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.  

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 it doesn't have much to offer 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. This will provide a more finished look.

Change it up again by toe nailing or screwing the top and bottom rails to the posts. 

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

There is much more you can do to provide more visual appeal.

Try mixing and matching materials like metal and wood for contrast.  Hard versus soft - natural versus man made.
Or use balusters with different shapes.  Or mix in glass panels instead of vertical spindles to create an open view. 

Contrast Metal With Wood

For a less obtrusive look, use aluminum or wrought iron balusters. They can be thinner than wood balusters because they are so strong.   

This is a Fortress railing infill section made of durable galvanized iron with a black powder coating.   

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

Use Different Shapes For Visual Interest

To snazz-up the look of any wood railing try adding bow shaped face mounted aluminum balusters. 

They are 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 balusters are also available in a straight and "belly" shape. 

There are lots of variations 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 DekRail has done in this photo? 

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

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

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