Glass railings are an excellent choice for deck owners whose primary concern is the safety of their little children and pets. In traditional glass railing designs, the spaces in between the panels are minimal so little hands, feet and heads are less likely to be stuck in between. Because the panels are clear, you can both enjoy the view of your outdoor living space and watch the kids as they play, while you sit back and relax in your lounge chair.

Glass railings are aptly called “invisible railings” because the rails do not block or break up the beautiful view from the deck; instead, it works like a picture frame and showcases the scenery. There are many benefits to glass railings, but how about the disadvantages? Let’s take a closer look and find out whether an invisible glass railing is the best choice for your home.

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Glass Railings Pros

Deck railings made of glass are the latest trend in accessorizing decks. In the past, railing choices were limited to hardwoods like cedar or redwood. But many modern homes now take advantage of the cutting-edge beauty of glass railings with aluminum posts.

Here are a few reasons:

·        Low maintenance—unlike hardwoods that need regular care and maintenance, decks with glass railings do not need to be stained, treated, painted or finished to maintain their beauty and durability. This is an important benefit because decks are continuously exposed to the sun, wind and water, so weathering is inevitable, but not with glass. Glass railings almost do not need maintenance, except regular cleaning with a squeegee, soap and water.

·        Treated glass and aluminum posts do not corrode—glass panels and treated aluminum posts do not corrode when exposed to water. When using materials such as Invisirail and Invisipost, you are guaranteed unobstructed views of your decks, without having to worry that the materials will corrode over time as they are exposed to weather and water from your pool.

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·        The glass surface tolerates extreme temperatures better—not like hardwood railing materials, glass railings are not vulnerable to surface cracking. Glass railing systems like Invisirail are specially manufactured, offering excellent durability. Tempered glass panels do not shatter even when cracked, so they are safe and sturdy.

·        Highly customizable—if you are looking for added privacy, you can choose the exterior panels to be frosted. If you want more visibility, transparent glass is the best choice. View obstruction has always been a major issue with wood and metal railings.

·        Easy to assemble—glass deck railings are easy to install for both new installations and deck upgrades.

Glass Deck Railing Cons

While glass railings give traditional decks a modern twist, and they work in many different applications, there may be some factors that do not make them the best choice for a homeowner.

·        Cleaning and maintenance—you should be prepared to keep the glass panels blemish and fingerprint free by regular cleaning. The panels may be prone to smudges from kids and pets, and of course deposits and drips left by bugs and birds. While a huge difference from the high maintenance required by hardwood deck railings, you should still consider this factor.

·        Expensive—this is a factor that cannot be denied. Standard decks constructed from composite materials won’t bore a hole through your pocket, that’s true. But you should be prepared to spend extra if you decide to add glass panels to your deck rails. A 5-foot section of 3/8-inch glass can set you back $240, according to a 2014 estimate of the Family Handyman. Although the ¼-inch glass costs significantly less than the former, it may be too thin, not very durable, and not meet the local building codes.

·        Lack of privacy—while glass panels allow you to enjoy uninterrupted views of your surroundings, they also allow passersby to see you and your decking activities (not unless you have a perimeter wall that totally nulls this possibility). Fortunately, you can choose the glass panels to be frosted, especially for greater protection around hot tubs and private areas in your deck.

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Final Thoughts

When you have a view to appreciate and show off, there is no better way to go about your deck railing than by choosing glass. While there are a few negligible limitations, the benefits and advantages of having glass deck railings