Safety 'Chair Rails'

One client had an interesting idea for a chair rail.  Rather than putting up decorative trim, the client had a more functional rail made, which was used on long stretches of wall around the house.

In this case, the rail was used along the living room and in hall areas.  Standing back, it looks like a substantial piece of woodworked trim, but up close it's much more functional.  It serves as a sturdy hand-rail or banister, and also as wall protection against bumps by the wheelchair or walker.

The idea was taken from the bumper rails used in some nursing homes and many hospitals, and is fairly simple to install.  This rail was made from just 2-by-4's and smooth...

1-by-6 lumber.  The 2-by-4's were put up first, and then the smoothed 1-by-6's were firmly attached over them with their underside flush with the bottom of the 2-by-4.  The 2-by-4 spacer provided enough distance from the wall so that fingers weren't pinched when grabbing the rail.

The whole thing is solid, with the lumber fastened into wall studs.  In the photo, the trim was ended at the corner, but it could easily be taken around corners.  Just remember to sooth off or bevel everything so the corners aren't sharp.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing that, so simple and effective!