Stainless steel cable railing systems are frequently installed in marine (saltwater), beachfront and freshwater locations due to their long-lasting properties. Various grades of the metal, such as 304, 316, 316L and 317L, provide superior protection against corrosion. A great example of a stainless steel cable railing project that showcases the durable aspects of the material comes from Jeffrey, an Inline Design customer.
Initially, Jeffrey reached out to Inline Design with a rough sketch of an unfinished deck for a summer home on Frye Island, Maine. The scenic location is surrounded by wide lakes, making 316 stainless steel a suitable material for the cable railing system. Compared to other grades of stainless steel, 316 contains small amounts of molybdenum – at roughly 2% of its overall composition. This unique addition ensures reliable corrosion resistance in marine locations.
Jeffrey’s project included the following cable railing components:
The foundation of the outdoor deck is wood, with two short stairways leading to the entrance and exit. Stainless steel with wood is an elegant combination, for individuals looking to add sleek components to serene, organic spaces. In addition to contributing to the aesthetic elements of the home, the cable railing marks the boundaries of the deck and serves as a safety barrier (the deck is raised to deter potential flooding). Opting for thin, stainless steel wire ropes as the infills of the railing system is ideal for promoting openness. Individuals can be sitting, standing or looking out the window from the inside of the home and still be treated to transparent, unobstructed views of the surrounding location.
As for the stairway leading up to the entrance, this section of the deck utilized round end posts at the top and bottom of the stairs. The components were fascia-mounted on the side of the stairway. Angled top rails and wire ropes can also be found on one side of the stairway, completing this section of the assembly. For a seamless transition, the top rail of the stairway connects to the rest of the railing system on the deck via a stainless steel angled tube.
On the deck, round end posts were mounted on the floor with a round base cover for extra protection. Mid posts were also setup along the system, which supports the horizontal cable runs. Like the stairway, round top rails were added to the assembly. At foundational parts of the railing system, the top rails were wall-mounted to vertical wood beams (also protected by round base covers).
At the end of the installation, Jeffrey was advised to apply a passivation solution on the surface of the cable railing system. This crucial step reinforces 316 stainless steel, making the material highly resilient against scratches, pitting and corrosion. When applied properly (and depending on the environment), a single coating can last up to three years. In locations that experience harsh weather, the passivation solution must be applied every six months to a year.