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Corner Fascia Mount deck railing post by Century Aluminum Railings

Fascia Mount vs Top Mounted Railings: Which One is Best?

At Century Railings, we offer two options to mount your deck railings. You can top mount your posts directly to the deck floor or you can use fascia mounts.

Fascia Mount (Side Mount Deck Railing)

Fascia mounts are a specialized type of railing mount that allows you to attach your railing to the edge of your deck instead of the floor.

Top Mount (Surface Mount Deck Railing)

Top mount, also known as surface mount deck railing, is a more traditional design that attaches your railing directly into the deck floor.

Both fascia and top mount railings provide safety, pass compliance with local building codes in most jurisdictions, and look great.

Depending on your circumstances, there are several reasons why Fascia mounted or top mounted railings may be a better alternative for your deck.

Here’s our checklist to help you decide. Are Fascia mounts or surface mounted deck railings the best option for your next project?

ConsiderationsFascia MountTop Mount
I live in a humid/wet climate
I want visual appeal
I have a small deck
I want easy cleaning
I want an easy installation
I have a deck with an overhang
I have a small budget

Why Did We Suggest That Type of Railing Mount?

1. I Live In A Humid Or Wet Climate

Fascia mount deck railing

Concerns of mold and rot are particularly important in regions with humid or wet climates. Aluminum railings are a weather-resistant railing material which makes them well suited for a variety of climates. Many decks use a waterproof membrane to ensure that it is protected from the natural elements, such as excessive water. Opting for fascia mount posts, rather than top mounted railings, ensures that the lag bolts securing your railing posts don’t puncture the waterproof membrane of your decking surface. 

In fact, building codes in certain jurisdictions require fascia deck mounts (side mounts) rather than surface mount (top mount) deck railings. Review your local building code requirements to see if fascia mounts are mandated in your region. If you live in a wet or humid climate, consider using fascia mounts to prevent mold and rot from affecting your deck surface.

2. I Want Visual Appeal

scenic glass deck railing

The hardware of a top mounted post is visible from all angles, however, the hardware of a side mounted post is hidden. Fascia mount deck railings provide a cleaner aesthetic because they hide the lag screws and deck hardware along the side. If you use fascia mounts, you can enjoy the view from your deck without seeing the mounting bolts.

To maximize your view and your surface space, choose fascia mounted glass railings with no bottom or top rail, like our Scenic Railing kit.

3. I Have A Small Deck

small deck with a fascia mount railing

By securing the railings to the side of the deck, fascia mounts allow you to use every inch of your deck floor. No floor space is used to mount the deck railings. Consider using Fascia mounts if your railing project has a deck with a smaller surface area.

4. I Want Easy Cleaning

fascia mount glass railing

Top mounted railings occupy the floor space along the perimeter your deck, making it more difficult to clean. Because fascia mounts aren’t mounted to the floor, they won’t get in the way so you can clean right to the edge. If you want cleaning to be a breeze, then Fascia mounts may be the option for you.

Century Aluminum Railing systems come with a powder coat finish that’s resistant to corrosion and scratches, providing you with a durable, low-maintenance solution that’s easy to clean and retains its vibrant appearance over time.

5. I Want An Easy Installation

installation instruction

The installation of railing posts to the side of a structure is more difficult than simply mounting the posts to the top. When installing side mounts, the fascia bracket must be level with the deck floor for the railing post to be straight. Our Fascia Mount Installation Video shows you the simple step-by-step process to install these mounts; however, it is a longer process than installing top mounted railings.  If you want a less complicated installation, consider choosing for top mounted railings for your deck build. 

6. I Have A Deck With An Overhang

Top mount deck railing example

Decks with an overhang or rain gutter may not be suitable for fascia mounts. Fascia mounts require a secure area along the side of your deck to be mounted. Overhangs and rain gutters can prevent you from safely securing fascia mounts along the edge of the deck.

7. I Have A Small Budget

A fascia mounting style requires you to purchase Fascia Brackets and Fascia Support Legs. These products are sold separately. The price difference between fascia mounted and top mounted railings will vary depending on the size of your railing project. One Fascia Bracket is required with every railing post. Additionally, a fascia system requires Fascia Support Legs to be installed every 18 inches. Top mount railing systems do not require the purchase of any additional materials. Consider whether your budget allows for a fascia mounted system. If you decide to go with a top mounted aluminum post, make sure you have sufficient blocking underneath to accommodate the lag bolts.

Fascia Mount Deck Railing vs Surface Mount Deck Railing

Both fascia-mounted and top-mounted railings offer safety, code compliance, and aesthetic appeal. The choice between the two depends on specific considerations. Fascia mounts are preferable in humid/wet climates to prevent damage to the deck surface, offer a cleaner aesthetic with hidden hardware, are suitable for small decks, enable easy cleaning by not occupying floor space, and are an option for those looking for a challenging yet secure installation. However, they may not be suitable for decks with overhangs and come with an additional cost for fascia brackets and support legs. On the other hand, top-mounted railings are ideal for those with a small budget, a desire for a simpler installation process, or decks with overhangs. The decision ultimately rests on individual preferences, budget constraints, and specific deck characteristics.

Century Aluminum Railings: Available in the USA & Canada

Whether you choose fascia mounted (side mount) or top mounted railings (surface mount), Century Aluminum Railings has the answer for all of your railing needs! We’re a proud member of the North American Deck Railing Association and Canadian Homebuilders Association with over 37 years of experience in the deck railing industry.

See our selection of fascia mounts and top-mounted railings to use in your next railing project. We offer both deck and stair posts to complete your outdoor space.

Our product line includes Glass and Scenic railings with tempered glass panels, picket railings, privacy glass, and pipe railings.

Our versatile post mount system lets you combine picket railing sections with glass railing sections to achieve a perfect aesthetic for your decks and stairs.

Century aluminum railing products are in stores throughout the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Midwest and coast to coast in Canada. Find a deck railing dealer near you.


  • Great article, love the mounting bracket system,
    adds space to every deck, fast installation along with fabulous visual railing design,, well done.

    • Thanks, Mike!

  • YOU have covered almost everything defining and differentiating the two. Thanks for the knowledge, will keep on spreading 🙂

  • Is there any strength advantage to fascia mount?

    • Hi Don,

      Yes in fact as a system fascia mount is a stronger more rigid application over surface mount. As long as there is sufficient backing for the post lags to imbed into the deck. Thanks so much for your question and let us know if you need any help with where to buy your Century Railings.

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