Want a drink rail on your deck railing? Start here!

You can expand your usable living space without an expensive addition of square footage. How? By creatively using the space you’ve already got!

When it comes to decks, one of the best ways to do that is to add a drink rail deck railing - a flat, functional space on top of your deck railing to rest a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a plate of food, or anything else you need to fully enjoy your outdoor living space.

A drink rail deck railing with a coffee mug and breakfast bowl

Some deck railing systems allow you to use composite deck boards to create a beautiful drink rail that matches the color of your deck surface. Check out our favorite railing systems to create a drink rail setup all your own:

A beautiful outdoor kitchen with a drink rail deck railing

Table of Contents

Why Plan A Drink Rail Deck Railing?

A deck railing with a drink rail by a beach

Drink rails, sometimes called cocktail rails, are an amazing addition to a deck space. Imagine watching the sunrise with a hot cup of coffee resting on your smooth, stable drink rail. Or watching the sunset with a relaxing glass of wine.

If you use your deck as a grill zone or an outdoor kitchen, a flat-top cocktail rail makes for a perfect place to set food, plates, or utensils as you prepare dinner. If you're looking to add style and ambiance to your deck, a deck board drink rail is an ideal spot for decorations like flowerpots or planters.

The added bonus of all of this? When you have extra space to place all of these accessories, your deck itself feels bigger and more open, allowing you to relax even more fully.

Now, let’s run through our favorite deck railing options to feature a drink rail:

Drink Railing Seen From Above

Best Metal Railing With A Drink Rail

Metal Fortress AL13 Railing with a drink rail

Fortress AL13 Home Railing

Highlights:

  • Very DIY Friendly
  • Sturdy aluminum build

The Fortress AL13 Home system is an outstanding metal deck railing, made from sturdy powder-coated aluminum. The system is one of our most DIY-friendly, shipping as a pre-welded panel that’s easy to install.

It also looks great with a composite deck board mounted on top as a drink rail. Here’s how to get the look:

How It Works

A Drink Rail Clip for the Fortress AL13 Home Railing system

To get Fortress AL13 Home railing with a drink rail, get Fortress’s Drink Rail Clips (shown above), which fit around your top rail and attach to the deck board of your choice (as shown below).

Fortress metal railing with a drink rail board installed
Shop Fortress AL13 Home

Best Composite Railing With A Drink Rail

TimberTech Composite Railing with a continuous drinkrail

TimberTech Classic Composite Railing

Highlights:

  • Extremely customizable
  • Low-maintenance

The thing we love about the TimberTech Classic Composite Series Railing is how versatile the system is. With rails and posts made of composite material, it’s durable and low-maintenance, while delivering the classic look of a traditional wood railing.

With TimberTech’s system, you can customize the railing to fit your desired style. That includes four different top rail profiles, one of which is designed to mount a beautiful TimberTech deck board as a continuous drink rail.

TimberTech Classic Composite Drink Rail extends down a section of stairs

How It Works

To set up your TimberTech Classic Composite Series railing with a functional drink rail, just choose the Drink Rail Pack when you select your top rail profile.

TimberTech Composite Drink Rail
Shop TimberTech Composite Railing

More TimberTech Classic Composite Options

The customization doesn’t stop there, either. TimberTech Classic Composite Railing also features a bunch of different options for infill, or the part between your posts and rails. The pictures above show sleek black aluminum balusters. But TimberTech Classic Composite can also come with black or white composite balusters, full glass panels, or modern Feeney cable runs as shown below:

TimberTech Composite Railing with cable and a drink rail

Best Cable Railing With A Drink Rail

AFCO Cable Railing with a continuous drink rail

AFCO Flat Top Railing

Highlights:

  • High-quality craftsmanship
  • Sturdy aluminum rails & stainless steel cables

When it comes to cable railing, we absolutely love the look, feel, and performance of AFCO Pro. AFCO’s metal rails and posts are beautifully crafted from powder-coated aluminum to hold up great in any weather.

How It Works

All the components of an AFCO Flat Top Rail Kit

The AFCO Cable system features two different top rail profiles: the traditional breadloaf-style and a flat top railing (pictured above). The flat top version (sometimes known as AFCO 275) is designed to mount the deck boards of your choice as a cocktail rail.

Shop AFCO Pro Cable

More AFCO Cable Options

AFCO also offers some good opportunities to customize your railing setup. The metal rails are available in a sharp white or a sleek bronze option. The white is pictured below. You can also get AFCO deck railing in a metal baluster option or as a full glass panel deck railing.

AFCO Pro Metal Railing with a drink rail

Best Glass Railing With A Drink Rail

Trex Transcend Glass Railing with a drink rail and lake view

Trex Transcend Glass Panel Railing

Highlights:

  • Tons of color options
  • Low-maintenance composite material

If you’re looking to pair a cocktail rail with a bright, modern glass railing, Trex Transcend Glass Railing is perfect for you. Trex is one of the best-known brand names in the outdoor living industry, and their Transcend railing is a wildly popular choice for decks across the country.

Trex Transcend’s rails and posts are made from composite material like the TimberTech Classic Composite Series. That pairs a proven, traditional look with the incredibly low-maintenance appeal of composite railing. Trex Transcend also offers an amazing glass railing solution, fitting full glass panels between the composite rails and posts to open up your deck view to the max.

Trex Transcend Glass Railing creating a scenic deck view

How It Works

Trex offers several different configurations of its Transcend railing, including an option with a continuous cocktail rail. You can see all of the options here, with a step-by-step guide to installing the cocktail rail setup.

One added bonus when you work with DecksDirect: we offer custom-cut glass panels, individually sized to fit your space. Sourcing glass panels is usually a major deterrent to deck owners who want to use a glass railing, but our custom glass program makes it easy to tailor your railing to your space.

Shop Trex Transcend

More Trex Transcend Options

If you love the look of the Trex Transcend system with a drink rail, check out some alternate options instead of glass: Trex Transcend can use round aluminum balusters, square composite balusters, or the distinctive hog wire fence look of Wild Hog panels, as shown below.

Trex Transcend Railing with a continuous drink rail

Trex Transcend Railing with Wild Hog wire panels for infill

Call DecksDirect For Easy Drink Rail Project Planning

If you have a specific vision for your deck railing - or any questions you need to ask about your project - give us a call! We have a team of experienced deck project planners available by phone at 1-888-824-5316 to help plan your project.

AFCO Pro Cable Railing with the flat top drink rail shown from below

Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in our Deck Framing Guide and learn deck parts and terminology in the DecksDirect Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide: the quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a showstopping cable rail setup.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new project, a deck update, or a style refresh, give our deck project planners a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at hello@decksdirect.com. Our experienced team will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for an awesome deck completely personalized to your needs!