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Common Deck Railing Terms

You'll hear the following terms tossed about with respect to deck railings:

railing: a horizontal member between the posts that also provides support for the balusters.

baluster: a vertical member between posts. Balusters styles are usually what give your deck a distinctive style. They can reflect architectural details of the house, and they can be in different materials, such as wrought iron or aluminum.

post: a vertical member, bolted to the rim joists, that provides structural support for the railing, balusters, cap rails and post caps.

post cap: a finishing piece for the top of a post that gives the railing added style.

cap rail: a horizontal member that lays across the top of the posts and balusters that gives the railing a finished look and also protects posts and balusters from moisture damage.


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