Explore Deck Railing Designs to Inspire Your Project

June 25, 2021
HomeOutdoor Living IdeasExplore Deck Railing Designs to Inspire Your Project

One of the most important elements to achieving a functional, design-forward outdoor living space? Your deck railing. Whether you already have a deck or want to enhance your outdoor living space with a new build, you need the right deck railing designs for a completed look and feel.

We’ve got the insight you need to lock in your polished perimeter.

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Deck Railing Designs: How to Find the Right Fit

Deck railing designs: how to find the right fit

When you think about deck railing designs, there are two primary categories to consider: railing material and aesthetics.

Note that both categories are important and both categories are interrelated.

Here’s How You’ll Find the Right Fit

  1. First, we’ll break down your railing material options and explore the benefits of each.
  2. Then, we’ll dive into aesthetic considerations.
  3. Finally, we’ll bring both together with style-right inspiration for attractive deck railing designs.

Step 1: Explore by Material

Deck railing designs step 1: explore by material

Deck railing materials range in performance, aesthetics, and maintenance needs. Learn about the most popular railing materials and the benefits of each to help you decide on the best railing for your space.  

Popular Railing Materials to Know

Traditional wood railing for deck railing designs
Traditional Wood

Commonly thought to be the least expensive railing option.

However, mounting repair and maintenance expenses mean wood has the least longevity and long-term value of the three most common railing materials

Composite railing for deck railing designs
Composite

Even cleaner aesthetics than traditional wood, plus far superior performance. Composite railing is:

  • Resistant to moisture and weathering.
  • Doesn’t require sanding, staining, or sealing.
Aluminum railing for deck railing designs
Aluminum

Aluminum railing features the look of wrought iron with a lighter, but no less resilient, build. Aluminum railing is:

  • Resistant to corrosion, fading, staining, and warping.
  • Requires minimal maintenance.

Composite and aluminum railing systems therefore deliver incredible durability while keeping your deck design sleek and attractive.

Note, however: The right deck railing designs for your space may not be made of just one material. Mixing and matching deck railing materials by varying elements like posts, post caps, or infills means you capture an attractive look that is uniquely you.

MIX AND MATCH MATERIALS LIKE A PRO
Discover how mixed-material railings let you truly curate your space. LEARN MORE

Step 2: Explore by Aesthetics

Deck railing designs step 2: Explore by aesthetics

Curating your railing to achieve your desired aesthetic is about choosing the right combination of the following factors, namely:

railing infill type

Railing Profile

Your railing profile refers to the shape of the top and bottom rails. Options range from traditional milled wood looks to sleek minimalist designs.

railing color

Color

Choose your railing colors to either match or contrast other elements of your deck design and home exterior.

Infill type

Infill Type

Infills (the part between the top and bottom rails) include composite or aluminum balusters. glass panels (not included), or a steel cable infill. All provide a different look.

overall railing material

Overall Material

Whether made of one material, or a mix, the materials in your railing will contribute to its overall look and feel.

Step 3: Explore Deck Railing Designs & Get Inspiration

Now that you know your material choices and have an idea of which aesthetic considerations will guide your choice, you’re ready to see how they all work together to create a unique railing design.

Explore completed deck railing designs to inspire your own build.

contemporary cool deck railing designs

Contemporary Cool

GREAT FOR: Entertaining spaces that have a view to soak in.

A steel cable infill allows for clear sightlines while the composite deck board top rail offers the perfect perch to set drinks.

THE FINAL LOOK: A unique, trend-right railing that suits contemporary or mid-century modern homes.

classic and stately deck railing designs

Classic & Stately

GREAT FOR: Spaces that often host evening chats or dinner parties.

Crisp white composite railing features a traditional millwork style top rail for a classic look and feel. Railing lights add an ambient glow to the elegant curvature.

THE FINAL LOOK: An elegant, stately railing that complements traditional-style homes.

modern and minimalist deck railing designs

Modern & Minimalist

GREAT FOR: Spaces in natural settings that benefit from clear sightlines and an open feel.

  • Sleek aluminum railing features little ornamentation for a minimalist aesthetic.
  • Black posts and rails complement the angular modern furniture.
  • The glass infill creates clear sightlines while giving the deck an open, airy feel.

THE FINAL LOOK: A clean, simple railing ideal for modern homes.

Feeling inspired and ready to get started on your own deck railing designs?

Download the Railing Guide to review your railing material, profile, infill, and color options so you can curate your perfect deck perimeter.

Get the DIY Insight to Do Your Project Right

Dive into our Deck Building Resource Center for easy-to-follow tips, guided install videos, and more.

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