Aluminum Railing On Concrete
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
I see them in nearly every big box store and all over the internet. Aluminum railings are very popular. Honestly, I plan to put them on my own house soon. They can be fitted to almost any surface provided the area has been properly prepped. The key words here are “properly prepped”.
Here is a story for you. I took my kids to a trampoline park. The place was built tough and on a plywood deck that was carpeted. I found a small section of aluminum rail that was put in as an afterthought to block off a section. Whoever put it in fastened it to the plywood and not to the framing below. I could easily move the rails with one finger and if I put my weight on it, I surely would have knocked it over. Why? Because it was not fastened to something solid and the foot plates were poorly installed.
We’ve put aluminum rails on concrete and each time we have evaluated the condition of the concrete and secured them with specialized concrete fasteners (not expanding bolt) that have over 1200 lbs. of sheer capacity and we use 4 bolts in each post. For wood we use wood lag bolts and block up the bottom so that all 4 bolts grab solid wood. The posts that we use have a welded base flange. I can assure you that when force is applied to the top of the posts the connection between the base flange and post has the most amount of stress applied to it. That is why we use heavy gauge rails with positive welded connections at the base, they are stronger and more secure.
Yes, I have seen cheaper rails, they meet the code if installed properly but when I think about my boys slamming into those rails, I would rather see them bounce off the rails than knock them down. I would certainly not put the cheaper ones on my house.
If you want to know more about aluminum railings or any other type of railing make sure to call OnDeck professionals or read our blog section.