Hello, For the next few posts we are going to talk about different railing and baluster products and ideas.
For alot of our railing projects we use Deckorators balusters. Usually the classic 26" balusters, here in the picture you can see the 3/4 round baluster used with a composite 2x4 railing.
The connection to the top and bottom rail is done with either a standard baluster connector, or a designer baluster connector. You can also drill out the top and bottom rails to receive the 3/4 round baluster.
Standard baluster connector
Designer baluster connector
The Deckorators classic 3/4 round 26" balusters run about $1.60 per baluster, in comparison a treated 2x2x32 runs about $1.00 per baluster and a cedar 2x2x32 is about a $1.35
So for a typical 400 sq ft treated wood deck with railings the added costs would only be about $175
and on a cedar deck it would only add about $50. On composite deck railing you actually save money
over composite 2x2s
The labor time to install is a little more than just nailing on pre-cut 2x2s . We probably average a couple more hours per deck using the metal balsuters and connectors. We have a jig for the layout of the balsters and the jig holds the connectors in place to screw down to the rails. We start by finding the center point of each railing section - between rail post. We then layout the centers of the baluster at 4.5" or sometimes 4 1/4" on center depending on the distance between the posts, and we usually stay about 2" away from the ends of a rail section.
Here you can see the pre-drilling and attachment method used in composite and hardwoods
Finished cedar wood rails with the metal balusters
Treated Wood railings with metal balusters
Keep in mind that the big benifit of the metal balutsers is that they do not require painting or staining like a wood baluster. One of the worst parts of staining a deck is staining the balusters
Deckorators are - powder coated aluminum with a lifetime warranty
Deckorators has many other differents styles of metal balusters.
My personal favorite is
The Estate (square)
Which is a little larger looking and I think it gives richer look. I personally think the estate baluster are easier to install also. In the picture you see a 2x4 composite railing with Estate balusters in a bronze color with diamond pattern basket layout.
Deckorators has a some different accessories that are nice options.
Fleur de lis centerpiece with baskets on each side
Here some of their baluster accesories
Deckorators also has a nice line of post caps, post covers, and post skirts