Impressive Exterior Floating Stair Ideas

Galvanize Exterior Floating Stair and Spiral Star

Exterior floating stairs provide egress from your home as well as allow easy access from a raised deck to the ground level of your property. When deciding on the type of stairs for your outdoor space there are many styles and material options available that will complement the design of your residential or commercial property.

Like interior stairs, exterior stairs need to meet required building codes. For example, a landing would be required for any stair that is higher than 12 feet vertically. Building codes vary by state and municipality so it is important to check local building codes for requirements. For example, in most localities, a 36″ high guard rail will meet building codes however in California a 42″ high guard rail is required on stairs.

Exterior stairs need to be engineered to accommodate environmental influences. Tread materials that can withstand the elements are an important factor. The metal structure required for a solid stone tread would differ greatly from that required for a composite tread, a solid wood, or tile tread. The composition of the earth will determine the lower level stringer footings and anchoring requirements. These factors must be carefully considered to ensure a long life for the staircase.

Choosing a floating stair style is totally up to your design aesthetic, we offer a variety of stringer styles, powder-coat colors, and railings to mix and match to achieve your objective.

Exterior Floating Stairs are functional and beautifully complement any home’s architecture. See several inspirational and impressive exterior stair ideas below.

Modern Exterior Mono Stringer Floating Stair

Exterior Floating Stair with Mono Stringer Cable Railings and Travertine steps

The Summit Club is a private residential community located in Las Vegas Nevada that boasts 5-star amenities and views of the Red Rock Canyon. The design of the residences offers a variety of outdoor living spaces with large patios and decks for relaxing or entertaining. For this two-story Dessert Villa, we designed an exterior floating stair to provide access from the patio to the second story.

We collaborated with Discovery Builders on the design of the exterior stairs and railings for this project. The stairs are engineered to support the weight of the travertine treads including custom tread supports. The railing posts are connected to the stair stringer below the treads to prevent stressing the stone treads. The stair stringer is made of square steel tubes with the stair configuration incorporating two landings. The curved cable railing posts continuously wrap the stairs and deck. The posts design tapers to the top and has a round stainless steel handrail. Hidden wire channels are built into the steel structure of each tread to provide LED lighting on the leading edge of each tread.

Exterior Stairs and Railing – Steel stringer with custom-designed tread supports. Curved railing posts, and round stainless steel handrail.

Material -Steel stringer and posts, stainless steel handrail.

Finish – Powder Coated – “Black Anodized”

Additional Option – LED lighting built into the leading edge of each tread.

Offset Cantileverd Floating Stair with Stone Steps

Cantilevered Stair with offset stringer and stone steps leading to lower level garage.

We collaborated with architect Viebeke Lichten on the innovative design of this offset cantilevered stair and railing system for this concrete home known as the ECO House on Shelter Island, NY. The stairs provide outside access from the garage level of the home to the upper-level pool patio and main entrance.

The stair stringer is crafted from a 4-in by 10-in rectangular tube with a 3/8-in wall. The design of the stairs has the stringer offset to one side of the steps. The custom cable railing post has a tapered shape that complements the modern aesthetic of the home. The tread supports are designed to accommodate the weight of the bluestone steps. Each railing post is welded to the tread support below the step. The stairs and railings are powder coated a custom color to match the home’s window and door accent color.

Exterior Stairs and Railings – Offset steel stringer with custom tread supports and unique tapered cable railing posts.

Material – Steel stringer and railing posts with IPE top rail.

Finish – Powder Coated “EVO Grey”.

Floating Exterior Stair and Horizontal Round Bar Railing

Modern Cube home with exterior floating stair and Pencil Railing

This modern cube-style home has simple geometric shapes and a minimalist appearance. The exterior of the home expertly combines cedar siding with concrete and steel to delineate the variety of cubic spaces. The architects at The Thread Collective contacted Keuka Studios to create floating stairs and horizontal round bar railings aka pencil rod railings for both the interior and exterior of this home.

We crafted the exterior stairs with double stringers made of C-channel and a horizontal round bar railing system. The stair treads are made of 1-1/2 in x 3 in IPE slats with space in between each board resulting in a wood grate appearance. Custom tread supports were designed on the stringers to support the unique wood tread design. The exterior railings have a simple sleek look with black metal balusters and horizontal round bars. The railing posts are surface mounted and wrap the stairs, decks, and rooftop deck.

Stairs and Railings – Custom double stringer stair with c-channel stringers and a steel pencil rod railing.

Material – Steel stairs and railing with IPE top rail. IPE wood treads are vertical 1-1/2 x 3 in slats.

Finish – Powder Coated “Raven Texture Black”

Galvanized Exterior Floating Stairs and Spiral Stairs

Galvanize Exterior Floating Stair and Spiral Star

Located on the Hudson River, NY with beach and water access this family vacation home was in need of a complete renovation. The original structure was completely remodeled and expanded to increase the living space. Since the owners enjoy entertaining, multiple decks were added to the home including a rooftop deck.

To access the rooftop deck we crafted a triple spiral stair with wide steps and ADA compliant handrails. The spiral stairs are designed to have entry points at the ground level, on each deck, and on the rooftop. In addition, there are two matching floating stairs to the main deck allowing for easy access to the water level of the home. The cable railing system is the Ithaca Style with a slim post design, the railings wrap all of the decks and stairs. The stairs and railings are made of steel with an exposed galvanized finish that has an industrial style and will provide decades of maintenance-free service.

Exterior Stairs and Railings – Custom-designed double stringer matching stairs and triple-level spiral stairs with ADA handrails. The cable railing system is our Ithaca Style railing posts with IPE top rail.

Material – Steel with IPE top rails.

Finish – Exposed galvanized steel.

Additional Option – ADA compliant handrails.

Modern Floating Stair with Stone Treads

Floating exterior stair with stone steps on brick wall

This family decided to build their dream home alongside the picturesque golf course in St Louis, Missouri. They envisioned enjoying the golf community lifestyle with visually appealing views of plush greens and rolling hills. They designed their home with multiple decks overlooking the golf course, a screen porch viewing area, and a pool patio oasis.

To access the pool and complement the home’s architecture the client chose a floating mono stringer stair with stone treads. The stair and tread supports are engineered to support the weight of the blue-stone treads with the railing posts attached to the stair stringer. The stringers and railing posts are powder-coated to match the home’s accent colors. To maintain the views cable railings were chosen to wrap the decks, floating stairs, and screen porch.

Exterior Stair and Railings – Floating stair stringer with landing and the Ithaca Style cable railing system.

Material – Steel stringer and posts with aluminum top rail.

Finish – Powder Coated “Oil Rubbed Bronze”.

Additional Option – Escutcheon Plates for surface mount posts, and gates.

Industrial Split Stairs with Cable Railings

Grand exterior split staircase with cable railings and ADA handrails

Waterways Marina in Richmond Hill, Ga, is located along Redbird Creek with access to several waterways. This state-of-the-art full-service facility features boat launches, boat storage space, and an expansive pool. The exterior split staircase has channel-style stringers and provides access to the upper level of the Club House.

The stair and balcony railings are made with solid aluminum posts at a 42-in height in our Ithaca style with ADA compliant stainless steel handrails. The top rail is powder-coated aluminum and the cable railing system is 3/16-in stainless steel cable. The balcony railings are fascia mounted and the stair railings are surface mounted.

Cable Railings – Ithaca style surface and fascia mounted slim posts at 42-in height with ADA compliant handrails.

Material – Solid aluminum railing posts with stainless steel handrails, and aluminum top rails.

Finish – Powder Coated “Autumn Grey”.

Exposed Stringer Cantilevered Floating Stair

Large Stringer Cantilevered Floating Stair on Exterior Deck

A post and beam home was disassembled and moved to a new location on top of a mountain in Stowe, VT. Each section of the home was labeled and numbered for easier reassembling in the new location. Since the client lived in the home for many years they knew what changes they wanted to make to the overall plan of the house. So they decided to take this opportunity to redesign part of the interior floor plan and added exterior floating stairs to the deck.

We designed an exterior floating stair system with robust steel stringers. The steps cantilever off the stringer on one side of the stairs, and transition to the other side at the landing. The cable railing system is our Ithaca style in stainless steel with a wide IPE wood top rail. The railing posts are fascia mounted to the deck and stairs.

Exterior Stairs and Railings – Custom cantilevered stringer stairs with our Ithaca Style cable railing system.

Material – Steel stair stringers with stainless steel railing posts and IPE top rail.

Finish – Stair stringers are Powder-Coated “Raven Texture Black”

Exterior L-Shape Floating Stair – Log Home

Exterior Floating Stair on Log Home

Located in the Catskill Mountains, NY, a weathered and damaged deck needed to be completely refurbished. Our client chose to replace an old split log style deck railing system with a framed metal cable railing. They were looking for a system that would hold up better to the natural elements of the area. The existing heavy log railing impeded their views of the mountain range so a cable railing seemed like the perfect choice.

This railing is custom-designed with 3-inch square tube posts giving the railing visual mass that complements the large timber log structure. They also decided to add a floating staircase for easy access to the ground level. The floating stairs have a large rectangular metal tube stringer with metal tread supports and a landing partway down the stairs. The treads, decking, and top rail are made of composite material.

Exterior Stairs and Railing – Custom Design Style with Framed railing and 3 in square posts.

Material – Steel

Finish – Powder Coated “Oil Rubbed Bronze”

Exterior Spiral Stair Ideas

Exterior Spiral Stairs leading to upper level deck

Floating spiral stairs offer a way to access the upper level of your deck from a porch or patio without taking up as much space as a conventional straight stair. These metal spiral stairs have a curved cable railing system with railing posts that connect to each step. The handrails gracefully curve around the spiral of the steps. The steps are designed to be wider to provide a comfortable tread surface for ascending and descending the stairs. LED night lighting is concealed within the steps.

Stairs and Railings – Spiral Stairs with our Keuka Style curved railing system.

Material – Steel center post, steps, and railing posts.

Finish – Powder Coated “Raven Texture Black”

Additional Option – Concealed LED lighting, Non-skid step surface.

Every Keuka Studios design project is custom-built for your space. To learn more about how each exterior stair and cable railing project moves from vision to reality, take a look at our custom railing design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade cable railings for interior and exterior applications.

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10 Cable Railing Interior Design Ideas

living room entry with stair and balcony cable railing

Cable railings sleek, streamlined appearance and minimalist construction is very versatile when it comes to interior design. Over the years, Keuka Studios has worked with hundreds of clients, each with their own taste and style. We’re always delighted to see the “after” photos we receive from our customers showing us their new cable railing system and how it fits in with the overall aesthetic of their home. We’ve seen our cable railing seamlessly integrated with a wide range of interior design styles, for example, industrial, farmhouse, and traditional.

Considering cable railing for your home interior and need some design inspiration? Take a look at the numerous styles we’ve seen our clients bring to life in their homes:

1. Industrial

Second story curved Ithaca style cable railing with view out expansive windows

Keuka Studios crafted a railing system for this penthouse loft that overlooks the heart of downtown Denver. With exposed pipes, timber beams, and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out at an urban scene, the apartment naturally has an industrial aesthetic. When the architect renovated the building, constructed in 1882, he wanted to update the space but stay true to its original industrious design and function. In order to achieve this, he opted for a cable railing system with “Raven Black” powder-coated steel posts and a wood top rail for the loft balcony and staircase. The cable railing not only matches the architecture and interior design of the apartment, it also preserves the incredible view.

2. Coastal

Keuka studios interior and exterior railing design styles

Coastal interior design embraces natural materials, fabrics, and colors. Above all, coastal design maximizes the feeling of relaxation. For example, this beach house on the North Shore of Massachusetts incorporates natural light, stone architecture, wood furniture, and ocean hues. Keuka Studios designed an interior cable railing system to match the natural, open feel of the waterfront home. The Ithaca Style railing features “Oil-Rubbed Bronze” powder-coated solid aluminum posts and a maple top rail.

3. Modern

Minimalist interior design with cable railing stairs

This state-of-the-art residence includes all the essential features of a modern, monochromatic home. As seen in the photo above, the home has a sleek appearance and minimalist feel. All throughout the house, the interior designer incorporated metals, glass, and clean lines. For the foyer, Keuka Studios fabricated a custom zigzag floating staircase with cable railing. The railing features stainless steel posts and a white oak top rail, giving the stairwell a cool, chromatic look. To add another modern touch to the staircase, we integrated an LED lighting system into the stair treads.

4. Modern Farmhouse

Double stringer steel staircase leading from the kitchen to the second story.

This chic kitchen features exposed Douglas fir beams with wood flooring and island cabinets to match. To complete the room’s modern farmhouse look, the homeowner chose simple white walls and cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and black quartz countertops. The kitchen sits adjacent to a floating staircase with cable railing designed and fabricated by Keuka Studios. The homeowners wanted the stairs and railing to perfectly match the kitchen’s style and the existing architecture. To achieve this, we designed the cable railing system with “Raven Black” powder-coated steel posts and a maple wood top rail. The staircase features steel stringers and maple treads.

5. Tropical Modern

Keuka Studios Cable Deck Railing overlooking expansive ocean view

Located on the island of Maui, this luxurious home was designed by the world-renowned architecture firm, Olson Kundig. In order to embrace the home’s incredible natural surroundings, the architect designed transitional spaces that blur the lines between the home’s interior and outdoor living spaces. The living room pictured above embodies this design and seamlessly transitions into a cable railing deck with a view of the ocean. Our Kauai Style cable railing with black powder-coated posts and a wood top rail melds perfectly with the living room decor that extends out onto the deck. The space features all the hallmarks of tropical modern design including geometric wood furniture, natural fabrics, and rich textures.

6. Contemporary

Cable railing interior design

Keuka Studios designed and fabricated a complete cable railing system for this Long Island residence, including a railing for the interior balcony. The second-story balcony overlooks the great room which features high ceilings and large windows that face Great Pond. To match the openness of the space and the streamlined design of cable railing, the homeowners opted for a contemporary interior design scheme. They achieved this look by embracing the natural lighting, choosing neutral colors, and utilizing textured fabrics. Furthermore, the homeowners chose furniture with metal accents that complement the “Sparkle Silver” powder-coated steel posts on the balcony railing.

7. Rustic

Ithaca style staircase and railing in open activity barn.

Complete with a half-sized basketball court, this open-concept “party barn” is the ultimate entertainment space. The barn has a luxurious feel and many state-of-the-art features. Nevertheless, the barn maintains a rustic aesthetic. Architect James Dixon achieved this look by incorporating a reclaimed barn board ceiling and exposed timbers. In order to match this worn appearance, we designed a cable railing system with a white oak wood top rail. In addition, we designed and built floating custom staircases with white oak treads.

8. Minimalist

Minimalist interior design with cable railing

When it comes to minimalist interior design, less is more. The owner of this California home wanted to create a modern, sparsely decorated space that embodies simplicity. In order to achieve this look, they opted for a few statement pieces of art and furniture and left the remaining space open. The kitchen/dining room features white walls and light wood flooring, creating a crisp, airy atmosphere. For the interior staircase, Keuka Studios designed a minimalist Ithaca Style cable railing system with slender end and intermediate posts. The homeowner chose polished stainless steel for the railing to match the sharp, clean look of the room.

9. Traditional

Cherry Staircase Cable Railing in the Chicago Style with Custom Newel post

Traditional style has endured the test of time and remains a popular interior design scheme. For example, our clients in Wisconsin created their dream kitchen that embodies sophistication and comfort. The staircase, flooring, and cabinets all have a gorgeous cherry hue that brings warmth to the kitchen and second-story balcony. When the homeowners contacted us about designing a railing for the balcony and stairs, they asked if we could craft a cable railing system with an elegant feel. In order to match the room’s traditional decor, we designed a railing with our intricate Chicago Style posts powder-coated bronze, stainless steel cable infill, and a wood top rail. Additionally, for even greater grandeur, we included a custom newel post at the bottom of the railing.

10. Open Concept

Interior design of Open Concept living space with floating stairs and cable railings.

Open Concept design refers to a floorplan of a home with a minimal amount of barriers or walls between functional areas of the home. Thus, creating a spacious open great room for families to live and interact with each other. This large open space allows for several activities to take place while keeping families connected in one area. Multiple furniture arrangements and area rugs can make a large room feel cozier and define separate spaces. The open concept design approach is great for people who love to entertain since guests can visit and mingle easily throughout the great room.

Our client desired a floating stair and cable railing for the home’s entry that would maintain the open flow and spaciousness. To accomplish this, we designed an open gracefully curved floating mono stringer stair with cable railings that wrap the stair and upper-level balcony. We provided custom machined maple treads made to fit each step.

If you found this inspiring you may also like:

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Every Keuka Studios design project is custom-built for your space. To learn more about how each cable railing project moves from vision to reality, take a look at our custom railing design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade cable railings for interior and exterior applications.

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How To Choose Wood for Stair Treads

Choosing wood for stair treads

Hardness, Durability, Grain, and Lamination Explained

What is the best Wood for Stair Treads?

There are several factors to consider when selecting wood for stair treads that will be used on floating steel stringer stairs. They include the species of wood, the method of sawing the wood, and the construction of the stair treads. The species of wood selected will vary in hardness, durability, and grain. In addition, how the wood is sawn will affect the appearance of the grain, and the construction or lamination of the tread will have an effect on the appearance of the finished product. In addition, the construction of the wood tread must take into consideration the code requirements for open risers.

Wood Hardness

The hardness of wood is measured using the Janka scale. This scale helps you to understand a wood’s relative hardness.

Why is wood hardness important? Softer woods are more prone to dents or dings than harder woods. Also, softwoods are not suitable for use as handrails since they may not hold up under the typical forces required to meet building codes.

The chart below shows the Janka Scale rating for several of the popular types of woods our clients choose for their stair and railing projects. IPE is one of the hardest of the hardwoods and Eastern White Pine is among the softest.

Janka Scale Rating of Several Types of Wood

Janka Scale showing wood hardness and interior or exterior applications


Durability is the wood’s ability to resist natural elements of decay. Durability is critical when choosing wood for an outdoor application. Environmental elements that affect the degradation of wood include fungus, destructive insects, and weather. For exterior use, the wood’s ability to resist weathering such as photodegradation from UV rays, contraction and expansion, warping, surface checking, and decay will affect the longevity of the wood. The wood’s durability is based on the use of the heartwood. It is important to note that sapwoods are not durable. Hardwoods like Teak and IPE are among the most durable woods for outdoor use.

Note: Shown in green in the chart above are woods recommended for outdoor use.

Wood Grain

The grain is the natural cell pattern of the wood. The natural pattern of the wood combined with the method used to cut the wood will affect the overall look of the finished product.

  • Straight Grain – runs in a single direction parallel to the axis of the tree.
  • Wavy Grain – runs in irregular directions from the vertical access of the log.
  • Spiral Grain – follows a spiral twist around the axis of the tree
  • Interlocked Grain – spirals around the axis of the tree and reverses direction resulting in the alternating of direction.
  • Irregular Grain – is many different patterns of the grain as it twists or swirls. Often times it is the result of knots deformed growth, or crotch wood.

Examples of Flat Sawn, Quarter Sawn and Rift Cut Lumber

What is the difference between Flat Sawn, Quarter Sawn, and Rift Cut Lumber?

There are three main methods for cutting lumber and each method has a different appearance of the finished board. Flat Sawn is the most common and has a flame appearance. Quarter Sawn results in a straight grain appearance with a flame effect. Rift Cut results in a straight grain pattern.

Flat Sawn

Also known as plain sawn is the most common method of milling logs and the least expensive. The boards are cut from the log in a way that maximizes the use of the wood and minimizes the amount of waste. Flat Sawn wood is more likely to cup and warp over time.

Flat Sawn wood boards result in a flame look.

Oak board Flat Sawn Plain Sawn pattern

Quarter Sawn

Just as the name implies the log is cut into quarters then it is flat sawn. This method is more expensive than flat Sawn wood since it requires more labor and produces more waste. Quarter Sawn wood is more resistant to warping, cupping, and twisting than flat sawn wood.

Quarter Sawn wood results in a straight grain pattern without the flame effect on the front of the board. The oak will show flecks or rays in the grain on the face of the board.

Oak Board showing quarter sawn grain

Rift Cut

The boards are cut radially around the center of the log. Rift Sawn lumber is the most stable and the most expensive since it does not utilize the entire log, therefore, having the most amount of waste.

This method results in a straight grain pattern with a clean consistent look on the front of the board.

Oak board showing Rift Cut grain

Note: Wood is a natural product, therefore the grain does not always grow in one direction. This may result in some boards having variations in pattern and appearance.

Wood Tread Construction Solid, Laminated and Boxed

Solid Wood Treads

As the name implies are made from a solid piece of wood, they are generally considered timbers and are often difficult to source. As the piece of wood gets thicker, it becomes less available and more expensive. Solid wood although beautiful, is more likely to twist or crack than laminated wood.

Laminated Wood Treads

Laminating is a method used to create a thicker piece of wood. It is made of multiple layers to improve overall strength and stability. Shown below are two wood stair tread styles with two different lamination styles Butcher Block and Random Stack.

Comparing the look of stack laminated wood and butcher block style.

Box Stair Tread Construction

This example of a box stair tread construction has lock mitered corners on the edges and a layered laminated plywood core for stability. This technique of construction makes it possible for all the faces of the tread to have the same grain pattern. In addition, a boxed tread can be constructed to hide the stair stringer mounting attachments, resulting in a minimal refined appearance. Concealing the steel stair tread supports makes the wood treads appear to float in thin air.

End View of Boxed Stair Construction

Boxed stair tread showing construction with laminated plywood

Floating Stair Rise Construction Requirements

It is also important to understand the code requirements for floating stairs when choosing your tread material and construction. The open risers on floating stairs are required to be a space of 4 inches or less. There are a variety of ways to design the stairs to meet this requirement. They include Solid treads, L-shaped treads, and added L-shape toe kick on the tread. Examples are shown below.

Now that you have an understanding of various wood characteristics and construction techniques for wood stair treads it should be easier for you to make a selection for your Keuka Studios floating stairs.

If you found this helpful, you may also like the following blogs.

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Floating Stairs and Railings You’ll Love

At Keuka Studios, we custom fabricate residential and commercial stairs and railings to fit your style, space, and requirements. To learn more about how each stair and railing project moves from vision to reality. Take a look at our custom stair design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade stairs and railings for interior and exterior applications. Contact us to get started on your project.

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Beautiful Before and After Deck Railing Makeovers

How to decide what type of deck railing is best for you.

Your deck is a great place for various activities including a place to entertain, dine, work or enjoy family time. After a while, your deck will need a refresh. One key component to planning a deck refresh is deciding what type of deck railing to choose. There are a variety of railing styles, materials, and colors to choose from for your dream deck.

One approach to choosing the style of the railing is to complement the architecture of the home’s exterior. Some railing designs are more modern, while others may be more traditional. A recent trend is to bridge different styles together which is considered transitional architecture.

Materials for deck railing posts include steel, aluminum, stainless steel and, wood or composite. Some railing infills that are available include cable, glass, or metal spindle. Environment, Cost, and Maintenance are a few considerations to think about when determining the material. Some materials are better for oceanfront or harsh environments like 316 stainless steel or galvanized steel.

Another consideration is the environment, for example, what is the prevailing wind direction. Are you interested in blocking the wind or feeling the natural breezes? A glass railing will block the wind while a cable railing will keep the gentle breezes flowing. When considering cost stainless steel will cost significantly more than steel.

Also, there are hundreds of powder coat colors choices so choosing the best color for your railing may be fun or difficult. Some homeowners prefer to have the railing color complement their home, while others want the posts to disappear into the landscape.

Lastly, you’ll want to think about how much maintenance the type of railing you install will require. For instance, a wood railing will need frequent painting or staining, and a glass railing will need to be cleaned to remove fingerprints or water spots, etc.

Below are some Before and After railing images that we hope you will find helpful in choosing your deck railings.

Wedding Venue Redo

Painted wood railing replaced with curved steel cable railing system

Before white painted wood railing on deck overlooking lake. After the same deck view with Curved cable railings.

Before: The vision for this project on Rock Island in Sparta, NJ was to create a wedding venue with the perfect setting for a romantic indoor and outdoor event. The deck had an old rotten painted wood railing that needed to be replaced. The owners desired a railing that would showcase the beautiful lake rather than block the view.

After: Our Keuka Style curved cable railing system was chosen to wrap all the exterior decks and interior stairs. The curved style of this railing has a nautical appeal that complements the water views. The posts are made of steel and powder-coated “Oil Rubbed Bronze”. Cable infill opens up the views of the lake rather than obstructing the view as the wood railing did. The Rock Island Lake Club created the perfect setting with relaxing outdoor deck spaces for guests to mingle and enjoy.

Oceanfront Renovation – Cable Railings

White painted tubular railing replaced with anodized aluminum cable railings

Before of deck worn deck with white painted railings and After of the same deck with updated wood and cable railings.

Before: This vacation home on the ocean located in Loveladies, NJ, sat vacant and neglected for several years. The entire exterior was in disrepair. The original railings on the decks, balconies, and rooftop were an outdated metal tubular style that was painted white. All of the deck railings including the stair railings needed to be replaced.

After: After purchasing this beachfront home the owners decided to refurbish the house and decks. Since the ocean views and contemporary style were important features of the home, they chose our Ithaca Style cable railing system. The thin railing posts have a modern aesthetic. They are fascia mounted to the curved deck for a streamlined minimal look. The posts are made of anodized aluminum, with 316 ss cables and IPE top rail.

Log Cabin – Deck Railing Update

Wood railing replaced with green cable railing

Before of wood spindle railings on log home. After image of the same house with painted green cable railing system.

Before: The owners of this secluded cabin located adjacent to the forest realized their deck and railings needed to be replaced. Instead of using the same style of railing, they opted to replace the wood railing with cable railings.

After: Since views of the forest were paramount to this renovation project the owners chose a cable railing system to replace the dated wood spindle railing. Since cable has a way of disappearing from the view. By choosing to powder coat the railing posts green the posts accent the home and at the same time blend in with the forest greenery.

Hudson River Expansion – Glavanized Stairs, and Deck Railings

Deck railings replaced with galvanized steel railings and stairs

Before of worn cottage on the Hudson river. After of the same home expanded in size with galvanized stairs, railings and spiral stairs.

Before: Located on the Hudson River, NY, with a natural beach and water access this home was in the perfect location for a family getaway. The harsh environment took its toll over the years resulting in the need to completely renovate the home and update the decks.

After: The owners did a complete renovation enlarging the size of the home, and increasing the outdoor entertaining space. The decks were expanded and two rooftop decks were added. The client chose Keuka Studios to design and fabricate a grand double staircase for the front of the deck and a two-story spiral staircase to access the main deck from the ground and both rooftop levels. The railing is our Ithaca style, The railings, and stairs are made of galvanized steel. creating a rustic industrial style. The railing infill is 316 ss cable.

Villa Harrah – Deck Railing Modernized

Black metal railings replaced with curved cable railing system

Before image of concrete pool deck and patio with old metal railing

Before: Villa Harrah in Lake Tahoe, NV was built in 1963 by William Harrah founder of Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos. Legend has it that he hosted showbiz icons including Judy Garland and the “Rat Pack” at this mega-mansion. The current homeowner decided the residence required a dramatic overhaul to bring it up-to-date. The exterior had several decks wrapping the home and stairs including a pool deck that required a refresh and new railings.

After pool deck with curved cable railings

After: Known for its majestic beauty, the owner’s objective was to create open views of the lake and surrounding mountainscapes. For this luxury home, they chose our curved Keuka Style railing system for the exterior. The curved railing posts have a nautical aesthetic that perfectly blends with the environment. The railings are custom-crafted to be fascia and surface mounted, including at different heights to accommodate the partial concrete wall.

At Keuka Studios, we custom fabricate residential and commercial stairs and railings to fit your style, space, and requirements. To learn more about how each cable railing project moves from vision to reality. Take a look at our custom railing design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade stairs and railings for interior and exterior applications. Contact us to get started on your project.

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Amazing Before and After Stair Makeovers

Stair and railing before and after images are a great place to start when trying to do a remodel or create a new project. Some people have an eye for design, however, for those who have difficulty imagining the transformation of a project these pictures will help you see the vision. Not only do stairs function as a way of transitioning between levels, and railings provide safety they also set the tone for the interior design style. Many staircases are located at the entrance of a home and are the first thing guests encounter when entering your home. Your stairs make your home’s first impression so why not make it great!

Stair Before and After Creative Ideas

1) Traditional Stair to Modern Glass Floating Stair

BEFORE – The owners of this coastal Connecticut home realized that the location of their large traditional stairs blocked the home’s main wall facing the ocean. In addition, the limited amount of windows resulted in a dimly lit entrance. The goal of this project was to create an open and inviting space with lots of natural light and open up the view. They completely gutted the entrance and changed the direction of the stairs to achieve this transformation from traditional style to a modern light and airy aesthetic with a floating staircase.

AFTER – To achieve the objectives of this project, floor-to-ceiling windows were added to allow for the flow of natural light throughout the entrance. When transcending the stairs the glass window wall allows for stunning views of the ocean. To maintain the openness without blocking the views, our engineers designed a mono stringer floating stair with glass railings. The single stringer is made of steel and powder-coated black, the treads are 3-inch thick white oak and we used 3/8 in thick starfire glass panels for the railings. The result is an open, modern, and light-filled room.

What stair and railing is this? Keuka Studios mono-stringer floating stair made of steel with glass railing.

Learn more about types of stairs on Keuka Studios

2) Colonial Spindle Baluster to Modern Cable Railing

Before makeover traditional white spindle stair railinging

BEFORE – Located in Webster, NY this couple wanted to add a touch of their own personality to their new home so they opted to replace a colonial spindle baluster railing. The existing stair just wasn’t their style, since they were inspired by a modern minimalist style they decided on a cable railing system. Also, because they have small children one of their project requirements included adding matching gates to the stairs.

AFTER – Our client selected our Ithaca-style cable railing system with its narrow posts and distinctive modern style to replace the colonial stairs. They added matching gates and modernize the stairs with thick wood treads.

What railing is this? Keuka Studios Ithaca-style cable railing system made of steel with matching gates, wood top rail and stainless steel cables.

Learn about our cable railings and why they are the best.

3) Contemporary Wood Spindles to Sleek Stainless Steel Railing

Before wood contemporary railing with carpet on stairs

BEFORE – This client decided to remodel their outdated heavy wood contemporary, carpeted, and dark, stairs. Their vision for their stairs was to create a modern style that would be open and minimalist. In keeping with today’s design trends, they opted for a sleek stainless steel cable railing system.

After image stairs with stainless steel cable railing

AFTER – Their remodel objectives were realized by updating the carpet and adding a stainless steel cable railing system. This client chose our Ithaca-style railing system for its sleek streamlined design. They also opted for the posts to be made of stainless steel and included our escutcheon plates to cover the post hardware. Exquisitely crafted by our talented team this railing system has an impressive, refined, and sleek appearance.

What Railing Is this? – Keuka Studios Ithaca Style cable railing in stainless steel with stainless steel top rail and escutcheon plates.

4) Shaky Spiral Stair Update to Switchback Stair

ShakysSpiral stair with winder treads.

BEFORE – This beach house on Fire Island, NY had a shaky spiral stair with narrow winder steps that made it difficult to maneuver up and down the stairs. The objective of this project was to design a stair that would fit into this tight space while eliminating all winder steps to make it a safer transition between floors. It was also important to our client to improve the stability of the steps and keep the stairs open to the rest of the room. We started by measuring the site with a FARO 3D laser scanner to understand the dimensions we were required to work within. This allowed our engineers to create a custom stair that would fit in the allotted space and meet the customer’s objectives.

Updated switchback stairs with landings and wood treads

AFTER – We solved our client’s dilemma by replacing the rickety spiral stair with a mono-stringer floating switchback staircase. This eliminated all of the winder treads and by adding landings the access to the upper level is much safer and easier. Combined with the cable railing system the stairs maintain an open aesthetic and fit within the available space.

What type of stair is this? Keuka Studios switchback mono-stringer stair made of steel with Ithaca Style cable railing system.

5) Office Space Colonial Stair and Railing to Floating Stair and Curved Cable Railing

Before Office Spindle stair railing and balcony

BEFORE – Located in Burlington, NJ this office building entry interior design was stuck in the ’80s. The staircase boosted colonial wood spindle railings accented with pink and turquoise decor. The objective of this project was to makeover the dated space into today’s modern style. It was also important to create an open space by adding floating stairs and include ADA-compliant handrails.

AFTER – To bring this entry into the present and meet the requirements for this project our engineers designed a mono-stringer stair with our curved Keuka style cable railing system. The cable railing seamlessly transcends the stairs and wraps around the upper-level balcony. The stairs have thick treads and include an ADA-compliant handrail. The color palette was changed up using neutral colors with dark accents. The result is a complete modern makeover.

What railing is this? Keuka Studios curved Keuka Style cable railing system with ADA compliant handrails.

Learn more about ADA handrail ideas.

6) Enclosed Condo Stairwell to Floating Stairs and Railing

Before of closed stairwell with dated wood spindle stairs

BEFORE – Located in Hartsdale, NY this condominium had an enclosed stairwell with a heavy wood, old-school contemporary railing. The space was dark and dated. With an eye for detail, the vision of this client was to give the space a refresh. The objective included creating a space that would feel larger and more open. This was accomplished by removing the stairwell walls adjacent to the living room and allowing for natural light throughout the space.

After Open floating stairs with cable railing system

AFTER – To accomplish the objective of opening up the stairwell we crafted a mono-stringer steel staircase with floating treads and our Ithaca-style cable railing system. The treads are thick wood with a matching top rail. As a result, the interior of the condo feels larger and more spacious.

What stair and railing is this? Keuka Studios mono-stringer stair with Ithaca style cable railing system made of steel with wood treads and top rail.

Browse More about Stairs on Keuka Studios

How much do custom floating stairs cost? Custom stair Designs How to measure stairs

At Keuka Studios, we custom fabricate residential and commercial stairs and railings to fit your style, space, and requirements. To learn more about how each cable railing project moves from vision to reality. Take a look at our custom railing design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade stairs and railings for interior and exterior applications. Contact us to get started on your project.

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Fascia Mount Vs. Surface Mount Vs. Undermount

Fascia Mount Railing Post on Deck and Surface Mount post on stairs and balcony

Advantages and Disadvantages

What is the difference between surface mount and fascia mounted deck railing posts?

Surface-mounted posts are mounted to the top surface of the deck, they are occasionally referred to as deck mounts, floor mounts, or even top mounts. Fascia mounted posts are mounted to the side of the deck and sometimes are referred to as side mounts or joist mounts.

What is an Undermount deck railing post?

Undermounted deck railing posts are designed to appear to slice through the surface of the deck and have all the mounting hardware attach the post to the structure below the surface decking.

I always get customers asking me how to attach their railing to their application. While there are many different ways to attach your railing, the most popular methods are mounting to the fascia or mounting to the surface. In addition, many clients opt for the more sleek and modern style of under mounting the posts. 

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Use Escutcheon Plates for a Refined Railing Look

Railing Escutcheon Plate
What are escutcheon plates?

By definition, an escutcheon (pronounced es·cutch·eon) plate is a shield, cover, or an ornamental or protective plate. Escutcheon plates are used to conceal something functional like mounting hardware or an unwanted hole.

Use escutcheon plates for a clean, simple, or modern style railing.

More and more customers are looking for a clean, seamless, or modern look for their homes. For interior or exterior railing, whether it’s a cable railing or any other type of railing, the escutcheon plate is a great choice to conceal the hardware. I find that especially with interior applications, you might want all the fasteners and hardware hidden with no exposed bolt or screw heads. Escutcheon plates are a perfect and easy solution. They simply slide over the post, hiding the hardware and providing a more refined look. Our escutcheon plates are typically machined from a solid billet, not the thin stamped sheet metal common in the industry.

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Screen Porch Cable Guardrail Solutions

Cable guard on screen porch.

Adding a screen porch to your home extends your outdoor living lifestyle. Whether your screen porch is used as a dining porch, sleeping porch or just to relax. It allows you to enjoy the fresh air and outside environment without dealing with unwanted bugs and critters.

When deciding on your screen porch design, it is important to understand the building codes in your municipality. Typically, a guardrail is required for an elevated porch of 30 inches or more above ground level. In addition, if the screens extend to within 24 inches of the floor or walking surface, a guard rail is required. Cable guardrails add an extra level of safety to the screens, especially for toddlers and pets that could push through a screen. A cable guardrail maintains the open airy feel while preserving your view and providing an added level of safety protection. Residential guardrail requirements that do not act as handrails are required to be a minimum height of 36 inches.

There are a number of ways to add a cable guardrail to your screen porch while maintaining your view. They include adding it to the outside of your screen porch, to the inside, or using cables lagged into the wood columns. See some unique approaches below.

What is a Screen Porch Cable Guardrail?

A guardrail made with cable or wire rope that wraps the screen of the porch from the walking surface to a height of 36 inches or more. The guardrail must adhere to required safety codes, and provides a barrier from falls through the screen.

Screen Porch with Exterior Cable Guardrail

Raised Deck and screen porch with cable guardrail

The cable railing guardrail for this home was made to complement the architecture and wrap the outside of the porch. The exterior of this home marries a variety of materials including wood, steel, and stone, with modern crisp architectural lines. The desire to enjoy the outdoors and extend the season led to designing a variety of multi-purpose exterior spaces. The covered screen porch was added to this home’s design to provide a functional space that could be used year-round.

The home’s floor plan was designed to easily transition from the interior to the screen porch that overlooks a beautiful pool and golf course. The cable guardrail wraps the exterior of the screen porch and matches the deck and stair railings creating symmetry across the facade. We fabricated this railing in our Ithaca style with an aluminum top rail and powder-coated it oil-rubbed bronze.

Screened Sun Porch with Interior Cable Guardrail

Sun room with guard rail on windows screens

A coastal sunroom is a great place to relax and take in the beach views while enjoying the ocean breeze. With floor-to-ceiling screens, this project required the addition of a guardrail. To maintain the views the owners chose our Ithaca Style cable railing system. We fabricated the cable railing posts to fit in-between the interior of the home’s screened window columns. The posts are anodized aluminum, with the addition of escutcheon plates to cover the hardware and create a more refined look. The cables and fittings are made of 316 stainless steel. To maintain consistency the same cable railing system is used on the exterior deck and boardwalk.

Cable Guardrail Attached to Porch Columns

Screen Porch with floor to ceiling window and cable guardrail

This cable guardrail protrudes through then lags into the existing wood columns, so it does not require additional posts. Living near the forest is a wonderful place to enjoy the serene tranquility of nature. Since the objective was to bring the natural outdoor environment closer to the living space, a screen porch was a perfect choice. To maintain a minimal aesthetic and implement the required guardrail this customer chose a cable lag system. Our unique cable railing fittings are available with lag hardware that screw directly into the wood columns. The deck railings on the exterior of the home feature our curved Keuka Style cable railing system.

At Keuka Studios, we custom fabricate residential and commercial stairs and railings to fit your style, space, and requirements. To learn more about how each cable railing project moves from vision to reality. Take a look at our custom railing design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade stairs and railings for interior and exterior applications. Contact us to get started on your project.

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Rooftop Deck Cable Railing

Contemporary Martha's Vineyard summer home with complete cable railing system

Whether you live oceanside, in a bustling city, deep in the woods, or at the peak of a mountain, the best way to achieve a 360-degree view from your home is with a rooftop cable railing deck. Cable railing is nearly transparent and has a modern aesthetic. If you have a flat rooftop, you can utilize cable railing and turn your roof into the ultimate outdoor living space. A rooftop deck makes a great addition to your home or business.

Why Cable Railing?

What’s the point of a rooftop deck if the required railing blocks the view? Cable railing solves this dilemma. At Keuka Studios, we design railings with 1/8-inch or 3/16-inch diameter stainless steel cable infill that blend right in with their surroundings and are easy for the eye to ignore. When it comes to railing post design, our Ithaca Style railings, in particular, pose minimal interference to your panoramic views.

Another option is our Keuka Style post with its curved form that adds an artistic feel as it beautifully wraps a curved or rectangular roof top. Our railing posts paired with a flat top rail allow for an unimpeded view of your surrounding cityscape, landscape, or waterfront.

Need Ideas for Your Rooftop Deck?

Now that you’ve decided on cable railing for your rooftop deck, you might need a little inspiration for how to make the most of your new space. Rooftop decks are perfect for lounge areas, dining areas, outdoor kitchen, bars, gardens, and even pools.

1. Martha’s Vineyard, MA – Modern Rooftop Lounge

View of ocean from Martha's Vineyard rooftop deck
Deck railing over a garage.
Apartment Complex Recreational Rooftop

4. Sea Bright, NJ – Oceanfront Rooftop Deck

New jersey Cable Railing and Stairs

5. Danbury, CT – Modern Rooftop Deck

Roof top deck cable railing over glass porch on cube style home.

At Keuka Studios, we take pride in building craftsman-quality residential and commercial-grade cable railing systems. Every Keuka Studios custom railing is built specifically for your space. As a result, our products fit perfectly with your home or business’ existing architecture, both in terms of structure and style. To learn more about how each project moves from vision to reality, take a look at our custom railing design process.

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Design Trend: Blackened Stainless Steel

If you’re looking for cable railing with the durability of stainless steel but aren’t a fan of the metal’s bright luster, then blackened stainless steel may be the perfect material for your new cable railing. Here at Keuka Studios, we now offer stainless steel cables and fittings with a black patina made from Type 316 marine grade stainless steel.

With the black stainless steel, appliance trend still gaining steam, our product carries this unique look beyond the kitchen. By incorporating black stainless steel cable railing into interior staircases or balconies, you can create a sleek, cohesive look throughout your home. If you want your space to have a minimalist, rustic, or urban-modern interior design, blackened stainless steel will give an understated look to your railing system. Plus, the blackened metal will seamlessly match dark or muted hues on your walls or within your decor.

When it comes to exterior staircases and decks, black stainless steel cable railing can heighten transparency, depending on the location. If your home or business has a naturally dark environment, for example, if your deck overlooks a wooded area, black stainless steel blends into the background and thus doesn’t distract from the view.

Interested in black stainless steel cable and fittings for your railing? Buy black cable fittings online.

Black cable railing in mountain home interior.
Open-tread stairs with black cable railing
Log home with wood railing posts and black cable stair railing

At Keuka Studios, we custom fabricate residential and commercial stairs and railings to fit your style, space, and requirements. To learn more about how each cable railing project moves from vision to reality, take a look at our custom railing design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade cable railings for interior and exterior applications. Contact us to get started on your project.

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