What Is Chair Rail Molding – A Complete Guide

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Chair Rail Molding Installation Adding Molding to the Dining Room

What is Chair Rail Molding – A Complete Guide


Chair rail molding is a decorative trim that is installed along the walls of a room. It is typically positioned at the height of a chair back, hence the name. Chair rail molding is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves a practical purpose of protecting walls from damage caused by chairs or other furniture.

Why use Chair Rail Molding?

Chair rail molding adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. It helps to visually divide the space and can make a room feel taller or more spacious. Chair rail molding also provides a protective barrier against furniture, preventing unsightly dents and scratches on the walls.

Types of Chair Rail Molding

1. Traditional Chair Rail Molding

Traditional chair rail molding is characterized by its simple and timeless design. It typically features a straight, horizontal piece of molding that runs along the walls.

2. Decorative Chair Rail Molding

Decorative chair rail molding adds more flair and detail to the walls. It may feature intricate patterns, raised designs, or beveled edges. This type of molding is often used in formal or traditional settings.

3. Modern Chair Rail Molding

Modern chair rail molding embraces sleek lines and minimalist designs. It is often made of metal or glass and adds a contemporary touch to any room.

Installation Process

Installing chair rail molding is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Measure and mark the desired height for the chair rail molding.
  2. Cut the molding to the appropriate length using a miter saw.
  3. Apply adhesive or use nails to secure the molding to the wall.
  4. Fill any gaps or nail holes with wood filler, sand, and paint the molding to match the walls.


Q: Can chair rail molding be used in any room?

A: Yes, chair rail molding can be used in any room, from living rooms and dining rooms to bedrooms and hallways. It adds a touch of elegance and can enhance the overall aesthetic of the space.

Q: What materials are chair rail moldings made of?

A: Chair rail moldings can be made from various materials such as wood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), polyurethane, or even metal. The choice of material depends on personal preference and the desired style of the room.

Q: How high should chair rail molding be installed?

A: Chair rail molding is typically installed at a height of 30 to 36 inches from the floor. However, the height can vary depending on factors such as the ceiling height and the desired visual effect.

Q: Can chair rail molding be painted?

A: Yes, chair rail molding can be painted to match the walls or contrast with them. It can be painted using regular wall paint or stained to enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

Q: Can I install chair rail molding myself?

A: Yes, chair rail molding can be installed as a DIY project. However, it is important to have the right tools and follow proper installation techniques to ensure a professional-looking result.