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.

Baluster Installation and Warranty

What are deck balusters?

Balusters are vertical support poles that holds 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.

Are balusters and spindles the same thing?

The term 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 railing and attaches to a bottom rail. Although this characteristic differentiates these support structures from each other, it is not a commonly known so the use of the terms interchangeably is accepted.

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:

How many balusters should a deck have?

Balusters should not greater than 4 inches apart, so a deck should have roughly 3 balusters per foot. Take the total 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.

Do I need special tools to install balusters?

Be sure to wear protective clothing and safety glasses.

What angles do stairs accommodate for the Classic round and Colonial balusters?

Will Deckorators offer a warranty?

Deckorators product warranties protect you so that you can enjoy a beautiful, virtually maintenance-free outdoor living for years.

  • Deckorators Structural Limited Warranty protects a product used in residential decking or railing applications for 25 years from the date of the original purchase.
  • Deckorators Limited Warranty - Stain Resistance protects a product used in residential decking or railing application that exhibits permanent staining when exposed to items that would typically be present on a residential deck for 25 years from the date of the original purchase.
  • Deckorators Limited Warranty - Fade Resistance protects a product used in a residential decking or railing application that exhibits unreasonable amount of color change in excess of "Normal Weathering" for 25 years from the date of original purchase.
  • Deckorators Removal and Replacement Warranty provides 25 years from the date of original purchase to protect a replacement product.
  • Deckorators ALX Railing and Baluster Lifetime Limited Warranty protects any Deckorators ALX Railings, Aluminum Balusters and Scenic Balusters used in standard residential applications.
  • Deckorators Post Cap Limited Warranty protects any Post Cap that exhibits defects in materials or workmanship, for all but the Solar Light Components in a solar post cap, for a period of two years from the date of original purchase.
  • Deckorators Postcover Limited Warranty provides 15 years from the date of original purchase to protect any postcover that exhibits a defect in material or workmanship.
  • Deckorators Lighting Products Limited Warranty protects the Deckorators Post Cap Lights and Deckorators Recessed Lighting Kit from defects in materials or workmanship for 5 years from the date of original purchase. The Deckorators Transformer is protected for 3 years if the product exhibits defects in materials or workmanship.

ALX Railing Product Questions

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.

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 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.

How much space to put between deck surface and 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.

CXT Railing Product Questions

Which Deckorators balusters are compatible with the CXT railings?

Any Deckorators baluster that is not a surface mount (Arc and Baroque) will work with the CXT Pro Railing System or Classic Railing System. With the many choices available, it will not be hard to create a unique look. The CXT Architectural Rail is the most full-bodied of all the CXT systems and can embrace all Deckorator balusters including face mount or any of the classic mounting systems.

What sizes and lengths are available?

CXT Railings are available in 6' and 8' lengths. Deckorators balusters are available in 29" and 35" lengths. A six foot railing section requires a pack of 15 balusters. An eight foot section requires a pack of 20 balusters. Post sleeve kits are available in 40" and 54".

What are CXT Railings?

Deckorators CXT Railings are co-extruded from two layers of materials, making a beautiful and tough railing system. The core is made with Strandex, the most tested and trusted composite technology. The outer cap-stock layer gives CXT Railing the look of painted wood and makes it ultra scratch and weather-resistant. The look of wood combines with the durability and low maintenance of composite to provide a quality composite railing system.

What do I need for a CXT stair rail?

A stair rail requires a Deckorators CXT Stair Rail Hardware Kit as well as a Deckorators CXT Contemporary 6' Rail Kit or a Deckorators CXT Contemporary 8' Rail Kit.

Are the railings pre-drilled?

Yes, the railings are pre-drilled. Pre-drilled rails increase the speed of installation by taking the guesswork out of baluster spacing.

Deckorators Aluminum Baluster Questions

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.

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.

What is the finished railing height?

What size are the balusters?

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.

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.

Post Cap Questions

Will stainless steel post caps rust?

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

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.

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 affect, but its prevention time may vary based on geographical location. Reapply the car wax/furniture polish every 3 to 6 months as needed.

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".

How bright are the solar post cap lights?

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

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 a 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.

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.

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.