Play with baluster designs for unique infill looks

Surely you are familiar with the common 2x2 baluster designs that make up the majority of backyard decks. 

Simple, inexpensive and functional.  Maybe use some color tone variations like this deck but all very elementary. 

Here is a quick review.

Four Basic Baluster design configurations

This is the simplest way to build balustrades. Simply nail or screw 2x2 spindles to the rim joist and the top rail. It's quick and easy but not much in the style department.

A slight variation of this is to add top and bottom rails between and flush with the outside edge of the posts.

Now set the 2x4s in the middle of the posts and set the entire balustrade inside the plane of the posts. It is a more finished look.

Change it up one more time by doing this. The top and bottom rails are typically toe nailed or screwed to the posts.

but Why be limited to this?  Instead, Change it up A Bit

There is much more that you can do.  Why not try mixing and matching materials like metal and wood for contrasts?  Hard versus soft.  Natural versus man made.
Or try using balusters with different shapes for visual appeal.  Mix in glass panels for an open view through the rail instead of vertical spindles.

Contrast Metal With Wood

For a less obtrusive look, use aluminum or wrought iron balusters. They can be thinner because they are so strong and give you a more open view.  

This is a Fortress railing infill section made of durable galvanized iron and powder coated black. 

The contrast between wood posts and metal balusters is nice.  Don't you think?

Use Different Shapes For Visual Interest

For a snazzier look to any wood railing, try adding bow shaped face mounted aluminum balusters.  Very simple to install. 

All you need to do is mark the 4" intervals along the 2x4 top and bottom rail and screw to the face of it. These are also found in a straight and a "belly" shape. 

There is lots of variation you can choose from to break away from the common 2x2 balusters.

Alternatives Like Glass Panels, Wood And Aluminum

Why not replace a traditional balustrade with something like this?

Safety glass panels are an excellent option for deck railings any where you have a view to exploit. Louvered panels between posts offer a very contemporary look and style and lend themselves perfectly to interior lighting.

This is a signature original design by DekRail on the west coast.  They offer some of the most creative designs in North America.

© 2004-2016 By Rich Bergman, All Rights Reserved.