What is the Best Synthetic Material for Porch Railings?

Polyurethane Product Material

Our “poly” products are made from environmentally friendly water-based High Density Polyurethane (also called urethane, HDP, fypon, or simply Poly).  The material is similar in density to a softwood such as white pine.  Unlike PVC or Vinyl, our Poly material looks and feels like authentic wood.  Each pattern is made to exacting dimensions by our staff of Master Pattern makers.  The edges of American Porch Poly Products are sharp, clean, and offer the true authentic look and feel of wood.  It comes factory primed with a high emulsion latex paint that can be finish coated with any high quality exterior latex paint.

Polyurethane spindles are reinforced with an internal PVC pipe for strength and rigidity.  The rails are reinforced with either a PVC or Aluminum pipe.  Cut our Poly spindles and PVC-reinforced rails using normal woodworking techniques.  For rails with an internal aluminum pipe, a slow speed cutoff saw, a.k.a. multi-cutter, works best.  In architectural specifications, Poly products are often referred to as Foam Plastic Moldings.

While many of our customers prefer the authenticity of wood, there is no question that urethane products have a few advantages.  Urethane is very low maintenance. The paint is chemically bonded during the molding process which prevents cracking and peeling. An additional primer is applied before shipping all orders. Urethane will not take on moisture, which allows it to withstand the environmental elements. It will not rot and is impervious to insects. Urethane simulates wood, is structurally sound and is the perfect enhancement for any of your building or remodeling projects.


  • Weight: Polyurethane balustrade is a fraction of the weight compared to concrete.  This makes installation easier and faster.  It also means polyurethane can be used on elevated locations where weight is a factor.
  • Installation: Polyurethane balustrade ships directly to the jobsite, ready to install.  It is pre-primed and can be installed like normal exterior carpentry.  No special skills or tooling is required.  Any installer with basic finish carpentry skills will have no problem installing our poly products.  Installation instructions can be seen HERE.
  • Polyurethane will not warp, crack, or rot.
  • Polyurethane looks and feels similar to authentic wood.  It has clean crisp lines and the warm feel people expect from quality exterior millwork.

All American Porch Polyurethane Balustrade products are made here in the USA.

M.G. of Stroudsburg, PA writes “After looking all over for wooden spindles to replace some that had rotted out on our front porch, I was about to give up – woodworking shops could not replicate the spindles I had, and the original manufacturer was no longer in business. Western Spindle was able to replicate my spindles exactly through a “casting” process using polyurethane. In any event, the new spindles are installed and look great, and will no doubt outlive the existing wooden spindles. Great job and easy to work with. Reasonably priced as well for this type of time-intensive custom work.