A deck is one of the most versatile and beautiful areas of outdoor living space. There are more options than ever in deck designs and embellishments. Deck railings are one of the easiest ways to make your deck unique and beautiful.
You don’t need to feel constrained to using the same material for the railings as the deck floor. A contrasting color or material can be a beautiful choice. Wrought iron, contrasting wood, wood in different designs or even glass or plastic make good choices for modern deck designs.
Wood railing is one of the easiest and most economical railing materials. The railings can be constructed and installed at the home location by any carpenter. Wood is quite versatile and the railings do not need to be limited to vertical slats. They can be in a starburst pattern, a lattice pattern, or any other design the homeowner can imagine. It is important to note that over time, wood railings can warp, particularly if thinner slats are used.
Metal deck railing is more stable, because metal is stronger than wood. They will also last longer than wood because they resist the wearing effects of weather. Metal railings are more difficult to install and may require more expertise. Metal railings can provide either a rustic feel or a modern, industrial look.
Glass railings are not more useful or safer than wood or metal railings, but they do provide a very open feeling for the deck. Glass is also a good option when you require an unobstructed view – perhaps for a beach house. Glass (or Plexiglas or Lexan) is the most expensive option and also the most difficult to install. Glass can be fragile and may not withstand the elements well.
Vinyl railing systems are another option. Vinyl holds up well to the weather and can be manufactured in a variety of colors.
Railings are chosen by balancing safety, beauty, view and budget.