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Sears.ca>Resource Centre>Buying Guides>Home Decor> Window Coverings Buying Guide – Measuring

Window Coverings Buying Guide – Measuring

Window coverings complete your room décor and can provide privacy and energy savings. Choose wisely and your window coverings can instantly dress up any room.

 
 

Measuring

Always make sure to take proper measurements of the width, height and depth of your windows before purchasing your window coverings. You will also have to decide if you are going to mount your window coverings on the inside or outside of the window.

The Basics

When dressing a window, you must consider the width and length of the window. If the window treatment will cover the entire window, it is also important to measure the window heading (i.e., the distance between the top of the window and the ceiling) and the floor-to-ceiling height.

Measuring

Follow these general guidelines when measuring windows:

  • Measure each window individually, as sizes may vary from window to window.
  • To avoid errors, record measurements in total number of inches rather than feet and inches (e.g., 63 inches rather than 5 feet 3 inches).
  • Always use a metal measuring tape or ruler.
  • Take measurements in three places horizontally and three places vertically. This will allow you to determine if the window is perfectly proportioned.
  • Decide if you want to install your blind or shade inside or outside the window frame.
  • If there is too much deviation in the width measurements, an outside mount is strongly recommended.

Measuring for Soft Window Treatments

Determining Rod Thickness
Rods come in a variety of lengths and thicknesses. The table below is a suggested guide for selecting the appropriate thickness for different types of drapes:

Size

Use For:

Rooms:

7/16”

  • Light and sheer fabrics
  • Narrow windows (less than 84” wide)

Bathrooms
Kitchens
Laundry rooms

1/2”
to 5/8”

  • Lighter or thinner drapes
  • Sheers

Bathrooms
Kitchens
Bedrooms
Rec rooms

3/4”

  • Light to medium weight fabrics
  • Windows up to 120” wide

Bedrooms (incl. master)
Dining rooms
Living rooms

1” or larger

  • Medium to heavy weight fabric (e.g., heavy weight foambacks or thick jacquards)
  • Windows up to 144” wide)

Master bedrooms
Dining rooms
Living rooms

 

Determining Bracket Installation and Drapery Rod Length

Desired Effect

To Install Brackets

To Determine Rod Length

Height Enhancing

Install the brackets at least 6” above the top of the window frame, and 10” to the left and right of the outside edge of the window moulding.

Measure the window from outside of the left moulding to outside of the right moulding, and add at least 20” (based on the bracket measurement).

Width Enhancing

Install brackets at least 4” above the top of the window frame, and (if wall space permits) at least 20” to the left and right of the outside edge of the window moulding.

Measure the window from outside of the left moulding to outside of the right moulding, and add at least 40” (based on the bracket measurement).

Puddle Style Hanging

Install brackets at least 5” above the top of the window frame and (if wall space permits) install brackets at least 15” to the left and right of the outside edge of the window moulding.

Measure the window from outside of the left moulding to outside of the right moulding, and add at least 30” (based on the bracket measurement).

Decorative Hanging

Install brackets at least 4” above the top of the window frame and 10” to the left and right of the outside edge of the window moulding.

Measure the window from outside of the left moulding to outside of the right moulding, and add at least 20” (based on the bracket measurement).

Functional

Install brackets at least 4” above the top of the window frame and 5” to the left and right of the outside edge of the window moulding.

Measure the window from outside of the left moulding to outside of the right moulding, and add at least 8” (based on the bracket measurement).

Drapery rods come in a number of standard, adjustable size ranges. If the calculated rod size (i.e. the combined window width and bracket placement) is close to the top end of the size range, round up to the nearest size.

For example, a 39 inch window and 8 inch bracket placement = 47 inches. Since rod options are 28-48 inches or 48-84 inches, you would select the larger size.

Determining Amount of Grommet, Tab Top, Rod Pocket or Pole Top Panels
The number of top treatments required depends upon the width of the window:

Window Measurement

Pairs Required

Up to 60” wide

1 Pair

From 61” to 110” wide

2 Pairs

From 111” to 162” wide

3 Pairs

Determining Amount of Pinch Pleat Panels
Pinch pleat panels are sold in pairs with the fullness built in. Order the size closest to your window measurement, rounding up to the next nearest size.

 

Measuring for Hard Window Treatments

Measuring for Horizontal Blinds
Horizontal mini-blinds or shades include a “head rail” that protects the mechanism which raises and lowers the blind or shade. Blinds can be hung either outside or inside the window frame.

Outside Mount

Outside Mount
Width: Measure where the head rail will be installed. The head rail must overlap the window by 1½ inches on each side if moulding exists or by 3 inches on each side where there is no moulding.

Length (Moulding): Measure from where the top of the head rail will be installed on the moulding.

Length(No Moulding): Allow 4 inches above the window for the head rail. Measure to the sill or floor and deduct 1 inch for clearance.

Inside Mount

Inside Mount
Width: The casing must be at least 1½ inches deep to install the head rail. Measure the exact distance between the insides of the frame. Take three measurements (i.e. top, middle and bottom) and use the smallest measurement.

Length: Measure from inside the casing from top to bottom.

Measuring for Vertical Blinds
Like their horizontal counterparts, vertical blinds also have a head rail that protects the mechanism which raises and lowers the blind or shade.

Width:: Measure where the head rail will be installed. The head rail must overlap the window or door opening by at least 3 inches on each side for proper stacking.

Length: Measure from where the top of the head rail will be installed to the sill or floor; then subtract ½ inch for clearance.

 

Measuring for Shutters
Shutters can be hung outside or inside the window frame. Measure the total width and length of the shutter set and compare it with the window opening.

Traditional Shutters: An inside installation requires a jamb depth of 1¼ inches. An outside installation requires a jamb dept of ¾ inches.

Plantation Shutters: An inside installation requires a jamb depth of 1½ inches. An outside installation requires a jamb depth of ¾ inches.

For an inside mount, measure the window width and height in at least three different places and use the narrowest of dimensions. The window opening must be square – if the measurements differ by more than ½ inch, we recommend an outside installation.

For an outside mount, measure the window width and height in at least three different places and use the widest of dimensions. The shutter width should be a minimum of 2½ inches wider than the inside of the window. If the window has a moulding, shims may be required to create a flat surface for hanging.

 

Measuring for Roller Shades
Roller shades use brackets to hold the roller in place.

When replacing old shades: Measure the old roller from end-to-end, including its metal tips.

When installing new shades: Measure the window horizontally in three places and order using the smallest width. Remember, the cutting facility will deduct 1/8 to 1/4 inch.