The home or any establishment is automatically made a bit homier when there is a deck involved. When you think of a deck, it is always comprised of several things:

• A few steps
• The landing
• The deck itself
• The railings

While each part has a role to play, today we will be focusing on the railings of a deck.


What are Deck Railings?

As most decks are slightly elevated from the normal terrain, a degree of safety is required. A deck railing is effectively a guard rail that keeps people from walking off of the deck’s surface. At least, that was how it all started. As time went on, the deck railing was seen as a way to add style or a theme to a deck.


Types of Railings

Deck railings are now seen as an integral part of making a deck wholly complete in terms of usage and style. One of the best things about technological evolution is that everything else gets an upgrade as well. In order to meet the demand for better and more stylish decks, more and more types of deck railings started to pop up through the years.

Here are a few of them:



Ther glass railings are often used in commercial establishments.

Glass or panel railings have been a favorite for posh establishments and homes through the 90s. Glass railings often add a touch of industrialism for most modern houses. They are often chosen to add a sense of openness to a home or an establishment.

For homeowners that completely value the view, glass railings are a perfect choice. Of course, not just any glass will do. Glass that will be used for railings need to be treated through a process that will make it tougher and less prone to damage. Decks are outside and therefore, the materials that you choose to be part of it must be able to take a lot of abuse from the weather and the owners themselves.



Iron Railings are more common in Europe.

When you think of old estates in England, more often than not you will include Victorian houses with their wrought iron gates and railings. Iron railings have been a favorite since the 1800s. They are tough and can be shaped to meet any design chosen—having them twisted and bent to meet a design can be a little tough but the end result is often very worth it.

Iron adds an old world beauty for decks and homes. As such, they continue to be in high demand. There is some concern toward their availability in the market as Iron is an element that needs to be mined. As such, they can be really costly especially when you need a lot of it. Iron has always been quite immune to the supply and demand logic of it’ll be cheaper when you buy in bulk.



This is an example of a wooden railing.

Of course, when it comes to the discussion of decks, wood will always be a part of it. A lot of homeowners will often choose wooden railings for their decks as it adds a really homey feel to the final result. Wooden decks are very popular so it would only make sense that the wooden railings would have a certain degree of popularity as well.

There are a variety of wood options available in the market like mahogany or cedar. What needs to be considered is the price of obtaining a certain type of wood in your area. While some types of wood are really tough and beautiful, the overall cost of shipping and maintenance should be considered.

Wooden railings are a great way to establish a classic look to any deck. Nothing quite compares to the feel of actual wood beneath your fingertips.



This picture shows a simple steel railings.

Not to be confused with iron that was mentioned earlier in this discussion. Steel is an alloy that is a combination of iron and a certain amount of carbon. There are also other formulas that are involved into creating different types of steel.

Steel is often more amenable to customization and adds a sleeker touch to the design of a deck railing. Steel is often paired with other types of railing like glass. They are a perfect marriage to showcase the more modern and industrial designs that have been favored in the last few decades of home design. There has always been a constant debate between which is better steel or iron. Ultimately, it will be down to the personal preference and the budget of the homeowner.


Composite Wood

A composite wood railing is made up of different kind of woods and doesn't necessarily has to look like this one on the picture.


The whole revolution of composite wood took the decorating and building world by storm. While wood was indeed beautiful, there were a lot of concerns regarding its shelf life and how durable it could be. Wood is an organic product and will eventually decay over time.

Composite wood saves homeowners from that decay. Composite wood is often a good mix of wood and plastic. This means that while it can look and feel like wood, it has the durability and inorganic attribute of plastic. This means that composite wood tends to last longer than organic wooden decks and railings.

Composite wood is also known to be highly durable which makes it a favorite for homes that experience harsh climate changes and temperature shifts like the beach or the desert.


Final Notes

When you do choose which railing type works best for you, it would still be advisable to keep your options open. After all, certain types of railing are subject of availability and depending on your location, can be more difficult or more expensive to obtain.

You must also consider the type of maintenance that it will take over the years. Not every option will require the same type of care. Some will require less while others may require more. This is why it is so critical to make fully informed choices before you commit to a particular style of deck railing for your property.

No matter what you end up choosing, just make sure that it is up to the safety code of your area. Decks are things of beauty but above all, they must be safe to use.