glass patio railings

Any structure that is 1 meter or more in height above the surrounding ground requires barriers or railings to protect people from falling over the edge. Railings are both practical and decorative, providing style and support.

Patio railings safely contain people inside a patio deck. They are usually attached either to the floor or secondary support like in standoff railings or a base shoe railing. Today, more modern homes turn to glass patio railings for customizable elegant design and low maintenance.

Types of Railing Materials

You can choose from the different types of railing materials that are most commonly used in patios – wood, cable, glass, and aluminum railings.

Cable Railings

Using cable wire for patio deck railing can help enhance your patio. While not blocking the beauty of nature around you, it helps protect your guests. It lasts for a long period and will not rust or corrode easily.

Wood Railings

Wood provides a classic look for your patio and can easily withstand hot and cold weather. When not properly maintained, wood railings can start to rot and warp.

Aluminum Railings

Aluminum railings tend to be extremely long-lasting and durable. They also offer very little maintenance, won’t rust or corrode.

Glass Railings

Similar to aluminum railings, the glass will not rust or rot or wear out easily. Glass railings are tempered, making them four times stronger than regular glass. Glass is an excellent material choice for deck railings.

Factors in Choosing the Right Patio Railings Material

Choosing the best railing material for your special patio deck space will depend on a range of different factors. When selecting a material for your patio railings, some of the things you should consider include:


Consider how your choice of patio railings material will be impacted by local geography and environmental factors, such as extreme temperatures, saltwater, or precipitation.

Use and Exposure

How often will the railing be used? High-traffic use can often lead to scratches, nicks, dings, and other maintenance concerns. Having a good idea of the wear and tear the railing will experience will help you select the most durable, best long-lasting option.


You don’t want to let the beautiful views you have available from your deck go to waste. Choose a deck railing material that provides more open sightlines that creates unobstructed views.

Advantages of Glass for Patio Railings

If you haven’t identified yet as to which material to use for your patio railing, these advantages of glass railings should help you decide.

1. Glass requires low maintenance.

Glass railings do not need to be treated, stained, painted, or finished. The material maintains its natural beauty and durability. Weathering is inevitable because decks are continuously exposed to the elements such as sun, water, wind but glass railings require almost no maintenance except for occasional cleaning with soap, water, and squeegee.

2. Glass does not corrode when exposed to water.

Glass panels and other materials used for parts of the railings such as treated aluminum for posts and shoe base railing and stainless steel for standoff railings will not corrode when exposed to water. Using the proper materials for your railings will not let you worry even when they are constantly exposed to the weather.

3. It can tolerate extreme temperatures better.

Unlike wood railing materials, tempered glass panels are not vulnerable to surface cracking. They are safe and sturdy. And even when they do crack, they do not shatter.

4. It is highly customizable.

Wood and metal railings have permanent issues with view obstruction. With glass, you get the advantage of better transparency. When you want added privacy, you can choose frosted exterior panels for your railings.

5. Glass railings are easy to assemble.

Deck upgrades and installing new glass railings including standoff railings and base shoe railing in your patio deck is easy.

Your Railing Options Using Glass

Standoff Railings

Standoff railings provide a streamlined effect and a clear and uncluttered perspective for patios. Usually made from stainless steel material, standoffs are designed to hold glass panels from 1/2” up to 2” thick. In the installation of glass standoff railings, the glass panels are leveled in place. Their sides are drilled so the panels can be installed with the standoffs. The top caps and accessories are then installed.

Base Shoe Railing

Another way of installing the monolithic glass for patio railings is by using extruded base shoes. Usually made from aluminum, base shoes are designed to hold the tempered glass panels. The primary means for installing glass railing is through a wet glazing process. The base shoe is structurally set to the surface. Glass is placed atop a setting block in the base shoe molding. Grout, silicone, or cement is then poured on either side of the glass to hold it in place.

A dry-glaze option of installing glass is also available. In this process, glass is centered on a plastic isolator and an aluminum wedge is hammered into place to set the glass.

You can learn more about glass railings and how it can enhance your beautiful patio and home by calling the glass experts in Kelowna, Glass Project Solutions at +1 (778)760-1505.

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