Crash Rail, Bumper Guard or Chair Rail… What’s the Difference?

The distinction between Crash Rails and Bumper Guards/Chair Rails is somewhat arbitrary.  Regardless of the name, they are designed to protect the flat surfaces of walls, usually in hallways, from passing carts and equipment.

Crash rails and bumper guards are mounted horizontally on the wall to provide protection at points of impact.  Crash rails have a narrow profile while bumper guards project out farther from the wall.  The products are similar in functionality, while offering different aesthetics.  Crash rails and bumper guards may be used as stand-alone protection or in conjunction with handrails and protective wall covering.

Bumper guards are typically used in low impact situations while Crash Rails protect walls from medium to high impact.  Crash Rails also incorporated as a protective and way finding element.  For maximum protection, use bumper guards at floor level and crash rails at code heights.

Crash Rails and Bumper Guards are available in a wide variety of materials and sizes to complement your building interior.

  1. 703307801d7bff324dca0708fb62Bumper Guards are 1-1/2 inch, 2 inch and 3-1/2 inch wall protection that is mounted directly to the wall. Typical vinyl models consist of an aluminum retainer or bracket that is attached to the wall and the vinyl snaps over them. End caps are attached to the ends of each run for a finished appearance.

  2. 3def4fae306e3d63ebe3b3007bd6Vinyl Crash Rails with continuous aluminum retainers are available in 4- , 6- and 8-inch rectangular shape or 5- and 7-inch crescent shape. Brackets and bumpers may be added to the basic rail to extend them out further from the wall for additional protection.  The continuous aluminum retainer assists in absorbing impact.  There is also a clip mounting system for crash rails for a lower impact and lower cost application.  End caps finish the installation and provide a smooth look and prevent injury from sharp metal edges.

  3. fadc2e3fd4454e553955295dc648Surface Mount Stainless Steel Crash Rails offer a superior level of protection in a high abuse area. They provide a high-tech appearance with industrial strength and a variety of finishes.  Typical models are surface mount stainless steel with a wood retainer. These products are 16 gage steel, and may be cut to length at time of installation.

  4. d9756669327a97eb7cee17fe423eExtended Mount Stainless Steel and Aluminum Crash Rails offer the same superior level or protection and high tech appears as surface mount stainless steel but are mounted extended from the wall. The stainless steel crash rail  is 1/4-inch material and is recommended to be cut to length in the factory. This requires precise measurements to ensure proper fit in the field.

Nystrom understands the importance of maintaining an attractive interior and offers a complete line of Wall and Door Protection Products. For more information or to see how Nystrom can help on your next project, please visit