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Cedar Deck Railing Ideas

Updated: Mar 4


cedar deck railing ideas

Your cedar deck is a place to relax and unwind, entertain guests, and make memories. With cedar's rich hues and robust character, it offers unparalleled warmth and a long-lasting foundation for your home's exterior. 


Yet, the true artistry of a cedar deck shines through in the details - specifically, the railings that frame the expanse and ensure safety. The right cedar deck railing design not only complements the wood's organic charm but elevates the entire aesthetic. 


Ready to transform your deck? We'll unveil 10 top cedar deck railing ideas you can use as inspiration if you’re not sure where to start, along with guidance to make your vision a reality. 


Remember - for premium cedar deck boards in Canada and the US, look no further than Quality Cedar Products. We don’t just have the advice you need to bring your cedar deck to life, we have the supplies you need to make it happen!


Quality Cedar Products can meet all your cedar board needs. This blog is informational only and not a replacement for expert advice. Please consult a professional before starting any building project as your needs and specifications may vary and it may not reflect the most current building codes, regulations, or industry standards.


Why Cedar is the Material of Choice for Decking

In a world with so many lumber choices, cedar is renowned for its inherent durability and natural beauty. It naturally resists rot, decay, and insect infestations, ensuring a long-lasting deck with minimal maintenance. 


Just how long does cedar decking last, though? With a bit of routine cedar deck maintenance and ideal conditions, this material can last up to 30 years!


This toughness is matched by cedar's stunning visual appeal - its rich grain patterns and warm tones create an inviting outdoor atmosphere. It works well with so many different cedar deck railing ideas, as you’ll see below.


Moreover, cedar's versatility allows it to adapt to various stains and finishes, accommodating personalized design preferences while also enhancing the wood's natural defenses against the elements. You can learn more about the concept of staining a cedar deck or painting cedar deck boards in our blog.


Cedar's lightweight nature simplifies installation and makes it a practical option for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. We’ll walk you through the basics of how to install cedar deck boards after sharing some of our favorite railing designs as inspiration.


Environmentally conscious consumers appreciate that cedar is a sustainable resource. Sourced from well-managed forests, it's a renewable material that has a smaller carbon footprint compared to many alternatives. 


The Role of Railings in Your Cedar Deck

There’s no denying the appeal of a cedar deck - but the railings matter just as much as the deck’s boards. 


They are a safety feature first and foremost, designed to prevent falls and provide stability for those who navigate the deck space. Cedar railings are constructed to meet specific height and strength requirements, ensuring a secure barrier that can withstand the pressures of daily use.


They also provide a handhold for ascending and descending steps, contributing to the overall accessibility and functionality of the deck. Strong, sturdy railings are non-negotiable for families with young children or members with mobility concerns.


From a design perspective, cedar railings are a defining element that can either complement or contrast with the decking to create a cohesive outdoor living space. They frame the deck, drawing the eye to the perimeter and enhancing the visual flow of the area. 


Whether you opt for a simple, streamlined look or a more elaborate, decorative style, cedar railings can be customized to reflect personal tastes and architectural styles. That being said, let’s get into some of the best cedar deck railing ideas below!


10 Cedar Deck Railing Ideas and Designs You Can Use as Inspiration

Quality Cedar Products has been the #1 choice for western red cedar lumber for sale. Homeowners, contractors, and lumber yards alike trust us for decking - and over the years, we’ve seen some beautiful decks built with our materials. 


If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some unique cedar deck railing ideas to use as inspiration for your own deck. From minimalist looks to statement designs, there’s something for everyone below!


Classic Horizontal Railings

Horizontal railings offer a timeless design that complements the natural straight lines of a cedar deck. This style features parallel lines that can make the space feel wider and more open. 


The simplicity of the horizontal layout allows the beauty of the cedar to take center stage, showcasing its rich color and grain. These railings are also versatile, easily integrating with both traditional and modern architectural styles. 


When implementing this design, it's important to ensure the spacing between rails meets safety standards to prevent any accidental slips through the gaps.


Sunburst Railing Design

This design introduces a dynamic and decorative element to your deck. It typically features a central point from which the rails radiate outward, mimicking the rays of the sun. 


The intricate pattern can serve as a stunning focal point and adds a custom, handcrafted feel to the deck. Cedar's workability makes it an excellent material for crafting the precise angles required for a sunburst design. 


This option is particularly eye-catching when placed at a prominent section of the deck, such as in front of a large window or at the entryway.


Cedar and Cable Railings

Combining cedar with stainless steel cables creates a railing that offers both rustic charm and modern minimalism. The cables provide an almost invisible barrier, allowing for unobstructed views of your surroundings. 


This design is particularly well-suited for decks overlooking natural landscapes or gardens. The cedar posts and top rail add warmth and natural texture, contrasting beautifully with the sleek metal. 


Additionally, the cables require little maintenance and are durable against weather elements, making this a practical choice for many homeowners.


Built-in Lighting

Incorporating lighting into your cedar railings not only enhances safety by illuminating the deck perimeter but also adds ambiance to your outdoor space. 


LED lights can be installed under the top rail or within the posts for a subtle glow that highlights the deck's architecture. This design feature extends the usability of the deck into the evening and can be tailored to create the desired mood. 


When planning for built-in lighting, consider energy-efficient options and ensure that all electrical components are safely installed and weatherproofed.


Cedar Railing with Glass Panels

Glass panel railings framed with cedar offer a modern touch that doesn't compromise the view. Tempered glass ensures safety and durability while providing a windbreak without obstructing the scenery. 


The transparency of the glass allows for a seamless integration of the deck with the surrounding environment. Cedar frames the glass panels, adding a warm, organic border that anchors the structure. This combination is ideal for preserving sightlines in scenic locations like waterfront properties or mountain retreats. 


Just remember to select glass that can withstand the elements and provide easy maintenance for a clear view year-round. Depending on where you’re at in Canada or the US, you may want to consider a different design.


Cedar Post Caps and Finials

Decorative post caps and finials are a simple way to add a touch of elegance to a cedar railing. These elements sit atop the railing posts, offering an opportunity to introduce new shapes and textures. 


Whether you prefer the classic look of copper caps, the sophistication of black metal, or the continuity of cedar, these details can significantly enhance the deck's overall appearance. 

Post caps also serve a practical purpose by protecting the end grain of the posts from weathering, ensuring the longevity of the structure.


Lattice Privacy Railings

For those seeking privacy without sacrificing style, incorporating lattice into cedar railings is an excellent solution. The crisscross pattern of the lattice provides a semi-transparent screen that allows light and air to pass through while creating a sense of seclusion. 


Lattice panels can be framed with solid cedar for a cohesive look and can be customized with various lattice openings depending on the desired level of privacy. This design is particularly useful for urban decks or side-by-side homes where neighboring views are a concern.


Two-Tone Railing Design

A two-tone railing design can make a striking visual statement on a cedar deck. This involves staining or painting sections of the railing in contrasting colors, which can highlight the natural beauty of the cedar while introducing a custom flair. 


Whether you choose to contrast the top rail with the balusters or mix and match different post colors, the two-tone approach can complement the home's exterior palette and add visual interest. Careful selection of colors and finishes can also help in protecting the wood against UV rays and weathering.


Cedar Railing with Metal Balusters

Pairing cedar with metal balusters creates a railing that marries organic charm with industrial strength. The warmth of the cedar handrails and posts provides a natural contrast to the cool tones of wrought iron or aluminum balusters. 


This combination is not only aesthetically pleasing but also offers durability and stability. Metal balusters come in various designs, from sleek and simple to ornate patterns, allowing for customization to match the deck's style. 


Those looking to add a contemporary edge to their cedar deck needn’t look any further!


Planter-Integrated Railings

Last but not least on our list of cedar deck railing ideas, consider incorporating planters into the design. This is a creative way to blend functionality with greenery, providing a built-in space for flowers, herbs, or small shrubs. 


These railings can be customized to include box planters at intervals along the railing or as part of the railing itself. Cedar's natural resistance to rot makes it an ideal material for housing plants, and the addition of greenery can create a lush, garden-like atmosphere on your deck. 


This design not only personalizes the space but also contributes to the ecological value of your outdoor area by supporting local flora.


Tips on Bringing Your Cedar Deck Railing Ideas to Life

We hope one of these cedar deck railing ideas sparks your interest. But regardless of the cedar deck railing design you choose we want to offer some tips on your next steps so you can hit the ground running.


Planning and Design Considerations

Begin by considering the layout of your deck and the views you want to showcase or obscure. Factor in the local climate and how it might affect your choice of materials and design. 


Ensure your design complies with local building codes and regulations, particularly those relating to railing height and spacing for safety.


Choosing a Contractor or Preparing for the DIY Project

Deciding whether to hire a contractor or undertake the project yourself is a critical step. A professional contractor can provide expertise and efficiency, especially for complex designs or if you're not confident in your DIY skills. 


If you opt for DIY, prepare thoroughly by researching techniques, gathering the right tools, and possibly attending workshops or consulting with experts. Be realistic with yourself about the amount of work you’re willing to take on and your skillset.


Budgeting and Cost Management

Establish a clear budget early on, factoring in all materials, labor, and any unforeseen costs. While the cedar decking cost is higher than a pressure-treated deck or a pine deck, it can be cost-effective in the long run due to its durability. 


For the best value on your cedar lumber, remember to partner with Quality Cedar products. Our lumber is graded by hand to ensure you’re only getting the best boards possible. 


However, additional design elements like glass panels or custom metalwork can increase expenses. Source quotes from multiple suppliers and contractors to ensure competitive pricing and consider phased building if necessary to spread out costs.


Maintaining Your Deck

After installation, regular maintenance is key to preserving the beauty and integrity of your cedar deck railings. Learn how to clean cedar decking in our blog to prevent mildew growth. 


You may also be wondering…does cedar need to be sealed? Not necessarily, but if you want to learn how to seal a cedar deck, you certainly can! Applying a sealant or stain every few years will protect against weathering. 


Inspect the railings for any signs of wear or damage and address issues promptly to ensure longevity and continued safety. Our blog has more resources like how to protect a cedar deck, how to restore cedar deck, can you power wash a cedar deck, how to refinish cedar deck, and more.


At this point, though, it’s time for you to get to work bringing your cedar deck railing ideas to life as we wrap this guide up!


Wrapping Up Our List of Cedar Deck Railing Ideas

The right cedar deck railing design can significantly enhance both the safety and aesthetic of your outdoor living space. Cedar offers a versatile and durable option that pairs well with a variety of materials, from glass to metal, and can be tailored to suit any style, from classic to contemporary. 


Incorporating elements like built-in lighting or integrated planters can further elevate your deck, making it a true extension of your home. With careful planning, budgeting, and maintenance, your cedar deck railing can become a defining feature of your outdoor sanctuary.


Whether you need decking or cedar fencing, sound barrier fencing, sauna cedar, or any other material - remember that Quality Cedar Products is here for you. Get a quote on our lumber today and bring these cedar deck railing ideas to life!


G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated does not assume any liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information provided in this blog post. The reader is solely responsible for any actions taken based on the information presented. Any reliance on the information is at the reader's own risk.

G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage that may occur as a result of following the suggestions, tips, or recommendations provided in this blog post. Building projects involve inherent risks, and it is essential to exercise caution, obtain proper permits, and engage qualified professionals to ensure safety and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The inclusion of external links, references, or recommendations in this blog post does not constitute endorsement or guarantee the quality, reliability, or suitability of the linked sources. The reader should independently verify the information and assess its relevance to their specific circumstances. The author reserves the right to modify, update, or remove the content of this blog post at any time without prior notice. It is recommended to check for the most recent updates or consult with professionals to ensure the information is current and applicable. By reading this blog post, the reader acknowledges and accepts the above disclaimer and agrees to use the information provided responsibly and at their own discretion.

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