Are you confused about how to order Deckorators® Cable Railing? This guide explains the basic components that are used in this cable railing system.
Of course, your own deck layout will determine the actual number and type of components you'll need.
TAKE NOTE: A cable railing installation project is best handled by an experienced DIYer or a professional. If you aren’t familiar with deck-building practices and terms such as “on-center post spacing,” we recommend consulting a pro.
If you still have questions, our customer service team is ready to assist.
1. Choose a top rail
Deckorators offers Top Rail Kits for horizontal railings and stair railings. These kits are available in 6-foot and 8-foot lengths, and that’s on-center post spacing.
The Top Rail kit comes with 1 or 2 cable spacers that are predrilled for cable plus hardware. The spacer(s) is installed in the middle of the railing section and supports the cables. Note that you may need to trim the stair spacer(s).
Horizontal Top Rail Kits come in 36-inch and 42-inch heights.
Stair Top Rail Kits come in a 42-inch height and the spacer(s) can be cut down to fit a 36-inch height.
TIP: Because the Top Rail is 6 or 8 feet on center, if you need to trim it, cut equal amounts from both ends. This is because the rail is predrilled for the cable spacer(s).
2. Choose your posts
You will need 1 post for every top rail kit you purchase, plus 1. For example, if you buy 4 top rail kits, you will need 5 posts. If you buy 7 top rail kits, you'll need 8.
The number and type of posts you’ll need depends on your deck layout. Posts can accommodate 10 or 12 cables, depending on post height.
Posts are predrilled with holes for cables, so you don’t have to worry about aligning and drilling. The fittings that secure and keep the cables tight are hidden inside the posts, so your railing will look sleek.
Each post comes with a matching post cap and skirt. Note that if you wish, you can replace the post cap with a different Deckorators ALX Post Cap, sold separately.
Posts can be trimmed with a miter or circular saw.
You will need to purchase fasteners to secure posts to deck.
There are 5 types of cable rail posts.
Cables running through line posts and cable spacers.
This post is used between End or Corner posts. Cables run straight through this post.
Cable runs start and terminate at an End Post
You will start and end a cable run with an End Post. You’ll need at least 2 End Posts, one at the beginning and one at the end of the particular cable run. You may need more, depending on your design. End posts are also used at the top of stairs.
Use this post when the cables need to turn more than 45°. The Corner Post has an insert that absorbs the weight of the cable tension. You’ll also get 2 threading needles to help thread the cables through the corner. You’ll only need one post per corner.
For stair railings, you will need special posts for the middle and end of the railing. Use a regular End Post at the top of the stair railing.
This post is installed between the top and bottom posts. The predrilled holes on this post are elongated to align with the stair angle.
You will need 2 Stair End Posts at the bottom of the stair railing (one per side). These posts are installed on the bottom stair riser.
Unlike other Deckorators Cable Rail Posts, this post is predrilled on one side only. This is the side where you’ll pull the cables through and terminate the run.
Because the holes on the opposing side will need to align with your stair incline angle, you’ll need to drill these holes yourself.
3. Choose your cables
Deckorators stainless steel cable is sold in kits that contain a single cable plus fittings and the hardware you'll need to install it. Cable is sold in precut lengths and is available in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, and 50 ft. lengths. The beauty of having precut lengths is that you'll waste less cable.
You will need one Cable Hardware Kit per row. 36-inch posts will have 10 rows of cable. 42-inch posts will have 12 rows of cable.
Each Cable comes with a pre-attached threaded stud on one end. The Cable Hardware Kit also includes a swageless pull-lock fitting to tighten the cable, plastic spacer, stainless steel washer, brass locknut, and cap. These parts are hidden inside the post once installed. The cap is used on the outside of an End Post to cover the trimmed end of cable.
Each Cable Kit comes with a stainless steel button to cover the trimmed cable end.
Helpful to have
Mandrel & Cut Off Wheel Pack
The Wheel attaches to your drill and lets you cut cable flush without damaging the post and will ensure that the trim cap fits snugly.
Cable Release Key
If you make a mistake (it happens!) and need to release the cable tension, you need this Key.
Don't use rusty tools. They can leave carbon deposits deposits on the surface of fittings that can rust and discolor your railing. Manufacturer recommends using new chrome-plated tools.
Clean well after installation. Clean the entire railing after it’s installed. Remove carbon deposits from the surface of stainless steel parts by cleaning them completely with a stainless steel cleaner and a soft cloth.
And, of course, be sure to follow the manufacturer's complete instructions.