Connect With Us

Chair Rail Installation Tips

by HomeRepairExpert.com
Chair rails, when used for function, were often just a thick board nailed to the wall at upper chair height to protect from scrapes. Today, chair rails add a decorative finish to a plain wall or to top off bead board, wainscoting or wall panels. Installation of a chair rail is a moderately difficult do-it-yourself project requiring some skill with a saw.

Chair rails, when used for function, were often just a thick board nailed to the wall at upper chair height to protect from scrapes. Today, chair rails add a decorative finish to a plain wall or to top off bead board, wainscoting or wall panels. Installation of a chair rail is a moderately difficult do-it-yourself project requiring some skill with a saw.

Wood Choices and Amounts

Try to match new chair rails as closely as possible to rails in other parts of your house. Pine and poplar, semi-soft woods, are often used because they are fairly easy to cut and nail; these woods are most often used when the chair rail will be painted. Maple and oak are harder, making them more difficult to work with, however are well suited in rooms where the wood will be stained. A variety of boards and decorative moldings allow homeowners to customize chair rails to fit the style of the home. Determine the amount of material needed by measuring the room at chair rail height and dividing this number by the length of the molding to get the number of lengths needed; add 10 percent to account for waste.

Placement

Chair rails are typically placed one-third up the wall or around 32 to 36 inches from floor level. Placement can also be determined by setting a chair next to the wall and marking where the back of the chair touches the wall.

Tools

Cutting and installation of chair rails can be accomplished with hand tools such as a miter box, hand saw, nail punch and a hammer or screwdriver. Tools such as a power miter saw and pneumatic nail gun or power drill will accelerate completion of the project. A level and tape measure are also needed. Items used for finishing include wood filler, a putty knife, interior grade caulk and a caulking gun, and paint or stain. Brads, finishing nails and screws need to be long enough to penetrate the chair rail and ½ to ¾ inches into the stud. Rails can be glued to walls, however this is a permanent solution as removal is exceedingly difficult.

Installation

Wood should be placed in the room where the chair rail will be installed 48 to 72 hours in advance to allow for temperature and humidity adjustments. Painting or staining the rail prior to installation reduces the amount of finishing work. Leveling is done at the top of the chair rail, ensuring the finished product will appear as a straight line. For aesthetics, use one length of chair rail per wall and only work on one wall at a time; do not pre-cut pieces for the entire room. (http://bestwoods.com/Wainscot-ShadowBox.pdf ) If using nails or screws, mark the wall studs prior to starting the project. Holes can be predrilled in the chair rail by holding a piece against the wall to see where the studs are located, then marking or drilling the rail. Inside and outside corners should be mitered; outside corner miters will require extra length.



Copyright © 2017 HomeRepairExpert.com