There are quite a bit of choices when it comes to complementing your deck with an attractive railing.
The following types of railing classes have their disadvantages as much as the below Companies try to sell their products in a positive way. This report will give you an education in the various materials and products available on the market today.
And… although we are partial to Fence Quarter’s Deck Railing Inserts, our products will not suit everyone’s need. But we can assure you, when the right situation presents itself you will not find a better wood product on the market. With years of experience, meticulous engineering and the finest American found materials, you have just found a very factual comparison, enjoy:
Wood railings built on site
The bad news about on-site wood Deck Railing projects is multi-facetted:
The good news about Wood Deck Railings
Below is a realistic comparison of various types of other material products used for deck railings that the industry won’t tell you.
Composite railings are made in various ways with various materials. Various companies try to mimic wood and you will see they claim their products have a wood appearance. They will also mix wood into their product, and most are recycled plastics. The nature of a composite product is generally porous and will collect mold, moss and mildew spoors, hence they do need to be cleaned periodically. Some composite products become very hot to the touch. The composite material itself is very flexible, compared to wood and metal, hence on the longer railing sections these companies provide one or two supports to install underneath the bottom rail to prevent the railing from sagging. None of these companies discuss these as it is a negative for their products. I personally think these support measures do not look good. Over time, some product colors tend to fade, typically the darker products, and although the warranty will typically say Limited 25 Years, they are quite restrictive. Trex has had several class action lawsuits in the past, of which you can Google. They have learned to rewrite their warranty to make it sound great, but consumers should be aware by reading what the warranty covers. Balusters may tend to be loose when assembled. The designs are limited to vertical balusters. One last point, these products need to be assembled on site and when you receive some of the products in boxes, there is a fair amount of machining dust, etc.
Aluminum is one of the higher heat retaining metals available and can get hot to the touch in warm climates. Aluminum railings come pre-finished and in order to put a finish on the aluminum it is typically a powder coating process. Depending on your environment, mainly near saltwater, the aluminum will start to pit under the paint and the paint will begin to flake off. This takes around 8 – 10 years from my experience and the refinishing can become expensive and difficult to achieve. Aluminum railings do give off a cheaper look and you can typically tell that the railing is aluminum. Over time the paint can start to chalk which can be scrubbed down to renew the finish, but it will remove layers of paint over time.
Vinyl is a type of plastic, quite flexible and can come in many colors. You can tell that a fence or deck railing is vinyl as it always has a distinctive look. Like composite railings, you will typically find the manufacture includes a railing stabilizer to support the railing section from sagging, and again, they do not dwell on this unsightly fact. Vinyl is susceptible to staining especially when sulfites or Sulfur touches it. You will usually find Sulfur from wells, and if you irrigate your yard from a well, be sure not to let the sprinklers hit a vinyl product as cleaning them is quite difficult. The residue is a brownish color that will stain the vinyl. Vinyl is easy to keep clean and usually has UV protection, however over time darker colors may fade.
Glass can give you an upgraded and elegant look for your home and offers the advantage of seeing through a railing system and it is also used to reflect city noises from cars to keep your environment quitter. Glass requires a very sturdy frame system and I have seen it used in various applications, from wood frames to engineered frames with different thicknesses. You can’t use any glass, it should be a safety glass, much like your car windshield which has a plastic film sandwiched between it. This will allow it to crack but stay intact. Glass companies love to sell you a glass railing system, however, with the upper end look, you typically have an upper end price. There is also much more maintenance than any of the other choices on the market as glass will get dirty fast, so cleaning the panels is a chore, and becomes more complicated when you need to clean the outside of them, risking a fall factor. It is highly recommended to purchase a solid channel system, stainless steel that will house and seal the glass in place, as this will prevent materials from falling apart.
Cable, usually a stainless-steel cable comes with tensioning hardware and a system with posts you thread the cable through. I have experienced systems like this and wood post systems with the cable. It is a clean and unique look and requires the right home style to accommodate this railing system. The disadvantage is the cables run horizontal and some city codes do not allow a system of which a child could climb and possibly hurt themselves. The costs can add up quickly and installation is simple in concept but can be challenging.
PKR (Price Knot Ratio)
PKR is a Safety Measurement for wood balusters: PKR or Price Knot Ratio is a visual measurement of a knot and a method to help provide a reference point to determine the strength of a baluster on a wood deck railing. For example, take a wood baluster and look for a knot. If you were to visualize cutting through the baluster at the largest point of the knot, the Knot should not take up more than 25% of the crosscut surface area. The greater the percentage the knot takes up, the weaker the baluster at that point in the baluster.
Characteristics that all these above types of products have
Well, finally Fence Quarter gives you a whole new option
Fence Quarter’s Wood Railing Inserts
Choose from Custom pre-sized or Standard sizing where you cut the ends to fit yourself.
Top it all off with an optional Carbon Fiber Hardware, Fail Not Hardware System, and you now have the crème de la crème of Wood Deck Railings at an affordable price!