Aluminum Deck Railing
An aluminum railing with awesome strength and a beautiful, clean design.
An aluminum railing with awesome strength and a beautiful, clean design.
But strength isn’t our only feature. The beauty of Craft-Bilt Structural Railing is in its clean lines. There are no protruding splicers or couplings, everything is flush and smooth. The modern, substantive appearance will add value and “curb appeal” to your property.
Craft-Bilt Maintenance Free Aluminum Railing eliminates the hassle of painting or staining. Never again worry about orange, rusting wrought iron or rotting wood with splinters and nails popping. Are you worried about the expansion, contraction, fading or cracking associated with plastic (PVC) and PVC composite products? You should be. Aluminum will outlast them all. Visit our product blog to view “Advantages of Aluminum Railing”
Aluminum is used in commercial buildings, aircraft, aerospace and many other critical applications for its strength, exact tolerance, and maintenance-free properties. But this is not the off-shore deck railing you see at your lumber store, Craft-Bilt Structural Railing is heavier, thicker and stronger with test reports to show compliance with Canada’s tough national and provincial building codes. We designed this railing and yes, it’s made in Canada.
Craft-Bilt’s post caps, wall brackets, and unique post bracket covers are made from CNC machined or die-cast aluminum… not plastic. Now look closely… all the fasteners and connections are concealed for a truly finished look!
Craft-Bilt’s deck railing can be configured so many ways: regular picket railing, wide picket railing, glass railing, different post sizes etc. But don’t look for model numbers or model names, just tell us how you want it to look! See all the possible combinations on our Specifications tab.
Now you can get your deck railing price online, click the Railing Calculator tab above to get started!
One look at our heavy aluminum posts and you will be impressed with the difference. Craft-Bilt’s unique design eliminates the reliance on screws that other companies use to attach their handrails to the posts. Our system is designed to use the largest anchors possible when fastening to your deck or slab. Visit our YouTube page to see comparisons and real post-testing to show compliance with national and provincial codes.
Do you want to learn more about the Ontario Building Code for Railing?
Craft-Bilt railing is designed for custom on-site fabrication to achieve a seamless blend with the architecture of your home. In addition to looking lovely on your home, Craft-Bilt railing provides an unparalleled level of safety.
Announcing our high output LED sconce light. Our unique design beautifully compliments your Craft-Bilt railing installation. Made with quality parts as you’ve come to expect from Craft-Bilt: die-cast aluminum housing, polycarbonate lens, and stainless steel screws to name a few. Please click the LED Lighting tab for more information.
In 2012, Craft-Bilt designed heavy-duty glass adapters from scratch. They allow thick ½” glass panels to be used with any of our post styles. Find out more by visiting our Youtube Channel or visiting our topless glass railing page for more information.
Did you see Craft-Bilt’s Aluminum Railing and our Betterliving™ Retractable Canopy on HGTV’s Scott’s Vacation House Rules on May 6th?
We are so happy to have contributed to the incredible backyard makeover that will transform how new homeowners enjoy their summers for years.
You can stream this episode on the Global TV App and STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, FuboTV, Rogers Ignite TV, and Ignite SmartStream. To find our episode, search “Scott’s Vacation House Rules Limitless Lakeside Retreat.”
Beautifully designed Craft-Bilt Structural Railing can be utilized in various scenarios.
Please visit our Waterproof Aluminum Decking page to see Craft-Bilt’s Aluminum Decking and Aluminum Railing in combination.
Craft-Bilt Aluminum Railing Standard Colour Options:
White, Sand, Earthstone, and Black
Picket and Glass Options for your Railing
Craft-Bilt Aluminum Railing Post Options
Double Top Rail Option
Add some sizzle to your balcony with our double top rail option. An additional bottom rail is inverted and spaced 3⅞” away from the handrail. Meets building codes when used in the 42″ high railing. Consult your local building department for 36″ high railing applications.
Privacy Panel / Balcony Divider / Pool Fencing
Craft-Bilt’s aluminum railing system can be used to enclose outdoor restaurant seating, as a privacy panel, a balcony divider or to make your pool safe for children. The system can be manufactured to any height you need, typically five or six feet, and it can be installed on concrete or a wood deck.
Privacy panels are made with 5mm or 6mm thick tempered glass or ⅝” thick multi-wall polycarbonate sheets. Tempered glass is typically ordered in “frosted”, also known as “pinhole”, which obscures the view. Polycarbonate sheets are available in clear, opal ice or bronze colour. Opal ice, which has a milky white appearance, is the best choice for privacy.
Aluminum Railing Gates:
Craft-Bilt railing gates are made with matching post and handrail material, so they blend in perfectly. Our gates feature welded gussets in the corners so you know they will swing true for the life of your railing. Our gate hardware is second to none, made of high strength resins with spring loaded hinges and lockable latch with built-in keylock!
The Wedge – 22.5 Degree Adapters for Railing
Our adapters eliminate the need to miter cut the hand and bottom rails. They work with all of our post sizes as well as our frameless glass railing system. They can be attached to walls or columns, and you can double them up to make a 45-degree adapter. The wedge is available in all railing colours: White, Sand, EartStone, and Black.
The Craft-Bilt LED Sconce Light, Redesigned for 2019!
Designed from scratch by Craft-Bilt, the curves of the sconce light match the same curves used in our handrail so it blends beautifully with our railing system.
To maintain warranty we recommend using our 12V transformers. They are outdoor rated and feature photo cell and timer. When selecting a transformer, reduce the stated capacity by 20% (i.e. a 100 watt transformer should not be used for more than 80 watts of lights).
What is maintenance free aluminum railing?
The home improvement business was revolutionized by aluminum. Gone were the rusting wrought iron railings and steel windows, gone were the rotting wood storm doors and windows. And gone was flaking paint and repainting. Painted aluminum lasts literally forever with only periodic cleaning. The paint finish, especially dark tones, may fade or “chalk” over time, but the underlying metal will last forever. In the typical home improvement scenario, aluminum will not corrode although contact with some chemicals should be avoided, for instance, direct unprotected contact with concrete or some deck cleaners. Salts will corrode many materials including aluminum, vinyl, and wood. Coastal environments are tough on all materials and many manufacturer warranties exclude these regions. While vinyl is considered maintenance free, from day one it is being broken down by photo-degradation. We have all seen old vinyl fences and siding that gets brittle and cracks. Unlike vinyl or composites, aluminum will maintain its strength for life.
What makes Craft-Bilt railing different?
The aluminum in Craft-Bilt railing has thicker walls than most systems and it’s designed to meet loads of the building code with a healthy factor of safety. If the manufacturer’s want to make more money, they will make their profiles as thin as possible.
Craft-Bilt railing has been extensively tested, and the reports we provide allow customers across Canada to obtain building permits. Craft-Bilt railing has the look of finished carpentry, we don’t use bulky hinges or sockets. Craft-Bilt railing is designed and made in Canada while the typical railing you find in big box stores has arrived from overseas.
Is Craft-Bilt railing Engineered?
As mentioned above we have tested our railing extensively. It has been used on multi-floor condos and other critical applications. Our test reports are produced by a licensed professional engineer.
What colours are available for Craft-Bilt aluminum railing?
As of this writing, our railing colours are White, Sand, Earthstone, and Black.
Because our railing is often used on high-end residential projects, we also keep an inventory of un-painted (mill finish) material so that we can fulfill custom colour requests.
What kind of glass is used in Craft-Bilt aluminum railing?
We only use tempered glass which we have tested and meets the loads required by the building code. Customers usually want to enjoy the view so they order clear glass, but we also offer grey and bronze tints, as well as specialty colours.
In buildings over 3 storeys high tempered glass can also be used, however in Ontario, if the glass is too close to the edge of the slab other types of glass must be used, like heat soaked tempered glass.
What is structural railing?
Sometimes we refer to our railing as “structural railing”. This is to indicate that it is designed to meet the building code and to differentiate it from the ornamental or wrought iron railing.
How do you attach a railing post to a wood deck?
If you buy a post that only comes with a thin screw, only long enough to bite the deck board you are playing with fate. The building code is very clear about point loads and other loads that railing must be able to withstand. When the specified load is applied to the top of a post, it acts as a lever, applying greatly magnified loads on the screws and the material into which they are driven. Our testing has shown that only large and long screws driven into substantial wood blocking will suffice. When you build your deck make sure to install 2×8 blocking at all post locations, following Craft-Bilt’s instructions.
What height should my railing be?
The building code calls for 36″ (900mm) high railing when the deck is 24″ (600mm) or more above the ground. When the deck is more than 72″ (1800) above ground, then 42″ (1070mm) railing must be used.
Sometimes you see a front porch with 42″ high railing even though it’s not required. That was the only height they could find at their local store! But a front porch with 42″ railing looks horrible.
Can I use glass railing in my deck stairs?
We do not recommend glass in the stairs for a number of reasons:
Cost. The cost of glass might be wasted since you typically do not sit on your stairs to enjoy the view. Railing glass on stairs is a parallelogram shape, which costs quite a bit more than rectangles.
Movement: The bottom of your stairs typically does not have a footing. This means the stairs will move slightly when the ground freezes in the winter. The glass could break or fall out.
Measuring. Installers usually make a cardboard template. Glass manufacturers can charge extra to make glass shapes based on templates (as opposed to electronic files like DWG (Autocad) or PDF). It’s not unheard of that the glass does not fit right the first time and has to be re-ordered.
Having said that, glass on stairs is certainly available.
What fasteners are used for railing posts screwed to concrete patios versus wood decks?
Unless otherwise instructed, Craft-Bilt typically supplies the fasteners as specified in our test reports. For concrete, this is a large diameter tapping screw usually 4″ long. For wood, this is a large diameter engineered screw five to seven inches long. We do not use lag screws, rather engineered screws. Engineered screws have benefits like no pre-drilling, high pull-out resistance, and consistent alloy/strength.
Do you have any plastic or vinyl parts in Craft-Bilt railing?
No! Well almost no, there are some plastic screw covers used in one of our post styles, and of course, the lens in our sconce lights is polycarbonate plastic. Otherwise, we are proud to say that all components are extruded or cast aluminum, that includes the post caps and post base covers. As you have probably seen, plastic caps and covers do not last.
Is Craft-Bilt railing pre-assembled?
Our aluminum posts are pre-assembled to the bases, but covers and caps are packed separately so they don’t get scratched. Hand and bottom rails are typically sent 2″ longer than required so they can be trimmed to fit perfectly. Pickets and picket spacers are sent at the required size so they can be inserted into the hand and bottom rails with no cutting required by the installer.
What type of blade is used for trimming aluminum profiles?
Use a carbide tipped blade that is made for cutting non-ferrous metals.
Can I install Craft-Bilt railing myself?
Many, many homeowners have installed Craft-Bilt products themselves. Homeowners have given many 5 star reviews and sent photos of their beautiful completed project. But this is not as easy as putting together IKEA furniture. You must have good carpentry skills if you are going to do a nice job with any home improvement. Always make sure you are following the local building code. If you inquire as DIY on our contact form we will provide the name of a local retailer, or if one is not available we may offer to sell the railing directly to you.
Aluminum has properties that make it the ideal choice for many applications: corrosion resistance, high strength, low weight among others. Painted aluminum railings are superior to other materials including PVC since they have virtually no maintenance costs and will certainly outlive the structure they are installed on.
Think of the places where you know aluminum is used, places where durability and strength are important… aircraft, space shuttle, truck trailer bodies, storefronts, skyscraper wall systems, etc.. Now think to yourself… would you use plastic, wood or composite material for any of those applications? The answer is a resounding NO.
Low maintenance– aluminum railing does not need to be painted every year, unlike wrought iron and wood. The aluminum channels, referred to as “extrusions”, are given a chemical wash so the paint will bond. The paint is baked on at over 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly coated aluminum extrusions will last many years with only periodic cleaning required. The beauty of aluminum is that even if the paint is scratched to the base metal, the aluminum will not corrode in most environments. In fact, unpainted aluminum forms an invisible oxide on its surface that prevents corrosion.
Safety – From a structural point of view, the aluminum railing will not rot or decay like wood, it won’t rust away in the critical joints like steel or wrought iron and it won’t crack in the cold like PVC. Another safety concern with wood railing splinters, which is an even greater concern when you consider the chemicals used in pressure-treated lumber.
Esthetics- The designer of an aluminum railing system has a great deal of flexibility in the way he or she wants it to look. Once the dies are created, the aluminum shapes will be produced for years with unwavering tolerance. Wood and wrought iron railings are limited to the availability of stock shapes. The wood you buy today will shrink, warp and twist over the years. Because PVC is not a structurally sound product, those railings will have steel stiffeners hidden inside, and all connection points need to allow for the expansion/contraction of the PVC extrusions. PVC and wood railings will always have a bulky appearance, vinyl’s inherent weakness mandates large shapes. With aluminum, the designer can create fine shapes akin to wrought iron, or wider shapes similar to wood. The consumer can create, mix & match to their heart’s content. Of course, the durability of aluminum means it will be looking good and fulfilling its function long after the other materials would have begun to show their age.
Recyclable- Aluminum is completely recyclable. It is one of the most recycled products in the world. Its high scrap value means that factory cut-offs, job site leftovers, and demolition railings are carefully saved for sale to scrap yards. With almost no value, wood, PVC, steel and composites are destined for the dump.
Corrosion Resistance- Rusting of steel railing is an obvious point, and covered elsewhere in this article. Even when steel is galvanized, the ends, weld and drill locations are doomed to rust. With time, even galvanized steel will begin to rust. Also, it is difficult for paint to stick to galvanized steel, and you may find your paint peeling off in the not too distant future. Vinyl railing and fencing products will typically use galvanized steel inserts, but the cut ends are at risk for rusting. Rust is not only unsightly but slowly reduces the strength of the guard. As already mentioned, aluminum will not corrode in most environments.
Expansion / Contraction – The aluminum alloy used in railing has a thermal expansion coefficient of .000013 inch per inch. To put this in perspective, a 20′ continuous railing installed on a summer day of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 C), then measured on a chilly winter day of 0 degrees F (-18 C), will have contracted less than a quarter of an inch! Vinyl and composite systems can not achieve the continuous handrail design, a favourite of Craft-Bilt customers, due to their huge rates of expansion and contraction.
Effect of Weather – UV rays of the sun breaks down wood and PVC based products. This process is known as photodegradation. Although PVC products have additives (UV stabilizers) to resist the damaging effects of the sun, we have all seen what happens to plastic as it ages, especially when it is exposed to the outdoors. Thanks to global warming, ozone, and chemical-related damage will increase for plastic-based products. Heat and humidity can compound the UV damage on plastic products. For wood, once the UV has caused sufficient photodamage, heat and humidity will allow microorganisms to flourish and biodegrade the wood. While UV eventually causes any paint to fade, the aluminum underneath is unaffected by weather. Your aluminum handrail will never lose its structural integrity, in fact, aluminum gets stronger with age.
Please download it from the installation instruction webpage.
See installed jobs on our Youtube Channel.
Instructions can be updated without notice. Please inquire about the latest version.
Craft-Bilt’s warranty applies to a properly installed product only. Please contact us for warranty details. Labour and installation warranty are provided by the contractor who sells and installs the product. If you purchase products to install yourself (or have installed) then you are solely responsible for labour, installation, and building code issues. DIY’ers should have above-average construction skills and knowledge of building practices and codes. Please carefully read the footnotes on your quote or sales order. Purchases are bound by our Terms and Conditions of Sale.