What do you need to know when buying side mounted railing?

Fascia, also known as side mount, railing systems embrace safety, practicality and stylishness and are becoming an increasingly popular option for home owners and contractors alike. If space is a limited resource or if the look and structural integrity of a floor must be kept in tact, a side mount may be an especially good alternative to other systems.

The typical choice for a handrail is too often a top, or deck mount. Top mounted railings are easy to install, cheap to produce and therefore inexpensive to purchase. However, top mounted railing systems are not always a feasible option when space is limited. When you are a proud owner of a small balcony it can be disappointing to have your guardrail taking up half of your space. The same can be said for a narrow staircase or ramp. A fascia guardrail maximizes square footage because they are attached to the side of your structure and take up no deck space.

Other practical benefits include safety and longevity. Side mounted systems are sturdier owing to the fact that the side or end of a beam is innately a stronger area to secure your posts. Additionally, attaching to the perimeter of your structure may be an appealing option if water damage is a concern. Since the floor space would remain untouched by drilling, screws or other hardware, water will be unable to seep through gaps or worn areas. They also naturally drain accumulating water off buildings or staircases, which can help prevent mold or rot.

There are aesthetic differences that some prefer over top mounted posts. Because the base of the post is hidden, the handrails appear to rise seamlessly from the edge of a structure and easily integrates into an existing structure. Some believe this enhances the surrounding architecture or landscape and does not obstruct a view.

Glass infill is a great option for maintaining a seamless look on an outdoor deck, balcony, or overlook. Glass railing will create an invisible barrier that won’t obscure a phenomenal view. Glass is available in many different shades, thicknesses, and even patterns. Glass and stainless steel railings do not require a top rail but it is possible to mount one with post mounted handrail brackets. A top rail on a glass railing system frames the glass panels and offers a nice finished look.

Glass panels can often be expensive depending on which type of glass is used. Stainless steel cable railings as infill in some cases may be more cost effective. Cable systems are very easy to install and need little attention over time. After the initial installation the cables may need to be re-tensioned after they have had time to settle. Beyond a quick re-tensioning they are very care free. Whereas glass panels require regular cleaning in order to maintain the seamless clear view. Inline Design offers options for both cable and glass infill with our fascia posts.

Stainless steel railing is a great application for exterior surfaces. There are two grades of stainless steel that are commonly used in stainless steel railing, 304 and 316. 316 stainless steel has a higher corrosion resistance rating. Typically, 316 steel is recommended for any application that is within five miles of saltwater. 304 stainless is acceptable for all other exterior and indoor uses. Inline Design products are exclusively 316 stainless throughout the line.

There are, of course, a few drawbacks to these railing systems. They are generally more expensive than mounting options. If you are on a budget, carefully consider the cost versus the needs of your home. Installation can be a bit tricky as well and will definitely require at least two people. Moreover, if anything is hanging over the side of your structure, such as a rain gutter or an overhanging lip, securing anything to an outer edge may not be an option. Regardless, fascia or side mounted railing systems are an increasing part of architectural landscapes and are a fine option for your home or business.

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