How to Measure Cordless Blinds and Shades

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Cordless blinds and shades get rid of pesky strings and the strangulation hazards they pose, which is why they’re an excellent nursery window treatment. In this guide, we walk you through how to measure for cordless blinds for both an inside mount and outside mount configuration.

How to Measure for Inside Mount Cordless Blinds

Inside mounting blinds means you drill them into the top of the window frame, so the blinds fall within the window recess. Always double check your window depth against your chosen cordless blind to make sure you can actually inside mount the window treatment. Just because your window is deep enough to support one kind of cordless blind does not mean it will necessarily be deep enough to support another kind of cordless blind.

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There are many different kinds of cordless blinds and shades, everything from faux wood blinds to blackout rollers. Each of them has a different thickness and, therefore, requires a different window depth in order to accommodate the mounting hardware. At Factory Direct Blinds, we offer a free sample program to help you choose the perfect window treatments for your home, including cordless blinds, so be sure to take advantage of that!

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First, double-check that your window meets the requirements to inside mount your cordless blinds of choice. Then get a tape measure and start measuring the width at three different places: the top, middle and bottom of the window inside the frame. Use the narrowest measurement as the figure for your blind’s width. Do the same thing for the height of the window, measuring it at three different places: the right, middle and left of the window. This time, choose the tallest measurement and use that as the figure for your blind’s height.

Always list measurements as Width x Height when reporting dimensions, or you will get the wrong size window. Report the nearest measurements to ⅛ of an inch unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer. Do NOT take deductions from the measurements yourself when ordering inside mounted blinds — the manufacturer will take deductions for you. You might end up with blinds too small or too short if you take deductions preemptively yourself.

How to Measure for Outside Mount Cordless Blinds

Outside mounting blinds means you drill them into the wall or trim above the window frame. This makes the windows look bigger and also provides more privacy and light control because the blinds completely overlap the window frame. Some people outside mount blinds by choice, while others do it from necessity because the windows are too shallow or uneven for an inside mount.

For outside mount blinds, grab your tape measure and begin by measuring the width at three different places: the top, middle and bottom of the window inside the frame. But, wait! There’s an additional step: You need to add the overlap to the largest width measurement. We recommend adding two inches on each side (for a total of four inches) to get enough overlap if your window does not have trim. If your window does have trim, add enough width so the trim will be completely covered and won’t stick out awkwardly when the shades are fully drawn.

Are All Mini Blinds Cordless Now? We Have the Answers! motorized roller shades

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Now it’s time to decide how far above the window you want the hardware to go. You should place the hardware a minimum of three inches above the top of the window frame, but you can move it even higher to make the window look bigger. Mark the location lightly with a pencil.

Then decide how far below the window you want the blinds to extend; we recommend at least two inches if you do not have a window sill to act as a natural stopping point. Use a pencil to lightly mark this location. Get your tape measure and measure the height difference between the pencil marks at three different places — the right, middle and left of the window. Use the tallest measurement as the figure for your blind’s height.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service department if you have questions about choosing or measuring cordless blinds. We also offer a help center chock-full of informative articles that answer questions ranging from “How do I clean my blinds” to “Are all mini blinds cordless now?


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