When looking for some gorgeous window treatments, learning more about the standard sizes of window blinds ought to be your first step. Just one wrong measurement could be disastrous and ruin your life!
OK, it may not be that dramatic, but getting the wrong blinds will undoubtedly annoy you, not to mention cost you a pretty penny as you’ll have to fix your mistakes in the end. The alternative is leaving the misshapen blinds on and letting them somewhat hide your beautiful windows. It’s not a pretty look, trust me.
So to help you out and ensure you don’t purchase the wrong blinds or the wrong sizes, here’s a nifty guide on how to figure out the right dimensions, as well as which sizes are the most common today.
Is There a Standard Size of Window Blinds?
Step into any DIY store or home improvement center, and you’ll discover that each type of blind comes in various dimensions, letting you find the perfect match. But which are the most common ones? Well, it all depends on the windows.
In general, when looking into the standard window sizes, you are likely to come across a few varieties. There aren’t really any standard dimensions, as it all depends on the shape of the window. Consequently, window blinds can be custom-made for certain windows or trimmed in stores to fit some misshapen ones.
However, I don’t want to leave you in the dark. Here are some typical dimensions for the three types of windows you’re likely to have in your home. The standard sizes of window blinds ought to match these and can be found in most stores:
- Picture windows: 1–8 feet high, 2–8 feet wide
- Double-hung windows: 36–72 inches high, 24–48 inches wide
- Sliders: 24–60 inches high, 36–84 inches wide
How to Measure the Window to Get the Right Blinds
The inside mount is the most common way of installing blinds, as it offers you a streamlined look without darkening the room completely. Since the blinds will go from one end to another but won’t encompass the outermost parts of the windows, there could be a stream of light on either side. In essence, you will get enough shade but won’t feel as if you’ve closed off the windows completely.
When measuring for the inside mount, it all comes down to precision. Additionally, you have to take multiple measurements to ensure it is actually an option. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:
- First, measure the depth of the window. Use a metal tape measure to see how deep the window frame is. If it’s less than two inches, it’s best to go for an outside mount to ensure a proper fit.
- The corners of the window should be square, but it’s better not to eyeball it. Therefore, measure the window diagonally, taking into account both directions. If there isn’t much of a difference between the two numbers (below half an inch), you can use an inside mount. Otherwise, I’d recommend going for an outside mount to ensure you get enough privacy.
- Now it’s time to see how wide the window is. Measure it to the nearest ⅛ of an inch. Take three measurements in total: at the top, the middle, and at the bottom. Go with the smallest number, i.e., the narrowest dimension.
- Finally, measure how high the window is by once again taking three measurements: at the right, the center, and at the left, to the nearest ⅛ of an inch. The highest number is the dimension you’ll use when shopping for your blinds.
When it comes to the outside mount, you’ll find out soon enough that the size of your blinds doesn’t really matter here. Of course, going overboard won’t do anything for the interior of the room. However, being as precise as with the inside mount isn’t really too critical; you’ll be adding allowances for the height and the width anyway.
I’d mostly recommend going with the outside mount if your window frames are somewhat outdated, but you don’t have a large enough budget to replace them now. In some cases, these blinds could transform the whole room by hiding ugly window casing and molding. Furthermore, mounting the blinds on the outside will let you block more light, which is especially useful in bedrooms and bathrooms where you need your privacy the most.
If the outside mount is the right option for you, check how big the blinds should be:
- Measure the width from the outermost points of the window. Leave about 1 ½ inch on either side of the frame so that the blinds block out all of the light.
- Measure the height by going all the way from the top of the frame to the window sill. If you don’t have a sill, just measure up to the point where you want the blinds to end. Leave about 2 inches at the top for the mounting hardware.
For more detailed instructions, do check out the videos by JCPenney and Zone Interiors that may shed some light on choosing the right style.
Which Blinds to Go For
Among the many varieties of blinds you can choose from, I’d say that the most popular ones are vertical, Roman, roller, and Venetian blinds. The type you go for, as well as the size, will depend on the room you’re looking to install them in.
Blinds such as these ones are quite common in offices, especially in those where privacy is of the utmost importance. However, I’ve seen some people use them at home as well, and they work great in most rooms. They’re also easy to clean; all you have to do is wipe them with some baby wipes or use the upholstery attachment to vacuum the dust.
The slats on these are tilted for light control, and the fabric falls down vertically. To control them, there’s a plastic wand you ought to turn to reveal/cover the window.
Just like in the case of vertical blinds, you can use your vacuum and the upholstery attachment to clean Roman blinds and make them shine once more. But, unlike the previous entry, these are a bit more luxurious, so I’d install them in bedrooms or the living room. The soft fabric will add a cozy touch and soften the decor. What’s more, if you pick some energy-efficient ones, such as these, expect your utility bills to drop a bit.
As one of the most versatile types, you can use roller blinds anywhere in your home and choose from a vast array of colors and patterns. There are those that can black out entire rooms. You may also opt for some zebra shades; these actually allow for more control over how much light you’re letting in.
What I love the most about roller blinds is that they’re quite easy to take care of. Since the fabric is in one piece, all you really have to do is wipe it with a dry cloth or a wet one if it’s water-resistant. Additionally, these blinds are made ina ton of colors, so you can really mix and match them however you want.
Where to use these? I’d go with polyester roller blinds in the bathroom, as they won’t soak up any moisture. Avoid wooden blinds, for example, as they can lose their shape in high humidity.
Finally, there are the famous Venetian blinds that I’m sure you’ve seen before. Instead of some fabric, these have metal slats that control the light and privacy. Thus, they are a bit tougher to clean; you’ll have to go over each slat with a dry cloth. However, this style is quite affordable and practically timeless, not to mention a bit more durable than some fabric shades. It’d work best in kitchens.
I would say, though, that Venetian blinds don’t come in too many colors. Even worse, since the main material is metal, not many tones look that great. I’d stick to the plain white if you go for these to make them seem more sophisticated.
As you can see, there is a lot more to window blinds than you could have imagined. Depending on the style of the room and how much light you’d like it to get, you can choose between two types of mounts. Additionally, there is a fantastic range of patterns, colors, and forms on the market today, so you can easily get any kind of blind you desire.
Still, do make sure to measure the windows accurately and determine the right type of mount. Most people would like to keep the blinds on the inside of the window. In my opinion, though, the outside mount is more beautiful, especially if the window casing is a bit outdated.
In the end, remember to look at the bigger picture and check what you actually need. Thicker blinds are better for soundproofing, for example, whereas lighter, cozier materials work best in bedrooms. Either way, now you know how to determine the right size — it’s time to hit the store!