When designing a deck for your yard, you may not put much thought into the railings. Many homeowners choose a material for their deck and just assume that the railings will be made out of the same material. Now, isn’t that a little bit boring? Part of the reason decks have railings is for safety, but that doesn’t have to be the only purpose of your railing. There are endless ways you can mix and match the design of your deck railings to create visual interest with contrast. Here are some deck railing ideas to inspire you not to limit yourself.
Explore Natural or Funky Colors with Vinyl Railings
Vinyl has become a popular decking material because it is virtually maintenance-free. It requires none of the staining, sealing, or painting that you may need to perform yearly with a wood deck, and it’s not as susceptible to cracking, splintering, insect damage, and moisture damage. It can also be used to imitate the appearance of wood. However, the benefits of vinyl don’t stop at durability. Vinyl is available in a multitude of color choices, so if you want a modern deck in an unnatural color, you can get one without any painting needed.
The same properties that make vinyl a great deck material also make it a great railing material, and with the many available colors, it’s easy to mix and match. One way to create contrast is by adding a vinyl railing to a wood deck. If you have a vinyl deck, you can also add a vinyl railing in another color or texture. Many lighter decks feature darker railings–and you can also try it the other way around. A wood or naturally-colored vinyl deck with a white railing is a crisp, modern look that has been growing traction. Another benefit of vinyl railings is that vinyl can be bent into any shape, meaning you can have a curved railing whereas you are limited to right angles with wood.
Experience the Best of the Wood and Plastic World with Composite Railings
Composite decking materials are composed of both recycled wood and plastics, making them eco-friendly. They share many of the maintenance-free properties associated with vinyl and are available with grain patterns that imitate pure wood. With wood-plastic composites, you have many texture options, and some products feature different textures on either side of the board (TimberTech’s TwinFinish is a great example of this). Like vinyl railings, composite railings make it easy to create contrast and match your deck furniture or features of your home.
Because of their wood component, composite deck railings are susceptible to water damage, and they can expand and contract, leading to issues with warping. Capped composite railings are coated with a layer of PVC that repels moisture and increases their longevity.
Built-in seating can be added to vinyl or composite railings, turning your deck into a space that can accommodate large gatherings. Plus, in addition to the myriad options for post cap styles, some vinyl or composite post caps feature built-in lighting so you can entertain well into the night.
Get Durability and Visibility with Aluminum Railings
Aluminum deck railings are another durable, low-maintenance option and can be added to vinyl, composite, or wood decks. With aluminum, you are more limited in color choice than you are with vinyl and composite–aluminum railings are typically black, though they are available with colored finishes. They do come, however, in a variety of ornate, decorative styles.
A benefit of aluminum deck railings is that they offer more visibility than vinyl, composite, and wood. Aluminum railings are thinner and more widely spaced, enabling you to see more of your lovely yard from your deck. One drawback of aluminum deck railings is that you don’t have a flat surface to place your drink. However, for the best of both worlds, wood, vinyl, or composite posts can be combined with aluminum pickets, creating additional contrast.
Enjoy Breathtaking Views Through Tempered Glass
While your yard can be seen through aluminum deck railings, tempered glass railings are the only way to truly avoid blocking your line of vision. Tempered glass is frequently seen on decks that overlook the beach, but they’re excellent for any homeowner that wants a breathtaking view of the surrounding scenery. If your landscape is particularly stunning, tempered glass that functions as a window to your property may be the right deck railing material for you. Tempered glass also protects you from the wind while you’re relaxing on your deck, which is another reason it’s ideal for beach houses.
We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the ways you can enhance your home with clever deck railing installation. When deciding on a design for your deck, adding a unique railing style is a great way to increase your enjoyment of your yard. As with all backyard design decisions, the choice of deck railings depends on your specific needs and preferences, and there’s no reason not to break away from the norm and try out something new.