How High Is A Chair Rail

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
13 min read

You may wonder things like, “how high is a chair rail?” if you’re contemplating installing one. Chair rails, according to some authorities, should be installed at a height of 30–36 inches from the ground. However, the estimation for chair rails still needs to take into account the height of the room and the owner’s personal style preferences, so this may not work for all rooms.

The atmosphere of the room depends on how high the chair rails are. This is why knowing how to accurately gauge the height of a chair rail is crucial. Learn everything you need to know about chair rail height from our comprehensive guide.

What Is A Chair Rail?

Horizontal molding is what’s used to create chair rails, which are installed on the walls. Used historically to prevent damage to fragile wall tapestries from being dragged around by the backs of frequently-rearranged chairs like those in the dining room, this piece of furniture is a staple in any home with fine art. Nonetheless, these days, most people merely use them as a decorative accent.

Chair rails, as was previously mentioned, can greatly improve or completely destroy the aesthetic of a room. Chair rail height plays a crucial role in this. When in doubt, set the bar lower rather than higher.

Chair rails can be customized to your preferences and come in a variety of styles. Thickness, materials, and decorative edge treatments are just some of the variables to think about. Paint-grade wood is inexpensive and easy to work with if you intend to paint it a specific color.

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How To Determine The Correct Height For Chair Rails

  • Installing it serves a purpose

Think about the purpose of the chair rails and where you want to put them before you start installing them. Let’s say you want to use it to prevent damage to your walls from chairs and other objects; if you do, make sure it’s at least as high as the backs of the chairs. By taking these precautions, you can rest assured that your expensive wall covering will be safe.

You should be mindful of where and how high you place it if you intend to use it as a decorative element in a room. If the ceiling is too high, the space will feel cramped and overly crowded.

  • Appropriate sizing

Chair rail height is not standardized, but you can determine it by how high your wall is. The chair rail’s height should be somewhere between a third and a half of the vertical distance between the floor and the ceiling.

Just picture a wall that has been cut into thirds. You want to have a chair rail that falls in the middle ground between the floor and ceiling. Chair rails can add a lot of character to a room, and this will help them do their job to the fullest.

  • Verify the height of your seat.

When setting up your chair rails, it’s also a good idea to double check the height of your chairs. It’s common for dining chairs to have a seat height of 36 inches. Move your chair slowly to the side of the room and double-check the back for a snug fit against the wall.

Make a note of it, and then decide if you’re aiming for the exact spot or if you’ll allow yourself to go a little higher. When you’ve settled on one of those two options, read on for another nugget of advice.

  • Try it out before making it permanent.

The chair rail should be tested for height before being permanently installed. Keep in mind that once it is hung on your wall, it will be difficult to alter it. That’s in addition to whatever else you’ll have to spend money on as a result.

You can do this by making a mark where you intend to install the molding tool, and then holding up a section of chair rail to the wall to get a feel for how it will look. Always keep in mind that the wall is yours to do with as you please. Adapt this to your liking!

Why Consider Installing A Chair Rail?

If you have wallpaper with detailed patterns that you don’t want scuffed up, installing a chair rail is a practical way to preserve the look of the wall. This will prevent chairs and other pieces of furniture from bouncing around the room. Walls in the dining room are especially vulnerable because of the constant movement of dining room chairs throughout the day.

This molding tool serves as a practical barrier and a decorative accent for your space. Since walls are always the same, blank surface, they can get old fast. You can make your walls stand out without appearing overly deliberate by installing a chair rail.

The final benefit is that it raises the value of your home. A chair rail is one of the least expensive ways to improve the value of your home. Chair rails are an inexpensive way to increase the value of your home.

14 Chair Rail Moulding Ideas for Your Home

1. Add Some White Space to Eccentric Wallpaper

Using wallpaper successfully, especially if you go for a bold print, can be a challenge. To alleviate the overwhelming busyness of the eccentric wallpaper, a white chair rail molding has been installed. It makes for a stylish, original appearance that is surprisingly airy.

2. Match Your Chair Rail with a Dark Wall Color

The chair rail molding, which is also grey like the walls, adds another layer of design to this fun family room. By fusing classic and contemporary aesthetics, the moulding achieves a harmonious union of style and convenience. The shadows cast by the moulding against a dark wall add visual interest.

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3. Add Multiple Layers of Chair Rail

One of our favorite ways to decorate a bedroom is with a chair rail. Chair rail moulding is a great way to build up an opulent atmosphere and add visual interest and texture to a room. The upscale appearance of this bedroom is aided by the curved chair rails in soft cream tones.

4. Add Classic and Sophisticated Trim

This panel molding looks great with the traditional chair rail and baseboards, creating a beautiful frame for the artwork. The lower half of the wall is a swoon-worthy spectacle on its own, but the art and beautifully set table draw the eye there.

5. Match Modern Minimalism with a Flat, Angular Design

The sharp angles and flat surfaces of the moulding give this design a contemporary edge. It’s a nice way to break up the taupe paint and add some subtle interest without drawing too much attention to any one spot. Maintaining a flat, angular aesthetic is key to capturing the essence of today’s minimalist design trend. It’s also among the more traditional chair rail designs for a dining room.

6. Enhance Your Stairwell

The panel moulding that runs from floor to ceiling in this stairwell is stunning. There’s no rule that says a hallway or stairwell has to be boring. Chair rail moulding is just one type of moulding that can be used to spruce up your hallways and stairwells. This design is typical of many of our favorite chair rail ideas for a hallway, in which chair rail moulding is layered with panels to create an air of regal elegance.

7. Create a Bold Color Scheme

This daring room, designed by architect Joo Mansur, demonstrates how to use chair rail molding to introduce an unexpected splash of color. To make a striking contrast with the apple green walls, he painted the chair rail a bright cherry red. It demonstrates how chair rail can be used to implement eye-catching color schemes.

8. Use Chair Rail for an Alternative Project

Think outside the box and use chair moulding to make a one-of-a-kind fireplace or painted craft that no one else will have. Chair rail has a unique shape and texture that could be useful in a variety of contexts.

The above fireplace is an excellent example of the way in which the use of floor-to-ceiling trim elements can produce something both visually stunning and architecturally intriguing. Rather than nailing the name sign to the wall, you can use this method instead.

9. Add Texture to Your Bedroom

This luxurious bedroom has an air of calm sophistication thanks to its many intricate design details. Walls that are flat in color and texture are given depth by the chair rail moulding. The chair rail, along with the crystal chandelier and intricate ceiling design, creates an intimate and enclosing atmosphere. Adding texture with moulding is one of those chair rail ideas that works even if you’re not going for a fancy look.

10. Install Chair Rail on Indoor Columns

You can also use chair rail moulding on the ceiling and the floor. The chair rail on the walls and columns of this large living room work together to create a harmonious aesthetic. In case you’re searching for living room chair rail ideas, this is a great option to consider.

11. Use Chair Rail for Contrasting Panel Moulding

Walls in this room feature ornate gold panel moulding. However, it wouldn’t be quite as eye-catching without the plush chair rail moulding. The trim elements and sparse but meaningful decorations in this room strike a beautiful contrast and minimalism balance.

12. Create an Edge with Angular Chair Rail

This chair rail’s sharp corners and the panel’s subtle recess contribute to a clean, contemporary look. The panel’s size contributes to the illusion of a narrow wall profile. It’s a radical departure from traditional chair rail moulding in both senses of the term. It makes the room feel more special and elevates the design from being too conventional.

13. Cap Off Wainscotting

Look no further than Emily Henderson’s beautiful bathroom for inspiration when installing a chair rail in your own space. Emily put a modern spin on a traditional look by using navy shiplap to mimic the look of wainscot. She covered the joint between the shiplap and the wall with chair rail moulding to make the transition smoother on the eyes.

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14. Create a Dual-Tone Wall Design

The use of chair rail moulding to create a two-toned wall design is a great idea, even when working with a bright color like yellow. The traditional chair line rule of placing the chair moulding one-third of the way up the wall turns out to be the ideal proportion when working with two colors. If you paint the top two-thirds of the wall with the primary color and the bottom one-third with the accent color, the room will have a sophisticated sense of equilibrium. The chair rail molding creates a clean visual divide between each color, making the space more relaxing to the eye.


Intricate calculations are required to determine the correct chair rail height. The height of chair rails will vary depending on factors such as the dimensions of the room, its function, and the size of the chairs in use, despite the fact that some experts will say a specific size is necessary. But remember that there is no such thing as a wrong answer.

The optimal height for chair rails is completely up to you. Its height can be adjusted to suit individual tastes. You can use our suggested chair rail heights as a jumping off point for experimenting with different options until you find the one that works best for you.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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