Wood, Vinyl or Metal Deck Railings?

Lead Image for Wood, Vinyl or Metal Deck Railings?
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 30-450

Decking has become an increasingly popular garden addition in recent years and many homeowners finish these attractive features by adding wood, vinyl or metal deck railings. As well as providing an added visual appeal, deck railings also offer an element of safety particularly for younger children who can easily forget that a particular platform is at an unsafe height when distracted. Deck railings are normally chosen to match an existing theme and there are five different types available.

Standard Deck Railing

Standard deck railing tends to be the most commonly used type of railing and these are usually selected because they are inexpensive and simple to install. These railings are usually made from the wood of either the pine or the poplar tree and can complement wooden decking particularly well.

Unfortunately, standard deck railing needs quite a bit of maintenance. This particular type of railing will require extensive staining treatments every year and even then, there are no guarantees that the wood won’t begin to rot once inclement weather begins to wear away the staining. Standard deck railings often have to be replaced after just a few short years.

Custom Wood Deck Railings

Although custom wood deck railings still have to be treated, they are made in different types of wood to a standard deck railing and will last much longer if they receive regular treatment. Custom wood deck railings are also made to order so homeowners don’t have to manipulate prefabricated railings to fit into awkward areas.

Because custom wood deck railings are quite expensive, professional fitting is recommended although a DIY enthusiast with intermediate to advanced skill levels should be able to deal with such an installation without too many difficulties. Mahogany, heart red cedar and old-growth redwood are popular materials for these features because of their durability and superior quality.

Metal Deck Railings

Metal deck railings provide a stronger option than wooden alternatives yet still manage to remain cost-effective. Installation is a relatively easy affair that makes use of ready-to-use guide strips. Aluminum and wrought iron are popular choices of metal for these particular deck railings and bars are normally coated to protect against adverse weather conditions.

Composite Deck Railings

Composite deck railings are more expensive than most types of decorative alternatives but because they are incredibly hard-wearing and durable, they remain very popular with many homeowners. Most composite deck railings are made from vinyl and styles can often be limited because of the price factor.

Vinyl deck railings look great on modern properties that already make extensive use of other vinyl or PVC additions but they don’t integrate particularly well in older properties

Specialty Deck Railings

Specialty deck railings will usually use the framework of wood, vinyl or metal. However, these custom-made pieces will also integrate additional materials to produce a unique design.

Acrylic plastic, tempered glass, and wire cables can all be used on specialty deck railings to provide a distinctive finish that will add quality, style, and individuality to any home decking environment.