When planning to add a new deck or renovate an existing one, the most important style choice homeowners will make is the railing. A deck’s overall look comes almost entirely from its railing, after all! To help you choose, today’s blog post offers eight of our favorite deck railing ideas that can truly transform a bland deck into an eye-catching outdoor living space.
About Deck Railing Material Options
When it comes to decking material, it wasn’t long ago that wood was the only option. Of course, the challenge of wooden decking is maintenance—the required sanding and staining to keep it looking great. Homeowners now have the choice of using vinyl or other decking materials, including in the railing.
Both vinyl—our favorite material here at Elite Outdoor Expressions—and aluminum require almost no maintenance and are more durable than wooden railings. Best of all, they come in a wide variety of styles and colors to enhance the beauty of any home—from Victorian to contemporary and every architectural style in between. For these reasons, vinyl and aluminum railings are quickly becoming the most popular options in modern deck railing designs.
Vinyl railing is made from an extremely strong plastic material that won’t fade from sun exposure, is fire resistant, and won’t splinter like a wooden railing. Best of all, vinyl railings come in many different colors and are so easy to clean. They also come in a range of styles from simple to ornate.
Traditional, simple railing features vertical balusters, which are the pieces that fill in the space between the horizontal handrail and bottom rail. Vertical balusters are by far the most common railing option, and our Victorian railing design is an excellent example—and a bestseller. Standard style/straight vinyl railing is also one of the most economical options, which makes it popular.
2. Turned Style
Turned style railing—aka Colonial-style—is named after the styles of historically wooden balusters that were shaped or sculpted with a lathe. Vinyl turned railing comes in some of the same classic styles, such as our popular Madison railing design. This means homeowners can enjoy classic and historic looks without the old-fashioned level of maintenance.
3. Specialty Railings
Homeowners who want something that is a little bit different will like the array of designs offered in the category of specialty railings. Specialty railings—like our Valley Forge deck railing—are more modern, often thicker than standard and turned styles, and frequently include combinations of vinyl handrails and bottom rails with aluminum rods as balusters. Specialty railings can also feature two different colors for the rails and balusters.
4. Clear Panel
The hottest trend in deck railing is using clear panels instead of balusters. Clear panels afford a completely unobstructed view while also giving the deck the look of luxury. Clear panels tend to come in glass or plastic. Thick tempered glass is the clearest and most durable option, which is why we offer that material in our Clearview railing style.
Aluminum railing is a great choice for decks because it is available in an array of colors and does not rust or fade. Aluminum railing comes in a wide selection of styles, from modern to classic. There are even styles that look like their wrought-iron predecessors. But, unlike those old, heavy iron railings, aluminum railing is easy to clean and never needs to be repainted.
Perhaps the most common style of aluminum railing that looks great on any home is the square railing, which we feature in both our Arabian and American series railing systems. In this simple style, the balusters are square and run vertically between the handrails and bottom rails. Square styling provides a clean, conservative, yet modern look.
As its name implies, twisted railing starts as a square rod that is twisted lengthwise, giving it a look similar to strands of licorice. The effect on any home is quite stunning. Another way to dial up the style is to alternate square and twisted balusters along the length of the railing.
Bowed railing is becoming increasingly popular. It is composed of the homeowner’s choice of square or hammered balusters that feature an outward bend along their bottom half. This bend gives any deck a unique profile as well as a more spacious feel, particularly when leaning on the handrails. Visit our aluminum railings page here on the website to download our catalogs and get a better sense of the design possibilities!
8. Horizontal & Vertical Cables
In recent years, the incorporation of aluminum and stainless steel cables into railings has become a popular trend. Cables give any railing a fresh, modern look, while also opening up the view. Best of all, cables are just as strong and durable as other baluster options, making them a safe choice.
Cables can stretch either horizontally or vertically between posts. They can dramatically improve the look of any home, giving it a contemporary appearance. Deciding between vertical cables or horizontal cables is purely an aesthetic choice. However, families with children who like to climb may want to stick with vertical cables.
Elite Outdoor Expressions Can Make Your Outdoor Living Space Dreams Come True
Adding a deck or upgrading one is an excellent investment in any home and one that should last for many years. With so many vinyl and aluminum railing styles from which to choose, there has never been a better time for homeowners to add a deck or new deck railing to their homes.
To learn more about deck and railing options or for help selecting the best style for their home, homeowners should contact us here at Elite Outdoor Expressions. We are sure to have the perfect railing for your home or budget—and offer complete installation, too.