Vertical Vs Horizontal Cable Railing

After spending hours and hours on narrowing down the decking, railing, and deck lighting options for your outdoor living space; there still may be more questions you find along the way. One of the most common questions we hear from customers throughout designing their space is, "Why would I choose vertical or horizontal cable deck railing?"

Cable deck railing systems such as Feeney CableRail and Skyline Cable Railing are huge in popularity

While horizontal steel cable railing lines have been growing in popularity for nearly a decade and a half, popular lines such as Feeney CableRail and Feeney DesignRail now have new competition in the market. Metal horizontal cable railing brands such as Key-Link Cable, Fortress Cable, and Skyline Cable Railing are now being ranked against their hip new counterpart - vertical cable railing.

Vertical Cable Vs Horizontal Cable Railing

Visually striking and incredibly eye-catching, vertical cable railing lines such as Fortress V-Series Vertical Cable, Westbury VertiCable, and Key-Link Vertical Cable can create a completely unique deck railing design with ease.

Sold in complete kitted railing sections, vertical cable railings can be mounted between their proprietary metal deck posts as well as existing wood deck posts. Similar to standard stainless steel cable railings, these upright steel cable rail lines reinforced with stainless steel support rods.

How To Choose Between Vertical And Horizontal Cable Railings For Your Deck?

Perfect for the inside or out, choose a vertical cable railing or horizontal cable railing today

Good Opportunities for a Vertical Cable Railing System

1) Backyards with lots of tall trees.
Homeowners with many tall trees in their surrounding yard will enjoy the wide, open views that vertical cable will deliver. An added bonus is that the lines of the vertical system will draw the eyes upwards towards the foliage and natural canopy enhancing the overall vista.

2) Homes with tall, distinctive features.
Houses boasting towering windows, strong and stately columns, or lofty peaks will receive a gorgeous additional note of style when selecting vertical cable railing. Allowing guests to peer beyond the outdoor railing easily while the sleek, stainless steel cable runs mesh well with the architectural details.

3) Indoor staircases in homes with minimalist decor style.
Installing these systems as indoor stair railings and balcony barriers can be a phenomenal choice for homeowners with a sleek, clutter-free sense of style. Providing a unique overall look without over-powering the surrounding details, metal vertical cable railings deliver a new touch of intention.

4) Decks where small children will play.
With kids around, safety is always a consideration. Some homeowners avoid cable railing out of a fear that kids could climb a horizontal railing like a ladder - a safety hazard as well as a potential cause of damage to railing sections or cable runs. While properly-tensioned horizontal cable railing setups are plenty safe as long as kids are supervised, vertical cable railing systems eliminate this worry entirely.

Vertical cable railings draw the eyes upwards to heighten the space of your outdoor living area

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When would you choose horizontal cable railing over vertical cable railing lines

Good Opportunities for a Horizontal Cable Railing System

1) Backyard views with wide open vistas such as mountains, lakes, or fields.
Homes situated in open, unrestricted swathes of nature will greatly benefit from the installation of horizontal cable railing. The thin stainless steel wire runs nearly fade from view once added keeping the railing section appearing nearly clear.

2) Outdoor living spaces with a large, wide deck space.
Backyard seating areas with vast, extensive reaches will look best with horizontal cable rails rather than a vertical cable look.

3) Homeowners living in an urban, city setting.
For rooftop decks and balconies in a more bustling urban area, horizontal cable railing is a stronger design choice for a deck railing. Many would think that a vertical line would blend in well with the cityscape beyond, however, this look could be overwhelming. Instead, a horizontal line draws the eye across the skyscrapers and tall buildings beyond.

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Learn more about the basics of how to install deck railing in the Deck Railing Guide. To learn the specific deck parts and become a true pro, read more in the Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide. The quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a strong, composite railing line.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new start or a fresh end-of-season deck renovation, give our deck designers a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at Our deck experts will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for a gorgeous deck that you created and designed!