A well-hung set of curtains can make a room feel complete. Learn how to properly measure your windows for curtains so you can get the best results when choosing and mounting the hardware.
Decide if you want your rod to hang inside the frame of your window, or if you prefer a traditional look with it extending 3-6 inches past the frame on each side. This will determine the amount of fabric you need. Here we will discuss: how to measure windows for curtains in details.
When choosing curtains for your windows, the length is a matter of personal preference. They can be as short as the sill, or as long as pooling on the floor for a more luxurious look. Regardless of what style you’re going for, it is important to measure accurately. This will ensure that your curtains are the correct length and do not drag on the floor or hang too high.
To find out how much width you need, start by measuring the window frame width with a metal tape measure. It is best to use a metal measuring tape, as fabrics can droop and stretch, causing inaccurate measurements. Once you have this figure, add a ten-inch overlap to each side for a center draw and six inches to each side for a one-way operation (side panels).
Next, measure the height from the rod pocket to where you want your curtains to end – this could be at the top of the sill for a more casual look or just below the floor for a more formal style. Then, divide that number by the number of panels you’re ordering to make sure each curtain is at least that wide. Adding extra width to your curtains will also help them appear fuller. This is particularly important if you have a shorter window.
The width of a curtain depends on the style you choose and whether your rod will be mounted above or below the window frame. If you choose to mount the rod below the trim, add 3 inches (7.6-13 cm) on both sides to your width measurement to account for side hems and seams. Then, divide this number by the number of panels you wish to order. This will give you the minimum width needed to allow your curtains to open and close without touching each other or your molding.
The HGTV website notes that many people opt for wide curtains to provide fullness and create a more luxurious look, as well as offer privacy and light control. However, this is a personal decision based on your style and taste. You can also hang your curtains to the floor for a more traditional look or pool on the floor to create a more modern style.
In general, you should measure the width of your window from the outside edge of the trim to the inside edge. You may then need to add 6 inches (13 cm) to both sides if you plan on mounting your drapes above the trim, or subtract the same amount if you want to mount your curtain right at the trim. When calculating the width of your curtain, remember that this will include the width of your rod and finials.
The height of your curtains can make or break the look you’re striving for. Curtains should be a few inches taller than your window trim and 3 to 6 inches higher than the bottom of the window sill, depending on your style.
To find the ideal length, start by deciding whether you want to mount your drapery rod inside or outside the window frame. If you decide on an inside-mount rod, your fabric will hang from the sash and will end at the top of the windowsill. To measure this, place a tape measure from the sash to the window frame and add 1 to 3 inches to that number to determine your rod height.
Outside-mount rods are placed on or above the architrave (the molding around the frame) and may be a good choice for rooms with lower ceilings. In these cases, your fabric will end at the window frame or at the floor. To determine this, measure from the floor to where you want your fabric to end at – and note the measurement.
Be sure to use a metal tape measure and make your measurements in three places. This will help you ensure that your measurement is accurate and provides the fullness you’re looking for. If you’re using a style that requires a certain amount of extra width, such as pinch pleated draperies or lace curtains, make these additions to your total width measurement before ordering.
The style of a curtain can make or break the look of your room. For example, shorter curtains can create a minimalistic feel while longer curtains provide more privacy and are great for hiding an unsightly window sill or frame.
Decide whether you want your curtains to be recess fit (they will hang inside the frame of the window) or face fit (they will hang above the window frame on a rod). This will affect how they fall. A good rule of thumb is to add about 8 inches to each side of the window to give a full appearance, or 24 inches total. This will ensure that the curtains don’t obstruct the opening when closed.
Also consider how you want your drapes to hang, with them pooling on the floor (puddling) or hanging straight across the window (pooling). If you are using an outside mount rod, you will need a length 1″-3″ longer than your Rod to Floor Height measurement (Step 1) to allow for the “stack” of the curtains.
Finally, if you are ordering custom curtains, the fabric will come with the appropriate fullness. However, if you’re shopping for ready-made curtains, measure your windows and write down the measurements on a piece of paper so you can easily compare sizes when looking at different styles in stores.