Thoughts on plexiglass railings

homersgardenFebruary 11, 2007

I have been researching decks and decking materials. We have a large deck that looks out into a woodland. Right now the railings are super dangerous, but they do allow us to view the yard, birds etc. I am starting to think about plexiglass as an option. Any ideas on this? Do people like it? Is the cost a lot more than traditonal wood railings? What about maintanence? Thanks

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A quick google on glass deck railing will give you several systems to chose from encluding Plexiglass will scrach and discolor pretty quick even LexAnn will do that but it wont shatter on impact like plexi will.

Glass rail systems are a lot more $ then wood rail. Maintanence will be keeping them clean>dust,wind blown leaves,mildew mold in the mounting joints things like that.
But Hey thats what the Maid is for!!! John

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 6:39PM
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I have sliding door glass for my railing. I have gotten old ones that people have replaced. It is tempered glass and has the "ANSI" stamp on them.
Some of them I picked up at a local glass shop that my cousin works for. Some of them I found in the newspaper.
I have used this system for 10 years now and am in the process of adding more panels.
All you need to do is take the outside frame off of the glass.
I framed the glass in between the posts like a picture. I left about a 1/4" on each side of the glass between the posts. I used a 2X2 on each side of the glass attached to the posts and a 2X2 on both sides of the top and both sides of the bottom.
I than ran a 2X6 across the top of the glass and across the posts with the 2X2 boards attached to that.
The 2X2's are attached to the bottom of the deck also.
The finished product is almost 4 feet tall.
If you are interested, I might be able to send some pictures.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 10:08PM
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Like Hyatt says, plexiglas and polycarbonate (aka Lexan) are soft plastics and scratch very easily. Plexiglas is easily shattered however Lexan is unbreakable. The problem is that both clear plexiglas and lexan fade (turn white) when exposed to sunlight.

Your best bet for a see-through railing is tempered glass or a railing made of stainless steel cable. I recommend the cable railing for many reasons. Do a google for cable railing.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 10:14PM
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I love Plexiglass and have had Plexiglass panels on a south facing pool deck for 15 years. Real Plexiglas does NOT fade or yellow, I just hose it off and use plastic cleaner to polish out the scuffs. Once a year I use pure car wax (no buffing element in it) to keep the surface slick and easy to maintain.

A panel did break (during a wild pool game) and it split into 2 pieces - you can handle broken plexi with your bare hands. You cannot tell which panel is the replacement piece.

Lexan will get hazy after 5-7 years but is so strong you can throw an ax at it. Plexiglas is perfect for clear fencing IMHO. But yes it scratches, but you can polish it out easily.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ridout Plastics -

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 2:15PM
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rays-ford: I am very interested in seeing those photos. Would you be kind to post them? or you can email them to me at

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:59PM
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