My Take on a Cable-Rail Staircase

I had a vision for the staircase. I knew I didn't want a typical staircase cable-rail was on my mind so I priced it out. Yeah, that immediately vetoed the idea in my husbands mind. So, I started brainstorming and trying to think of something else that could give me the look I wanted. We do our own concrete work. Never thought he'd say yes, but I suggested it anyway. What about Rebar? He knew how much that would cost so he happily said yes. Little did he know...
Here's the staircase partially framed. My father-in-law was making the posts and handrails. I just had to figure out how to finish it off.
My In-Laws spent a couple weeks with us while we worked on the staircase. Grandpa did an excellent job. (He also built the beams for us. Decorative only, not structural).
Here's a couple shots of it together before we got it stained. I opted for carpeting up the center. The kids have destroyed that so it's about time to do something different. We had the rebar powder coated (that gets expensive BTW).
Working on getting it stained
Here's the finished product. Grandpa wanted to fill in all the cracks in the wood. I had to do some quick talking to get him to leave them alone.
Another view. it is definitely not for everyone. I'm sure some will absolutely hate it, but I'm in love. It gave me the look I wanted. Reminds me every time I see it of the many fabulous concrete projects my husband and I have worked on. He actually could of saved some money (or at least broke even) with the cable rail system but this is very true to our style and personalities. Absolutely perfect!

The Chirping Frog
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  14 questions
  • Tammie Turner Hammons Tammie Turner Hammons on Nov 29, 2015
    do you have a list of materials

    • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on Dec 29, 2015
      @Tammie Turner Hammons I'm sorry, I don't. My FIL built the wood portions from Pine and hubby ordered the rebar and had it powder coated. I simply told them what I wanted. I can give you basics such as the rebar size and post dimensions if you'd like. We also didn't span more than about 5' to keep the rebar from sagging.

    • Lori Bruick Lori Bruick on Mar 23, 2016
      Please give me rebar size

    • Lori Bruick Lori Bruick on Mar 23, 2016
      Please give me spacing between rebar

  • Jennifer Jennifer on Jan 23, 2016
    What did you use as caps on the posts?

  • Jeremy Kupeerus Jeremy Kupeerus on Feb 14, 2016
    I'm very interested in doing this. It looks awsome. What size diameter rebar would you suggest? What's the spacing between bars?

  • Cynthia Hanchar Gerdes Cynthia Hanchar Gerdes on Mar 24, 2016
    Was the rebar flexible enough that it just bent to get it installed? Is it glued in? Please tell FIL and Hubby they did an awesome job and their legacy should be jotting down a few step by step instructions hehe....please?

    • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on Mar 24, 2016
      It is not glued in and no, not flexible. Its a balancing act to get it all put together and held in place. We started at one end, placed the pieces while holding the post at an angle, then moved on to the next section. It got a little tricky. (Hubby pre-drilled posts to accept rebar)

    • Cynthia Hanchar Gerdes Cynthia Hanchar Gerdes on Mar 24, 2016

  • Alison Land Alison Land on May 17, 2016
    Hi, what colour did you powder coat the rebar, and what diameter rebar did you use? Looks great!

  • Erin Erin on May 30, 2016
    What kind of drill/jig did you use to drill the holes through the center posts for the rebar to go through? Also what was the spacing between the rebar?

    • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on May 30, 2016
      The spacing varies depending on your local building codes. I believe ours couldn't allow a 4" ball to pass between. I will try to find a picture of what we used. My father in law made it.

    • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on May 31, 2016
      Here's a photo of the drill and the guide that was used for the holes.

  • Lainie Lainie on Nov 24, 2016
    No question, but if that's a pic of your father in law on the stairs you must've gotten married at 12, cause he looks awful young. 😉 Great job.

  • Weaver Weaver on Jan 15, 2017
    Did you use a tool to set the angle on the stairway and if so what is it called

    • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Jan 17, 2017
      On the wood or the rebar?

    • Margot Denise Mantle Margot Denise Mantle on Jan 17, 2017
      I can't remember what it's called but yes, there should be a picture of it in the comments somewhere showing it. It clamosmto the wood to drill the hole for the rebar at the angle needed.

    • Margot Denise Mantle Margot Denise Mantle on Jan 17, 2017
      I'll look for the picture and try to repost it if I can find it again.

  • John John on Feb 01, 2017
    What size rebar did you use and how did you determine the span? Thinking I might try this in a log cabin.

  • Steve Steve on Feb 18, 2017
    Looks great! Curious the dimensions of the handrail? Was it made out of 3 separate pieces of wood glued together (top, center & bottom)?

  • Cara Cara on Mar 24, 2017
    What diameter rebar did you use? What was your longest run with the rebar?

  • Oak29205291 Oak29205291 on Aug 16, 2017
    I am using Powder coated rebar for my deck rails and the angle for the stair horizontal slats is kicking my butt, what angle did you drill your holes at?

  • Nicole Nicole on Oct 12, 2019

    How long is your rebar and what’s deminsions? How much did this cost? I’m trying to get an idea of the cabling system that’s like 1400 or rebar is cheaper

  • Rhonda Thomspon Rhonda Thomspon on May 01, 2021

    What kind of wood did you use for the post?


Join the conversation

2 of 292 comments
  • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Jan 17, 2017
    It's really cool hanks for sharing!

  • J J on Apr 15, 2018

    My husband is going to put us some stairs and a catwalk in our cabin and he is planning on using rebar wire. I love the look and after seeing yours I want this even more. Thanks for sharing.