Rustic Railing

Mountain Laurel Handrails provides the best rustic railings in easy to install sections, delivered nationwide. The rustic railing pictured here was built offsite and delivered. The contractor on the remodel project installed it and applied the finish. The top banister rail is a stick of mountain laurel as are all the branches. The lower 1×4 boards are yellow pine to match the existing stair stringer, posts and trim.

Best Rustic Railing

Best Rustic Railing

When choosing a rustic wood railing for your home, there are, as usual, many options. A common sight on log homes is the turned log baluster. This is commonly a pine, or sometimes a white cedar, turned round about 3 inches to 4″ diameter. They are often connected to round top and bottom horizontal rails with a mortise and tenon joint. (This is an advanced woodworking technique where two pieces of wood are joined by fitting the end of one into a hole on the other.) The top and bottom rails are also often round logs but are usually a larger diameter.

rustic wood railing

Rustic Wood Railing

Rustic Stair Railing

This recent project features a unique rustic stair railing. This staircase is built with bark on hickory wood log posts and a natural tree branch rustic stair railing set in front of a rock masonry wall.Click here to learn how to measure for your rustic stairs railings.

The stairs ascend from the living room to the second floor and are an important visual element of the rustic home decor. The staircase is supported by a 8″ to 10″ diameter hickory log and finished at the bottom with a hickory newel post, both of which are in their natural state with the bark on. The tree branch stair railing is built with of Mountain Laurel Handrails. With the stone wall in the background, this rustic stairs and handrail gives the feeling of being in the woods near a rock face.

Rustic Stair Railing

Rustic Stair Railing

The contractor on the project said:

Hi James
This is the finished product at the Gibson residence in West Virginia.
The owners were very happy with the end result and it was a pleasure working with you on the project.
Rob Loar
Loar Home Improvement

This rustic railing design with the 2x4s flat is great for interior railing but is not recommended as a deck railing. The flat boards allow water to collect and this is avoided by using the typical design shown in the product guide (PDF) for all exterior railing.

Rustic Railing

Rustic Railing

Styles of Rustic Railing

Whatever the style of rustic railing you have in mind, we can create it together and you’re sure to end up with the best looking rustic railing you’ve seen. These are perfect for log homes and cabins, timber frame homes, and homes with lots of wood accents or a mountain lodge style.

rustic railing for landing

Rustic Railing for Landing

At the top of the stairs, a slightly differnet rustic railing design is used. The top and bottom boards are cedar 2x4s laid on the flat. These boards are mortised into round cedar posts. These posts are almost identical to the tree, since they are not milled or cut with a saw. The carpenter here removed the bark before installing and then applies a finish after the work is complete.

Rustic Wood Railing

Rustic Wood Railing


Mountain Laurel Handrails are the rustic wood railing of choice for homeowners looking for a distinctive outdoor style. These railings are made with the top and bottom horizontal rails usually from cedar 2×4 lumber, but the balusters are sticks instead of milled wood. The sticks fastened together in random patterns so that no two are quite alike. Since each stick grows into a different shape, the handrail sections look is determined by the wood used in it. Maybe you would like to learn to build your own rustic handrail.

lake deck railings

Deck Railings overlooking the Lake at Lissara

Rustic wood railing enhances the natural beauty of any scenic setting. Take a look at these pictures of rustic wood railing on a deck overlooking the lake. This is a unique railing design where the woven branch sections appear to be picture framed in between each individual post. The empty space on either side is much like the importance of a musical pause; the empty space often is what defines the boundaries of the work. And in this case, the white space lets in more of the natural scenery and accents the fruits of human artisans!

timber frame wood handrail

Wood handrail installed on a timber frame porch

Here’s a picture of a wood deck handrail installed in Ohio. Working closely with the on-site crew enables the Wood Railing team to craft a work of art that will perfectly complement existing conditions. These are framed sections similar to ones we did previously although the railing design is somewhat different. The big timber posts define the boundaries of the frame and each railing section brings its own organic character.

Now is the time to decorate your home with rustic mountain handrails! Each section is custom crafted and is a unique work of art. These sections went to Missouri. Your home is next! Click here to get started.

Rustic Deck Handrail

The customer couldn’t wait until her project was complete to send pictures of the handrail. Looking Great! check out the stair handrail that was custom crafted.


here’s what she had to say about her rustic wood railing:

Rustic Stair Railing

“I was just so excited today after Kenny got most of the rails up and wanted to share a few pictures with you.  Our house is in the thick of our remodeling project.  Thank you again for the beautiful railings!  Everyone who has seen them thus far has been really impressed!”

Don’t miss this chance to add some genuine rustic mountain charm to your house with mountain laurel handrails!

Click here to get started.

Rustic Railing


What kind of branches for a rustic railing?

Mountain laurel and rhododendron are members of the Heath family, related to roses and azaleas, that thrive in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. These trees are often found growing together in dense thickets. In the springtime, rhododendrons bloom with clusters of pink, white and sometimes purple blossoms.

Mountain laurel and rhododendron often fall victim to the process of clearing and preparing a home site. These trees are generally burned as waste. Reuse of these branches prevents them from being wasted in a bonfire and instead brings their rustic beauty into your home. The natural characteristics of these twisted limbs are a perfect complement to a rustic residence. Skilled craftsmen can assemble these branches through complex joinery into dazzling arrangements of rustic beauty.

mountain laurel flowers bloom in spring

Mountain Laurel Flowers Bloom in Spring

The branches of mountain laurel and rhododendron trees are well-suited for use as wood spindles or decorative screen. When used in a handrail, smaller diameter branches of less than 1.5 inches are preferred. The tops and bottoms of the branches are easily ‘sandwiched’ between two pieces of lumber for easy installation. Rustic handrails that are assembled on site by skilled craftsmen look as if they have grown in place. Pre-assembled handrail sections can be manufactured to length for delivery to your location. Thicker branches can serve as posts to support the rustic handrail to increase its beauty and complexity. Learn how to build rustic branch railings.

Mountain laurel or rhododendron branches larger in diameter than those used in handrails are available for use in exterior structures, pergolas, gazebos, bridge guardrails and plenty more. A rustic outdoor gazebo could have natural trunks for the walls and roof framing, smaller branches for privacy screens and even have furniture made with branches.

rhododendron flower

Rhododendron Flower

There are also plenty of applications inside the house. A grand, open staircase in a mountain lodge would be stunning with a unique rustic wood handrail. These handrails also look great on balconies and lofts in log cabin homes. Larger branches can be used in their unaltered state as one-of-a-kind interior accents and decorations. Rustic mountain furniture, from chairs and tables to bedframes and bureaus, can be crafted out of this versatile wood.

Mountain laurel and rhododendron bring natural rustic beauty into a home. Skilled craftsmen assemble sticks and branches of this versatile wood into many items including rustic wood handrails, exterior buildings such as gazebos and casual furniture that impart the look and feel of the forest to your home.

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Updated on February 15, 2015 by jimmypader

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