Deck Railings

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Forum topic by Mark Grunow posted 06-30-2013 05:24 PM 805 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Grunow

4 posts in 1863 days

06-30-2013 05:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: deck railings expansion contraction

When I bought my house 20 years ago it included a 3 tier deck. Over the the years, the railings are shot. I bought Trex 2×4’s as a replacement. I plan to use biscuits to join the end joints with exterior glue; but I am concerned with expansion and contraction. The but joints will be on top of 4×4 treated lumber posts. I also plan to use pocket screws to secure the rails to the posts. Your comments are appreciated. Thanks

3 replies so far

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2708 days

#1 posted 06-30-2013 06:27 PM

#1…I don’t think you get much expansion/contraction along the length of any board (it’s a “width” problem). #2 Trex is compressed wood/recycled milk jugs. Movement should be minimal especially if sandwiched between posts. Not so sure I would use biscuits though (I’ve never used them in an exterior application).

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#2 posted 06-30-2013 06:56 PM

Hi Mark
As a of contractor of 25 years who builds lots of decks I never build deck surfaces from Trex given their many law suites because of the delamination problems they have had with their decking over the years. Safety rails are a whole other issue all together . Composite decking (ANY BRAND) is way to flexible and will not hold screws well enough to make a solid connection and will tear out when minimal pressure is applied and even more so when toe nailed with screws. There are safety rail (AKA hand rails) systems made from compsite material but they are made in a Whole different manner than decking and has a totally different joinery system. PLEASE do not use Trex decking for safety railing you are putting the people who use it at great risk. If you use it for a deck surface probably the worse that will happen is you will have a delamination problem (assuming the subdeck is built properly .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3159 days

#3 posted 06-30-2013 07:37 PM

I’d look into PVC railing….

-- Rick

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