Top Tips Before Buying Dado Rails
Dado rails are common in Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian properties, although they can be used in modern properties too. Traditionally known as chair rails, these mouldings were originally used to protect the walls from being damaged by the furniture.
However, dado rails are now used as a decorative moulding that adds visual appeal to a room. If you are looking to incorporate a modern look to your property, then you can utilise dado rails to help you achieve the look you’ve wanted from your home makeover project.
Before you decide to include dado rails in your home’s interior, we’ve put together some top tips before you buy the moulding for your home. From what a dado rail is, to how high the rail should be, we’ll outline the things you need to think about when buying dado rails.
What is a dado rail?
Once we get into the top tips for buying them, it's worth looking at what exactly is a dado rail. A dado rail is a decorative moulding that is placed around a third of the way up the wall in a room. Dado rails were traditionally positioned at chair height to ensure that the chairs did not bash into the walls.
Most people can be easily confused between how dado and picture rails are used in a room’s interior. Picture rails are positioned higher than the wall and were designed to hang pictures on the wall without affecting the wall’s surface. On the other hand, dado rails were designed to protect the walls in traditional properties from being damaged by furniture.
These mouldings can also be used in modern interiors, where they can be used as an aesthetic feature, rather than protecting the walls in your home. You can use dado rails to make a certain room stand out in one area of your property, whether that’s the sitting room or the living room.
How high should a dado rail be?
There’s no set rule to the height for putting the dado rail in a room. In terms of the right height for your rails, this can be influenced by your personal style or the furniture in your room. You should make sure that you measure the walls in the room, from the ceiling to the floor to get the right measurements for the rails.
What you want to avoid is installing the rail at the wrong height, which can compromise the interior of the room you are trying to achieve with your home makeover project. If you place the rail too high, then it can shrink the space of a room, making the ceiling appear lower than it is.
We recommend placing the rail lower down the wall, rather than going too high. This works particularly well in rooms with low ceilings, which makes the room feel bigger than it is if you include lightly-coloured paint or wallpaper on the wall.
MDF or Wood?
The two most common material options for dado rails are medium density fibreboard (MDF) and wood. When deciding on the material of your dado rails, you’ll need to consider not just the property’s environment, but also how you decorate it and your ideal budget.
Damp, condensation and the rail being exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time can affect the wood of the rails. This means that the moulding is prone to swelling or shrinking, which may leave the dado rails splitting and twisting. It’s important that you buy dado rails that can withstand all sorts of conditions.
Skirting 4 U’s MDF dado rails are moisture resistant, which means that the moulding can withstand any sort of environment, from hot summer days to damp winter nights. You can decide to have the rails with a primed or unprimed finish, which makes it straightforward to put them on the wall of your room.
Consider the home interior you want to achieve with your dado rails
If you are looking to feature dado rails in your home makeover project, it's worth considering what interior you are looking to achieve. Dado rails, when used well, can turn an uninspiring room into a space that’s filled with character for family members and guests to relax in.
When it comes to interior ideas we recommend when using dado rails, you cannot go wrong with a two-tone look. Using an eye-catching dark shade on the lower half of the wall with a lightly-shaded colour on the top half can add some visual height, particularly in compact rooms of a property.
In terms of the look you want to achieve, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
We hope these tips we’ve given you will make it easier for you when it comes to buying dado rails for your home makeover project. If you have any questions about the MDF dado rails that we offer in our collection, please contact one of our expert sales team members today.