Deck Railings Systems and Material Choices
When we design your deck, we will review the different types of railing, post and spindle (also called balusters) options to see what fits your project and budget. Your home's style, project location, and budget are all considerations when selecting a railing option. Components such as the top rail, bottom rail and spindles -- including glass railing walls or cable systems -- need to fit together seamlessly and usually come from the same manufacturer so that colors, materials, and components match.
RAILING MATERIAL TYPES
Wood Railing Systems
Lower-cost pressure-treated lumber spindles come in a variety of types, from basic to decorative. Wood can be stained or painted. It is usually the least expensive deck material but requires the most maintenance. Exotic hardwoods like Cyprus and Brazilian cherry are other options. Wood railings can be matched with aluminum spindles for a different look.
Aluminum Railing Systems
Aluminum railing system resists fading, chipping, and rust, so you will never have to paint, pressure wash, stain, or replace the deck rail again. These systems come in verticle and horizontal spindle systems. Many of the decking companies also have matching or complementary railing systems made from aluminum or other materials.
Composite Railing Systems
Traditional composite decking, with matching railings and spindles, are a man-made building product that includes an approximately equal mix of recycled wood fibers and recycled plastic. Because composite products are so durable and impervious to rot, they have a much longer lifespan than wood decks. Specialty composite materials also include Rice Hull Composite decking which is a combination of salt, rice husks, and mineral oil. This decking material is 100% recyclable and is gaining in popularity.
Vinyl - Vinyl rails and spindles are great materials because they will not fade, rot, or rust and they come in many options and colors. PVC materials are composed entirely of polyvinyl chloride and contain no wood. PVC and vinyl components are generally a more expensive option in the decking industry but provide significant fade and stain resistance.
Cable Railing -- Cable railing allows you to see the view while maintaining safety on the deck. The design can be in squares or running horizontally. This type of railing has a contemporary feel to compliment many home designs. Spans between posts are usually around 4 ft. Cable railings need simple care to maintain their luster and prevent damage.
Glass Railing Systems
Glass railings invite in the light and the view. They are strong, durable structures around the perimeter of the deck. Glass requires less maintenance than other railing materials, like wood, and can be cleaned easily. Glass offers a solid barrier between the deck posts and the ground below. With an elevated deck, glass railings leave only a small gap between the glass and deck material to reduce the chance that objects will roll off the deck.
Glass railing with white posts
Specialty Railing Systems
There are also many specialty railing systems including Hogwire shown at right.
Please visit the manufacturer's websites below for more details on railing and post materials. Note that these are just a few of the many companies we use for railing materials.
TimberTech Railing Systems
Timbertech railings are available in metal (aluminum) or composite materials and are designed to go with your decking selection. Composite decking comes in three product brands: TimberTech Azek, Timbertech Pro and Timbertech Edge.
Trex® composite decking also has duo packages with railing systems in compolite or aluminum that can be mixed and matched in different colors. For instance, a top rail might be brown while the spindles may be white. Trex also makes glass railing systems.
Deckorators® offers several types of handrailings to go with their wide-selection of decking materials. Selections include cable railing, aluminum and composite railings, aluminum only and ADA compliant hand rails. Post covers come in stone as well to add additional accents to a deck.