While we may spend a lot of time discussing whether to get a cedar or ipe deck, we pay little or no attention to the railing. But if you think about it, the deck railing system is the first thing your visitors see. It’s also the structural element that will keep you safe and define the style of your outdoor decking. Intrigued already?
Let’s point out a few considerations. When you talk to a deck contractor, you will be asked to choose both the design and the material. What you need to consider is the length of the deck – hence, the length of the railing system. Sometimes, an intricate design might look too pompous for your home style. And then again, your home style should dictate the deck railing design. If you want to keep the traditional style, you won’t invest in glass rails.
Another consideration is your safety and convenience. Your decision depends on whether or not your cedar deck is tall and has stairs, while the presence of kids will also influence your decision. You might not want cable rails if this is tall deck and there are children in the house. With such tips said, let’s move on to see your deck railing material and design options.
Cable railing systems for a modern touch
Choosing cable rails matched with wood paneling is an excellent choice. It’s the best way to bring the timeless beauty of wood and the modern appeal of cables to your outdoor. With cable rails, you have a nearly unobstructed view.
Glass railing for unobstructed view
If you crave for a clear view, opt for glass rails. Here the glass prevails. And so, it’s best to keep the posts minimal and thin. This way, the view will not be obstructed and the modern elegance of glass will dominate.
Aluminum railings are timeless
Aluminum railings in dark or light hues are a timeless choice. Their main advantage is their high resistance to the elements. And then, there are modern and classic designs. But as a material, aluminum can break the classic look of wood deck and modernize the outdoor environment.
Wood deck railing designs
Wood decking matched with wood rails is a perfect combination. As a material, wood is timeless and brings tons of classic charm to the location. The only downside with wood is that it requires maintenance more often than the other materials.
Modern deck railing ideas for relaxing moments in the yard
Top rail options
The top rail can be flat, round, or may be missing altogether. The latter is suggested for minimal structures that rather look more like a wood fence than a rail. The round top rail is modern and easy to hold on from, while the flat options are great if you like to place glasses, flower pots, or other items on the top rail.
The rails can be illuminated. You may choose a railing system with an illuminated top rail or illuminated posts. This is if you like to enhance the outdoor lighting or love to create a Christmas-like feeling all year around.
The baluster design will make all the difference to the deck style. These are the main components of the deck railing system that stand out, and the design options are quite endless.
- Horizontal or vertical balusters
- Balusters made of rope
- Balusters that resemble tree branches
- Intricate designs
- Frameless glass railing
- Box-like balusters
- Wavy styles / geometrical designs
- Different width balusters
- Industrial designs
The color of the deck railing system will also define the style of your home exterior. In most cases, the rails are dark – anything from bronze and black to natural wood tones. It’s best to choose hues based on the deck. If you want the ipe decking to dominate in the space, don’t try to draw the attention with the rails. Alternatively, you can play by painting white the top rail to give a tone, while leaving the balusters in their natural hue. Here the choices are nearly endless, too.