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alexandhertoolbelt
Capping a half wall

I have a half wall at the top of my stairs with no trim that takes a lot of abuse. I'd like to put a flat piece of wood on top with chair rail-type molding underneath to make it look finished and substantial. I am confused on what the overhang should be and how the edges should be finished. Is there a rule of thumb for this or is it more trial and error? Thanks!

MLB Construction
Re: Capping a half wall

the possibilities are endless.

MLB Construction
Re: Capping a half wall

the possibilities are endless

jkirk
Re: Capping a half wall

i was doing this yesterday on a house im trimming actually, the overhang depends on the thickness of the trim your going to use under the cap.

typically i use 3/4 mdf for the cap with a roundover profile on it, and 1/2" mdf for the trim underneath though sometimes use chair rail... anyhow.. if your using 3/4" thick chair rail on 2X4 wall that will mean your wall will now be 6" thick at hte top after framing, drywall and trim.. from there add 1 more inch so you have a 1/2" reveal on both sides

A. Spruce
Re: Capping a half wall
jkirk wrote:

i was doing this yesterday on a house im trimming actually, the overhang depends on the thickness of the trim your going to use under the cap.

typically i use 3/4 mdf for the cap with a roundover profile on it, and 1/2" mdf for the trim underneath though sometimes use chair rail... anyhow.. if your using 3/4" thick chair rail on 2X4 wall that will mean your wall will now be 6" thick at hte top after framing, drywall and trim.. from there add 1 more inch so you have a 1/2" reveal on both sides

To make this a little more clear, you need your top plate to be the thickness of the wall, plus the thickness of the trim on both sides of the wall, plus your added overhang. You calculate the end overhang the same way to have an even reveal on all three sides.

As for the profile treatment, bullnose is pretty typical, as is a rounded top edge and an ogee bottom edge. I recommend cutting a few sample pieces and see which you like best. If you're using a decorative trim for the apron, then a more decorative profile on the top plate may be in order (1/4 round/ogee ). If you're using squared stock for the apron, then a basic bullnose will suffice.

alexandhertoolbelt
Re: Capping a half wall

Thank you all so much! The 1/2" was what I was thinking but I wasn't sure and I definitely appreciate all the input. Your explanations made perfect sense.

jkirk
Re: Capping a half wall

the bullnose works best as wall caps tend to take quite a bit of abuse. more decorative profiles will dent easily

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