Fascia Mount Vs. Surface Mount Vs. Undermount

Fascia Mount Railing Post on Deck and Surface Mount post on stairs and balcony

Advantages and Disadvantages

What is the difference between surface mount and fascia mounted deck railing posts?

Surface-mounted posts are mounted to the top surface of the deck, they are occasionally referred to as deck mounts, floor mounts, or even top mounts. Fascia mounted posts are mounted to the side of the deck and sometimes are referred to as side mounts or joist mounts.

What is an Undermount deck railing post?

Undermounted deck railing posts are designed to appear to slice through the surface of the deck and have all the mounting hardware attach the post to the structure below the surface decking.

I always get customers asking me how to attach their railing to their application. While there are many different ways to attach your railing, the most popular methods are mounting to the fascia or mounting to the surface. In addition, many clients opt for the more sleek and modern style of under mounting the posts. 

Fascia Mount

There are advantages and disadvantages to Each Style…


Fascia Mount Advantages
I find that most of our customers prefer to fascia mount their railings and here is why. If you are tight on space, the fascia mount will be located on the outside of your deck, giving you a few more inches of room. Most people spend time sitting on their deck looking out at their view and with the fascia mount, the attachment of the post is hidden from your view. This means that the hardware will not be seen either, allowing for the least amount of interference with your view. When your railing is indoors, a fascia mount can be beneficial because you will not need to sweep or dust around the posts.  The same applies for outdoors- there will be less to rake or shovel snow around. 
Fascia Mount Disadvantages
There are disadvantages to fascia mounting that you should also consider. Installation is a bit tougher. Typically, it’s a two-man job. One person will need to hold the post in place while the other person marks the holes to be drilled. Metal railings can be heavy and if you have lots of linear footage you may need to use additional temporary support to hold the post in place while attaching to the fascia.   Another consideration is the overhang, also referred to as a bullnose (typically about ¾” to 1” long) or gutter pipes. If you have one of these on the edge of your deck, you will need to accommodate it. Your options are to purchase a post that has a z-shaped bend (like the Keuka Style), purchase our metal spacers (or make your own from wood), or have the posts custom made to fit,  or you can always notch out the overhang in each post location.
Surface mount
Surface Mount Advantages
I find that the biggest advantage to surface mount cable railing posts is how much easier it makes your installation. Thanks to gravity, the posts will stand up easily by themselves which means your project can be a one-man installation job. There’s no overhang to avoid here. Just put it down, line it up, and screw it in place. Also, it is one of the most common methods to attach posts to concrete or tile.
Surface Mount Disadvantages
Surface mount cable railing posts do have a few disadvantages to consider. They take up a few more inches of space all the way around your deck. So for small decks where space is limited, you may want to opt for a fascia mount. The mounting hardware is more visible and depending on your style preference this could be an advantage or disadvantage.
Under mount deck railing post slices through decking

Undermount Advantages

Undermounting the railing posts result in an aesthetic with simple clean modern lines. There isn’t any visible hardware while viewing from the deck or looking towards the deck from the yard. Since the mounting hardware is hidden beneath the deck within the joists. The posts appear to slice through the decking.

Undermount Disadvantages

This mounting style can increase the cost of the installation since there is more carpentry work required to fit the trim around the posts. The structure of the deck needs to be considered to avoid conflict between the post position and the deck framing. Undermounting should be preplanned, and not an afterthought to properly accommodate the posts and required spacing.

At Keuka Studios, we custom fabricate residential and commercial stairs and railings to fit your style, space, and requirements. To learn more about how each railing project moves from vision to reality. Take a look at our custom railing design process. We take pride in building craftsman-quality and commercial-grade stairs and railings for interior and exterior applications. Contact us to get started on your project.

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