Loading

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Ready to Start Your Project?

How to Install Glass Deck Railing Systems

All glass used for deck rails must be safety-tempered and shatter-resistant. Also, always make sure that all the edges of the glass are polished to prevent anyone from getting cut. Before building a glass deck rail, you should check with your local building department to enquire about any local restrictions. Most deck builders use tinted glass to match the house windows and as a deterrent to birds accidentally hitting them.

You may need to do some research to find a local glass company that can manufacture a custom glass order for you. Glass is priced as a commodity that does fluctuate in price. You should be able to buy glass for a deck rail for about $40 per lineal foot. When ordering, you will need to provide the exact measurements of each piece and the thickness. Using glass railing is an interesting choice that wonderfully preserves views. However, glass is very expensive and is only used in selected positions around the deck.

Installing glass rails will usually require you to build the rail frame first and take precise measurements to custom order the tempered safety glass. Because glass is very heavy, we recommend spacing the rail posts no more than 5 feet apart. Using a wood top and bottom rail, you will need to create a channel to place the glass in by using a router. The channel will usually be 3/8” thick and 1/2” deep to support the glass. You will need to subtract about 3” from both sides of the opening when ordering the glass to leave space for your hands during installation. Sometimes, it makes sense to install a piece of blocking or a brace under long rail spans for extra support. Installing tempered glass into stair rails is possible but very difficult. If you are going to try this, you should trace the opening on a large piece of cardboard to make sure you get the angles right. 

Glass Deck Railings
Glass Deck Railings

Popular Railings Articles
Deck Railing Types

Glass Rails

Installing glass rails will usually require you to build the rail frame first and take precise measurements to custom order the tempered safety glass...

Railing Codes

Installing Deck Stair Railings

Step-by-step instructions for how to install deck stair railings. Learn about the code requirements and construction tips with images.

Deck Railing Types

Metal Railings

Learn about metal guard rail systems for decks.

Next Step: Features Articles
Benches, Planters & Skirting

Deck Skirting and Fascia

Skirting can be an attractive feature that can be added to any low-level deck.

Lighting

How to Install Recessed Stair Lighting

Step-by-step instructions for how to install low-voltage lights on your deck stair risers.

Outdoor Ideas

7 Outdoor Storage Ideas & Tips

Free up valuable space in your home with outdoor storage options. Find unique ideas for outdoor storage as well as some tips for organizing at Decks.com.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox
More Helpful Resources

Explore Articles by Topic

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Deck Railing Types

How to Install Glass Deck Railing Systems

All glass used for deck rails must be safety-tempered and shatter-resistant. Also, always make sure that all the edges of the glass are polished to prevent anyone from getting cut. Before building a glass deck rail, you should check with your local building department to enquire about any local restrictions. Most deck builders use tinted glass to match the house windows and as a deterrent to birds accidentally hitting them.

You may need to do some research to find a local glass company that can manufacture a custom glass order for you. Glass is priced as a commodity that does fluctuate in price. You should be able to buy glass for a deck rail for about $40 per lineal foot. When ordering, you will need to provide the exact measurements of each piece and the thickness. Using glass railing is an interesting choice that wonderfully preserves views. However, glass is very expensive and is only used in selected positions around the deck.

Installing glass rails will usually require you to build the rail frame first and take precise measurements to custom order the tempered safety glass. Because glass is very heavy, we recommend spacing the rail posts no more than 5 feet apart. Using a wood top and bottom rail, you will need to create a channel to place the glass in by using a router. The channel will usually be 3/8” thick and 1/2” deep to support the glass. You will need to subtract about 3” from both sides of the opening when ordering the glass to leave space for your hands during installation. Sometimes, it makes sense to install a piece of blocking or a brace under long rail spans for extra support. Installing tempered glass into stair rails is possible but very difficult. If you are going to try this, you should trace the opening on a large piece of cardboard to make sure you get the angles right. 

Glass Deck Railings
Glass Deck Railings

Popular Railings Articles
Deck Railing Types

Glass Rails

Installing glass rails will usually require you to build the rail frame first and take precise measurements to custom order the tempered safety glass...

Deck Railing Types

Top 18 Deck Railing Ideas & Designs

Railings add the finishing touch to your deck. Get inspired by these deck railing ideas and styles from Decks.com and make your outdoor space unique.

Deck Railing Types

How to Choose the Right Deck Railing

As one of the most visible elements of a deck, railings add support, safety and style. Get tips for choosing the right deck railing at Decks.com.

Next Step: Features Articles
Benches, Planters & Skirting

Deck Skirting and Fascia

Skirting can be an attractive feature that can be added to any low-level deck.

Outdoor Ideas

7 Outdoor Storage Ideas & Tips

Free up valuable space in your home with outdoor storage options. Find unique ideas for outdoor storage as well as some tips for organizing at Decks.com.

Outdoor Ideas

The 9 Best Porch Swings for 2022

Porch swings are a great way to add charm and comfort to any home. Get our recommendations for how to choose the best porch swing.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

More Helpful Resources