What is Chair Rail?

What is Chair Rail?

Chair rails are horizontal moldings applied to walls designed to protect them from “irrationally exuberant” chairs on the move. People use chair rail molding to protect the wall from scuffs and marks from chairs and furniture. Chair rail molding is a decorative accent element applied to walls to provide scale and create a protective barrier against furniture wear and tear. It can come in a variety of materials, including wood and medium-density fiberboard. Chair rail molding also comes in an array of shapes and styles. Homeowners tend to choose the same color and style for their chair rail to match the other molding in the room.

Installing a chair rail in your home can add an instant touch of class. It also provides you with more opportunities for crafting a pleasing interior environment. A painted chair rail further enhances the beauty of the room.

Many carpenters will tell you to install the chair rail molding between 32 and 36 inches off the ground, or they’ll measure the height of the nearest chair and insist on laying it there. This may be one way of going at it, but it isn’t necessarily the best. The average chair rail height will indeed be around 32 inches. However, they can be positioned anywhere from 24 to 72 inches from the floor, depending on the height of the walls and the proportions you’re hoping to achieve. As a general rule of thumb, the standard chair rail height for most walls sits around one-third the distance up the wall from the floor. So, in an eight-foot-tall room, you’d want to hang your chair rail molding at around 32 inches from the ground. .A chair rail molding’s width is another thing to consider. The best width depends on the dimensions of the room, the wall color, and the overall decor—however, two to three inches is the most common width for chair rail moldings.

Are you interested in chair rail ideas for your home? Chair rail is a type of molding that is used in the middle of a wall. Originally, chair rail molding was added to dining rooms to protect plaster walls from getting damaged by dining room chairs. These days, chair rail molding isn’t just about adding protection to vulnerable walls. It’s a decorative element that can elevate a room’s design. There’s no shortage of inspiring and modern chair rail ideas for every room of the home.
Here are some inspiring chair rail design ideas for your home:

  • Add some white space to eccentric wallpaper
  • Match your chair rail with dark all color
  • Add multiple layers of chair rails
  • Add classic and sophisticated chair rail trim
  • Create a bold color scheme
  • Install chair rail in the indoor columns
  • Create an edge with angular chair rail
  • Use chair rail for contrasting panel molding

How to Install Chair Rail?

Chair rail? is one of the easiest home improvement accents to install. How to install chair rail? This is the question that comes to your mind before you think of installing the chair rail. We’ve outlined the basic steps here, but you may also want to consult with a knowledgeable contractor to do the work for you.

  • Measure the length of walls to be railed to determine how much chair railing is needed.
  • Near the corner of each wall, you will need to measure from the floor up to the height at which the chair rail will be installed and make a mark. Use a snap chalk line stretched along the wall between two corners at that height to mark the chair rail placement. A laser level can also be used to draw that line.
  • Measure the length of the wall to be railed, and cut the railing to that length. Then, using a miter box or miter saw, cut the end that will enter a corner at a 45-degree angle such that this railing and the adjacent wall’s railing will fit nicely together in their shared corner.
  • Use a stud finder to identify stud locations and nail into the studs when installing the chair rail. For a polished look, use finishing nails. When installing a wide railing, use two pins per stud, making sure they are nicely spaced, one directly above the other.
  • If there are spaces where the wall is not perfectly flat, which creates a gap between the wall and the chair rail, or if you need to clean up a corner joint, use painter’s caulk to fill in the gaps before painting the rail.

How to Install Chair Rail without a Nail Gun

Chair rail tiles and chair rail trims added to the home provides a finished look. Ideally, chair rail molding is fastened to the wall or cabinet with finishing nails for a tight and professional installation. There may be times when nailing is prohibitive, in which case you can install chair rails without nails using construction-grade adhesive. Following are the steps you should follow:

  • Choose the vinyl chair rail or plastic chair rail you wish to install. Lightweight rail is best for construction glue. Prime and paint, if necessary, before cutting the molding.
  • Clean and dry all surfaces before installing the painted chair rail. Make sure there is no loose paint or drywall.
  • Measure the wall or cabinet area where you will install the chair rail and lay it flat on the bottom of the miter saw, face side up. Cut the rail with a miter saw to the appropriate angle. Lightly sand the rough edges with sandpaper.
  • Dry-fit the cut chair rail to see how it will fit. Place it against the wall, and butt the other cut pieces up to it to ensure that the angles and fit works.
  • Insert the liquid nail cartridge into the caulking gun and cut off 1/4 inch of the plastic tip with a blade at a 45-degree angle. Puncture the inner seal of the canister.
  • Lay the chair rail down on a clean work area, face down, and apply a 1/4 inch bead of liquid nails in a zigzag pattern to the length of the molding. Let it set up for a minute or so.
  • Place the chair rail with adhesive up to the wall or area you are installing it to. Firmly press into place, hold tightly against the wall, and lift off for one to three minutes before pushing back into place. Work with the chair rail molding and adhesive for up to 10 minutes before it dries.

How high is a Chair Rail?

How high should you install your chair rail molding? In the past, when a chair rail was used as a bumper for chair backs, the answer would have been “as high as the backs of the chairs.” But chair rails are now used more as a design element than a practical device for protecting walls. You can look at chair rail height from two perspectives:

  • Height above the floor: In rooms with 8-foot-high ceilings, the height of chair rail can be between 30 and 48 inches above the floor. In most instances, a chair rail will be between 32 and 36 inches from floor level.
  • Relative placement: Not all ceilings are 8 feet high; some ceilings are 10 or 12 feet. In this case, the room could easily accommodate a chair rail that is as high as 48 inches. The general rule of thumb is to position a chair rail in the lower one-third of the wall height. Suppose you imagine the wall height divided vertically into three sections. In that case, the chair rail is best placed at the line between the bottom and middle thirds of the wall. For example, in a 10-foot-high room (120 inches), the chair rail can be placed 40 inches above the floor.