Maybe you’re starting from scratch, or perhaps you are replacing your outdated or unsafe railing system. When most people think of deck railing systems, their first thought is that they are typically regarded as a safety feature meant to protect from falling off. However, these railings are hardly JUST installed for the sake of safety now.

The type of deck railing you choose also adds a lot of character and beauty to the generally flat surface of a deck and can really make the look of a deck complete. On the other hand, they can also be an obstruction when taking in a beautiful view.

Whatever your layout, no matter how much knowledge you have of railing components, picking the perfect deck railing may take some time since there are so many options. This guide is meant to provide all the information you need to select the right systems for your needs.

What Components Makeup Deck Railing Systems?

Most railing systems comprise several key parts, including:

  1. Railing: Also known as the top railing or handrail, the railing runs horizontally between the vertical posts, often with a design that’s ergonomic for the hand. If you go for modern designs you can find stainless steel rods that may be square or minimalist. On the other hand, most entertainers also consider a drink rail, which provides a flat surface for resting cups and glasses.

  2. Bottom rail: If you go by the traditional railing systems, the bottom rail runs parallel to the top rail below the balusters or infill panels and is often smaller and more subtle.

  3. Infills or balusters: These are added to offer some aesthetic versatility and are installed below the top rails. You can choose from traditional vertical balusters, horizontal balusters, trendy cable rail, mesh panels, or glass balusters or panels that preserve sweeping views.

  4. Vertical supports or posts provide attachment support for rails, horizontal balusters, and infill panels.

  5. Post caps: Most railing kits come with coordinating caps, but you can also choose a different style to make it your own and add more flair.

  6. Lighting up your deck: The LED lighting system is integrated into the railing, posts, post caps, and even decking to create the perfect soft glow while increasing safety and ambiance for evenings on the deck.

Factors to Look For When Choosing Deck Railing Systems

  1. Aim for a High-performance and low-maintenance material: When choosing railing, it is important to consider this point, so that you will be able to spend more time relaxing on your deck rather than looking for ways to maintain it. Although a classic option and traditional choice, wood railing requires frequent staining and sealing. Plus, wood is prone to rotting and decay. Stainless steel and aluminum offer durable, attractive, and versatile options that are easy to work with and maintain.

  2. Showcase your Style: Selecting the design should be fun, but with the number of options available it can be overwhelming considering the myriad of options available. To simplify some things for you, we have narrowed down the approach to achieve a successful decking and railing pairing:

    1. Coordinate: To create a cozy, well-coordinated look, you can never go wrong by selecting the railing in the same material and color as your decking, such as a metal railing for a metal railing.

    2. Contrast: If you have selected something different or unique, and you have trouble finding a perfect match for your decking- or if you’re open to trying something different- consider railing in a contrasting color, such as black or white, galvanized or vinyl coated. All these are classic options that complement virtually any outdoor setting.

    3. Customize: Let the creative juices flow! For homeowners seeking a custom look, mix colors and materials, such as combining vinyl-coated cables and balusters with white composite posts, to create a dramatic, distinctive design.

For those who prefer to eliminate any guesswork from the process, Muzata Railing offers a handy metal post system on our website, which features design curated metal post systems for a cool modern look.

The Different Types of Deck Railing Materials

Modern and Minimalist Metal Railings: For their simple and sleek design, cable railing infills have burst in popularity. The wire cables connect neighboring posts in a horizontal design or are sometimes installed vertically between the top and bottom rails. These designs provide a safe perimeter without obstructing your favorite views.

Metal or stainless steel metal deck railing systems offer strength and durability while still providing an attractive look to any outdoor space. It is one of the most popular metals used because it is strong yet lightweight and requires little maintenance other than occasional cleaning with soap and water. Moreover, in terms of customization options, these offer a lot in terms of color or design elements, there are a lot of options such as ornamental scrolls or finals on top of the posts.

The pros of installing metal railings:

  1. Offers a sleek profile that gives you narrow clean lines to complement the lines and angles of your modern-style home

  2. The minimalist aesthetic designs that keep your views unobstructed

  3. Durable, safe, and low maintenance option

Traditional Hardwood Railing Post: If you love a timeless look for your deck perimeter then composite railings designed with a traditionally milled wood-look give a sophisticated and classic feel.

Without a doubt, this craftsman style showcases how beautiful wood workmanship can look with traditional designs and gorgeous grain patterns. If you want to recreate the charm of expertly carved woods, there is not much a go-to craftsman rail design as it’s aesthetics.

In situations like this, a solid, traditional hardwood railing post can certainly do the job. For a low-maintenance accent to your craftsman-style home, you can install a composite railing with some textures and colors.

To add usability, you can also take advantage of additional composite features like drink rails. Although the maintenance work is actually more with wood. The pros include:

  1. Durable design and unique craftsmanship

  2. Traditional look and feel

Add Function and Flair with Wood plus metal Infills: This design incorporates elements of both traditional and contemporary design for a unique look. A deck board with top rail and metal wires between each post gives you a modern, functional railing profile. For an added flourish, stick to contemporary deck baluster ideas like stainless steel cable railing deck systems to round out your transitional design with a perfect balance of classic and modern. The pros include:

  1. Adds additional functionality to your railing

  2. Wide variety of colors and styles available to match your deck

Configure Glass Panels for Elegance: To install a stylish and contemporary railing without obstructing your views, glass railings are another opportunity. The gaps are comparatively smaller than other popular railing infills, which can be a great perk for families with small kids or pets: just know that little fingerprints and nose prints are part of the package.

That means glass railings require a lot of upkeep, while still providing safety features like handrails or balusters to keep you safe while enjoying your outdoor space. The pros include:

  1. Gapless designs provide a safe safe solid barrier

  2. Unobstructed views

Contemporary high-end look to your balcony or staircase