Home Home and Garden What Is Dado Rail? Why Do You Need This Divider and How Does It Work?
Dado Rail

What Is Dado Rail? Why Do You Need This Divider and How Does It Work?

by Ruhia

Dado rail is a supportive system to stays just above the skirting of the wall to protect the wall from furniture pieces. These solid rails are strong enough to work as a barrier of protection of the wall from the heavy interior décor items. In ancient period homes (built before the First World War), this type of highly decorated dado railing system is found. It is a molded fixture lying horizontally at 1mm height just above the wall baseboard.

What Are the Functionalities of Dado Rail?

dado rail is a fixture that keeps the wall out of the dent and scratching. This resembles the wainscoting panel running horizontally through the top of the trimming of the wall. Typically, the dado railing system stays at 24 inches above the surface of the skirting baseboard. Modern architects measure 36 inches to adjust the height of the dado rail from the floor. 

The multifunctional dado railing frames are used for wall protection and enhancement of the visual aesthetic. Better to say, that these fixtures are horizontal rails going straight over the borderline of the baseboard. This dado rail gives support to the base of the wall paintings and canvas artwork. This is the prominent divider to make your room safe and aesthetically pleasing. If you fill up the vacuum space of the room with rows of furniture pieces and antic wall-mounted devices, feel free to install such solid fixtures as protectors for your room. 

Dado Rails for Ceiling and Rooftop Décor

Dado Rail

The functionalities of dado rails are varied including the ceiling and roof protection. In large vintage houses, the ceiling is tall enough to hang from the floor. The solid dado rail cover lies just beneath the ceiling minimizing the gap or distance from the floor. Easily you can hang gigantic wood photo frames and canvas paintings. To do that, you will not have to repair your ceiling as the dado rail protects the ceiling on its own. 

As a rooftop sealant, Dado Rail’s function is prominent. This supportive system is found beneath the cornice of the roof as a protruded tool to hold the photo frame. If you like to decorate the exterior part of the home including the rooftop, you can suspend the small or large size photo frames off the hook of the dado rail. So, the painted texture of the wall of the roof is not prone to discoloration or friction/dent/scratch. 

Top Dado Rail Ideas for Home Upgrade 

Top dado rail ideas include full-scale detailing to transform your home into a majestic beautiful place. In the 18th century, classic architects and home designers prioritized the installation of such decorated dado railing systems. The extra highly accented railing running close through the baseboard panels is visible to viewers. The aristocracy of the luxurious rooms is enhanced by this type of dado railing system. 

Usually, dado or wainscoting rails are placed at the chair height ranging from 750mm to 1500 mm just above the ground level. These supportive wainscoting systems increase the anti-scratch sealant. Bumps and scrapes of the decorated chairs with recliners are resisted by these molded fixtures. Though people liked to put the main focus on the technical aspects of these supportive systems for wall protection, later the concept changed.

More aesthetic detailing is added to the dado rail designs to make the room décor much more attractive. The décor of the room is incomplete if there is no dado railing system in the room. Experts have brought new genres to optimize the functionality of dado fixtures enhancing the visual panorama. People are inspired to watch the awesome dado rail

Modern Dado Rail Ideas- Phase of Innovation 

Dado Rail

A century ago, the period homes were beautified with different timber made or plastered rails for safety. The heavy countertops, wardrobe units, and wall paintings need the space to stand firm. These interior décor items should not touch the wall surface.

So, baby boomers tried to install solid dado rails to keep the distance between the wall and the backside of the furniture. In modern times, the change happens to innovate the structure of the dado rail. Experts like to use ultra-light composite elements to decorate the dado rails. These supporting systems are easy to maintain, repair, and detach.

Medium Density Fibreboard is now popular among modern architects to design superior dado railing systems. For example, the true blend of Monument 151 and Temple 238 color shades is worth the effect to enrich the look of the painted dado rail. For more out-of-box modern dado rail ideas to design the Dado fixtures, you should check multiple sites and online photo galleries.

Wickes Dado Rail for Maintaining Precision to Improve Home 

wickes dado rail

The Dado rail is the timer or plastered divider which is positioned on the top of the baseboard of the wall. Wickes dado rail system is much more durable, qualitative, and weather resistant. The perfect dimension of this type of dado rail is 18 mm deep, 2.4 m long, and 58mm wide. The primary component is MDF. The color of the rail is white with a primed finish. Wickes Dado rail system is prioritized because of its warping resistance. It stays durable for a long time.

Another excellent feature of this MDF material is its superior quality to enhances its versatility. That means you can engineer and reshape the MDF rail for your own convenience. Woodwork is not fitted to your room during the monsoon season. The wood rail swells with warping. To maintain the precision in the Dado rail installation, you should opt for the Wickes divider to make your room safe for any season. 

Dado Rail- Is There Any Alternative?

Dado railing systems were used by grandfathers in their period homes. They protected their painted walls from the friction with the gigantic furniture pieces. The condition of the new colored wall is not damaged even after installing several big-size furniture pieces in the room. However, there is also an alternative to the dado rail. If you have a shortage of funds, you should try to build up conventional wall panels to take care of your precious walls. These traditional wall paneling systems work the same way to minimize the risk of collision between the rear portion of the furniture and the wall surface. 

How to Measure the Dado Rail Height?

Homeowners and their architects should measure the height of the dado rails. If there is any discrepancy or wrong calculation, the Dado fixture will not suit the wall for giving you the smart solution in the long run. Therefore, calculate the height of the dado rail and cut the sheet or timber to align with the wall.

For instance, the basic formula is to specify wall height and then it is divided by 5. Then, the last result will come after doubling the calculated height. If the wall is 2400mm high, divide it by 5. It will be around 450 mm. The final upshot is doubling 450mm or 900mm. This essential calculation is needed to do perfect dado rail measurements for wall improvement. 

Finally, if the measurements do not match your requirements, think of adjusting the height of the wall to make the divider a fit for your interior or exterior wall portion. 

Are There Disadvantages of Using Dado Rail?

modern dado rail ideas

Though the usage of the dado rails for home upgrades is not new, people should be aware of the demerits of installing such dividers in the room. An example is enough to teach you about the disadvantages of dado rail. According to pro architects, the timber of plastic dado rails is not fully reinforced. The dado joints can’t meet your expectations if you want to renovate your wall including the skirting section. Dado rails can lose their strength and durability. You should maintain your home frequently to enhance the resilience of the wall, skirting base, and the dado rail.


Dado rails are useful for homeowners to decorate the interior and exterior space. For hanging picture frames and tapestries on the wall, you should install the best dado rails which are sealants for your newly painted wall. Checking all types and features of dado rail, you should start for complete wall renovation. The modern dado railing décor ideas must inspire you to re-design your room aesthetically. For the safety of your wall, make the perfect selection of the dado rail.


Q: What is dado rail?

A: The dado rail is the auxiliary supportive system to reinforce the wall for protection.

Q: When do you need the dado rail?

A: Dado rail is mainly installed for safeguarding walls from furniture pieces. However, for hanging wall-mounted photo frames and paintings, these dividers are chosen.

Q: What are the materials used for dado rail?

A: Timber, plaster, and wood are components to design the dado rail. However modern concepts are innovative. The PVC plastic component is far better for designing the wall.

Q: Is there any disadvantage of using the dado rail?

A: The Dado rail is not fully weather resistant with high resilience. The wood grains of the timber wainscoting panel can be worsened.

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