When creating a stairwell, porch, or deck, builders must consider which railing material to use to provide structural support and safe navigation. Many contractors install vinyl railing because it comes in many colors, is low-maintenance, and is affordable. Here is a breakdown of its features to help you understand the role of each part.

The Parts of a Vinyl Railing

The Handrail

When you walk up a stairway or along a deck, the handrail is the part that you use to steady yourself. These sections must be strong to ensure people can safely use them to navigate.

Newel Posts

The vertical posts that connect the handrail to the deck, porch, or stairway are called newel posts. These larger posts provide the strength needed to keep the bar—and anyone leaning on it—upright. Some designs feature newel posts every few feet, while others rely on several large columns to support an entire vinyl railing.

vinyl railingSpindles

In between the newel posts are smaller vertical spindles that are also known as balusters. These structures—referred to on the whole as a balustrade—create additional strength while preventing people and animals from passing through the railing and falling over the side.

Vinyl railings feature vinyl spindles, but these parts are also available in wood and metal varieties. Some railings feature glass panels between newel posts instead of spindles to provide see-through safety.

Shoes & Shoe Molds

The spindles are installed into shoes and shoe molds. These plates reside at the base of the railing and attach the vertical sections to the stairs or decking. Contractors may screw spindles into shoe molds or use the alternative fillet system. In the latter setup, each spindle features additional material at the top and bottom that is inserted into the shoe and handrail for support and stability.

If you’re looking for vinyl railing materials, head to Tri-State Wholesale Building Supplies in Hamilton County, OH. The detail-oriented and knowledgeable team has over 48 years of experience catering to commercial and residential clients. Call the Cincinnati-area company at (513) 381-1231 or visit the website for information on building supplies from stone and siding to decking, columns, and windows.