4 Types of Horizontal Wall Trim

June 5, 2018

There are several types of trim you can choose for your custom home. Horizontal wall trim refers to types of trim that are placed on the wall and run parallel to the floor. They can add elegant detail, balance, and decoration to a room. Here are a few common types of horizontal wall trim:

1. Chair Rail

Chair rail is wall trim that sits approximately three feet above the floor, which is usually the same height as the backs of chairs. It’s usually a narrow strip of trim and was originally developed to protect the wall from dents or damage that could result from chairs banging into it as they were pushed back.

It could still be used for that, but now, it’s more for decoration than anything else and can be installed at any height you want. Chair rail is a popular choice for dining rooms and is often installed to sit atop lower sections of wainscoting, which is a type of wall panel that gives the wall additional protection and decoration.

2. Picture Rail

Picture rail is essentially a chair rail that is placed at a higher point on the wall. It’s also usually a bit thicker than the standard narrow chair rail. Originally, picture rails were where you would place the hooks used for hanging pictures with wire.

They were commonly found in living rooms and made it easier to move pictures around or out of rooms. If you have very tall ceilings, a picture rail can be a decorative way to break it up. However, you will want to be careful with its placement as it can interfere with windows.

3. Plate Rail

A plate rail is a type of horizontal wall trim that typically runs along the upper part of a wall. It’s usually a rail or narrow shelf and is used for displaying decorative plates, ornaments, or other small baubles. The first known use of the plate rail was around 1850. Although they are usually located just below the ceiling, they can be installed at any height.

However, their height will determine how deep the shelf should be. Something lower on the wall will likely have a narrow shelf so it doesn’t stick out too far from the wall, while something closer to the ceiling can have a deeper shelf. They can be used in any room and are common in living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens.

4. Picture Molding

Picture molding, also referred to as picture frame wall molding, is a type of wall trim that purely decorative. It most commonly appears as four pieces of molding assembled into a frame and then multiple frames are placed along the wall in a horizontal line.

The finished look is a series of frames in a row across your wall. Picture molding is a great wall trim when you are looking for a more formal, elegant look and is mostly found in formal dining or living rooms. You can also paint the molding a different color from the wall to make it stand out or to reduce shadow effects. This is one of the two-tone wall ideas that can help enhance the look and feel of a room.

There are several types of trim to choose from for your custom home’s walls, ceilings, windows, and doors. When it comes to your custom home, our design/build process ensures all the details are covered before construction begins. Contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090 to get on the path to your dream home!