Tips and Ideas for Incorporating a Dado Rail into your Interior Design

If you’re looking for ways to beautify your walls, consider investing in a dado rail. A dado rail is a horizontal strip of moulding that runs along the wall, separating the upper and lower sections. This decorative feature has been popular for centuries, and its charm remains intact till today. However, dado rails have evolved over time, and there are several designs to choose from in today’s market. Hence, in this guide, we’ll provide comprehensive information to help you choose the perfect wooden picture rail for your home.

1. Understanding Dado Rail: 

The first step in selecting a dado rail is understanding what it is. In the past, dado rails were used to protect walls from chair and furniture damage. Today, they serve a more decorative purpose since modern furniture is less likely to rub against walls. Dado rails can make a room seem taller and add an element of sophistication to space. You can also use dado rails to divide up different colours on walls or provide insulation and acoustics with a panel or fabric in the lower section. 

2. Different Types of Dado Rails: 

Dado rails are available in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Below are some of the most popular options you should consider:

– Wooden Dado Rails: These are a favourite because they are durable and give your room a timeless look. You can choose from a range of woods such as oak, pine, and even stained wood if you want a richer finish.

– Plaster Dado Rails: These are ideal if you want a seamless finish to your walls. They are great for a minimalist look and can be painted in the same colour as your walls to give a chic look.

– Metal Dado Rails: These are perfect for an industrial look or in areas prone to damage. You can choose from different metals, including brass and stainless steel.

– MDF Dado Rails: These rails are affordable, making them ideal for anyone on a budget. They are also available in a range of designs, including simple and ornate styles.

3. Measuring for Dado Rails:

The height of the dado rail is crucial – too high, and it will look awkward, too low, and it won’t serve its purpose. A dado rail should measure between one third and two-thirds of the wall’s height. You also need to consider the thickness of the rail to ensure it fits in with the overall aesthetic of your room. You may also need to consider moulding and skirting board sizes to ensure they all match and fit in with your dado rail.

4. Installing Dado Rails:

Once you have a dado rail that fits and suits your room’s needs, it’s time to install it. Usually, dado rails are installed at mid-wall height, and this is where a spirit level is important to ensure they remain level. They are then fixed into place using adhesive or nails and capped with a decorative cover.

5. Maintaining Dado Rails:

Dado rails are an investment, and with proper maintenance, they can last a lifetime. Regular cleaning and dusting can prevent cobwebs and dirt build-up, which may lead to discolouration. If you have wooden rails, you may need to use a soft cloth and furniture polish to maintain their shine.


In conclusion, dado rails are an excellent decor choice when you need to add height, character, and elegance to your walls. To successfully select, measure, install, and maintain a dado rail that reflects your taste, you need to understand the different options in today’s market. We hope this guide has given you clarity on what dado rails are, available options, how to install and maintain them properly. Whether you prefer wooden, plaster, metal, or MDF dado rails, ensure you choose a design that matches your decor, and your dado rail will transform your homes’ interior.

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