Deckorators Common Questions (FAQ)

We've gathered the most commonly asked questions about Deckorators. If your question isn't answered here, you may also contact us with any questions you may have.

ALX Railing

What is Deckorators ALX Railing?

ALX is a durable aluminum railing from Deckorators that is designed to complement both classic and modern styles. The ALX aluminum railing line is made of heavy-gauge aluminum with a thick powder-coated finish. Choose from the standard ALX Classic or customizable ALX Pro railing options.

How much space should be put between the deck surface and the bottom of rail (sweep height) for ALX Classic Railing?

You should check building code requirements for maximum spacing between deck surface and bottom of rail (sweep). It is typically recommended that 3" for 36" or 42" finished rail height. A tip to achieving this proper height is to take a 2x4 board (nominal lumber Is actually 3.5”), so you can stand a board on it’s side and that helps set the sweep height of the rail.

What is the difference between ALX Classic and ALX Pro railing?

ALX Classic has a minimal aluminum railing design that comes in a complete kit with baluster connectors already installed for an easy installation. ALX Pro Railing is designed to work with all Deckorators baluster styles and wide selection of designer post caps. While the ALX Classic Railing offers one simple look, the ALX Pro can be used with a variety of accessories to create a more luxurious aluminum railing.

How do I maintain and clean my ALX Railing?

It is recommended ALX Aluminum Railing is cleaned once per year in normal environments. If the weather is more hazardous or heavy soiling occurs, then more cleanings may be required. Use a soft cloth or sponge with a solution of warm water and mild detergent to wash the railing. Be sure to rinse the solution off with water to remove all residues before letting it dry. Test the cleaner in a small area on the railing prior to applying it to the entire railing system to ensure that no color change or damage will occur.

Balusters

Do I need special tools to install balusters?

Be sure to wear protective clothing and safety glasses.

Are balusters and spindles the same thing?

The terms baluster and spindle are often used to describe the poles supporting railing on stairs, decks and patios. Baluster and spindle are used interchangeably by contractors and homeowners because they do the same thing, but they technically have different features. A baluster is a vertical support pole that holds up a railing and attaches to the floor. A spindle is a vertical support pole that holds up the railing and attaches to a bottom rail. Although this characteristic differentiates these support structures from each other, it is not commonly known so the use of the terms interchangeably is accepted.

What are deck balusters?

Balusters are vertical support poles that hold up the handrail on a deck railing system. Deck balusters are commonly made of materials such as wood, composite, aluminum, or glass. They are often square or round and come in a variety of colors. Balusters are used for both practical and decorative purposes when creating a deck railing. They can be customized to fit your home or building style and can be combined with lighting or accessories to fit the needs of a project. Deckorators balusters come in a wide range of design options that will create a beautiful railing for any deck or patio.

What balusters should I choose for a wrought iron look?

Architectural balusters offer an affordable and attractive railing idea. Architectural balusters do not require the purchase of additional baluster connectors or adaptors. These unique balusters offer the appearance of hand-forged wrought iron at a fraction of the price.

Where are the pre-drilled holes located in the Scenic balusters?

The Deckorators Scenic baluster has four pre-drilled holes. The pre-drilled holes are 1-1/2 inch from the bottom of the baluster to the center of the pre-drilled hole. It is 1-1/4 inch distance from the side of the baluster to the center of the hole.

How should Deckorators balusters be cleaned?

Use a mild household detergent and water mixture to clean aluminum or glass balusters. Once the balusters are washed, simply rinse with clean water.

What material are the balusters made of?

Deckorators Classic Round balusters and Deckorators Estate Square balusters are made from low-maintenance aluminum. They are powder coated for durability. The Deckorators Scenic Glass balusters are made of tempered safety glass.

What size are the balusters?

How many balusters should a deck have?

Balusters should not be greater than 4 inches apart, so a deck should have roughly 3 balusters per foot. Take the total linear feet of your deck and multiply it by 3 to get the number of balusters you’ll need. For example, a 25 feet deck would require around 75 balusters. Of course, this is not an exact measurement, so be sure to properly measure your deck or contact one of our experts to get the proper materials.

What is the finished railing height?

How far apart can I space balusters?

Typically, balusters should be installed no greater than 4 inches apart to meet most city codes. Deckorators recommends the following spacing for their balusters. As with any project, be sure to also check your local building codes:

Post Caps

How bright are the solar post cap lights?

The Solar Post Cap Lights provide ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is not suitable for tasks.

How does the clear coating protect post caps from tarnishing?

Deckorators brass post caps, like copper post caps, are a true metal brass, an alloy of copper and zinc. Deckorators brass post caps are protected with a clear, thin coating of lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, begin to break down this coating and expose the metal underneath. Periodic reapplication of this clear coating will help protect the brass post cap from the sun's UV rays, pollution, and moisture.

How can I keep my copper post cap from turning green/patina?

To maintain the shiny post cap appearance, be sure to apply a car wax immediately after purchasing the post cap. Simply reapply car wax every three to six months.

What are the dimensions of a standard 4x4 or 6x6 wood post?

The lumber industry defines standard wood post sizes as 4x4 or 6x6. The outside dimensions of the Standard 4x4 Post Cap measures 3-1/2" x 3-1/2", and the outside dimensions of the Standard 6x6 Post Cap measures 5-1/2" x 5-1/2".

What is patina?

Patina refers to the natural weathering of copper due to airborne sulfur compounds, which gradually change copper's surface color. The resulting color, called a patina, depends on location and climate. Salt, moisture, sunlight, ultra-violet rays, and pollution can affect the final color. In general, copper progresses from a natural salmon color to a series of russet browns and grays, and finally to a blue-green or gray-green patina. To maintain the shiny look, apply a car wax immediately after purchasing the cap, and reapply every 3 to 6 months. To encourage a natural patina, remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool. To speed up the patina process on a copper post, simply remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool.

Do the wood post caps require a finish?

As with all wood products, Deckorators recommends coating wood post caps with a high-quality exterior finish to preserve the wood's natural beauty and ensure a lifetime of enjoyment. Apply to all wood areas, including the underside of the cap, before installation.

Should treated wood post caps be allowed to "season" outdoors before applying a protective finish?

No. Deckorators Treated Wood Post Caps are kiln-dried and do not require a drying period. Deckorators recommends applying a protective finish immediately to the post cap.

Will the metal solder on the glass post caps oxidize?

Exposure to the elements may cause the copper-wrapped solder on glass post caps to oxidize and lose its original color. Applying car wax before placing the post cap outdoors will help to prevent the initial oxidation. Deckorators has found regular furniture polish to have the same effect, but its prevention time may vary based on geographical location. Reapply the car wax/furniture polish every 3 to 6 months as needed.

Where can I purchase replacement LED light bulbs?

The LED bulbs are part of the whole solar cell component and are not designed to be replaced. The LED bulbs have an average life of ten years, with normal usage of 6 to 8 hours per day. We do have Solar Collector Replacement Units available at DIY Home Center.

Will the copper post caps remain a shiny copper color?

Deckorators Copper Post Caps come with a thin, clear marine lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, the suns ultraviolet rays, moisture and pollution begin to break down this coating, exposing the metal underneath. In its natural state, copper breaks down in the elements and patinas. In general, copper progresses from a natural salmon color to a series of russet browns and grays, and finally to a blue-green or gray-green patina.