Low-Maintenance vs. Wood Railings

Low-Maintenance vs. Wood Railings

Low-maintenance or wood deck railings? That is the question.

If the time has come to rebuild or replace your deck, it’s highly advisable to buff up on the properties of what, precisely, you’ll be entrusting with your comfort and safety for years to come. Read along to learn about the relative merits of “low-maintenance” railing, and how they stack up against those of wood.


This phrase refers to synthetic materials—namely, the wide range of choices in vinyl and composite—which require very little in the way of active upkeep. No painting and repainting, no staining and re-staining, and nary a nail to hammer (back) in. Installation is quick and easy. And despite all of this…convenience, there’s still a bevy of aesthetic options and customizable add-ons to make your deck a thing of (low maintenance) beauty. There are even composites that mimic the look and feel of wood, and while houseguests might be fooled into admiring the remarkable resilience of your “wood,” it won’t interest termites in the slightest.

Wood Railing

A classic: that tree-borne stuff of which decks have traditionally been constructed for as long as, well, decks have been constructed. A well-made wooden deck can be an attractive addition to any home—can even have a bolstering effect on the overall look of a property. 

But…wood railing has a significant number of inherent disadvantages, compared to synthetic counterparts. To wit, subsection may as well (if initially a bit more confusingly) have been titled “High-Maintenance.” Wood rots. It weakens, it withstands the elements with varying degrees of success while nonetheless accruing cumulative wear and tear. Nails can come loose, leading to a lost rail or (heaven forbid!:) a sliced you. Furthermore, options for the type of wood railing are severely lacking: there are cedar and there’s pine. These are two of our finest and hardiest wood varieties, with myriad uses and extreme import in modern construction.

As railing, however, they’re susceptible to everything listed above (and plenty that isn’t)—and your selection is limited to precisely one or the other. Sure, they can be sanded, stained, painted, or otherwise coated with something to better please your eye, but that sort of work engenders even higher maintenance, both short and long-term.

Low-Maintenance Railing vs. Wood Railing: Not Much of a Contest

Clearly, this post advocates for low-maintenance composite materials as a superior choice. Of course, your deck is your deck, and if, for instance, the authentically natural look of wood (cedar or pine!) is a big draw/priority for you, that’s by no means something to dismiss outright. The objective here has been to help guide you to an informed decision that is ultimately, wholly yours to make. A deck is, after all, a substantial long-term investment, and any aspect of its design or construction should ideally pay long-term dividends via your satisfaction and happiness.

Upgrade Your Home and Reach Out to Freedom Fence Today

Whether you want a brand new patio in the spring or want to install a beautiful new wood fence, Freedom Fence and Home has the expertise, competitive prices, and professional service you need. Freedom Fence and Home has over 50 years of fencing experience in the Baltimore County area, Harford County, Essex, White Marsh, and Bel Air area and we pride ourselves on giving our customers the best customer service experience possible. To see examples of our work and pick the right fence for your home, visit us online. To get started on planning your project, give us a call at (443) 271-6841, or visit us online. For more information, tips, and updates about Freedom Fence and Home, follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 9th, 2022 at 5:02 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.