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Dado Rail On Stairs | Easier Than You Think | Skirting World

Dado Rail On Stairs | Easier Than You Think | Skirting World

Posted by Skirting World on 17th May 2024

Fitting Dado Rail On Stairs

Installing dado rails can be a straightforward process when dealing with walls and hallways, but it becomes trickier when navigating stairs.

The most challenging aspect is angling the cuts to fit the mitres correctly. This guide breaks down the process into easy-to-understand steps, ensuring that you can achieve a seamless and professional-looking result.

And don't miss our Mitre Angle Calculator and Dado Rail Height Calculator tools.

Calculating The Angle Of Your Staircase

It's likely that you already know how to fit straight and horizontal dado railing on a regular wall (if not, check out our dado rail fitting guide), so we'll focus on the hard part, angling the dado up the stairs.

What you'll need:

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator (optional)

Diagram showing the terminologies of a staircase

1. Take Some Measurements

  • Measure the Rise: This is the vertical height from the top of one step to the the top of another.
  • Measure the Run: This is the horizontal length (excluding any nosing/overhang) from the start of the step to the end.

2. Calculating The Angle:

You can put your measurements into our calculator below, or keep reading for the manual calculation:

Stair Angle Calculator

For finding the slope angle of stairs and the required joint angle for dado rails

Manual Calculation
  • Divide the rise by the run.
  • Example: Rise = 7 inches, Run = 10 inches. 7/10 = 0.7.
  • Convert the slope ratio to a percentage: Multiply the result by 100 (e.g., 7/10 * 100 = 70%). 
  • Calculate the angle in degrees with an arctan function: Tan^1(7/10) = 34.99 degrees

Finding The Mitre Angle

Now that you've found the angle of your staircase, it's smooth sailing. You simply have to find your mitre cut with our  easy to use mitre angle calculator. Simply enter the joint angle provided above into the calculator. Use the angles to cut your dado rail, and they will create a precise joint for angling your dado rail up the stairs! Clicking below will redirect you to the calculator!

Mitre Angle Calculator For Dado On Stairs

The Height Of Your Dado Rail

You must maintain a consistent height from floor to dado from your hallway/landing to the stairs, you can find out the ideal height of your dado rail with our  Dado Rail Height Calculator, clicking below will redirect you to the calculator.

Dado Rail Height Calculator For Stairs

Maintaining The Height Up The Stairs

If your dado rails are placed 960mm above the floor, you must maintain a 960mm height for the dado rail as it angles and continues up the stairs. You can do this by marking up 960mm from the end of each stair tread, as shown below.

Marking guidelines for dado rail up stairs

This can also act as an alternative method for finding the slope angle and height of your dado railing, with no calculations required. However, it's best to know the exact numbers for precision.