Modern Decking Designs: The New Balusters

Modern Decking Designs: The New Balusters

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What You’ll Learn in this Blog:

What are Deck Balusters

Traditional Balusters

New Baluster Inspirations

 

There are many parts that make up a deck.  Usually the most visible part is the railing.  In addition to providing safety for elevated decks, railings enhance the architectural aesthetic.  The rails are the first thing you see when walking toward a deck.  They’re also the part your neighbors see first.  Railings consist of multiple components.  The main structure includes the posts, top rail and base rail.  Deck balusters create the barrier of protection.  They fill in the gap between posts, attaching from top to bottom of the rail. Deck balusters have come a long way throughout the evolution of deck building.  In this blog we explore modern baluster design trends.

Go Off the Rails! Modern Deck Railing Ideas

Traditional Balusters

Deck balusters, or spindles on a deck were traditionally made of wood.  Also, older styles featured what is known as turned balusters.  Woodturning involves cutting symmetrical shapes around the axis using a wood lathe and hand-held tools.  To simplify, turned balusters have beautiful hourglass-like designs from the top to bottom of the spindle.  They showcase old-world wood craftsmanship.  Turned balusters made a fancy addition to any front porch or backyard deck.  Below is an example of a turned baluster.
deck baluster, turned baluster, wood decking

Image sourced form http://www.westernspindle.com/3-inch-porch-spindle-71.html

Contemporary

As deck building evolved, railings and balusters became more simplistic.  Plain, square face-mount balusters replaced ornate turned spindles.  Newer decks rarely included curvilinear design aspects.  Asymmetrical, clean lines with limited embellishment inspired modern deck construction.  Then, in the 1990’s companies introduced a wood alternative decking with the birth of composite.  Manufacturers created a man-made material out of wood particles, plastic, and fiberglass.  As a result, composite decking changed the face of deck building and the way home owners envision their outdoor living spaces.

 

deck baluster designs, composite decking, deck building
Image sourced from http://azek.com

Post-Modern Deck Building

Composite decking provides endless opportunity for creative design.  Since it’s the era of neo-eclectic architecture, modern deck building combines different styles, materials, and colors.  This combination approach applies to railings as well.  Today, there is no such thing as a standard baluster.  Modern balusters use aluminum, vinyl, cable, and glass materials.  Both cable and glass railings provide an unobstructed view of the surroundings.  Aluminum balusters paired with vinyl posts and top rails provide a beautiful contrast of mixed materials.  Home Owners commonly choose two to three colors when designing their railing.  The balusters no longer need to match the posts, handrails or even the post caps.

 

deck balusters, cable railings, railing design trends
Image sourced from http://azek.com

Get Inspired

Whether you are restoring an old deck or building a new one, consider some of these modern design ideas.  Step outside the box and explore using different materials to build your railings. Since there are so many options available, ask your contractor about non-traditional deck balusters.

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