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How to Hang Curtains the Correct Way: the Do’s and Don’ts

By Tom H. – Apr 23,2022 | Blog, Curtains Installation Guide | Share:

It’s no secret that getting your curtains hung perfectly can be tricky. In fact, it can take a real skill to get them hung properly! Hanging curtains can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. There are many things you should do and some things you shouldn’t.

In this article you will find out what things you should do and what things you shouldn’t do when hanging curtains in your home or office. This will help to ensure you get the very best out of your choice of curtains, giving the finishing touch to your décor.

How to Calculate the Right Measurement for Curtains

nicetown curtain measurements

How to Measure for Curtains?

It’s no secret that we love curtains. Whether they’re long, short, sheer, or brightly colored, we think they can transform a room and make it feel like home.

But sometimes it can be hard to figure out exactly how much of your windows you actually want covered by curtains! To help you get the right measurement for your curtains, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you find the perfect fit for your windows.

  1. Measure from the top of the curtain rod (or where you’ll hang the rod) to one inch above the window frame at each end of the window.
  2. Measure from side to side of the window frame at each end, using the same method of measuring 1″ above the window frame.
  3. Add 2-4″ to both measurements to account for fullness in your curtain panels. For example: if your curtain rod is 50″ wide and 72″ long, you would add 2″ to 50″ and 4″ to 72″, giving you a total of 52″ and 76″.
  4. Use these measurements when ordering custom curtains! If you order curtains that are 52″ x 76″, they will fit your window perfectly (and look amazing!).

What Size Curtains Do I Need?

It’s a common question. Whether you’re ordering them online or hanging them yourself, it’s important to pick the right size.

There are two basic curtain measurements you need to know: the width and the drop of your curtains. The width is the measurement from side-to-side as the curtain hangs on a rod. The drop is the measurement from top to bottom as the curtain hangs on a rod.

Once you have those two measurements, it’s easy to figure out how much curtain you need!

For example, let’s say the width of your window is 72 inches and the length is 72 inches. If you want to cover your window entirely with a single curtain panel, then you’ll need a panel that’s 72 inches by 72 inches. And that’s it! Just make sure to measure in multiple spots on your window, because sometimes windows aren’t perfect squares or rectangles—that’s okay! You can easily determine what size curtains will fit your window best just by measuring multiple spots and picking the smallest width and longest drop measurements.

Curtain Length Guide: How long should curtains be?

Choosing the right length for your curtains is an essential step in making your home feel like a true sanctuary. There are a few rules of thumb, but don’t be afraid to break from them if it’s intentional—and remember that it’s ok to break from what you planned if you change your mind halfway through, too!

The first thing to consider is the purpose of your curtains: Do you want them to be purely decorative, or do they need to block out light and give you privacy as well? If they’re purely decorative, they can live anywhere between floor-length and six inches above the window frame. If they have a functional purpose, you might want them to reach the floor or even extend beyond it (but no more than an inch or two!).

To start, measure the height of the window. Most curtains reach about halfway down the window frame. So if you’re hanging a curtain rod that reaches halfway down a 6-foot window, you’ll want curtains that hit just above 3 feet. If you’re using a rod higher up on the wall and hanging sheers underneath it, you can hang sheers all the way to the floor (and then add heavier curtains on top).

If you want to make sure your curtains don’t fall over your radiator or AC vents and get dusty, measure how high those are and adjust accordingly. If you want to make sure they don’t drag on the floor, add another inch or two!

Once you’ve got all your measurements, do some math and write them down before heading out to shop for fabric!

Curtain Width Guide: How wide should curtains be?

As a general rule, we recommend that curtains should be at least twice the width of your window. But it depends on what kind of look you’re going for! Here are some different looks and the level of curtain width needed to achieve them.

Light, breezy look: If you have one rod and are looking for a light-filtering option that won’t darken your room too much, we recommend a curtain width that is about 1.5 times the width of your window. This look is also great for making small spaces appear larger!

Airy look: Curtains that are 2 times the width of your window can give off a breezy vibe, while still providing some privacy and light filtration. These are great if you want to let in light but don’t necessarily need blackout options or room darkening.

Room darkening: Looking for something with more coverage? Choose curtains that are 2-2.5 times wider than your windows! These will give off maximum coverage, letting in little to no light through the windows in your home.

Please refer to our curtain fullness guide for a more detailed explanation of how to calculate curtain fullness.

Curtain Rod Size: What size curtain rod do I need?

If you ask us, the perfect curtain rod is an essential component of any beautiful window. We’re here to help you find the right one for your space.

The length of your curtain rods should be based on the width of your window. The general rule is that if your window’s width is between 80-100 inches wide, you should use a curtain rod that’s 5 inches wider than your window on each side (so if your window is 90 inches wide, you’d want two 100-inch-long curtain rods).

If your window’s opening is less than 40 inches across, use a 3-inch wider rod on either side—and if it’s over 120 inches wide, go with a 7-inch increase. And don’t forget that those numbers are total length measurements—you’ll need to divide them in half to find the right size for each rod.

How To Correctly Hang a Curtain Rod

installing nicetown curtain rods

Do you wish you could hang your curtain rods the right way the first time, without too much fuss? Here are some tips and tricks to hanging a curtain rod correctly.

What You Need:

  1. Brackets
  2. Screws
  3. Wall Anchors

Step 1: Determine How High to Hang Curtain Rods

For a living room or bedroom, most people hang the curtain rod 6 inches above the top of the window frame and extend it 3-6 inches on either side of the window frame. You can also extend it up to 12 inches on each side for a more dramatic look. For bathrooms, you may want to consider mounting your curtain rod closer to the ceiling so the shower curtain doesn’t get wet when you take a shower (depending on how high your shower head is).

Step 2: Mount Curtain Rod and Hang Curtains

You’ll need to find both ends of your window frame, and then mount brackets on either side of the window frame, where you want your curtain rod to be placed. If you don’t know how to find the studs in your wall, you can use a stud finder or a small drill bit to make a hole in the drywall until you hit one. When mounting on drywall without a stud, be sure to use wall anchors.

Once your brackets are attached, insert your curtain rod into each bracket and tighten the set screws until they’re secure. Then, place your curtains onto the rod and hang them up!

Do’s And Don’ts of Hanging Curtains

DO Use Enough Fabric to Achieve Ideal Fullness

If you have too little fabric, your curtains will look skimpy—like a high school girl trying to squeeze into a pair of her mother’s jeans. You want fullness for at least two reasons: It looks luxurious, and it blocks more light. Your curtains should be about 2 ½ to 3 times the width of your window frame for ideal fullness. If you’re using a patterned fabric, buy extra yardage so that the pattern is centered in the middle of each panel.

DO Use a Template (curtain rod placement template)

You know what’s super stressful when you’re hanging curtains? Getting the placement wrong. Going too far apart or too close, or leaving one side crooked. That stress is a thing of the past with our handy-dandy curtain rod placement template, which will help you get the perfect distance between your window frame and your new drapes.

DON’T Be Cheap with Hardware

Last is hardware. Don’t cheap out on curtain rods and finials! It will show when you look at your curtains from across the room. You want a quality product that will last and make your windows look amazing. Don’t skimp on the hardware! You can find everything you need at Nicetown with budget-friendly options and some more expensive ones for those with extravagant tastes.

We’ve also prepared additional instructions on how to hang curtain rods in dry wallhow to hang a window scarf, how to cover arched windows as well as how to hang curtains in a dorm room, for those of you that are dealing with non-traditional curtain installation situations.