Design Rules of Thumb
Follow these guidelines for pleasing proportions

How high?
Generally, the cap sits about one-third the way up the wall. So if the ceiling is 9 feet, go for 3-foot wainscoting. For taller wainscoting, such as one with a plate rail, cap it two-thirds the way up the wall.

How wide a panel?
They should all be the same, so avoid cutting individual panels down at corners and doorways to get them to fit walls of varying lengths. Architects and kit makers use computer-aided design software to calculate panel widths that work for your specific room dimensions.

What to do under windows?
For beadboard, simply cut it to size. For paneled wainscoting, order a center panel that's the same width as your cased window. Its height will vary depending on the distance between your window's projecting bottom stool and the floor or baseboard top.

What about the base?
Baseboard topped with a profiled cap visually anchors wainscoting in a room and adds a little extra kick protection. Cover the joint where wainscoting meets the floor with shoe molding.
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