Asked on Jul 29, 2013

Height for Tonge and Grove Panneling in Small Bathroom?

Is there any industry standard for the height for paneling in a small bathroom? I plan to use painted, tongue groove paneling in a small bathroom to add some wall interest in a 1950's ranch home. (I rescued this paneling from a cottage makeover.)
I am wondering how high I should go with the paneling height? I'd like to paint above it for contrast as opposed to cover the entire wall. I also prefer to have the room look bigger (feel more spacious) rather than look smaller (if that is possible.)
Is there a standard of figuring height compared to vanity height or medicine chest height? Thanks!
My newish granite countertop is (black/white/cream/maple). I'd likely paint the paneling a soft/pale creamy/gold/cream color and paint white on the wallboard above it. I'm thinking of a narrow self where the paneling meets the wallboard.
Small House / Big Sky Donna / White Oak Studio Designs / SWMichiganHand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations
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Granite countertop, new sink; step one.
  5 answers
  • The height of your wainscot/paneling is really a matter of personal preference but being in the industry and installing it quite frequently a typical height for 7 1/2-8' ceiling height is between 38"-42". Other factors to consider would be if you want it to extend above the vanity backsplash or fall just wouldn't want your "cap" or chair rail molding to have to be cut around the back splash, you should also consider any switches or outlets that the paneling would intersect and if you would like them above or below the paneling. Below are some examples of our work where it was installed at different heights in the same house.

  • Steph Steph on Dec 27, 2014
    We have it in our breakfast area. I've heard there is a standard(or was) of about how high a chair would be( hence chair rail) but ours is higher than that. I put it where I wanted it. I think now days anything goes

  • Martha Felgar Martha Felgar on Sep 13, 2015
    I put it in my bathroom at the standard height, meaning the height it came in. I then topped it with a shelf, painted it all the same color and displayed pretty soap dishes, pictures, candles on it. That's been about 20 years ago, still enjoy it. You can change the look by changing what you display.

  • Shirley Shirley on Apr 29, 2016
    Isn't there a difference between a chair rail and a wainscot?

  • Martin Ekert Martin Ekert on Aug 14, 2016
    Usually a height of around 900mm to 1metre is standard for panelling.