Intro to TimberTech Railing
TimberTech is a leader in the decking, railing, and outdoor living materials industry. Their products can be used in projects from small to grand, simple to luxurious.
The award winning TimberTech has been a consistent presence in quality rankings, including the #1 quality decking manufacturer in the 2019 BUILDER Brand Use Study.
This review will guide you through the variety of ways TimberTech sets itself apart from competitors, what railing systems TimberTech offers, how to purchase and how much you might expect to pay, and some relevant pros and cons about TimberTech products.
TimberTech/Azek and Sustainability
Sustainability and building products should go hand-in-hand, as irresponsible practices have already led to challenges in procuring the raw materials necessary for manufacturing.
TimberTech prides itself in reclaiming 290 million pounds of waste from landfills each year. The combined TimberTech AZEK brand invests heavily in recycling technologies, offering far more input into what and how materials are recycled into their products.
Sustainability made plain
Plenty of brands offer quips and phrases related to their “sustainable practices.” TimberTech offers clear percentages describing the amount of recycled material used in its deck boards and materials.
How have the TimberTech behaviors impacted the world around us?
- The use of TimberTech decking has led to the salvation of over a million trees in the last five years.
- 290 million pounds of waste and scrap materials was diverted from the landfill in 2019, while TimberTech reuses 98% of its own scraps and only sends 3% of its waste to landfills.
- TimberTech uses a closed-loop filtration system, allowing the recycling of up to 96% of water used in large manufacturing facilities.
Sustainable while innovative
AZEK, now a combined company with TimberTech, invested in a 100,000 square-foot facility dedicated only to recycling polyethylene. This type of investment in innovative technology allows TimberTech to turn these recycled materials into the award-winning outdoor products they sell.
This investment in innovation has spread to ideating toward other ways to use recyclables in other types of polymer. This allows TimberTech and those who purchase their railings and other products to be confident in doing the right thing for the environment and the future of building products.
TimberTech/Azek and Technology
Technology, excellence, and sustainable go hand-in-hand and TimberTech proudly promotes that it hits the nail on the head with all three areas.
TimberTech has invested heavily in its manufacturing facilities, systems, and processes, which allows for consistent, high-quality products. TimberTech also uses rigorous testing practices to ensure utmost quality control.
The focus of TimberTech on its technology and quality employees is passed along to consumers, who can expect great customer service and high-quality, long-lasting deck railing.
Types of TimberTech/Azek Railing
TimberTech currently offers seven unique railing designs that fit a variety of design ideas, spaces, and budgets.
The Classic Composite Series
This series includes four profiles - Premier Rail, Radiance Rail, Trademark Rail, and Drink Rail. The Classic Composite Series is customizable with its versatile profiles, while offering a durable and low-maintenance lifestyle.
Infills, top rails, and colors can all be customized to create nearly almost any look you want to achieve.
Available Colors: Black, White (Trademark Rail only available in white)
The Reserve Rail
As it names implies, the Reserve Rail offers boldness, power, and stately beauty to your railing design. The Reserve brings drama and boasts the title of the largest profile railing offered by TimberTech.
Make a statement with large decks, porches, or balconies adorned with this railing.
Available Colors: White
The RadianceRail Express
This railing offers an element of classic style with its profile while staying in a budget-friendly price point. Traditional looks and value await those who install the RadianceRail Express.
Available Colors: Black, Kona (medium brown), White
The Contemporary Rail
This timeless design offers a soft edge paired with a functional drink rail top to create a sleek look. A continuous top rail blends in with nearly any modern design.
Available Colors: Traditional Walnut, Classic Black
The Builder Rail
Those who prefer a matched railing with their decking will be pleased to know that the Builder Rail does just that. Deck boards make up the top rail and this railing features installation over the post, eliminating post caps altogether.
Available Colors: Traditional Walnut, Classic Black
The Impression Rail
Durable, sleek, minimalist. The Impression Rail offers these design qualities to enhance the view beyond your railings and add a look of cast iron without the true metal price.
Available Colors: Black, Dark Bronze
The Impression Rail Express
As its name implies, this is simply the precut and assembled version of the Impression Rail. Tackle the project as a DIY or take a load of your deck professional by using this ready to install railing.
Available Colors: Black, Dark Bronze, White
Where and How to Purchase TimberTech/Azek Railing
Like wood building products, composite and aluminum railings can vary in availability. There are certainly times where you could order TimberTech products online via Lowe’s, or other “big box” stores.
TimberTech does not sell directly to consumers (DTC) but does offer a tool that will help you find a reputable dealer in your area.
TimberTech/Azek Railing Costs
The cost of TimberTech railing products is as variable as the items they offer. The general cost of composite deck railing is about $55 per linear foot, including installation. If you are willing to take the railing on as a DIY project, composite generally costs around $30 per linear foot.
Quick research of TimberTech products through various outlets show a wide disparity in pricing, depending on your project and scope. For instance, a Universal Rail Pack for Composite Balusters can range from $89 - $130 depending on size (available in 6 or 8 foot lengths) and color selection.
Why Choose TimberTech/Azek Railings?
Every building material has its pros and cons - TimberTech railings are no different. While the products are award-winning, that does not mean they are right for your application.
TimberTech Railing Cons
- High initial cost: There is no getting around the fact that TimberTech railings require a significant upfront investment. With that said, investment is the right term because these railings will likely hold up better than any other material.
- Unique structural needs: Composites are notoriously weak when compared to wood or metals. This requires the use of feet under greater spans of railing.
- Extreme heat is a threat: Railings can sag, bend, or become soft in extremely warm temperatures. Additionally, grills and barbeques should be clear of railings, as their heat can cause irreparable damage.
- Color fade can be an issue: All composite materials face the threat of color fading. TimberTech uses advanced technologies to ensure this is not the case with their products. UV rays can lighten even the highest quality composites.
- Staining can be an issue: Spills of certain liquids can cause staining, especially when left for an extended period. Clean up those wine messes right away!
- Paint and composites do not mix: Even TimberTech acknowledges that while painting their railing is possible, it is unlikely to result in a quality finish. Be sure about your decision, as the color choice is permanent until you change the railings.
- Repairing damage is nearly impossible: If you drop a chef’s knife while prepping veggies for the grill, it will be hard to repair the chunk of composite you make. Unlike wood, composite cannot be simply sanded or filled.
TimberTech Railing Pros
- Composite railing posts are typically sleeves that fit over existing or installed wood 4x4 posts. TimberTech offers a Secure Mount Post that eliminates the necessity for wood posts. It can be mounted directly to composite materials or concrete.
- TimberTech offers a variety of looks and feels that closely mimic wood decking and railing.
- While painting composites is not really an option, TimberTech offers a color palette that will fit most applications.
- Low maintenance is an understatement. TimberTech railing can be cleaned with simple soap and water, followed by a gentle hose rinse.
- TimberTech railings come with best-in-industry warranties. TimberTech AZEK products feature a 50-year limited fade and stain warranty.
- Composite materials are durable and stand up well to tough conditions. Additionally, pests are a non-issue.
- TimberTech products have been designed and manufactured with the highest ecological standards, using vast recycling plants and innovative usage ideas to their advantage.
- Composite materials do not require special tools for manipulation or installation. Even DIY projects can be completed with the same tools used to install wood railings.
How to Install TimberTech Railings
Every DIY railing installation is slightly different. We are providing an overview here for the Impression Rail system. This will offer an understanding of the prerequisite skills, tools, and effort required of a typical self-installation.
Please be advised that this is a simple overview and should not substitute for full installation instructions. It is also imperative that you be knowledgeable regarding local rules and regulations for the installation of deck railing.
Step 1: Determine the location of posts and install. If installing on a deck, utilize two pieces of 2x8 blocking at a minimum. Drill ⅜” holes to secure the posts to the decking using ⅜” x 6” bolts, a mounting plate, washers and nuts.
Step 2: Slide the TimberTech skirt over the installed posts.
Step 3: Using the installation tool offered by TimberTech for the Impression Rail, pre-drill bottom bracket holes into the post. Now attach the bottom rail bracket to the post using the ¾” panhead screws provided.
Step 4: Install the top rail brackets. Using the installation tool offered by TimberTech for the Impression Rail, pre-drill holes for the top bracket. Now attach the top rail bracket to the post using the ¾” panhead screws provided.
Step 5: Cut the top rail, insert, and bottom rails to the appropriate length. Measure the distance between posts at both the top rail and bottom rail brackets. Subtract 13/16” from the measured distance. Mark the center of the rail - typically on or between two baluster holes.
PRO TIP: Do not exceed 4” from last baluster and post. Leave at least 1 ¼” between post and first baluster.
Step 6: Attach the foot block(s) to the bottom rail. One foot block is required for railing under 72” long while two are required for railing over 72” long. A 10” foot block should have been provided - it will need to be cut into 2” pieces.
Pre-drill ⅛” holes to connect the foot block connector to the underside of the bottom rail. Secure the foot block connector using the 1” panhead screws provided. Press the foot block(s) into the connector(s) to secure.
Step 7: Install the bottom rail. Now that foot blocks have been attached, you can install the bottom rail into the bottom rail brackets. Install bottom rail covers.
Step 8: Install the balusters into the bottom rail. Balusters simply snap into the bottom rail.
Step 9: Install the insert atop the balusters. The insert should have pre-punched holes that align with the balusters. Press the insert on the balusters until the stop is reached.
Step 10: Install the top rail. Place the top rail bracket covers on the top rail. Place the top railing onto the insert and install into the top rail brackets. The top rail should fully “snap” into the insert.
Step 11: Secure top rail. Pre-drill ⅛” holes in the top rail on each side. Secure the top rail to the top rail brackets using the ¾” flathead screws provided.
Step 12: Cover the top rail bracket and railing with the appropriate cover.
Step 13: Install post caps by securing using a rubber mallet to “snap” caps over the posts.
Need Help Installing a TimberTech Railing?
Maybe all those steps listed above seem a little daunting. Maybe you just do not have the time to install your own TimberTech railing. Or maybe you would prefer a professional be responsible for sourcing your TimberTech railing.
Sometimes finding a great contractor to install your TimberTech railing feels like a job in and of itself. Leave the hard work to us! Visit our simple tool to help guide you to a well-respected, professional TimberTech railing installer.