Planning your cable railing project - Gauthier De LaPlante

Planning your cable railing project

There are different options for completing a balustrade or railing project with stainless steel cable. For exterior projects, you need to make sure that the parts (turnbuckles, fasteners and the cable) are made of marine grade stainless steel 316 to prevent corrosion.

GauthierDeLaPlante offers a wide selection of hardware for the installation of cable railings. All of our products are top quality marine grade stainless steel and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor projects. Here's how to quickly determine the materials you need to complete your cable railing project.

 4 easy steps
1 - Select the type of posts (Metal post or timber posts)
2 - Determine the number of sections (between 2 end posts)
3 - Calculate the number of cable runs per section
4 - Select your cable railing systems

1 - Select the type of posts (Metal post or timber posts)
Different factors can be taken into account when choosing to install cable railing with wooden posts or with metal posts, including the design and architecture of your home, durability, maintenance, the price of materials, etc. Regardless of the type of structure that suits you, you will need to choose a cable railing system accordingly (see step 4).

Cable railing with wood posts
We have all the hardware in stock. You can order directly on our website.

Cable railing with aluminum posts
We have all the hardware in stock. Production of aluminum post and handrail is custom made. Contact us for a quote:

2 - Determine the number of sections
A cable railing assembly allows you to tension a cable run between 2 end posts. The wire rope can pass through all the intermediate posts of your section. Depending on the types of tensioners chosen, it is possible to tension a straight line up to 60 feet /18M.

Here is a sketch that allows you to visualize the number of sections of a deck, taking into consideration the straight sections and the angled sections for the stairs.

Some decks may have more sections depending on their design. If your patio is not built yet, we recommend that you plan the longest sections possible to minimize the quantity of tensioners and fasteners.

3 - Calculate the number of cable runs per section
Generally speaking, to comply with building code regulations in your jurisdiction (Canada or USA), a maximum distance of 4” must be allowed between each cable runs. In most building codes around the world, rules require that a 4” sphere should not be able to pass through any gap in a railing system.

In most jurisdictions, if your guardrail is to be installed indoor the height of the guardrail must be at least 36’’.

If your cable guard rail is installed on an outdoor patio that is less than 6 feet high, the height of the railing must be at least 36” high. If your exterior railing is installed on a structure over 6 feet high, the height of the railing must be 42”. In any case, we recommend you check with local authorities for guardrail height requirements.

Depending on the design of your railing, here are some guidelines to determine the number of runs you should install:

36’’ Railing : 7-8 cable runs
42 ‘’Railing : 9-10 cable runs

 4- Select your cable railing systems
You should select a cable railing system based on your setup (short or long sections), your budget and the desired look. The most robust assembly kits can tension up to 60 feet / 18M. In this case, we recommend the Classic cable railing system or the Sailing cable railing system.

Here is an overview of tensioner systems for wood posts or metal posts. In each of the diagrams, there are sets that are specifically designed for straight sections or angled sections for stairs. Some sets require a crimper during installation (Nautica and Marina).

REMINDER - Calculating the amount of wire rope required
It is very simple to calculate the quantity of stainless steel wire rope, no matter the project. We simply take the total number of linear feet of railings by the number of cable runs.

In regards to the features deck above, there are 56 linear feet of guardrail:
56 linear feet x 8 runs = 448 linear feet of wire rope