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Dado Rail Height Calculator | Find Out The Perfect Height For Dado Rails

Dado Rail Height Calculator | Find Out The Perfect Height For Dado Rails

Posted by Lee Watkinson on 14th Jun 2024

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Dado Rail Height Calculator

Calculate the ideal installation height for dado rails using our handy calculator.

Measure from floor to ceiling and select the appropriate unit.

Ideal Dado Rail Height:

Recommended Height Range:

Dado rail height installation guide

How High Should The Dado Rail Be From The Floor?

Firstly, there's no set rule as to how high the  dado rail should be fitted. However, when fitted at the most common height it can help to achieve the desired look.

Dado rails used to be used primarily to protect the wall from the back of chairs (rather than being more aesthetic as they are now).

The lower third of the wall is the most common area where dado rails are installed. So how do you work this height out?

Dado Rail installed on the wall

Calculating The Dado Rail Height

To work out where you should install the dado rail, we recommend this simple calculation:

Wall height divided by 5 then doubled

For instance, if your wall height is 2400mm (2.4m) you would divide this by 5 to get 480mm (0.48m).

Then you simply double 480mm to get 960mm (0.96m).

With this in mind, you'd be safe to install the dado rail anywhere between 900mm (0.9m) and 1000mm (1m) above floor level.

The Method Behind The Measurement - Design Logic

This specific formula determines the height of dado rails based on principles of aesthetic harmony and proportion in interior design.

  • By dividing the wall into equal thirds or fifths, we create proportional sections that are pleasing to the eye. The dado rail positioned at one of the lower division points provides a sense of balance and order in the space.
  • Placing the dado rail around 2/5ths or 1/3rd of the overall wall height hits the visual sweet spot - high enough to properly divide the wall, low enough to avoid looking too high.
  • At this height, the dado rail is in harmony with the typical heights of door and window features in a room, it aligns with their proportions, rather than conflicting with them.
  • Having the rail too low down would make the upper section feel disproportionately large and heavy, too high and the the upper section would feel disproportionately too small, don't rely on guesswork, let Maths do the hard part!
  • The formula is a simple, time-tested method. it can be applied to any room height and adjusted slightly while maintaining the effect.
  • Interior design principles favour mathematical harmony and ratios, the calculation creates a harmonious ratio in the wall sections that align with decorating intuition.

What If I Prefer The Dado Rail Higher Or Lower Than You Recommend?

When it comes to choosing the height for the dado, we can only give you a recommendation based on the most common height of fitment.

Should you not agree, then that's OK! At the end of the day, it's your home and your personal preference as to where you think the dado rail will look best.

Picture Rails

Also see our  Picture Rail Height Calculator to find out the perfect height for your picture rails. And if installing dado rails up stairs, see our stair angle calculator for dado rails.