5 Best Balustrade & Handrail Options to Consider for Your Decking Area

March 2023
Anton White

If you are considering or already embarking on a garden decking project, one of the things you may need to think about is a decking balustrade.

Firstly, how do you know if you need to have a balustrade or handrail around your decking?  Well for domestic properties, building regulations require that when there are flights of stairs, landings or raised areas in a single-family dwelling, there must be a balustrade if the difference between the adjacent levels is more than 600mm.  So if your project requires building control sign off, then you will likely be required to adhere to this building regulation, however if you are carrying out your own garden renovation project with no planning permission requirements, you are free to make your own choice regarding this.  Bear in mind though, 600mm (60cm or 24 inches) is a significant height, equal to 3 average size steps, so we would recommend including a balustrade on your decking area in this case.

One you have ascertained that you require a Handrail or Balustrade on your decking project, then there’s the challenge of deciding what option to go for!  In this article, we will have a look at the different types of Balustrades and Handrails available, and hopefully be able to assist you with you decking building journey.

Best Decking Balustrade & Handrail Types to Consider for your Decking Area

  • Composite Balustrade
  • Composite & Glass Balustrade with Stainless Handrail
  • Glass Balustrade with Stainless Post & Handrail
  • Frameless Glass Balustrade
  • Traditional Style Balustrade

Composite Balustrade

Composite Balustrades are a very popular addition to Composite Decking areas, mainly because they are normally designed to match or contrast perfectly with the decking, allowing you to create stunning designs.  Consisting of 3 main components; Composite Post, Composite Handrail & Bottom Rail, and Composite Spindles – Composite Balustrades are easy to assemble with the fixings and brackets provided.  A composite balustrade is the perfect alternative to traditional timber balustrades, being stronger, far lower maintenance, and providing a more stylish finish.

Explore the Ovaeda range of Composite Balustrades

Reasons to Choose a Composite Balustrade

  • Match well with Composite Decking products
  • Low maintenance – will never require painting, staining, or sealing
  • More traditional style than the glass & stainless options
  • Materials are easy to cut and modify to suit your project

Reasons to Not Choose a Composite Balustrade

  • Obscures the view more than glass balustrades
  • More components, less minimal design than glass balustrades

Composite & Glass Balustrade with Stainless Handrail

Composite & Glass Balustrades are a more modern take on composite balustrades, being more recently introduced to the market.  Whilst retaining the substantial, solid feel of the composite posts, this system introduced a glass pane instead of composite spindles, and a stylish stainless steel handrail along the top.  If you are looking for a balance between the traditional style and the minimalist glass balustrades, this might be just the balustrade option for you!

Explore the Ovaeda range of Composite & Glass Balustrades

Reasons to Choose a Composite & Glass Balustrade

  • Stylish compromise between traditional & contemporary style
  • Glass panes offer unobscured view
  • The posts match with Composite Decking options

Reasons to Not Choose a Composite Balustrade

  • If you would prefer not to have any glass on your project
  • Slightly more challenging to install due to glass panels

Glass Balustrades with Stainless Steel Post & Handrail

A very popular option for those looking for a more contemporary style balustrade, consisting of sleek stainless steel posts with a matching stainless handrail along the top, with glass infill panels.  It is a similar product to balustrades often found internally in offices or other modern buildings.

Explore the Ovaeda range of Stainless & Glass Balustrades

Reasons to Choose a Stainless & Glass Balustrade

  • Contemporary style works well in more modern environments
  • Very easy to keep clean
  • Glass panes offer unobscured view

Reasons to Not Choose a Stainless & Glass Balustrade

  • You prefer a less modern style
  • Can be more challenging to install due to glass panels

Frameless Glass Balustrade

The ultimate in minimalist balustrade design, frameless glass balustrades consist of glass panes slotted into a sturdy base channel, eliminating the need for stainless posts between the panes of glass.  Normally a stainless handrail is fitted along the top to enhance the rigidity of the balustrade, but it is also possible to eliminate this to create the ultimate seamless design.

Explore the Ovaeda range of Frameless Glass Balustrades

Reasons to Choose a Frameless Glass Balustrade

  • Completely unobscured view, due to no posts
  • Very stylish and minimalist finish
  • Understated design enhances the wow factor of your decking area

Reasons to Not Choose a Frameless Glass Balustrade

  • The most expensive balustrade option due to thicker glass
  • You would prefer a more traditional style balustrade


Traditional Style Balustrade

On older or more traditional style properties, something more in keeping with old wrought iron railing designs is what is looked for.  That’s where traditional style balustrades might be just the solution for your project.  Supplied in premade panels with matching posts and components, the popular traditional style balustrade is simple to install and easy to maintain and can be mounted to our raised subframe systems.

Explore the Ovaeda range of Traditional Style Balustrades

Reasons to Choose a Traditional Style Balustrade

  • Traditional, timeless style
  • Black finish blends in well with most colour schemes
  • Cost effective solution
  • Easy to install

Reasons to Not Choose a Traditional Style Balustrade

  • You are looking for something more modern

Alternative Balustrade & Handrail Ideas

If you are looking for something unique for your decking area, why not consider introducing perimeter planters around your decking, maybe alternating these with balustrade sections.  Including planters will provide a therapeutic connection with nature, and break up an otherwise more minimalist balustrade.  This idea is especially worth considering for long continuous runs of balustrade or very large decking areas.  To explore the Ovaeda range of Planters click here

Getting Started with your Balustrade or Handrail Project

Now that we’ve explored the 5 best Balustrade and Handrail options for your decking area, hopefully you have a clearer idea of what balustrade type will suit your project best.

Why not get in touch to discuss your project further, or if you would like to see what your project will look like with one of these handrail types included we can provide a 3d drawing to show this.  We’d love to you hear from you!