What Deck Railing is Right for You?

Posted On 14th March 2017

Safety railings are required for most decks and people often worry that they will detract from their view or take away from the beauty of the deck itself. With the modern railing designs available today there are many different options to keep you and your guests safe and wow them with the perfect deck railing.  No matter if you are putting a deck on your new restaurant or your own home there is a deck railing out there perfectly suited for your needs.  

PVC Railings

PVC deck railing has come a long way from the days of plain white slats.  There are a variety of sizes available in PVC railings as well as different post types, rail and slat types. With plenty of finishing touches available like end caps and top caps you can still style a PVC railing to your taste. PVC is one of the top choices for deck railing because it is durable, and easy to clean and care for.  PVC is more commonly seen in private use, but is a great option for commercial use as well.  

The Positives   - Durable, easy to clean, easy to install, less maintenance than wood railing.

The Negatives  - Can crack or discolor overtime, quality PVC is more expensive than wood

Wood Railings

The classic look of wood is so hard to pass up, there are many styles available and wood can be stained or painted to achieve just the right look for your deck. Wood is the top choice for deck railings and is one of the more affordable options available depending on the type of wood that you choose.  Wood deck railings are great option for any application. We offer a cable system that can work with wood posts.

The Positives     - Can match any color scheme or deck design, more affordable, easy to replace and install.

The Negatives  - Higher maintenance - wood will have to be treated every 1-3 years depending on your environment.  

Pipe Railings

Pipe railings are great for modern, commercial and industrial designs they can even be polished to create a sleek finish to your deck. You can use aluminum or steel pipes and there are plenty of different types of fittings available to put your unique stamp on your safety railing.  Pipe railing is easy to care for and is among the most durable options on the market. 

The Positives    - Extremely durable in most environments, can be painted to match any décor.

The Negatives  - Aluminum piping is not recommended for use in high chlorine areas such as pool surrounds.  

Cable Railings

Cable railings are an interesting mix of different materials. In a cable railing system several strands of cable are pulled horizontally through either wood or pipe posts.  This gives you the options of mixing styles and creating an entirely unique look.  Cable railings create a safe barrier without blocking out the beautiful view from your deck.

The Positives     - Many different combination options, easy to install, holds up to extreme weather conditions.

The Negatives  -  One of the more expensive deck railing options, your local building code may have special requirements for cable deck railings.

Safety is the number one concern for deck railings, but safe does not have to mean plain or ugly.  Choosing the perfect deck railing is all up to you and your personal style, there are many good options out there that will protect the people using your deck and look fabulous to boot.

One final note, always check with your local building inspector before deciding on a style or material, each municipality and state is different.  While the International Building Code creates a guideline, each area makes its own determination on the codes it will adopt.  

 Back To List