Vinyl deck railing has existed for a few years now. However, what helped them gaining more popularity is the ease of installation, low maintenance requirements and cost-effective nature of vinyl. As with any other railing materials, there are pros and cons. That’s why we’ll take a moment to review and learn a few things about vinyl deck railings. In this way, it can be helpful to determine whether they are right for your project or not.
Vinyl Deck Railing Pros and Cons
Vinyl is a very resilient material that can retain its original appearance for years and decades to come with very little maintenance. It is invulnerable to the weathering damage that wears down wood. Vinyl railings are water-resistant, scratch-resistant and UV-resistant.
Vinyl railings usually don’t hold the painting well, meaning that your colour options will be limited to those that the manufacturer produces. This material has an inescapably modern aesthetic. Therefore, if it is in an environment with a vintage style it may look out of place.
Vinyl Railing Material Comparison
Vinyl vs Wood Railing
The price of wood railings ranges from $20 and $50 per linear foot. However, it depends on the quality and design elements. Vinyl has a similar range of around $20 to $40. It is a price difference that favours vinyl as the costs of maintenance for wood begin to accumulate.
Comparing vinyl vs wood deck railing unanimously, n terms of maintenance requirements unanimously will favour vinyl. That’s because wood is biodegradable and requires the regular reapplication of stain or paint. Sometimes, even with diligent maintenance, it can be vulnerable to rot, warping, infestation and cracking.
On the other hand, vinyl shares almost none of these requirements. The only things you’ll occasionally need to maintain a vinyl deck are a rag, hose, some mild detergents.
You can expect wood railings to last for about two decades before repairs may be necessary. Also, vinyl railing products come with warranties lasting at least two decades, however, when it comes to environments with extreme weather conditions may accelerate the ageing of vinyl. It will make it prone to cracking or peeling.
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When comparing wood vs vinyl deck railings, there is no denying that wood will provide you with more styling options. Because paint does not adhere to vinyl. And also, your colour choices are limited by those offered by manufacturers.
Vinyl vs Composite Railing
Aside from occasionally spraying down your deck railing to keep it clear of debris, there is no much maintenance required for vinyl. Composites provide an equally low maintenance alternative.
Vinyl has an average lifespan of two or three decades. Composite railing has also the sam general ballpark around 25 to 30 years. We should mention that some composite is more resilient than others. However, vinyl on the other hand can age more rapidly if it used in environments that expose extreme temperatures.
When choosing between vinyl and composite railings it really comes down to style options. Composites provide a wider range of colours. There are many customization options that can provide you with the natural look of wood.
Vinyl vs Aluminum Railing
As always costs will depend on the quality of materials, however, you can find vinyl around an average of $20 to $40 per linear foot. Aluminum is between $40 to $70 per linear foot.
The maintenance required for both vinyl railing and aluminum railings is minimal and they can both benefit from power washing and intermittent rinsing.
As we mentioned vinyl has an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Also aluminum is quite similar to it, having an average lifespan to at least 25 years. However, with very little maintenance, it can last even longer.
Aluminum can be fairly adaptable, helping it to match any environment. By contrast, the modern appearance of vinyl can be out of place when surrounded by an otherwise vintage aesthetic.