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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    2

    Default Capping a half wall

    I have a half wall at the top of my stairs with no trim that takes a lot of abuse. I'd like to put a flat piece of wood on top with chair rail-type molding underneath to make it look finished and substantial. I am confused on what the overhang should be and how the edges should be finished. Is there a rule of thumb for this or is it more trial and error? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Capping a half wall

    the possibilities are endless.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Capping a half wall

    the possibilities are endless

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Capping a half wall

    i was doing this yesterday on a house im trimming actually, the overhang depends on the thickness of the trim your going to use under the cap.

    typically i use 3/4 mdf for the cap with a roundover profile on it, and 1/2" mdf for the trim underneath though sometimes use chair rail... anyhow.. if your using 3/4" thick chair rail on 2X4 wall that will mean your wall will now be 6" thick at hte top after framing, drywall and trim.. from there add 1 more inch so you have a 1/2" reveal on both sides
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Capping a half wall

    Quote Originally Posted by jkirk View Post
    i was doing this yesterday on a house im trimming actually, the overhang depends on the thickness of the trim your going to use under the cap.

    typically i use 3/4 mdf for the cap with a roundover profile on it, and 1/2" mdf for the trim underneath though sometimes use chair rail... anyhow.. if your using 3/4" thick chair rail on 2X4 wall that will mean your wall will now be 6" thick at hte top after framing, drywall and trim.. from there add 1 more inch so you have a 1/2" reveal on both sides
    To make this a little more clear, you need your top plate to be the thickness of the wall, plus the thickness of the trim on both sides of the wall, plus your added overhang. You calculate the end overhang the same way to have an even reveal on all three sides.

    As for the profile treatment, bullnose is pretty typical, as is a rounded top edge and an ogee bottom edge. I recommend cutting a few sample pieces and see which you like best. If you're using a decorative trim for the apron, then a more decorative profile on the top plate may be in order (1/4 round/ogee ). If you're using squared stock for the apron, then a basic bullnose will suffice.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Capping a half wall

    Thank you all so much! The 1/2" was what I was thinking but I wasn't sure and I definitely appreciate all the input. Your explanations made perfect sense.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Capping a half wall

    the bullnose works best as wall caps tend to take quite a bit of abuse. more decorative profiles will dent easily
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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