Should I choose vinyl or wood railings?

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I have bought a house where we need to add railings on the front steps. There are wooden posts but I am wondering if I should put the vinyl railings ( no painting). What do you think?

q vinyl or wood railings
  10 answers
  • Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor on Nov 15, 2018

    Hi Pam, I would go with the vinyl railing. It would look really nice with your columns and it would be less maintenance. Win, Win!

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Nov 15, 2018

    What a pretty house! I would go with wood, even though it'd have to be painted. (what if you want to change the color? Hard to do if it's vinyl) If the railings are similar to vinyl fencing, the rails that go between the uprights can easily come loose. That would be a safety issue.

  • I think the vinyl, wood might stick out too much.

  • Chris Gignac Chris Gignac on Nov 15, 2018

    In my opinion I’d go with vinyl. There are many styles to choose from they would complement the architecture that is already there. I would say no to wood because, everyplace a baluster joins bottom rail is a place for water to collect and create rot, it is unavoidable with a wood product. The vinyl railing options available to you today in my opinion have no negatives and some are very attractive.


  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Nov 15, 2018

    I do love natural building products, but considering that you live in Canada, I know the winters will be cold and you probably have lots of rain if your near either coast. So, vinyl would be my choice as well. There is little possibility that you'll want to change the color (white) because that goes with everything - especially your beautiful new home. Also, you can check what the neighbors have used and how often they have to update or replace. That may help you decide.

  • Sallie Smith Sallie Smith on Nov 15, 2018

    Vinyl is effected by the sun and in time gets very brittle. Wood lasts a lot longer, does require repainting but looks good a lot longer.

  • Karen Daniels Karen Daniels on Nov 18, 2018

    Vinyl takes a pretty good beating in the sun. It can become discolored and brittle. Wood will last much longer. A bit of maintenance will be required periodically but with that, it will last much longer. Plus you can stain it or paint it however you like.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 18, 2018

    How about another option, Metal railings. I think they would last longer than vinyl or wood.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Nov 18, 2018

    Hard Wood best option if treated sealed correctly will last decades.Metal too hot in sun, too cold in icy winter. Vinyl just doesn't hold up like wood,and as someone stated stuck with what color you get it in. Could do concrete,brick or stone.

  • Oliva Oliva on Nov 19, 2018

    HI, Pam,

    Your house is stunning!

    If you've had no issues with algae and no previous episodes of vinyl breakage in your climate, then upkeep may be easier than that for wood.

    If your area has sustained the amount of algae growth on vinyl siding, fences and railings as well as treated lumber products (as has occurred in S.W. PA due to excessive rains and humidity), I'd advise selecting wrought iron. This algae problem is so endemic this year as to dissuade me from ever considering anything made of vinyl.

    Although Wet n'Forget is marketed as being effective on algae growth, it requires a lengthy period to be effective. In the meantime, one can only repeatedly scrub the vinyl or be stuck looking at the unsightly algae growth.