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.

Balusters

What are the different types of balusters that Deckorators offers?

  • Classic — round aluminum balusters that provide a sleek, contemporary feel.
  • Estate — square aluminum balusters that provide a modern look.
  • Architectural — aluminum balusters that feature curves to provide the beautiful appearance of hand-forged wrought iron; includes Arc and Baroque styles.
  • Traditional — aluminum facemount balusters that provide a classic, geometric style.
  • Scenic — glass balusters that provide a clear, unobstructed view.

What material are Deckorators balusters made of?

Deckorators Classic, Estate, Architectural, and Traditional balusters are made of a durable, powder-coated aluminum. Deckorators Scenic balusters are made of tempered safety glass.

What size are Deckorators balusters?

  • Classic: 34” diameter — available in 26”, 29”, 32” 36”, and 40” lengths
  • Estate: 34” diameter — available in 26”, 29”, 32”, and 40” lengths
  • Architectural: 1” wide x 316” thick — available in 3214” and 40” (Baroque style only) lengths
  • Traditional: 1” wide x 12” thick — available in 32” and 40” lengths
  • Scenic: 4” wide x 516” thick — available in 26”, 29”, and 32” lengths

How do I know what baluster length to get?

Classic

  • 36” Final Rail Height: 26” balusters for horizontal applications, 29” balusters for stair applications
  • 42” Final Rail Height: 32” balusters for horizontal applications, 36” balusters for stair applications

Estate

  • 36” Final Rail Height: 26” balusters for horizontal applications, 29” balusters for stair applications
  • 42” Final Rail Height: 32” balusters for horizontal applications, 36” balusters for stair applications

Architectural

  • 36” Final Rail Height: 32-1/4” balusters
  • 42” Final Rail Height: 40” balusters

Traditional

  • 36” Final Rail Height: 32” balusters
  • 42” Final Rail Height: 40” balusters

Scenic

  • 36” Final Rail Height: 26” balusters
  • 39” Final Rail Height: 29” balusters
  • 42” Final Rail Height: 32” balusters

How far apart should I space my balusters?

Typically, balusters should be installed no more than 4 inches apart to meet most building codes. Deckorators recommends 2.5 aluminum balusters per linear foot and 1.5 glass balusters per linear foot. As always, check your local building codes prior to installing balusters.

How do I calculate how many balusters I need for my deck?

Deckorators recommends 2.5 aluminum balusters per linear foot and 1.5 glass balusters per linear foot. To calculate the number of balusters you’ll need for your deck, simply take 2.5 or 1.5 and multiply by your deck’s linear feet. For example, 2.5 aluminum balusters x 40 linear feet = 100 balusters.

How do I figure out how many baluster connectors I need?

Balusters (those that are not face-mount) require two connectors each—one for the top and one for the bottom. An easy way to figure out how many baluster connectors you will need is to double the number of balusters you need. For easy ordering, Classic Balusters and Estate Balusters are sold in 10-packs and 100-packs (depending on the length), and the connectors are sold in 20-packs and 200-packs — for every 10-pack of balusters, a 20-pack of connectors is needed. Example: if you need (4) packs of 10 balusters, then you will also need (4) packs of 20 connectors.

Do I need special tools to install Deckorators balusters?

  • Installation for Deckorators Classic and Estate aluminum balusters requires connectors (sold separately), as well as a drill driver, tape measure, clamps, rubber mallet, and support blocks (can be cut from scrap lumber).
  • Installation for Deckorators Architectural and Traditional aluminum balusters requires basic installation tools such as a drill driver, tape measure, 2-pt square head drill bit, clamps, and support blocks (can be cut from scrap lumber).
  • Installation for Deckorators Scenic glass balusters requires a drill driver, tape measure, clamps, 2-pt square head drill bit, and support blocks (can be cut from scrap lumber).

Note: Be sure to wear protective clothing and safety glasses when installing balusters.

How should Deckorators balusters be cleaned?

The nice thing about Deckorators balusters is that they’re low maintenance and require no regular upkeep. When cleaning Deckorators aluminum or glass balusters is needed, simply use a mild household detergent mixed with water, then rinse with clean water.

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

Each Deckorators Scenic baluster has four pre-drilled holes. The pre-drilled holes are 112” from the bottom of the baluster to the center of the pre-drilled hole, and a 114” distance from the side of the baluster to the center of the hole.

ALX Railing

What types of railing does Deckorators offer?

Deckorators offers aluminum, cable, and ADA-Compliant rail options. Their ALX line of aluminum railing consists of ALX Classic and ALX Contemporary, both of which are durable and stylish.

Do I need special tools to install Deckorators railing?

Conventional tools for cutting, drilling, and nailing can be used with Deckorators railing. It's recommended to use a sharp, carbide-tipped saw blade for cutting. For your safety, remember to wear protective clothing and safety glasses.

Do I need special tools to install Deckorators cable railing?

Deckorators recommends using a new 58” chrome-plated socket to protect the fitting from raw steel. Avoid installing with rusty tools, as they leave rust deposits on the surface of the fittings almost immediately. After installation, it is critical to clean the system completely with a stainless cleaner and a soft clean rag in order to clear the surface from carbon deposits.

Are support blocks necessary when installing Deckorators railing?

Yes. Support blocks add strength to the railing system and provide support to prevent the railing from sagging. Spacing varies by railing system. If possible, support blocks should be installed so they are aligned beneath a baluster for maximum reinforcement.

How do I maintain my ALX railing?

Deckorators recommends checking and cleaning your ALX aluminum railing once per year in normal environments. In more hazardous environments or if heavy soiling occurs, more regular cleaning may be required. To clean, wash the railing with a solution of warm water and mild detergent, then rinse to remove all residues. The railing should be cleaned using a soft cloth or sponge. Test the cleaner in a small, inconspicuous area prior to applying it to the entire railing system to ensure that no color change or damage will occur.

How do I maintain my cable railing?

Deckorators recommends using warm water and a mild soap for cleaning cable railing. Avoid harsh solutions or abrasive cleaning materials, including but not limited to: alkaline or acidic cleaners or solutions containing trisodium phosphate, phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, fluorides, or similar compounds. Avoid using power-cleaning tools. Clean the fittings and cable after installation and every 6 months thereafter.

Can Deckorators railing be used for structural applications?

No. While Deckorators railing does provide superior surface integrity and strength, it is not suitable for structural applications.

Will chlorine or other swimming pool chemicals damage Deckorators railing?

While no formal testing has been done, we have not seen or heard of any ill effects from standard pool chemicals.

ADA Handrail

Are any Deckorators railings ADA-compliant?

Yes, Deckorators has secondary handrail components for creating an ADA-compliant secondary handrail system. This attractive and highly versatile system is ideal for meeting building codes when required. Made of heavy gauge aluminum and durable PVC, the system includes five different radius elbows and several styles of returns to meet every possible installation. As always, check your local building code or ask your building inspector to make sure a secondary handrail is installed when required by law.

When do you need to install a graspable secondary handrail on a residential deck?

A graspable ADA-compliant secondary handrail is an important component to consider when planning a deck with stairs. So whether you're constructing a residential composite deck, lumber deck, or a deck made from another decking material, you're typically required to install a graspable secondary handrail on one side of the deck's stair railing when there are four or more stair risers present.

  • Stairways having four or more risers, or rising more than 30" in height, whichever is less, must have at least one grab rail.
  • Handrails with a circular cross-section shall have an outside diameter of at least 114” but not greater than 2". If the handrail is not circular it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4" but not greater than 614”, with a maximum cross-section dimension of 214”.
  • The grab rail must terminate at the newel post (top & bottom posts).
  • Clear space between a handrail and a wall or other surface shall be a minimum of 112”.
  • The height of handrails must be installed 34" to 38" from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread. Graspable secondary handrails are required by more and more building codes / deck codes in areas across the country.

As always, check your local building code or ask your building inspector to make sure a secondary handrail is installed when required by law.

Post Caps & Skirts

What are the inside dimensions of Deckorators post caps?

Deckorators post caps come in many sizes, but the most common sizes are 4" x 4" and 6" x 6", which are made to fit standard 4x4 or 6x6 posts. The inside dimensions of the standard 4" x 4" post caps measure 3-58”, and the inside dimensions of the standard 6" x 6" post caps measure 5-58”.

  • 2-12” x 2-12” — inside dimensions: 2-12” x 2-12” (ALX railing)
  • 4" x 4" — inside dimensions: 3-58” x 3-58” (made to fit a standard 4x4 post)
  • 6" x 6" — inside dimensions: 5-58” x 5-58” (made to fit a standard 6x6 post)

How do I attach the post cap to the post?

Deckorators recommends using an exterior-grade construction adhesive to adhere the cap to the post. Apply the adhesive liberally to the inside of the cap and place the cap firmly over the top of the post. If you prefer to use Brad nails, be sure to pre-drill all nail holes to avoid splitting.

Should I allow my treated wood post caps to “season” outdoors before I apply a protective finish?

No. Deckorators wood post caps are kiln-dried and do not require a drying period. We recommend applying a protective finish immediately to the post cap.

What preservative is used to protect Deckorators pressure-treated wood post caps?

Deckorators wood post caps caps are protected by Copper Azole Type B (CA-B), an EPA-registered pesticide containing copper and azole compounds to protect it from termite attack and decay.

Do I need to apply a finish to my Deckorators wood post caps?

As with all wood products, we recommend that you coat Deckorators 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.

Will Deckorators copper-finish post caps remain a shiny copper color over time?

Deckorators copper finish post caps come with a thin, clear marine lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, the sun's 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 patina. 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.

What does patina mean?

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, ultraviolet 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 post cap, and reapply every 3 to 6 months. To encourage a natural patina, remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool.

How do I keep my Deckorators copper-finish post cap from turning green (developing a patina)?

To maintain the shiny look, apply a car wax immediately after purchasing the post cap, and reapply every 3 to 6 months.

Can I speed up the patina process on my Deckorators copper-finish post caps?

To encourage a natural patina, remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool.

What is the metal underneath Deckorators post caps with the powder-coated finish?

The base of Deckorators powder-coated post caps is made of stainless steel.

Will my Deckorators stainless steel post caps rust?

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron that contains more than 10% chromium. Stainless steel has a hard oxide coating that makes it resistant to stains. Corrosion and wear strip away this coating, causing the steel to rust. To maintain this coating, clean the post cap periodically with a mixture of vinegar and club soda.

Is there any care or maintenance required for Deckorators cast stone postcovers or postcover caps?

Postcovers and postcover caps come sealed with a matte finish stone sealer, so no additional sealing is required. Periodic cleaning is recommended as needed to remove surface dirt. Clean with mild soap and water and use a soft brush to remove any dirt buildup. It is always a good idea to test the cleaner in a small, inconspicuous area prior to applying it to the entire postcover.

How do I attach the solar post cap light to my post?

To attach a Deckorators solar post cap light to a post, apply an exterior-grade construction adhesive to the inside edge of the molding at the bottom of the light, and then place the light firmly onto the post.

Should I remove the thin, clear plastic film over the top of the solar collector on the solar post cap light?

Yes. The purpose of the clear plastic film is to protect the solar collector during shipping.

How do I activate Deckorators solar post caps?

To activate Deckorators solar post caps:

  1. Remove top by pressing inward on the side of the clear lens, grasping the edge of the top and lifting it off.
  2. Install the batteries.
  3. Replace the top by snapping it back onto side panels. (Ensure that the holes in the sides are matched up with the stubs on the top.)
  4. Place your solar post cap light in direct sunlight for 24-48 hours to fully charge.

How bright are Deckorators solar post cap lights?

Deckorators solar post caps provide an ambient light that is not suitable for tasks.

What is the lumen output of Deckorators solar post caps?

Output is 1-2 lumens when the batteries are fully charged. The lumen value will slowly decrease as the energy from the batteries is consumed.

What kind of replacement batteries should I buy for Deckorators solar post cap lights?

If the rechargeable batteries provided with the cap will no longer recharge, they can be replaced with any AA rechargeable batteries. The life depends on the quality of the batteries purchased.

Can I use regular, non-rechargeable batteries in Deckorators solar post cap lights?

No, the solar post cap light is designed to be used with rechargeable batteries. If regular batteries are used in the sun, they will destroy the solar collector.

How long will the rechargeable batteries provided with the solar post cap last?

The rechargeable batteries should last approximately one year.

How long is the life of the LED light bulbs?

With a normal usage of 6-8 hours per day, the LED bulbs should last an average of 10 years.

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 10 years, with a normal usage of 6 to 8 hours per day.

Lighting

What is the wattage and lumen output of Deckorators low-voltage lighted products?

Can I install Deckorators low-voltage products indoors?

No, all Deckorators low-voltage products are for outdoor use only.

Is Deckorators low-voltage lighting system safe around children and pets?

Yes – since it runs on 12-volt electricity, there is no fear of electric shock. It is safe around children and pets.

How close can I install Decorators low-voltage products next to my pool?

Lighting components must be installed at least 10 feet away from a pool, spa, or fountain.

Why do I need a transformer for my low-voltage system?

Transformers reduce 120-volt household electricity to a safe 12-volt current. Do not attempt to hook up a low voltage system to an ordinary electrical outlet without using a 12-volt transformer.

How do I know which size transformer to buy?

You will need to buy a transformer that accommodates the wattage of your entire low voltage system. To determine the total wattage, add up the wattage of each fixture to be used. For example, if you are using 10 lights that are rated at 1 watt each, the total wattage of your system would be 10 watts.

Can I connect my transformer to an electrical outlet using an extension cord?

No, the transformer should be connected directly into the outlet.

Can I bury the main low-voltage cable or the cable connector?

You are not required to, but you can bury the low voltage cable and the cable connector, no more than 6 inches deep.

Are there any tips on feeding the low-voltage cable through the drilled holes in the post sleeves?

Use a twist tie or thin piece of wire bent into a hook to reach into holes in the post sleeves and guide the cable through the holes.

My Deckorators lighting system won’t turn on. What do I do?

Try these trouble-shooting tips:

  • Make sure that the transformer is plugged into an electrical outlet that is working. If there are any electrical switches that control the outlet, make sure they are in the "on" position.
  • Make sure the transformer is the correct size and can accommodate the total wattage of your system.
  • Check that the timer settings on the transformer are correct. To check the system during the day, cover the photo-eye with a piece of black electrical tape.
  • Check to see if there is a loose connection at the transformer pressure plates.
  • Check the locations where the lighting fixtures connect to the low voltage cable to make sure that the prongs have pierced the cable.
  • Trace the low voltage cable from the transformer to the lighting fixtures to ensure the cable has not been cut.