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Chair Rail Height

Find Your Correct Chair Rail Height

The present day scenario have accepted Chair rail beyond their basic purpose to protect the walls from dents caused due to the pushing of chairs and other furniture. The installation has attracted attention, thanks to the beauty appeal of these innovative chair rails. The market is flooded with variety in chair rail design (the sculptured look, the embossed look) - our home décor has never been this pleasing.

The Chair rail height refers to the length of the molding which is attached to the wall. There is a great controversy that surrounds at what typically should be the height. The range is around 32 inches to 38 inches. But in smaller height rooms, it can be as less as 28 inches.

calculating The Height

Different calculations have been used to arrive at the exact chair rail height. Generally a majority of the finish carpenters side 36”.

The factors that affect the height calculation are the home owner’s input, height of the ceiling, other architectural features in the plan, Interior Designer’s idea or the height of the existing furniture. Normally the most important criterion should be dining chair’s height, since an improper judgment could also result in chairs appearing small or tall.

There are carpenters who say that the height should be 1/5 of the ceiling height. For an 8 foot ceiling which works at 96” the chair rail works at 19” which is considered quite low. There is another school of height which claims that the height is 1/3 the height of the ceiling which finds a major acceptance and is considered the golden rule of thumb, but this may not work for very tall ceilings (around 15 feet).

Though such rules work for the dining room, there are exceptions for other rooms such as when the kitchen is considered as one may like to match it with the top of the counter. The finish carpenter would help to give the best advice in this regard.


The basic difference in the height exists because of the way the functionality has replaced with the beauty aspects. The chair rail of today serves to divide the wall into an upper and lower part, where there can be painted with two different set of colors or have wainscoting and wall paper on the two parts. In the latest approach where chair rail has referred as a dado cap, it is often used to frame panel or wainscot on the wall.

Bring the change, bring the aesthetics and the effects – your house indeed deserves the best.

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