Looking at the Evolution of the Rail

Looking at the Evolution of the Rail

A balcony is an integral part of a building’s façade so its design is crucial to the property’s architecture. Over the years, balcony styles have evolved to reflect changes in structural design, construction and building materials. We all remember the simple wrought iron ornate railing from the 60’s. This railing was typically welded together and drilled into a concrete base.


We then moved from wrought iron to the very popular wooden picket system. This was a far less cheaper option and builders installed this because it was easy and cost effective.

Moving on to the lattice look another inexpensive look that is still popular today. Lattice keeps the critters out and can serve as a privacy wall.


Let’s face it we’ve come a long way. Glass railing systems, whether you add a top rail or no top rail will give you a cleaner more desired look. Frame less glass balustrades uses laminated glass for added strength. If using a post, the InvisiPost is the most low profile, sleek post on the market today and I must mention that it does not compromise durability and strength with this design. That’s what makes it so impressive!

InvisiRail™ glass railing has polished edges, it’s tempered and heat soaked. This provides strength and durability. Glass is a great modern alternative to wrought iron, wood or lattice because it allows for clear views and when the sun bounces off the polished glass provides a clear beautiful clean look.

5 Custom Glass Railing Modifications

Top 5 Most Common Custom Modifications Made to InvisiRail™ Glass Railing

Here at InvisiRail™, we are all about doing everything we can to make sure you’re satisfied with your completed railing. Sometimes when trying to achieve a specific look or working with other specialty deck materials, in-stock products will not suffice. Glass, posts or hardware can all be made to custom specifications when needed to successfully complete your project. Here are the top 5 most common custom modifications made to InvisiRail™ products:

1. Glass Railing for Stairs

While standard sized panels can be used for horizontal railings, custom glass is required for staircases. Stairs can be built with various sized treads and risers depending on the project resulting in various possible stair angles. InvisiRail™ recommends that once the stair posts are installed, templates are made for glass panels to be installed down your staircase to ensure a perfect fit.

2. Sloped Deck Surface

For sloped second storey decks that use some sort of drainage system, custom glass and/or custom posts can be ordered at various heights to keep a consistent rail height despite the changing deck surface.

3. Frosted Privacy Glass

Customers use glass railing to maximize their scenic view, but this typically does not include the view of their neighbours! Frosted glass is often used to maintain privacy without needing several different railing products throughout your deck. Privacy glass is usually ordered taller than our standard 42” rail to maximize privacy.

4. Armour Stone Retaining Wall Installations

Although it is a popular outdoor building material, the uneven surface of armour stone makes it difficult to work with. Similar to sloped decks, you can use custom glass and/or posts to ensure a consistent rail height throughout your railing.

5. Knee Wall Installations

When installing a rail onto an existing knee wall, a 36” or 42” rail height may be excessive and unnecessary. Many customers purchase shorter posts and glass panels to be installed on top of their knee wall.

Note: InvisiRail™cannot guarantee that custom-made products will meet all local building codes. It is the responsibility of the installer to ensure that the materials they are using will be installed correctly and will meet the necessary building code requirements of their region.

Benefits of Standard-Sized Glass Panels

The Benefits of using “Standard-Sized Glass Panels”

Working with glass railing is different than traditional wood or aluminum railing systems. While there are many wood and aluminum based products that installers can cut on the job site, no such glass products are available. Once glass is tempered it cannot be cut or trimmed without shattering.

Some railing systems suggest installing posts first to determine the custom glass sizes that will be required. Not only is this a more expensive option, but it also prolongs the lead time of your project.

Having several standard size glass panels is a cheaper and expedited option, but how do you make these standard sizes fit on a variety of deck shapes and sizes?

Some systems incorporate top and bottom rails that allow for adjustable spacing between the post and glass (with or without additional infill). While this solves the aforementioned issue of spacing, it requires bulky posts and rails which obstruct your view.

The InvisiRail™ glass railing system uses over 20 different glass widths ranging from 11” to 70” wide in various increments. Using so many different sizes ensures all the materials for your railing will be in-stock and ready to ship right away while keeping costs to a minimum and maximizing your view.