Deck Railings: Ideas and Options

Explore options for deck railings, from ornate designs to simple, functional styles.

Deck Railing

Deck Railing

A wide shot of a light colored wood deck railing for the deck.

Photo by: Jaroslav74


By: Sean McEvoy
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A deck can add value and beauty to any outdoor living space, but on its own, it can sometimes feel a bit lonely. Luckily, the array of deck railing ideas and options provide infinite possibilities for livening up your deck.

The first consideration as you browse deck railing ideas is what material you're most interested in. Don't feel bound to the deck's surface material. In fact, a contrasting material can often provide the most aesthetically pleasing appearance. For example, if you have a wooden deck, a wrought-iron railing is a great option, and may tend to be less obstructive of views of the yard than a wooden railing.

Deck Railing Videos

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Speaking of unobstructed views, consider a glass or plastic panel wrap-around railing. Designs featuring transparent features like this often rely on evenly spaced, sturdy posts spaced throughout to support the glass or plastic; these can provide a modern, stylish touch.

Keeping it simple doesn't have to mean keeping it boring, though. If you're attracted to a more traditional wooden railing, add post caps and interior latticework or woodworking to add some visual flair. Topping the post caps with lanterns can also be a functional touch that's quite pleasing to the eye.

Be Inspired: Deck Photos

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Deck Balcony Overlooking Trees

Walk out onto the simple balcony that runs the length of the house and it's as though you're stepping into the treetops.

Photo By: Specht Harpman

The Beautiful After

By dividing the overly large deck space into rooms, this Georgia deck has flow and meaning.

Photo By: MOSAIC Group

Pop-Up Gazebo

Enjoy the four-walled privacy of your own gazebo without spending hundreds of dollars on a wood structure. Canvas gazebos are easy to set up and you can bring them with you to your next home.

Photo By: Wayfair

Multilevel Deck with Lattice

This multilevel deck offers plenty of space for entertaining, while lattice on the lower level adds a decorative touch.

HGTV Dream Home 2004: Covered Boat Dock

A 230-foot boardwalk stretches over the Georgia marshes and straight to the home's boat dock. The covered dock and screened-in living room provide extra entertaining space.

A Pressure-Treated Pine Deck

A natural wood stain gives this multi-level pressure-treated pine deck a rich color to stand out against the greenery while offering long-lasting protection and years of use.

Photo By: MOSAIC Group [Architects and Remodelers],

Decking with a Pavilion as the Focal Point

Kona and Redland Rose colors accent this design that uses Azek decking and custom railings with Decorator Frontier glass balusters to create the sense of an outdoor entertainment space nestled deep in the woods.

Photo By: Bel Air Construction & Steven Paul Whitsitt Photography

Overview of a Deck Composed of Bison Ipe Pallets

The view from this deck may be spectacular but demanding equal attention is the innovative floor design from Sogno Design Group which arranged Bison Ipe pallets on a leveler system over roofing.

Photo By: Sogno Design Group, photo by Shawn-Paul Luchin

Deck Made from Yellow Stringy Bark and Stained with Cutek Deck O

This imaginative configuration incorporates trees, bamboo, walkways, an outdoor oven and decking made from Yellow Stringybark into a natural open space by COS Design. Landscape by Signature Landscapes.

Photo By: COS Design, photo by Tim Turner

Party Deck on the Lake

Many of the residential properties on this lake have ​a boat dock. The Houghtons bought two lots, making room for a boat dock AND a second "party deck" (this was their wish, in two words!). So HGID designed this as a floating lounge, literally - comfy upholstered seating areas with a huge TV, swimming dock (they're wake boarding fanatics) and wet bar complete with a kegerator (they're fanatical for beer). Everything is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there. We're told the lake is a jet ski drag strip on the weekends, so good spectator seating!

If you're looking to get back to nature, consider a deck railing made of recovered wood or intertwined branches. This rustic look can be a great complement to a modern deck surface.

Color choice can also make a big difference. Lighten up a dark wood with a white or light-colored railing, or add a pop of color with a yellow or bright blue design.

Lastly, don't be afraid of curves. If it's built correctly, your deck is flat, but your railing doesn't have to be. Curved wood or wrought iron can add a great visual accent as well.

Deck Design Ideas

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