Chair Rail Advice Please


Old 07-17-08, 11:42 AM
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Chair Rail Advice Please

My wife and I are installing chair rail in the hall. We have 5 entry doors to bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. and one 3/4 door for the HVAC inside unit. We are going to do returns on the chair rail. Seems like I have heard somewhere to treat the 2/3 door like a part of the wall and just butt the chair rail into the casing around it - returns on either chai rail ends left and right of course. Is that correct or should I do returns on every chair rail terminsation regardless? I also had someone suggest just doing a 45 for terminations in the hall (not the rest of the house just the hall) with no returns. What is the norm? Please advise.

Thanks, 53singer
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Old 07-17-08, 12:50 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm not sure there is a norm, I've painted chair rail installed in most every way...... but I think it looks best when it butts up to the door/window casing. If the moulding is thicker than the casing, you might need to nip off the excess on a 45`

If the chair rail ends without butting into something, it looks best if it has a mitered return. Ending the chair rail with a 45` looks ok, just not as professional - IMHO.
Old 07-17-08, 03:58 PM
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I vote with Mark. If it does not butt on a molding, it needs a return.
Old 07-17-08, 05:12 PM
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Well I must admit being surprised. Being strictly "do-it-yourselfers" we were pleased when the chair rail we put up in the dining room looked so nice - cut and butted at a 90 up to the door casings and cut to a 90 at the window openings. However we were roundly criticized by frineds saying we should have done returns(which I had not even heard of prior to this) or at the least cut the 45 and left an open miter to the casing or opening. I wonder now if we should have butt cut the rails into the casings(which we did) but done returns at the window openings - there is no vertical molding or casing at the window openings to which the chair rail intersects or butts. In any event, thanks for taking the time to help. I sincerely appreicte it. We are learning.

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