Most blind and/or curtain companies you approach, only offer creation and installation services. This doesn’t include the initial window measuring. Therefore, this is down to you. But where do you start? What measurements do you need?
Our simple and easy step-to-step guide, on how to measure for a blinds and curtains installation, will explain how to accurately size up for your new window covering.
Measuring for Blinds
Before taking initial measurements, make sure you identify whether your chosen window has a recess, then establish whether your blind will fit inside or outside of this space. This is extremely important, as both require different measurements.
It is imperative that there is nothing within the recess that will obstruct the blind from being fully extended, like handles, phone sockets or fixtures.
Measuring Windows With A Recess
- Use a metal tape measure for accuracy, and measure in millimetres
- For the width, make sure you measure the window at 3 different positions. If it’s not consistent at any point; across the top, bottom and in the middle. Then, record the narrowest measurement as the guide.
- For the drop (height), make sure you measure at 3 different points as well; the left side, right side and in the middle. Then, record the smallest measurement.
If you want to install Venetian, roman and roller blinds, you need to reduce the width by 10mm to allow for a smooth extension. In addition to this, if you choose vertical blinds, it is recommended you reduce the length by 10mm to prevent the fabric from catching on the sill.
Measuring Windows Without A Recess
- Use a metal tape measure for accuracy, and measure in millimetres.
- Choose where you want the bottom of your blind to end, preferably below the bottom of the window, then measure the length from the top of the window to this point.
- It is recommended when measuring the width, that you add an overlap of 50-100mm to each side of the window to effectively block out light.
If you are thinking about installing roller blinds, then it is recommended that you add a further 50mm to the width to allow room for the controls and brackets (operating mechanism).
Tips and Advice
- Check and recheck your measurements to avoid mistakes
- Blinds installed on a window without a recess, require a bracket or track to be fitted 50mm above your window frame, so consider this when measuring, to enable full coverage.
- Roller blinds are better fitted outside of the recess if you want them to be an efficient window covering.
Measuring for Curtains
When measuring for curtains, it is imperative that your measurements are accurate, if you want to get the right fit. The width of your curtains will depend on the length of your curtain track (rail) or pole. However, the curtain drop (length) will depend on where you’d like your curtains to end.
Measuring The Curtain Width
Firstly, you need to make sure you measure the total width of the curtain track or pole, not the window unless it is wall to wall. The new track or pole should extend between 15-30 cm either side of the window, to enable the curtains to be stacked back at either side of the window. As well as this, it should be placed between 12-15 cm above the window recess.
- Use a metal tape measure for better accuracy. Measure in cm.
- For a curtain track (rail), measure from end to end.
- If your curtain track has a centre overlap, measure the track as usual, then measure the piece that overlaps and add the two measurements together.
- With curtain poles, you need to measure between the decorative pieces on each end.
Measuring The Curtain Drop (Length)
Curtains can be hung either to the floor, to a sill or below the sill. So, you need to decide where your curtains will end. Before you start your measurements.
- If your curtains are floor length, measure from the top of your track or pole, till about 1.5 cm above the floor.
- If you decide that you want your curtains to be sill length, then measure from the top of your track or pole, until 1 cm above the sill.
- If you choose to have your curtain below the sill, then measure from the top of your track or pole, until your curtain reaches 15 cm below the sill.
If you have curtain rings on your curtain pole, then measure the drop from the underside of the ring. This is to enable you to see the pole above the curtains.
The curtains you choose could feature one of three headings, which may require you to measure the drop of your curtain differently; Tab Top, Eyelet and Pencil Pleat.
Tab Top Heading
This style of heading features 12.5cm long tabs (included in the curtain drop). They are only suitable for poles up to 45mm in diameter. When measuring the drop (length), measure from the top of the pole to where you want the curtains to finish.
The next heading features eyelets. They have metal rings (eyelets) evenly inserted at spaced intervals across the top of the curtain. This creates a softer fold with larger pleats. Unfortunately, eyelet curtains can only be used on a curtain pole.
When measuring the drop (length), measure from the top of the pole to where you want the curtains to finish and add 4 cm. This is due to the fact that the inner edge of the eyelet is set down 4 cm from the top of the curtain.
- 40mm eyelets will fit poles up to 30mm in diameter.
- 50mm eyelets will fit poles up to 35mm in diameter.
- 66mm eyelets will fit poles up to 50mm in diameter.
Pencil Pleat Heading
The final heading you can choose from is pencil pleat. These curtains are tightly gathered at the header, so you achieve a close pleating and a more classic look. This style can be fitted onto either a pole or track. Curtain gliders are required to hang them from a curtain track.
When measuring the drop (length), if you have a curtain track, measure from the top of the track to where the curtain is to finish. If you have a curtain pole, measure from the underside of the curtain ring to where you want the curtain to finish.
Tips and Advice
Don’t forget about the curtain overlap in the middle! Add around 2.5 cm to allow the curtains to overlap in the middle when they are closed.
Always measure at least 3 different positions across the pole, as floors and sills are not always level. Use the shortest of these 3 measurements.
If you have a radiator below your window, curtains should end 3 cm above it, so the heat can circulate around the room.
All Red Rose Blinds can be made-to-measure. This is due to our vastly experienced set of City & Guild qualified fitting teams. We offer outstanding service at the best possible price!
Book a FREE appointment TODAY with one of our designers for expert advice and our free measuring service!