What are Dado Plaster Mouldings?

Blog |July 16th, 2019

Plaster mouldings have been around a long time, literally for thousands of years. Plaster mouldings have been used in the creation of many famous architectural buildings around the world— many of them still standing with plaster mouldings intact.

While there are plaster moulding alternatives, such as wood mouldings and polyurethane foam mouldings, these will eventually breakdown or shrink because of temperature changes, and will often result in seams appearing in the moulding. Because of the limitations of alternative moulding materials, plaster mouldings are still the preferred choice of architects and interior designers. Not only is plaster moulding the preferred choice because it does not shrink because of temperature changes, but also because plaster has a high fire-resistant rating. Plaster mouldings also have a very wide aesthetic appeal and are extremely versatile when it comes to designs and applications.

Mouldings are mostly used where walls meet ceilings, and different types of plaster mouldings can completely transform a room into modern or contemporary designs. There are many types of plaster mouldings that can be employed to improve the quality, appeal, and look of any room, such as Dado plaster mouldings.

What are Dado Plaster Mouldings?

Dado plaster moulding, also known as chair rail moulding, is different from plaster mouldings that are used where walls meet ceilings, instead, it is considered a type of wall trim that is designed to prevent chairs from making contact and damaging walls.

Decoratively attached horizontally around the perimeter of rooms, dado mouldings earned the term “chair rails” from the old practice by Shakers who developed the tradition of hanging chairs and other furniture on the walls. This was done by placing wood pegs and panels shoulder height along walls, so that they could clean the floors underneath.

As the practice of hanging chairs and other furniture on the walls so that the floors could be easily cleaned became popular, wall panels were designed and used to divide walls into stylish proportions (typically into one-third sections).

Dado mouldings are a great way to add a decorative element to a room, and as an effective means to protect walls from wear in areas of high traffic and where furniture is moved often. Considered a trim that extends from flooring up to approximately one-third of the wall, dado mouldings are commonly used in banquet rooms, dining areas, kitchens, foyers, and dining rooms.

For more information about dado mouldings, or any other type of moulding, please visit or contact us here at Hopkins Plaster Studio.

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