Railing Systems

Trex Signature Rod Rail makes designing your railing easy.

What railing fits your deck life? Are you looking for a picturesque view? DIY-friendly install? A look to match your home's architecture? We'll find you a railing that doesn't just fit your deck - it fits your life.

Max options & trusted guidance with DecksDirect: we've got a huge selection of railing options in all materials, styles, colors and functions. Let us guide you to the perfect railing for you - then we’ll ship it to you fast!

General Railing FAQs

What Parts Make Up Deck Railing?

Deck railing is made up of (1) rails, (2) posts, and (3) infill, as shown below:

A diagram showing the parts of a deck railing

Rails are the long, horizontal bars - most railing systems will have a top rail and a bottom rail. Posts are the thick, vertical pieces that give your railing strength. Posts and rails create a square or rectangle; infill sits inside that square or rectangle. Infill can be balusters - smaller, vertical bars parallel to your posts. But railing can also use glass balusters, glass panels, or metal cables as infill.

What Types Of Railings Can I Choose For My Deck?

There are a wealth of options when it comes to deck railings. At DecksDirect, we research them all and select only the best, highest-quality options to carry in our warehouse. Here are the main railing options we carry:

How Do I Replace My Deck’s Railing?

Replacing your deck’s railing can instantly improve home safety, and an upgraded deck railing completely transforms the look and feel of your deck. If you’re interested in a railing refresh, here’s how to start:

  1. Measure the length of your current railings for an accurate estimate
  2. Explore your options in our Deck Railing Guide
  3. Give our team a call at 1-888-824-5316 to talk through the best options for your space, budget and timeline.

The great thing about railing replacement is that you can often spread out the cost and labor by breaking your project into phases. If you’re looking to replace an old, weathered wood railing, consider first replacing your infill with metal balusters for a sharp, contrasting look. Then you can replace your rails and posts later on without having to buy new balusters.

Where Can I Buy Deck Railing?

DecksDirect is the best place to buy deck railing. Here are three of the many reasons why:

  • Get Real Service: We have a team of deck enthusiasts ready to learn about your railing needs and help you plan your project. When you call DecksDirect, you don’t get a phone tree robot or a pushy salesperson. You reach a real person who cares about getting to know you and then building you a railing project plan that fits your needs, timeline and budget.
  • Get It Completely Fast: We ship 99.5% of our orders the same day they’re placed, and we reach most of the United States in three days or less. Don’t delay your project - we’ll make sure you stay on timeline!
  • Get The Largest In-Stock Selection: We have the biggest in-stock selection anywhere. Period. Get the most choices when it comes to railing materials, styles, and setups, without waiting on back-ordered items..

You can always order online, or you can call us during regular business hours at 1-888-824-5316 and talk to a trained deck project planner. When you call DecksDirect, you reach a real person with a real passion for decking - not a robot or an automated system.

Railing Code

Do I Need To Have A Railing On My Deck?

If your deck is more than 30 inches (two-and-a-half feet) off the ground, you need a railing to meet building codes.

Even decks or patios shorter than two and a half feet can benefit from a deck railing, though they aren’t required in most areas. You should always check your local building codes to make sure your deck and railing are compliant.

How Tall Do My Railings Have To Be?

The International Residential Code (IRC) requires railings to be at least 36 inches high - that’s three feet from your deck surface to the top of the railing. Always check your local building codes, though, as some local or state authorities require taller railings.

The IRC requires stair railings to be 34 inches high, though you should once again check with your local building codes to make sure you’re in compliance.

What Is The Maximum Height Of A Deck Without Railing?

If your deck or patio is 30 inches or less off the ground, the International Residential Code (IRC) doesn’t require railings. Two important caveats: first, local building codes may have stricter requirements, so make sure you check with your local or state municipalities. Second, even if your deck is low enough to not require a railing, it may still benefit from one. Railings are important to keeping guests safe, especially children or pets. If you’re unsure if you need a railing or not, give our team a call at 1-888-824-5316 and we’d be happy to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Do I Need Railing On My Deck Stairs?

If your stairs are more than 30 inches from the ground at any point, the International Residential Code requires railings. Stairs shorter than 30 inches aren’t common, so if you have deck stairs, odds are you need to have railings.

Local and state authorities can have stricter requirements than the IRC, so it’s always important to check your local building codes to make sure your project is up to standards.

Choosing Your Deck Railing

What Type Of Railing Is Best For My Deck?

The best railing for your deck depends on how you use your outdoor space and what type of look fits your vision.

Metal, composite, and vinyl railings are sturdy, durable, and don’t require much regular maintenance. Vinyl is a bit more cost-effective, composite offers more color options and the look of natural wood, and metal railings are the strongest and most scratch-resistant.

Wood Railings provide a beautiful, rustic look, but also require more maintenance.

Glass and cable railing are the most eye-catching options and give your deck the most open view, though they cost slightly more and usually require a little more work to install.

What Is The Best Railing For My Lake View?

Glass railing and cable railing systems are the best options for opening up your view. If your deck sits near a lake or has a grand nature view, browse our glass or cable options to keep your view at center stage.

The colors you choose for posts and rails will also impact how much your railing either stands out or stays out of the way of your view. Snap a photo from your deck and give our team a call to tailor your railing color to your environment.

How Do I Make My Deck Railing Safe For Kids and Pets?

If children and pets will regularly be enjoying your deck, we’d recommend browsing our railing options that feature a coordinating gate. That will make it easier to secure your deck entrances and stairs to keep kids and pets safe. Fortress FE26 is an especially good option. Made of steel, it’s the strongest railing you’ll find, plus DecksDirect carries a prefabricated gate to complete your railing system. You can always give us a call to help design a deck project plan that will keep your loved ones safe in your outdoor space.

What Color Railing Should I Choose For My Deck?

When picking out a railing color for your deck, you should consider the colors of your house and decking, but also what you want your railing to do for your deck view.

You can try to match colors already present in your deck area: for example, white railing is a great visual accent to your deck if your house has white siding or a lot of white trim. But you can also look for different accenting colors: a trendy gray deck area will go great with sleek black railings.

If you have a view of nature, bronze railings have an amazing feature: the organic bronze color tone virtually disappears into the background, opening up your deck view.

These are just a few examples of how different railing colors can add different features to your deck. To pick a railing perfectly tailored to your space and priorities, give our team a call at 1-888-824-5316 to walk through all the options.

What Is The Most Cost-Effective Deck Railing?

Wood deck railing will usually be the most cost-effective option up-front, though you will have some recurring maintenance costs.

Vinyl railing is another cost-effective option, and will save you even more over the long run by being extremely durable and low-maintenance.

There are also several affordable metal and composite railing lines. You can always call our team at 1-888-824-5316 for a free consultation, running through our best-value railings.

What Is The Most Durable Type of Deck Railing?

Vinyl and metal railing systems will usually give you the most durability. Metal balusters, glass infill, and cable railing are all highly-durable infill options. At DecksDirect, we prioritize long-lasting and low-maintenance options, so every railing you’ll find in our selection is built to last. To learn more about the best railing system for your local climate, give our team a call at 1-888-824-5316.

What’s The Best Brand Of Deck Railing?

At DecksDirect, we only carry high-quality railings we can recommend with confidence, so any brand you find in our selection makes a premium product that you can trust. Among our brands, Trex is one of the best-known decking and railing brands in the nation, and TimberTech tends to be very popular with contractors and pros.

Installing Railing

How Hard Is It To Install Deck Railing?

Installing deck railing is easier than you might imagine. Many metal railing options come in pre-welded panels so that all you need to do is attach them to your deck surface. 

Other metal, vinyl or composite railing options require some assembly, but are easy enough for the average DIYer to put together with ease. DecksDirect sends out detailed installation instructions with every purchase, and our team is always available by phone to help out with any install snags or questions. With one of our knowledgeable guides on the phone, even most glass and cable railing options are very doable for deck owners of all experience levels. 

Give us a call and we’ll learn more about you and your experience level, then help connect you with a railing system and project plan that fits your skills and experience.

What Is The Easiest Type of Deck Railing To Install?

Metal deck railing systems with pre-welded panels will be the easiest to install: that includes the Fortress Al13 Home, Fortress FE26 and Fortress AL13 Pro railing lines. The pre-bracketed posts in the Fortress FE26 and Fortress AL13 Pro lines add even more simplicity to installation.

You can always give our team a call at 1-888-824-5316 for free recommendations on the best railing options that you’ll be able to install based on your experience level with home and deck projects. We love to help connect customers with the perfect project for them.

How Do I Attach Railing To My Deck?

Each deck railing system will have its own set of installation instructions, including guides on how to connect posts securely to your deck surface. Depending on your setup, you may have to install some blocking underneath your deck. (You can read more in our Railing Guide here). You can also browse our post anchor options for more ways to secure posts to your deck floor.