How much do glass railings cost?
$150 – $600 cost per linear foot installed
Average glass railings cost
A glass stair railing costs $150 to $600 per linear foot installed, depending on the glass thickness, glass finish, type of hardware, and design complexity. Outdoor glass deck railings cost slightly more than interior glass stair railings because they use thicker glass and stainless-steel poles and hardware.
|Railing length (linear feet)||Average installed cost|
|5||$750 – $3,000|
|10||$1,500 – $6,000|
|20||$3,000 – $12,000|
|25||$3,750 – $15,000|
|30||$4,500 – $18,000|
|35||$5,250 – $21,000|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Glass stair railings are strong, durable, and transparent, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. The clear panels maximize your view of the surrounding scenery.
Glass stair railing cost
An interior glass stair railing costs $150 to $600 per linear foot installed. The glass stair railing system includes glass panels, stainless steel or aluminum posts, and hardware to connect the glass panels to the posts. Curved stair railings are more difficult and costly to install than straight staircase railings.
Glass deck railing cost
Exterior glass deck railings cost about the same as or slightly more than interior stair railings. While you may spend more on durable materials like thicker glass and stainless-steel posts for an exterior railing, you will spend less on labor since a rectangular deck is easier to frame than an interior staircase.
Glass railing system pricing
Glass railing materials cost $100 to $400 per linear foot for the posts, glass panels, and attachment hardware. Installation labor adds another $50 to $200 per linear foot.
|Posts||$40 – $100 per post|
|Glass panels||$80 – $200 per linear foot|
|Hardware||$10 – $100 per linear foot|
|Labor||$50 – $200 per linear foot|
Framed glass railings are the most affordable and common system using standard tempered glass panels.
Frameless glass railings are more costly and feature thicker glass that is custom manufactured for each opening between the posts.
Glass railing cost factors
The cost of a glass railing depends on the quality, style, and size of the railing. Other installation factors that impact the cost include:
Glass thickness – Most standard panels are 3/8" thick, but ½", ¾", and 1" thick panels are better for longer panels and areas prone to wind-driven debris.
Glass panel length – Longer panels cost less per linear foot than shorter panels, but if your panels are 5 feet or longer, you will likely need a minimum ½' thickness at a higher cost.
Glass finish – Tinted, etched, or frosted glass increases costs by 10% to 15%.
Glass height – Glass panels are typically 36" to 42" in height but can extend up to 6 feet tall. The tallest panels cost about $5 more per linear foot than the standard height.
Edge treatments – Glass panels can be rounded, polished, or beveled, which increases material costs.
Pre-drilling – Manufacturers can pre-drill fastener holes or bracket notches in the factory for a surplus fee. The custom holes slow down delivery times but reduce labor costs since the panels are faster and easier to install.
Top rails – Glass railings using full panels eliminate the need for a top rail. Including a top rail for holding onto or resting a glass on increases costs by 15% to 20%.
Posts – Posts are available in several materials, with stainless steel being the most costly and durable. Aluminum posts are also popular since they cost a bit less and are still exceptionally durable.
Accessories – Upgraded post caps, post lights, and glass gates add to the project cost.
Railing shape – Glass railings for rectangular decks are the simplest to install, while curved shapes are more complex with higher installation costs.
Glass railing hardware prices
A glass railing system using pre-cut and pre-measured glass panels is easier to install. Railings that come with glass clamps pre-attached make the installation cheaper. The specific hardware you need will depend on the local building codes and whether you're installing the railing system indoors or outdoors.
|Handrail||$100 – $200 per linear foot||A horizontal support rail for walking up or down stairs|
|Top rail||$50 – $100 per linear foot||Above the handrail for added support and safety|
|Clamp||$10 – $20 each||Attaches glass panels to the posts|
|End cap||$5 – $10 each||Covers the ends of the glass panels|
|Shoe molding||$5 – $10 each||A piece of trim that covers the gap between the glass panels and posts|
|Handrail bracket||$10 – $20 each||Attaches the handrail to the glass panels|
|Posts||$40 – $100 each||Vertical support that holds up a glass railing system|
*Material prices do not include installation.
Labor cost to install glass railings
The labor cost to install glass railings is $50 to $200 per linear foot. Some railing installers charge by the hour, with rates of $50 to $150 per hour to install a stair railing. Installation takes from a few hours to a few days depending on the project. Alternative labor options include:
A general contractor charges $50 to $100 per hour for projects that are part of a larger remodel.
A handyman charges $50 to $80 per hour for simple railing installations.
Glass railing FAQs
Which glass is best for stair railings?
Tempered glass is the most common type of glass used for stair railings since it is strong, durable, and shatter-resistant. If tempered glass breaks, it breaks into small, blunt pieces that are less likely to cause injury.
Can glass railings break?
Glass railings rarely break since they are made with heat-treated, tempered glass that is stronger than standard glass. Glass panels for interior stair railings are 3/8" thick, while exterior glass railings that must withstand the elements and backyard dangers like sports balls will often use thicker ½" to 1" panels.
Getting estimates from glass railing installers
Follow these recommendations when searching for a glass railing installer near you:
Compare multiple estimates featuring the same post and glass panel materials.
Hire only a licensed, bonded, and insured railing installer with 5+ years of glass railing experience.
Look at the online reviews from past clients on HomeGuide and Google.
Request a written estimate, contract, and warranty information before paying a deposit.
Negotiate a payment plan rather than paying the full cost before the project is done.
Questions to ask
When deciding on the best stair installer for your project, it helps to get answers to these important questions:
How long have you been installing glass stair railings?
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Will you install the railing with your own crew or hire subcontractors?
What post material do you recommend for my exterior glass railing, and why?
Does your quote include removing and disposing of my existing railing?
How long will the glass railing installation take?
Will you protect the surrounding surfaces from damage during the railing project?