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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Preferred height of chair rail

    I am going to be installing some chair rail and was wondering about the height to place it. It will be a "break" in the wall for color scheme purposes, just paint not wainscoting. It will not be functional as far as protection from the backs of chairs. The ceiling in the room is a cathedral going from 74 up to 12 at the center. Only half the room will have the chair rail, the other half is kitchen cabinets. The halves are nicely divided by doorways so there is a great start/stop point for the chair rail.

    I am looking at placing it ~32 from the floor since that aligns with a window sill. I have seen some design write ups that recommend a 36 - 40 height, others that recommend 1/3 the height of the wall. I am weak on the design / color scheme side of a project and thought I would ask what others have seen and done and the advantages & drawbacks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    I'd recommend going with a 36" +/- and inch or two because it's visually more attractive. The nice thing is that you can test out which you like better by placing 2" painters tape on the wall at the different heights. This will allow you to choose the height that appeals to you most before ever cracking a can of paint.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sand Springs, OK
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    my kitchen has it at the same level as the top of the kitchen cabinets, that's 32". It's an awkward sight line for me. Unfortunately the same height is running throughout the house and it either makes my furniture look too short or too tall.

    Since it is in a kitchen I would suggest you line it up with the counter tops using the same thickness as well to really have a continuous line around the room.
    Debby in Oklahoma

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    Ditto Sprucey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    huntersville NC
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    32-38 is fine. line it up so the top of the chair rail is the top of the counter in the kitchen which is usually 36. you can always tack a piece up and stand back and look at it. the eye is the best source of apealing looks.

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

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    There is always the ****en Mean:

    "Do unto chair rail ..."

    No, wait that's no it.

    The ****en Mean is a ratio found in nature that is a mathematical definition of aesthetic proportion. Google it for the best explanation. I think Wikipedia's is pretty good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    Well Spruce, thanks for the headache.....

    I tried a couple ways to use the ****en Ratio but kept coming up with different answers!! It really looked unique with the chair rail following the slope of the cathedral ceiling!

    Anyway, I will go the painters tape route starting at the counter height since it makes sense to keep that same "line" around the room. That should have occurred to me initially but didn't since the doorways on each side of the room terminate the cabinet run.

    All the Christmas knick-knacks are finally down so I am turned loose again. Next up is the final skim coat, light sanding, drop cloths, tape off the edges, primer and stopping by S/W to get the paint mixed. The backsplash tile is supposed to be in this week also. This should keep me busy for a while. I had been working on putting insulation in the top of the detached garage and I'm tired of the itch.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    Quote Originally Posted by bp21901 View Post
    Well Spruce, thanks for the headache.....
    You're welcome ...

    It does take a bit to figure out how it relates to your needs, but once you do it really does help keep proportions in check. I use it when building furniture to get good height/width/depth ratios.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    bp

    You mentioned "final skim coat" in your reply. I am wondering if I should try to skim over my heavy knock-down texture or do as a diy friend suggested and wet then sc**** the old knock-down off the wall.

    Anyone here have any thoughts?

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Preferred height of chair rail

    Progress pic's of the backsplash. Got a lot of good info from johnbridge website. No surprises so far, just very slow progress.
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