When tasked with updating an old lake cabin, "Vacation House Rules” host Scott McGillivray identified a change of railing as one of the things that could transform the home. Switching out the wooden railing for glass made the view from the deck much better and made the home look more modern. Designer Debra Salmoni, who was focused on making the space more welcoming, was on board with the switch from the start. "All I see is pickets right now, so that's going to be a tremendous change," she said (via Realtor).
Glass railings are popular in modern design because they add a sleek and contemporary look to a space while providing an unobstructed view of the surroundings. They allow natural light to pass through, brightening the area and opening it up. Because glass railings can make your deck brighter and more inviting, they create a pleasant atmosphere — which leads to a more enjoyable outdoor experience. Seamless Glass Railing
Scott McGillivray is able to make the entire deck feel lighter with the new glass railing, as seen above. In addition to this aesthetic benefit, glass railings are better than pickets because they still offer a protective barrier. Their lack of openings also means you don't have to worry about dropping anything through the railing and allows you to rely on them as a wind barrier in extra breezy environments. Conversely, you have to be mindful of installing them in a hot climate because they can make the deck hotter.
The high-quality glass used in railings is incredibly strong and durable. It is resistant to cracking, chipping, and fading over time. Glass railings are also relatively low-maintenance compared to other materials, such as wood, which usually requires regular staining or painting. Termites and bug damage also won't be a concern. Just ensure the metal parts of the railing are quality and taken care of well.
On the other hand, glass railings are usually more costly, fragile, less private, and require more effort to clean. They accumulate dirt, fingerprints, and other types of marks, which means they must be cleaned more frequently cleaning compared to other railing materials to maintain their transparency and visual appeal. Glass railings also tend to be more expensive compared to other railing materials like wood or metal, especially when high-quality materials are involved.
Frame Glass Balustrade Although the tempered glass used in railings is designed to be strong and durable, it is still glass and can break under extreme force or impact. If the home is in an area prone to extreme weather conditions, glass railings on the porch might not be the best option. Lastly, glass railings provide transparency, which is great to take advantage of your beautiful view, but means you won't have privacy on your deck. If privacy is a significant concern for you, a partially opaque or completely solid railing material might be better.