Porch Railing Materials and Which One to Choose

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Choosing the right porch railing materials requires careful selection. You can choose from wide options today, but not all options are perfect for you. Before decide randomly, you should consider reading at the following guide and weigh on the pros and cons of each material. Read below to factor all the details and choose the right one for you.

Read also: Best Furniture Ideas for Awesome Porch.

1. Wood Railings


The first option is wood. It is the most common option people choose for being affordable and easy to build and assemble. Many contractors will suggest you to use different grade of wood for different areas of the porch. For example, beams, joists, and posts will be best using pressure treated wood. Meanwhile, those areas that will be exposed more should use better quality lumber.

There are at least four different wood railings that you can consider using. It includes:

a. Composites Wood


This type of mood is actually a mix of plastics and wood products. It looks like the original wood. The best part of it is that it is available on all possible lengths you can think of. It doesn’t splinter as well. It isn’t a popular option for structural parts, but it is a great option for railings and even flooring.

b. Hardwood

This option is dreamy too. It looks so beautiful, while it is resistant toward rot and it is totally durable. Several possible option for this wood should include meranti, teak, cambara, and Ipe’. Sadly, it is hard to get.

c. Softwood

Softwood is naturally resistant toward decay and inset if you use the tree heartwood. In the West coast, Alaskan and Western cedar are popular options to choose. Meanwhile, you should consider getting cedar or redwood if you are in other areas. These woods though are pretty hard to get on selected areas.

d. Treated Lumber

The fact is untreated lumber will serve shorter than the treated one. Among several options, your best shot is on the treated lumber which has been injected with water repellent. It should be great for several years before degrading.

Wood railing is a beautiful option to have but it can be an expensive choice as well. If you are ready with all the required maintenance, nothing can beat the beauty and natural value. It is an expensive investment, and it also requires expensive day to day treatment.

2. Vinyl Railings

This railing option is the main competitor of wood. If you notice, this options has been as popular as wood, and it is for great reasons too.

Vinyl railing is available on almost any style you can imagine, from classic and traditional to something more modern and contemporary. It is also available on so many colors so you don’t need to paint it at all. This railing also comes as a system when you purchase it. It should come with 2×2 balusters, and 4×4 posts for example.

In short, there are several pros why you need to consider this railing, such as:

  • It is stronger comparing to wooden railing as it isn’t pests’ target, and it doesn’t peel, rot, blister, or decompose.
  • It requires minimal treatment day to day.
  • It doesn’t need sealing, painting, or staining.
  • Depending on the style you choose, it should provide great privacy.
  • It should serve for several years.
  • All the essential pieces are reinforced so it has rigidity. The pieces here include posts, bottom rails, top rails, and more.
  • It looks naturally great.

Comparing to wood railing, vinyl absolutely gives a better option. It is not that expensive while it still gets the good look and it is lightweight. You don’t need to worry about maintenance, true, but you know it is different when you touch it.

3. Aluminum Railings

This railing has gained significant popularity among home owners. Aluminum is naturally durable. It doesn’t require maintenance at all, which is a cost effective option for a house. You may need to hose down some debris and dirt, but that will be all. You may also have experienced issues like warping, shrinking, twisting, splintering, rotting, and corroding, but none of that will happen with this railing.

Vinyl railing delivers a strong system and it should serve you in a lifetime basis. The installation is literally a piece of cake when you choose the right contractor, and it should take only a short of time to get it done. The best thing about this option that people really like is that it is available on so many color, styles, and sizes.

Surprisingly, most people choose this option without knowing that it is vinyl. They end up choosing this one for the good look. You may think you won’t get this plus especially with all the pros of the material, but you get the look too for vinyl railing.

You should be able to find many steal deal for this material on several stores. It offers you even cheaper deal for the railing, and they commonly offer free installation on purchase.

4. Glass Panel Railings

This has been a popular railing as well, especially today. People notice this option right away for being so good looking. This railing makes a perfect fit for almost all types of house, but it looks so great on modern and contemporary houses. However, it doesn’t offer only that factor.

Glass railing basically is a combination of tempered glass panel and metal top railing. The glass panel replaces balustrades. This makes your porch more usable for being blocked from the wind and dust. In addition to it, it makes a perfect railing with no obstruction for you to see outside for those outside to look at your decorative porch.

When you purchased this railing, you will need them to come and measure your porch. It is because the railing should come with custom made size and manufactured before. You need to wipe it clean from day to day, but it should be all the maintenance you need.

If you are looking for a modern and stylish looking railing, this is your winner. It should give you extra protection, but wiping it clean can be a bugger on several days.