How High Is A Chair Rail? 4 Helpful Installation Factors

If you’re thinking about installing a chair rail, you may ask questions like “how high is a chair rail?” Some experts claim that the standard measurement for the height of chair rails is at least 30 to 36 inches above the floor. Although this may work for some rooms, the estimation for chair rails will still depend on the room’s height and the owner’s style preferences.

The height of these chair rails will either make or break the vibe of the room. That’s the reason why it’s important to know how to measure how high a chair rail should be. Read along as we present you with your ultimate guide on determining the best chair rail height for your room!


how high is a chair rail

What Is A Chair Rail?

Chair rails are a horizontal type of molding that is applied to the walls. Traditionally, it is used to protect the delicate wall tapestries from the back of chairs that move around a lot, such as ones in the dining room. However, people nowadays install these as an accessory to add visual interest to the room.

As it was mentioned earlier, chair rails will either make your room look good or ruin the room altogether. The height of chair rails will greatly play a role in this. When in doubt, it’s always better to make it too low rather than too high.

There are different types of chair rails that can cater to your taste. There are many things to consider, like the thickness, materials used, and trimming styles. If you plan to paint it a specific color, paint-grade wood will be a good choice since the color will stick, and it’s also inexpensive.


How To Determine The Correct Height For Chair Rails

  • The purpose of installing it

One thing to keep in mind when deciding where to place your chair rails is also thinking about why you want to install them. Suppose you plan to use it to protect your walls against chairs or other items, it should be fine as long as it’s as high or a little bit higher than the backs of the chairs. Doing this will make sure you’re preventing damage to your delicate wall covering.

However, if you’re planning to use it as a decorative element for your room, you should be careful where and how high you’re going to place it. Too high can make the room feel too confined and stuffed.

  • Proper proportions

Although there is no specific standard height for chair rails, you can calculate the proper measurement yourself by looking at your wall. An unwritten rule for how high your chair rail should be is between one-third of the distance between the floor and the ceiling.

Imagine sectioning your wall into three parts. The height of your chair rail should be between the lower and middle sections. Doing this will ensure that you will maximize the effect of the chair rails on your room.

  • Take a look at your chair’s height

It would also be smart to check your chair’s height before installing your chair rails. The standard seat size of a dining chair is usually around 36 inches by height. Carefully slide your chair towards the side of your room, then check where the back meets the wall.

Mark that spot and decide whether you’ll go for that exact spot or go a little higher for allowance. Once finished choosing either of these, you can proceed to the next tip.

  • Test it before officially installing it 

Before you settle on the height of your chair rail, it would be best if you’ll do a test before installing it. Remember that when it’s on your wall, it would be difficult to change it anymore. Not to mention the added expenses that it will cost you!

You can do this by marking the area where you want to place the molding device and hold a piece of your chair rail up to the wall and see how it looks to you. Remember that this is your wall, and only you can decide what to do with it. Feel free to make adjustments!


Why Consider Installing A Chair Rail?

For practicality, installing a chair rail in your room can help you protect your wallpaper, especially when you have intricate designs that you’d rather not ruin. It will act as a barrier for chairs or other furniture that moves around frequently. These can damage your wall when moved around, especially with the dining room, where chairs move many times in a day.

Besides being a protective barrier, this molding device can also add elegance to your room. Walls can be boring as they can only be a plain blank surface. Applying a chair rail will add contrast to your walls and add an interest that can help make it stand out without trying too much.

Lastly, it adds value to your house. A chair railing is one of the cheapest ways to make home improvements that, in return, can raise the market value of your house. If you wish to make your house a worthy investment, chair rails will help you do that.



Measuring how high is a chair rail can be quite tricky. Even though some experts will say a specific size, the height of chair rails will depend on things like the proportions of the area, its purpose, and the size of the chair present in the room. However, take note that there is no wrong answer.

Deciding how high your chair rails will be entirely up to your personal style. You can make changes to its height that suits your preferences. You can start on our tips for height recommendations for chair rails and go from there to find out which one looks good to you.

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