glass railings can be customized to fit your style.

Do you live in Greenville? If you’re looking for a brand-new deck, Legacy Decks is here to help you create memories that will last a lifetime.


Click here to learn more about our deck railings or request a free estimate to get started. We can’t wait to bring your dream deck to life!