"general" wainscoting dimensions? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-10-2015, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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"general" wainscoting dimensions?

I think there is no absolute answer, but I dont want to eyeball it and end up way out in left field.


Attached a sketch with dimensions listed.

I read the total height should be 1/3rd the heigh of the wall between 30 and 36". I have 8' ceilings which puts it at 32".

Ive guesstimated 6" for rails and stiles.

from left to right

Option 1. no baseboard moulding. I dont think I like that...

Option 2. 6" rails, with the 4.25" baseboard moulding it leaves only 1.75" of bottom stile.

option 3. 10" bottom rail to compensate for baseboard moulding.



What do you think? Im leaning to option 2, but maybe I should go somewhere between 6 and 10" for the bottom stile? Or what dimensions do you use?

I am cognizant of the fact that 6" is not an ideal width for 48" sheets, 5.75 or 7.75 would be a more efficient use of material. Maybe thats my answer to go with 7.75... or else the next divisor is 12".
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-15-2015, 11:02 PM
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Originally the wainscot height was based on the height of chair backs so it would protect the wallpaper from getting scuffed and damaged. Today the most common height is 36"
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-15-2015, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Im also learning the stiles should be 3.5" wide. rails are 6, but the molding obscure some of that. Hoping to start it this weekend!
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-16-2015, 02:47 PM
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You might want to read this first- http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2010/...ed-chair-rail/
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-16-2015, 03:46 PM
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There are NO fixed dimensions or even ratios when it comes to wainscoting. It all depends upon the design and the dimensions of where it will be placed. Use your artistic imagination.

George
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-16-2015, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
There are NO fixed dimensions or even ratios when it comes to wainscoting. It all depends upon the design and the dimensions of where it will be placed. Use your artistic imagination.

George
+1 It all depends of the length of the walls and the dimensions of the room.In a smaller room use narrower rails and stiles to match the width of the panels.Keep everything in proportion in place of worrying about everything being historically correct to the style.
It's more about being aesthetically pleasing to your eye.

Last edited by mako1; 01-16-2015 at 04:11 PM.
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-16-2015, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post

His suggestion of 8' ceiling / 13 * 2.66 = ~20"

That does seem aweful low...
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-16-2015, 07:13 PM
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That is low, lower than I would install and as the article and posted comments go on to say, these are guidelines. But if you don't know where to start it is good to start with a guideline. Personally I don't like 36", I tend to go with something higher or lower.
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-16-2015, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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well its an older home, but not older in the good fancy sense. 8' ceilings and relatively small, partitioned, rooms. So I dont want to make anything look even smaller. Maybe Ill tape off 24" and see how I feel about that.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-16-2015, 11:58 PM
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Go with what looks good
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-17-2015, 06:32 AM
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Well, for a general guideline, most that I have seen are about table top height.

George
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-17-2015, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about it, I have a bay window in the room that is 31" high. maybe that should be the benchmark... put the chair rail as the molding under it.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-17-2015, 11:05 AM
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I know you guys are discussing height but Gary Katz has this article that helped me plan out the width and layout of individual panels for a project I'm going to do:

http://www.garymkatz.com/TrimTechniq...ingArticle.htm

Might be helpful once you get to that stage.

Also found a free construction calculator that does what the construction master pro calculator does (albeit a bit differently so you have to play around with it a bit):

http://www.snappyappz.com/construction-calc.html
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-20-2015, 02:22 PM
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i'm replacing some in a older home now that is 52" high.
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-20-2015, 06:08 PM
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I did something similar in my dining room. I ended up using a 32 " height for the top of the chair rail. As for widths, yes it's all personal preference but I myself went with option 3 so there was no narrow widths
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post #16 of 23 Old 01-22-2015, 02:14 PM
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Most of the precut wainscot panels are close to 32", full size panel divided into thirds, so lower end work will be based on that and yield somewhere around a 36" quick and dirty finished result.
Higher end work will be designed to fit the room, not the available material.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-31-2015, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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working my way through it... coming along nicely, test fit the rail/stiles for half of the room atleast. still to make the panels.
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post #18 of 23 Old 02-01-2015, 09:17 AM
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Looks good... I remember having that same mess when I did mine. BTW, one thing I learned is if you want seamless joints on the panels use bondo instead of wood filler. It's strong, sands well and never shrinks.
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post #19 of 23 Old 02-03-2015, 02:31 PM
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Hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but have been following the discussion and have found it to be very informative for a wainscoting project I am planning.

I am not doing raised panels so I was wondering what people thought about the pros/cons of rabbeting the backs of the rails/stiles (poplar) and adding 1/8" birch ply? Or just painting the drywall behind the same color? I know there will be a benefit in protection of the wall, but is this, in your opinion, worth the extra time/cost?

I plan on routing the rails/stiles with a Freud wainscotting bit and pre-assembling with pocket screws.

Apologies if I am off-topic...will start my own thread if so...
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post #20 of 23 Old 02-03-2015, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Im done and into the project, so youre welcome to ask questions. but you might not get as many lookers in here as a new thread.

nice part about a rabbit and a board is that you wont have to deal with variations in the drywall surface. You dont see the high spots at the joints till you try and lay a straight board over it.

If you dont have an issue there, it is easier to leave the drywall exposed.
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