Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT TYPE OF MATERIAL IS INVISARAIL®?
The thin vertical rods are made from 304 stainless steel and the support channel is aluminum with a 204 clear satin anodized finish after fabrication. The damper is commercial grade rubber. Screws are 304 stainless.
2. WHAT IS THE GENERAL MAINTENANCE OF INVISARAIL®?
InvisARail® requires very little maintenance, if any. By letting the stainless steel weather naturally, it will "dull out," creating less reflection. This will keep the low-luster finish for the deck railing, which helps it to blend in with the environment. This means more transparency and no polishing. If you are near salt spray, we recommend cleaning with a mild detergent and clean water rinse to avoid build-up. See Care Instructions.
3. IS INVISARAIL® A FULL RAILING SYSTEM?
No. InvisARail® is only an "in-fill" system similar to some deck cable railings. You can use this alternative to vertical cable rail systems with any of your favorite railings, which allow you to screw into the underside of the top rail, and the top side of the bottom rail securely. (For example, it is not recommended to fasten into a vinyl railing and rely only on the vinyl without some type of interior support. This is the responsibility of the installer.)
4. WHY DO YOU HAVE 6FT AND 8FT SUPPORT CHANNELS ONLY?
To create the most efficient system. Our field-testing with deck builders and contractors revealed these two lengths to be optimal. Furthermore, most railing manufacturers use these same lengths.
5. DO YOUR BALUSTERS COME IN DIFFERENT LENGTHS?
Only one length – 30". Again, keeping it simple. This will cover most rails. With built-up rails it may raise rail height, but why build-up a rail when objective is to keep it low profile and see through it?
6. LIKE VERTICAL CABLE DECK RAILINGS, DOES THE TOP RAIL NEED TO BE ESPECIALLY STRONG TO WITHSTAND SAGGING OR BOWING OR REQUIRE INTERMEDIATE SUPPORT?
No. Unlike vertical cable deck railings, where there is no support under the top rail, InvisARail® will actually support the top rail. Once InvisARail® is locked together, it actually ADDS more vertical support strength to your rail system, as well as firmly resists lift.
7. LIKE CABLE RAILINGS, DO MY NEWEL POST NEED TO WITHSTAND ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF TENSION?
No, you (or your contractor) will build your rails similar to what you are used to. No special heavy-duty newel supports. We're keeping it simple! Vertical cable railings require 300 to 400lbs of tension for each cable. That can be more than 3,000lbs pulling on your newel post. Wow!
8. LIKE VERTICAL DECK CABLE RAILINGS, DO I NEED TO CONTINUALLY CHECK AND ADJUST TENSION?
No, once it is assembled, the InvisARail® railing in-fill system is set and never needs adjusted. This however does not mean that this rail or any rail should be neglected of being inspected for wear and tear, abuse, defects or improper installation. Railings should be inspected twice a year minimum for your safety.
9. DO I NEED SPECIAL TOOLS TO INSTALL INVISARAIL®?
No, most standard tools will do the job. You will need a drill, screw gun, saw to cut aluminum (for cutting aluminum, it is best with a chop saw with fine tooth blade), and utility knife. The most important tools are your safety glasses, so you can later see through your new InvisARail®, and hearing protection so you can later hear your guests tell you how they love your new railing.
10. DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT ORDERING SHORT?
No worries, unlike cable railings and glass panels, if you order, "short," you could waste a lot of money. If you order InvisARail® short, just add more balusters and support channel. Or return your "over order," if in resalable condition. InvisARail® takes the stress out of it.
11. HOW DO I ORDER FOR STAIRS, AND HOW DO I HANDLE THE DIFFERENT PITCHES?
This is the greatest part of InvisARail®. You will use the same baluster rod and support channel for the level and for the stairs. How GREAT is that! Unlike vertical cable deck railing, you will NOT need special fittings for stair pitches. It doesn't get any simpler.
12. I NEED A GATE. CAN I KEEP THE LOOK OF THE RAIL FOR CONSISTENCY?
Yes. We have a "GATE SUPPORT ROD," which will hold the gate square and level and is made of the same thin stainless steel rod material – keeping in sync with the style of the InvisARail® design. Once installed, there is no adjustment of this diagonal support.
13. SHOULD I BUILD MY DECK FIRST THEN MEASURE EXACTLY TO BE SAFE?
No worriers. Unlike cable deck railing, the InvisARail® system is designed to be forgiving. If you need more rail length it is just a few more parts. If you "over order,"then they can be returned if in resalable condition. We know things change as you build, but now this concern is eliminated. If you go cable however, then just don't be short! Besides, it costs money to come back and finish a deck, not to mention leaving railings off for an extended period is a safety concern.
14. VERTICAL CABLE RAILINGS HAVE SO MANY PARTS NEEDED TO CONSIDER, I'M CONFUSED, HOW MANY PARTS DOES INVISARAIL® HAVE?
We love this question. Basically two. The long lasting anodized aluminum support channel and the stainless steel baluster rod.
15. WHAT IS THE SPACING OF INVISARAIL'S® PRE-SPACED BALUSTER RODS?
3"-on-center. This allows for some flex in the rods for the intention of the 4" space requirement by code.
16. MY SKILLS ARE LIMITED, DO I NEED TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL?
If you are handy around the house and have the required tools, then this should be no problem for you. Please read the instructions on PDF…SAFETY FIRST. However, if you don't know what end of the tool to use, I would hire a professional.
17. I WANT CURVED RAILS ON MY DECK, CAN INVISARAIL® FOLLOW CURVES?
Yes, the best ways to manage curves is to see our PDF under the ASSEMBLY / INSTALLATION section
18. I HEARD ABOUT THE "LADDER EFFECT," SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
That term was used when discussing the potential dangers of kids climbing over rails because of horizontal cable or boards (using them as "steps" on a ladder). This was not proven to be a true factor. However, InvisARail® is designed with vertical baluster rods and eliminates that concern altogether.
19. I'M A CONTRACTOR. TO SAVE VALUABLE TIME ON ESTIMATES, CAN I PRICE THIS OUT PER RUNNING FOOT?
Absolutely! Since it is the same parts continually along the railing, the incremental cost is very consistent. However with the old style of deck cable railings, you could get crushed using unit cost with all the different variables.
20. I'M A CONTRACTOR, AND SINCE I WILL BE A REPEAT CUSTOMER, DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS?
Yes we appreciate contractors. Please fill in the CONTRACTOR'S VERIFICATION FORM and submit. After verifying you are a contractor, you will be assign your own discount code to be used exclusively for your company.
21. I'M CONSIDERING DECK CABLE RAILING, HOW DOES INVISARAIL® COMPARE TO CABLE RAILING'S COST?
Let's look at material cost first. When doing one straight run only, horizontal cable deck railing is probably your better bet. If you are doing railing like on most decks with angles and stairs, InvisARail® will usually cost 30% to sometimes 40% less. Keep in mind the variables of the market place. The labor is the other savings. With the pre-spaced support channel, and our revolutionary "Hook-n-Drop" system, you're zooming along.
22. HOW MANY BALUSTER RODS SHOULD I FIGURE PER FOOT?
4 per foot (3"-on-centers). Remember when ordering, only order what you need between the newel posts and not the lengths of the support channels that you ordered. You will most likely be cutting the support channels to fit the openings –reducing the number of baluster rods required.
23. I SAW OTHER DECK CABLE RAILINGS RUN VERTICALLY, IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INVISARAIL® AND DECK CABLE RAILING SYSTEMS?
Vertical deck cable can be very expensive because of all the fittings and is labor intensive because you are constantly trying to adjust vertical cable rail to equal tension. The top and bottom rail have to be extremely stiff to overcome the tension required by the cables. This was the foundation to the invention of the InvisARail® transparent in-fill system. This is our solution that solved the high cost, ladder effect of horizontal cable deck railing, as well as the need for extra strong rails combined together with the slowness of installation.