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Installing Chair Rail

Project Overview

Installing Chair Rail

Chair rail is an easy way to spruce up a room. Remember to make the wall with most interruptions your fourth wall. Ideally, you should place the chair rail at the same height as your chairs so that it can perform the function of protecting your walls. Installation is similar to that of baseboards – start by snapping a level line around the room. Cut, cope, and install the chair rail along each wall from first to last.

3 Steps

  1. SNAP LEVEL LINE AND MARK STUDS
  2. DETERMINE WHICH WALL WILL BE FOURTH
  3. CUT AND COPE MOULDING
SNAP LEVEL LINE AND MARK STUDS

Step 1

SNAP LEVEL LINE AND MARK STUDS

Installing chair rail is like installing baseboard, the major difference being that it's 30 to 40 inches off the floor. Exactly how high is a matter of taste, and a question of whether anything is in your way-countertops, oddly placed outlets, or furniture that is placed against the wall. To be truly functional the rail should be at the same height as the top of your chairs so that the rail can perform its original function of protecting the wall. Begin installing chair rail the same way you begin with baseboard: Snap a level line around the room, marking the bottom of the rail. Mark the location of the studs-there's no floor plate to nail into when you're this high off the ground, so it's important to know where every stud is and to be able to nail into it.

DETERMINE WHICH WALL WILL BE FOURTH

Step 2

DETERMINE WHICH WALL WILL BE FOURTH

Before you start nailing, look around the room to find a wall where a door or window will interrupt the moulding. Plan your work so that this will be the last wall you install. (If the last wall is uninterrupted, plan on coping both ends of the chair rail.)

CUT AND COPE MOLDING

Step 3

CUT AND COPE MOULDING

Cut the moulding along the first wall so that it runs from corner to corner and both ends are square. Cope a piece of moulding to fit against the moulding on the first wall, and cut the other end square so that it reaches into the corner. Repeat on the third wall. On the fourth wall, cope a piece of moulding to fit against the third wall, and cut the other end so it meets the door or window in a butt joint. Repeat, coping a piece to fit against the first wall, and butt it into the other side of the door or window.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

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