Your Guide for Curtains and Window Treatments

Have you looked at curtains or drapes and thought “How hard could it be to measure for my own drapes. Just measure from the rod to the floor. Right?” Measuring for your own curtains or drapes is not hard, but it isn’t quite that easy either. It can depend on the type of rod, the type of hardware used to attach the curtains to the rod, and whether the curtains will be opened and closed. When you measure correctly, you will have exactly the curtains or drapes that you desire.

Infograph: How to Measure a Window for Curtains

Tips to Measure A Window for Curtains

Curtains or Drapes Length

Curtains come in many different types of tops, such as rod pockets, tabs or clip rings. Here is how to measure each type of curtain:

  1. Rod pocket – Measure from the top of the rod pocket to the bottom edge of the curtain. Do not include a header or fabric above the rod in the measurement.
  2. Tab curtains – Include the tabs in the measurement.
  3. Clip ring curtains – Start at the top of the clip. Do not include the ring.

If the curtains are going to be opened and closed, you will want the finished length to be from the top to approximately 1/2 inch above the floor. This will allow them to flow easily over the floor.

Curtains or Drapes Width

For ample coverage in the width, measure the width of the area to be covered and multiply it by 1.5 – 2 inches. This will provide a generous fullness. Other curtain styles may vary as noted below. Sheers – You may want to triple the width on sheer panels for a luxurious appearance and light control.

  1. Lace Curtains – Add only 12 – 24 inches to the window width so the lace pattern will show.
  2. Pinch pleated draperies – Use the width of the window plus 12 inches. The fullness has already been included.

Measuring Tips

  1. Use a metal tape measure or yardstick for an accurate measurement.
  2. Measure three places: At the top, middle and bottom of the window. Measure and round to the nearest 1/8 inch.
  3. Don’t assume that your windows are the same size, even if they appear that way. Measure each window. If the windows are close to each other measure the distance between them. Consider this measurement when you are determining the width of your curtains and where you want to mount your curtain rod.
  4. When measuring length to floor on carpeted areas, place a piece of thin cardboard on the carpet for a more accurate measurement.
  5. When measuring the width, place the rod brackets a few inches outside the window molding to make the window appear larger or to show the molding or trim.
  6. If you want them to “pool” on the floor, allow an additional 3 inches to the length.
  7. If you want to create the illusion of a more spacious room, mount the rod four to six inches above the window frame, or halfway between the frame and the ceiling molding. Add four to six inches to the length of your window treatments.
  8. Nothing adds elegance to your room like beautiful, luxurious drapes. This is a good place to use the most expensive fabrics you can afford, and make the drapes or curtains as voluminous as possible. This will set the stage for the rest of your room.

Picking Out New Curtains For Your Windows?

Whether you’re looking for elegant draperies, decorative valances, or a simple window sheers, we have window treatments that will complement every room in the home.