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How to Measure for Curtain Rods

Curtains can add to the decor of any room, but if the rods aren't measured and hung correctly, you can ruin their effect.


  • Step 1: Measure the width Use the tape measure to measure the width of your window. Measure both the top and bottom widths and use the larger measurement.
  • TIP: Do not include room for decorative finials or end pieces in your measurement.
  • Step 2: Add the stacking width Add the stacking width. Stacking width refers to the amount of drapery that will be bunched together on either side of the window when the curtains are open. The wider the window, the more stacking width you'll need.
  • TIP: Include the amount of the window panel that you want to remain covered by the open curtains when you calculate the stacking width.
  • Step 3: Measure the rod height Measure the rod height -- ideally a few inches above the window to block sunlight over the curtains. Tab tops, clip rings, and tie tops will hold your curtains below the rod, so make up the difference in your measurement.
  • Step 4: Measure according to your desired curtain height Measure according to your desired curtain height. If you want your curtains to hang higher, allow space for tops or rings at the ceiling.
  • Step 5: Check the size of your draperies Check the size of your draperies. Ready-made draperies typically come in 84-inch lengths to fit he most common doors and windows, which are usually 80 inches high.
  • Step 6: Check your measurements Check your measurements by marking the wall and having helpers hold the draperies at the marks before you permanently install your curtain rods. Enjoy your new decor.
  • FACT: Early curtains were made from heavy silks and velvets to minimize drafts.

You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil and paper
  • Drapery sizes
  • Helpers

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