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How to Measure for Curtains & Drapes

Buying new curtains, drapes, shades, or blinds without measurements is a lot like buying a car without test-driving it first – or putting an offer on a new home without getting an inspection or an appraisal. 

If it sounds silly, well – that’s because it is

Even if you have standard windows in the house, most curtains need to be customized or tailored in one way or another – whether it be the rod mount, curtain length, curtain width, valance, or hardware itself. 

But don’t worry – that’s nothing a steel tape measure can’t fix!

Having everything measured before you start shopping saves you from the headache of something not fitting properly or not looking how you want it to look – which could throw off the entire room’s Feng Shui. 

At Arizona Blinds Company, our goal is to make replacing or upgrading your curtains as easy as 1-2-3 – or, in our case, A-B-C. With that said, follow along as we teach you how to measure for new curtains correctly. 

Measuring the Curtain Rod 

Almost all window curtains need a rod to hang from – if not a rod, then a track. The rod can either hang above the window frame (outside mount) or inside the window frame (inside mount). It’s all a matter of preference.

There are two primary curtain measurements to consider with your curtain rods: 

For example, if your window measures 32 inches wide from one side of the frame to the other and you want the rod to hang five inches past the window on each side, your curtain rod should be 42 inches long.

If you want to get fancy, introduce an inner rod that sits just below the primary rod. It’s usually thinner and several inches shorter, and is best reserved for lighter fabrics – giving the curtain more of a layered look.

Measuring the Width of the Curtain

Next up is the overall width of the curtain itself. Homeowners need to be careful here because what they choose will have a major impact on how the curtains look and function when fully opened or closed.

There are two primary options to consider, and the measurement is different for each: 

While you can certainly order one 64-inch curtain for a 32-inch window, you also have the option of buying two 32-inch curtains for that same window. This allows you to open and close the curtain from the middle. 

If you have two windows that are close to one another, you can combine them under one curtain rod for a unique design. For the curtain width, just make sure you account for the space between each window. 

Measuring the Length of the Curtain

The length of the curtain will depend on several different measurements – starting with the length of the window, from the top of the frame to the windowsill, plus the rod height (which we discussed earlier). 

You’ll also need to determine how long you want your curtain to hang. There are four options to consider:

For example, let’s say your window length is 48 inches, the curtain rod is six inches above the window frame, and the bottom of your window is 36 inches from the ground. You’ll need a 54” curtain for the apron break, an 88” curtain for the hover, a 92” curtain for the trouser, and a 100” curtain for the puddle. 

Don’t Forget About the Valance

You can certainly leave the curtain rod exposed, if that’s the look you’re going for, but a window valance gives you the option to hide the rod behind a decorative piece of trim that matches the rest of the house. 

If the valance is sitting overtop the curtain rod, then measure 2-3 inches out from each end of the curtain rod – that’s how long the valance needs to be. The thickness all depends on how extravagant you want it. 

Contact Us Today for Immediate Assistance

Are you ready for new curtains? Do you want to make sure your curtains are customized and tailored to your wants and needs? Are you too busy or pressed for time to measure and install curtains properly? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Welcome to Arizona Blinds Company

We take pride in serving the Arizona community with our quality window treatment design, installation, and repair services. Contact us today at (623) 900-1316 to speak with one of our local window experts.