How to Build a Glass Deck Railing

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Tempered glass
Quarter round bumpers
Wood glue
Drill bits
Self sticking bumpers

Homeowners who enjoy relaxing on an enclosed deck with friends or family, might enjoy a glass deck railing that give them a more panoramic view of the landscape. This type of railing will not only give them an enhanced view such as a spectacular sunset, but will also provide a safe barrier for those inside the railing. If you wish to add this type of railing you will need adequate tools, materials and instructions.

Step 1 – Check Local Building Codes

Before beginning your project check local codes that may regulate glass deck railing construction. If you find no codes that regulate this type of construction, you will be able to build your deck railing to suit your individual taste. In general, you should limit railing edges and vertical post gaps to 4 inches. Minimum height for your railing should be 36 inches.

Step 2 – Arrange Top and Bottom Deck Rails

If an older deck rail exists, remove its balusters, allowing top and bottom decks rails to remain in place. Check to be sure your old deck has a bottom rail, as well as top rail. If the bottom rail is missing, cut one that will resemble the existing top rail, then attach it to nails or screws.

Step 3 – Order Your Glass

Before ordering your tempered glass, keep in mind that the glass will need to fit in the space between your deck posts. Unless you already know these space dimensions, measure this space and make a note of the measurements, both width and height. When you order your glass, give this dimensions to the glass vendor and request that the glass edges be ground. This will allow you to handle these panels without risk of causing cuts or injuries.

Step 4 – Install and Stain Your Quarter Rounds

Before installing your glass you'll need to install your quarter round pieces. First, stain them to match the color of your wood finish. When they are dry, add a sealer. Then, apply a small bead of wood glue along the surface where you plan to install your quarter round pieces. Finally, press the quarter round pieces onto the glue, and use finish nails and you hammer to attach the pieces.

Step 5 – Prepare your Bottom Rail

To allow water that collects between the glass and the wood to drain off, drill holes in the bottom rail surface near the quarter round. When finished, use a brush or dry rag to clean off all dust and debris from the wood surfaces. Then, attach to the top and bottom rails your vinyl bumpers. These should be attached where the glass will make contact with them.

Step 6 – Install Your Glass

Place your glass on the bottom rail and up against the outside quarter round, so it will hold your glass solidly in place. Finally, place your final quarter round against the glass surface. Be sure the quarter round is stained and sealed, and that the stain and seal are dry. Then, nail the quarter round in place, snugly fit against the glass.