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What Are Frameless Railings?
Types and Main Characteristics

Over the past several years the architectural realm has shifted towards minimalism, thus prioritizing clean lines and unobstructed views. Among the innovations born of this trend, the frameless railings stand out as a pinnacle of functional aestheticism. Frameless railings are barriers without visible frames, providing unobstructed views and a modern look.

As a glass railing manufacturer, we have the privilege of seeing numerous spaces transformed thanks to these sleek structural components. In this article, we’ll dissect frameless railings, touching on the different types, installation intricacies, maintenance guidelines, and available variations.

The first frameless type that we will start with will be the frameless glass railing.

Frameless Glass Railings:

Frameless glass railings are a hallmark of modern architectural design, presenting a blend of safety and transparency that is unparalleled. They are characterized by their clean lines and the use of high-strength glass panels which provide a clear, unobstructed view of the surroundings.

What are the types of frameless glass railings?

Standoff Frameless Glass Railings:

this type of railing is characterized by glass panels held in place by metal standoffs, which are fixed directly to the side of the staircase or floor. This design creates a floating effect for the glass, offering a sleek and contemporary look. These railings are favored for their minimalistic appearance and unobstructed views but require precise installation. Most of the time the standoffs are made of stainless steel.

bv2500 inox glass railing system on stairs

Base Shoe Frameless Glass Railings:

often preferred option when it comes to new buildings or renovations – here the railings feature glass panels set into an aluminum base shoe (also called channels or profiles), which is anchored to the floor (base mount) or the side (side mount) of the surface. This railing system provides a seamless and clean look, with the base shoe barely visible creating the illusion of the glass standing freely. It’s popular for its sturdiness and uninterrupted views, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Also, this type offers the most versatile solutions with a wide variety of profile forms. The most common are U-shaped channels, but it is not hard to find Y and L-shaped profiles. Usually, the preferred material is Aluminium (aluminium alloy).

bv9900 mounted on terrace near the coast

Point-Supported Frameless Glass Railings:

point-supported glass railings use a series of discrete stainless steel holders or “points” (glass buttons) to support the glass panels. The design of these systems is clear as with the channels but here the glass holders are visible. This does not prevent them from enabling the creation of large, continuous sections of glass. The point-supported systems welcome the usage of a bigger variety of glass panel widths but for the installation of the glass panels, there have to be predrilled holes. Most of the time those types of railings are made of stainless steel 304 or 316.

glass railings on inner staircase with ultra clear glass

Standoff Glass Railings without Frames. The installation involves drilling holes into the glass panels to accommodate the standoffs – metal fittings that are attached to the floor or structure. Once the standoffs are secured, the glass panels are slid onto them, creating a floating effect.

Base Shoe Glass Railings without Frames. Here a base shoe channel is installed at the base (base mount) or along the sides (side mount) of the surface. The glass panels are then placed and secured into the channel, ensuring a safe and stable setup.

Point-Supported Glass Railings without Frames. In this configuration glass clamps or connectors are used to secure the glass panels at specific points. The strategic placement of these connectors ensures structural integrity while minimizing visual obstructions.


Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and glass cleaner solution will keep the glass panels sparkling. Inspection of the connectors, clamps, or base shoe (profile) for any loosening of the elements or anchors and timely tightening is crucial for safety.


The variations are primary in the thickness and type of glass used, with options like tempered, laminated, tempered-laminated, or even digital or screen printing on the glass, which can be chosen based on the architectural requirements and personal preferences of the customer.

The next type of frameless railing that we will focus on will be cable railings.

Frameless Cable Railings:

Cable railings without frames are a modern take on safety barriers, using tensioned stainless steel cables to create a secure yet visually open railing system. They contribute to an aesthetic usually connected with the marine or industrial environment of the spaces.

What are the types of frameless cable railings?

Horizontal Cable Railings:

they consist of cables running horizontally between the posts of a railing system – offering a modern and sleek look. They are favored for their minimal obstruction to views especially in scenic locations. However, they may not always be compliant with safety codes and regulations as people can easily climb on them creating safety hazards.

horizontal cable railing image

Vertical Cable Railings:

this type features cables that run vertically from the top to the bottom of the railing thus creating a unique and contemporary appearance. They are more noticeable than horizontal ones but are generally safer and more code-compliant as they are harder to climb on. Their installation can be more complex and may require additional hardware.

vertical cable railing image

The most critical components – the cables are often made from marine-grade stainless steel, such as 316-grade, to resist corrosion and provide strength.


The process begins with the installation of posts or structures that will serve as anchor points. Following this, holes are drilled into these posts for the cables to pass through. The cables are then threaded through, tensioned to the desired level, and secured using special fittings.


Regular inspection to ensure that the tension of the cables remains intact is essential. Also, cleaning the cables with a stainless steel cleaner will maintain their luster and prevent corrosion.


The orientation of the cables, either horizontally or vertically, and the spacing between them can be customized. Additionally, integrating glass panels between cable sections is a contemporary variation that enhances safety and visual appeal.

The last type of frameless railings we will look at is mesh railings.

Frameless Mesh Railings:

Mesh railings without frames bring an industrial charm to the modern railing repertoire. Utilizing stainless steel mesh panels, they offer a unique aesthetic while ensuring safety and visibility.

What are the types of frameless mesh railings?

Woven Mesh Railings:

they are made of metal wires interwoven into a grid-like pattern, creating a durable and visually interesting barrier. They provide a distinctive textured look that can blend with various architectural styles. These railings offer good visibility and safety and are often used in both commercial and residential settings.

Woven Mesh Railings image

Perforated Mesh Railings:

this type consists of metal sheets with a series of punched holes forming a uniform or patterned mesh. This design allows for a balance between visibility and privacy, making them suitable for modern architectural applications. They are known for their strength, durability, and ability to create unique aesthetic effects with different hole patterns and sizes.

perforated mesh railing image

The mesh itself is often made of stainless steel, which is woven or welded to create a barrier.


First, the supporting structure or posts are installed. The mesh panels are then stretched within this frameless system and secured in place, creating a robust barrier.


Regular cleaning with a specialized mild detergent and water will keep the mesh looking new. It’s also important to check the tension of the mesh and the integrity of its attachments to the structure.


The mesh can be customized in terms of pattern, spacing, and material finish to align with the design aesthetics of the space.

In conclusion:

Frameless railings have emerged as a quintessence of modern architectural design, offering a blend of aesthetic appeal and functional safety. The unique installation nuances and maintenance practices associated with each type underline the importance of professional expertise in ensuring the longevity and safety of these installations. The available variations further add to the versatility of frameless railings, making them a tailor-fit for a myriad of architectural styles and personalized solutions.

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