HomeOutdoor Living BlogComposite Deck Railing: Your Options & What You Need to Know

Composite Deck Railing: Your Options & What You Need to Know

June 7, 2022
Composite deck railing products and ideas from TimberTech

Looking for composite deck railing? While wood has traditionally been the material of choice for deck railing, composite is becoming more popular thanks to its high value for the cost, durability, and extremely low maintenance. And when you choose TimberTech® composite deck railing, you get the added benefit of ca highly customized, stylish railing to boot.

Composite deck railing with a cable rail infill on a high-rise composite deck

Benefits of TimberTech Composite Deck Railing

✓ Enduring beauty with greater fade and stain resistance than wood

✓ Long-lasting structural integrity thanks to high-performance material composition

✓ Low maintenance with no sanding, staining, or sealing required for protection

✓ Stylish customization options to create a unique look

Get an overview of your deck railing options including material choices, design ideas, DIY tips, and more in our Deck Railing Ideas Series. READ THE SERIES

Is Composite Deck Railing Worth It?

In short? Yes. Composite deck railing is engineered to outperform traditional wood in terms of durability and aesthetics so you can enjoy a beautiful railing for not just years, but decades. And the best part? It requires minimal maintenance, so you save money on the materials — and time — you would otherwise need for sanding, staining, and sealing traditional wood railing.

a graphic image showing composite deck railing components numbered

Know All Your Deck Railing Parts?

Get an overview of a deck railing system and all its components to better inform your railing design.

Your TimberTech Composite Deck Railing Options

Now that you know why a composite deck railing is worth it, it’s time to explore your options. TimberTech Railing offers several composite railing top rail designs with different infill options and colors you can choose from to create a fully customized deck perimeter.

Explore All Your Railing Options

Discover all your TimberTech railing options, from composite to aluminum, to find the right one for your needs and style.

If you’re looking for a railing that gives you the most choices in customizations, opt for the Classic Composite Series.

Ready-to-Customize Composite Deck Railing: The Classic Composite Series

Featuring several top rail designs, four unique infill options, and multiple colors, the Classic Composite Series is your go-to railing for a totally curated design.

Get familiar with your options and learn how to customize your railing design.

Step 1: Choose Your Top Rail

The top rail you choose sets the tone for the rest of your railing design. Options range from traditional milled wood looks to sleek modern designs, so you’re bound to find the right fit for your aesthetic style.

Step 2: Choose Your Infill

While your top rail choice sets the tone for your design, your infill is just as important as it helps define the aesthetic for your curated space.  

Composite Balusters

Choose this for: A stately, traditional look with a strong silhouette

Aluminum Balusters

Choose this for: A narrower profile compared to composite for clearer sightlines and a more modern aesthetic.

Stainless Steel Cable Rail

Choose this for: An industrial-chic look that doesn’t compromise on safety or durability.  

Glass Panels*

Choose this for: A chic, minimalist aesthetic and a strong, shatter-resistant construction.

*Glass panels not included with railing system

Step 3: Choose Your Colors

The colors you choose for your railing give your design its finishing touch. Your color selection extends to your rails, posts, and composite baluster infills (aluminum balusters only come in black). You can choose the same color for all three or mix and match for a striking look. When choosing railing colors, think about other exterior colors, such as your home’s trim, and choose to either match or contrast them.

NOTE: Your available color options will depend on your top rail choice.

Classic Composite Series Color Options

For the following top rails, Premier Rail, RadianceRail, Drink Rail, and Trademark Rail (excluding the Contemporary Top Rail), your options will be: Matte White, Matte Espresso, Black, and White. You’ll also be able to choose many of these colors for the posts and composite balusters of your railing design, regardless of top rail choice.

If you choose the Drink Rail, you’ll also have the choice of any deck board color from TimberTech decking collections featuring full-profile, square-shoulder deck boards, for your deck board top rail.

Contemporary Top Rail Color Options

For the Contemporary Top Rail, your color choices are Traditional Walnut or Classic Black. Remember you can also choose many of the colors above for the posts and composite balusters of your railing design, regardless of top rail choice.

Deck Lights: A Bright Idea

Add ambiance to your deck railing design and improve safety with deck railing lights in your post caps, posts, and rails.

Quick Tips for Composite Deck Railing Installation

Once you’ve locked in your railing design, you may be wondering if you can put it together yourself. DIY-ing your composite deck railing can be a rewarding experience, but keep in mind certain railing designs and infill options can be more challenging than others to install on your own.

Before you decide to DIY your railing, be sure to:

  1. Read through the railing installation guide to determine whether you’re comfortable with the process.
  2. Check local building codes to ensure your railing will meet code requirements.
  3. Reach out to your local town hall to determine whether a permit is needed for your project.

If you decide a DIY build is within your skillset, here are some basic requirements to help you out:

Deck railing height diagram

Basic Requirements for Railing Installation

Railing guardrail height: Typically at least 36” above the deck surface. In some applications, such as residential decks in California, as well as many commercial applications, the height needs to be 42”.*

Space between balusters: Typically no more than 4”.

Space between bottom rail and deck surface: Typically no more than 4”, but can be no more than 2” in certain applications.*

*Always check with your local building codes department  before installing your railing.

Keep in mind that a railing is typically required on decks that are 30” above ground level (check local codes to get the exact height requirement for your area). However, even on lower decks, a railing can improve your deck’s safety as well as add a design element for a polished outdoor living space.

Find local TimberTech-registered contractors near you who can lend you their expertise to your project. FIND A CONTRACTOR

Composite Deck Railing: How to Order

Ready to customize your railing and order your parts? Download our Railing Guide for a full list of your railing options and information for ordering all the necessary components. For any assistance with your project, feel free to reach out to a TimberTech Pro who can help answer your questions and set you on the right path for a successful project.

Find the Right Railing for You

The beauty of a railing’s many parts? Ample opportunity to customize to your personal style. Browse our Railing Guide for insight and inspiration.

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