How to Measure Horizontal Blinds: Accurate Techniques Revealed

How to Measure Horizontal Blinds: Accurate Techniques Revealed

Since the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, home renovations have taken center stage. Canadians alone invested a staggering $80.1 billion in revamping their existing homes, surpassing investments in new ones. It's a testament to our newfound appreciation for our living spaces.

When it comes to enhancing room decor, few elements can make as much of an impact as well-fitted window blinds. It's the subtle detail that can tie a room's aesthetic together or disrupt its harmony.

Picture blinds that are just a tad too short or too wide disrupting the clean lines of your windows. Think of the frustration of discovering that your chosen blinds don't fit snugly within the frame. These missteps can lead to unnecessary costs and dissatisfaction with your home's aesthetic.

Here's where precision steps in. Accurate measurements for horizontal blinds are a key element of a well-decorated room. They prevent those costly blunders, ensure optimal light control, and enhance your space.

The guide below will be a trusty companion while learning how to measure horizontal blinds (inside mount or outside mount). This will equip you with the know-how to achieve that perfect fit, ensuring that your blinds not only elevate your room's decor but also offer the benefits that make a house truly feel like a home.



What Are Horizontal Blinds?

It's believed that the concept of blinds, shades, and shutters first emerged in ancient civilizations like Egypt, Persia, and China.

In their earliest form, window coverings consisted of wooden plates placed together horizontally, constructed from wooden strips fastened with cloth ribbons. Over time, this primitive idea evolved into the window shades we're familiar with today.

Often referred to as Venetian blinds, horizontal blinds are the contemporary embodiment of this ancient concept. They've become a staple in residential and commercial settings, valued for their practicality and versatility.

Horizontal blinds consist of a series of horizontal slats, usually made of wood, faux wood, or aluminum. These slats are connected and suspended from a headrail, which holds them in place. The blinds can be raised or lowered using a lift cord, and the angle of the slats can be adjusted with a tilt wand.

While horizontal blinds feature slats that run horizontally across the window, vertical blinds have slats that hang vertically. Vertical blinds are often preferred for sliding glass doors and larger windows.

Here are the key components of a horizontal blind:

  • Slats: The horizontal slats are the defining feature of these blinds, available in various widths and materials.
  • Headrail: This top bar houses the mechanism for raising and lowering the blinds.
  • Lift Cord: Used to raise and lower the blinds.
  • Tilt Wand: Allows you to adjust the angle of the slats to control light and privacy.

From the natural elegance of wood to the durability of aluminum and the cost-effective practicality of faux wood blinds suited specifically for damp areas, there's a material to suit every preference and budget.

Choosing the right size of horizontal blinds is crucial for both functionality and style. Properly sized blinds ensure they fit well within the window frame, providing effective light control and privacy. An incorrect size can lead to an awkward look and less effective performance.

In residential spaces, horizontal blinds offer privacy and light control in bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Also typically used in commercial environments, they are a popular choice for their durability and ease of maintenance, which makes them suitable for offices, conference rooms, and other professional settings.

Choosing Between Mounting Styles

When you install horizontal blinds, you can choose between two primary mounting styles: inside mount and outside mount. Each option uniquely impacts the aesthetics, light control, privacy, and even energy efficiency of your space.


Source: Freepik

Inside Mount

Inside mount blinds are installed within the window recess or opening. This choice offers a clean and streamlined look, as the blinds sit neatly within the window frame. Here's what you need to know:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Inside mount blinds provide a polished and discreet appearance. They allow the window and its trim to shine, making them an excellent choice to showcase your window's architectural details.
  • Light Control and Privacy: Blinds within the window casing may provide a degree of light control and privacy, but their effectiveness can be influenced by the window's depth and any gaps around the edges.
  • Window Recess and Casing: Inside mount blinds are typically installed within the window recess. The depth and style of your window recess and casing can impact the compatibility and look of this installation style.

Source: Freepik

Outside Mount

Outside mount blinds, as the name suggests, are installed on the wall or window casing surrounding the window rather than within the recess. Here's what you need to consider:

  • Enhanced Light Control and Privacy: Outside mount blinds generally offer better light control and privacy. They cover the entire window opening and can be extended beyond it, blocking more light and providing enhanced privacy.
  • Window Sill Considerations: When choosing outside mount blinds, take into account the window sill. The blinds can be extended below the sill for a complete and polished appearance.
  • Energy Efficiency: Depending on the quality and fit, outside mount blinds may offer better insulation as they can create a tighter seal around the window, potentially improving energy efficiency.

The choice between inside and outside mount blinds significantly influences the look and functionality of your window treatments. Inside mount blinds offer a clean and integrated appearance, perfect for showcasing your window's design.

Outside mount blinds, on the other hand, excel at light control and privacy, making them an excellent choice for bedrooms and spaces where you need maximum coverage. Additionally, they can potentially enhance energy efficiency.

Ultimately, your choice will help create the desired ambiance in your space, making it comfortable and visually appealing.


Preparation and Essential Tools for Measuring Horizontal Blinds

When you measure horizontal blinds, the old adage "measure twice, cut once" couldn't be more true. Proper preparation is just as critical as the measurement process itself. Here's how to set the stage for exact measurements:

  1. Clear the Window Area: Before reaching for that tape measure, take a moment to clear the window area of any obstructions. Move furniture, decorative items, or anything else that might stand in your way. You'll want a clear, unobstructed path for accurate measurements.
  2. Remove Old Window Treatments: If you have existing blinds or curtains still hanging, taking them down before you start measuring for your new horizontal blinds is a good idea. This ensures that your measurements aren't affected by the presence of the old window treatments.
  3. Clean the Window Frame and Sill: A clean window frame and sill are essential for accurate measurements. Dust and debris can throw off your measurements, so quickly clean the area before you begin. It's a small step that can make a big difference.
  4. Gather Your Tools: To get the measuring process right, you'll need a few essential tools at your disposal:
  • Steel Tape Measure: A metal tape measure is your best friend for precise measurements. Its rigidity ensures straight lines and accurate readings. This type of task is not recommended for cloth tape or linen tape due to its easy sensitivity to moisture as well as its flimsy nature.
  • Pencil: Handy for marking measurement points on the window frame or sill. It's easily erasable if you need to make adjustments.
  • Notepad: Keep this handy to jot down your measurements and notes. It's a simple yet effective way to stay organized and avoid any confusion later on.
  • Ladder or Step Stool: A ladder or step stool can be invaluable for larger windows or hard-to-reach areas. When in doubt, use this for safety.
  1. Maintain a Calm Environment: Distractions can lead to inaccurate measurements. Find a quiet, distraction-free environment to ensure your focus remains squarely on the task.
  2. Consider a Helper: They can assist in holding the tape measure taut or making sure it's aligned correctly, helping you achieve more precise measurements.

By preparing your workspace and gathering the necessary tools, you set yourself up for success when measuring your horizontal blinds. Accuracy from the outset means a smoother installation process and window treatments that fit flawlessly.

Measuring for Inside Mount Horizontal Blinds

Inside mount blinds offer a sleek, built-in look that can elevate the aesthetics of your space. These blinds fit snugly within the window frame, creating a clean and uncluttered appearance.

To ensure your inside mount blinds blend seamlessly with your window, you need precise measurements. Here's how to get it right.

Width Measurement

Start by measuring the width of your window frame at three points: the top, middle, and bottom. Windows can be deceiving, and variations in width are not uncommon, especially in older homes or those with hand-built frames. To ensure a snug fit, use the narrowest measurement.

Keep an eye out for any obstructions, such as window handles or latches, that might interfere with the blinds. These elements should be accounted for to guarantee a proper fit.

Height Measurement

For the height, measure from the top of the window frame down to the windowsill. Take measurements at three points: the left, center, and right sides of the window. Again, variations can occur, and you want to ensure your blinds are tailored to the window's specific dimensions. Use the largest measurement of the three.

Uneven sills or frames are not uncommon, particularly in older or custom-built windows. Be mindful of these irregularities and adjust your measurements accordingly for a perfect fit.

Depth Measurement

Window depth plays a crucial role in determining the type of horizontal blinds suitable for your space. Measure the depth from the front of the window frame to the glass. This measurement ensures there's sufficient room for the blinds to operate smoothly without any obstructions within the window frame.

Remember, attention to detail at this stage ensures that your inside mount blinds fit flawlessly and function seamlessly, offering both style and practicality.

Measuring for Outside Mount Horizontal Blinds

If you want to conceal unattractive window frames or achieve a more substantial visual impact, outside mount blinds are the way to go. Here's how to measure replacement horizontal blinds.

Width Measurement

One of the primary advantages of outside mount blinds is their ability to provide enhanced coverage. To achieve this, add extra width to your measurements. This ensures the blinds extend beyond the window frame, offering increased privacy and superior light control.

When measuring, consider the overall width you'd like the blinds to cover, and take note of this measurement. Also, think about how this additional width might affect the layout of adjacent furniture or decorations. Proper planning ensures your blinds not only look great but also function seamlessly.

Height Measurement

Outside mount blinds allow you to get creative with the visual impact of your windows. By extending the blinds above and below the window frame, you can create an elongated effect that makes your windows appear larger than they are. Here's what you need to do:

  • Ensure you have at least two inches of flat space on the moulding or wall above the window to accommodate the mounting and extension brackets, as well as the headrail.
  • Decide where you'd like the blinds to start above the window frame, and measure from there down to the desired ending point below the window. Take three measurements: at the top, middle, and bottom of the window, and select the longest of the three.

This approach not only adds a touch of grandeur to your space but also offers the practical benefit of increased light control and privacy.

Common Mistakes and Tips for Accuracy

Measuring for horizontal blinds may seem straightforward, but it's surprisingly easy to make mistakes that can lead to ill-fitting window treatments. Here are some common pitfalls and valuable tips to ensure your measurements are spot-on:

  • Forgetting to Account for Window Handles or Hardware: It's a frequent oversight – not considering window handles, locks, or other hardware that may protrude into the window frame. These elements can affect the fit and functionality of your blinds.
  • Using a Cloth Tape Measure: A cloth tape measure can be less accurate than a metal one due to its flexibility. Opt for a metal tape measure for precise measurements.
  • Neglecting to Measure in Three Places: For both width and height measurements, take three readings – at the top, middle, and bottom of the window. This accounts for any irregularities in the window frame.

Tips for Accuracy

Here's how to get the perfect measurements for your horizontal blinds:

  • Double-Check Your Measurements: The simplest tip is often the most effective. Checking your measurements twice ensures you catch any potential errors before you proceed.
  • Create a Checklist: Consider creating a checklist outlining each measuring process step. This helps you stay organized and ensures you don't miss any critical details.
  • Read Manufacturer's Guidelines: Manufacturers often provide specific measuring instructions tailored to their blinds. These guidelines may have unique requirements, so read and follow them closely.

Precision sets the stage for a seamless installation, perfectly fitted blinds, and a space that exudes both style and functionality.


Transform Your Windows With Perfect Horizontal Blinds

The accuracy of your measurements is the key to building the perfect window treatments. Now, it's time to take the next step and turn your vision into reality.

At Factory Direct Blinds, we're committed to providing high-quality, stylish, and functional horizontal blinds. With a wide selection of materials, colours, and styles to choose from, we're confident that you'll find the perfect window treatments to suit your taste and needs.

Don't wait any longer to enhance your home's aesthetics and functionality with the perfect horizontal blinds. Explore our offerings, discover the possibilities, and take advantage of our exceptional products and services. Your windows deserve the best, and Factory Direct Blinds is here to deliver it.


Do you measure blinds from the inside or outside?

Blinds can be measured from both the inside and outside, depending on your preference and the desired look and function. Inside mount fits within the window frame, while outside mount extends beyond it.

How do you measure existing blinds?

To measure window blinds, simply follow the same process as measuring new blinds. Measure the width and height, either inside or outside mount, to determine the size you need.

What are the standard sizes for horizontal blinds?

Horizontal blinds come in a variety of widths and heights, but common widths range from 23-36 inches, and heights range from 64-72 inches, though custom sizes are also available.

How much smaller should blinds be than the window inside the mount?

Inside mount blinds should typically be 1/4 to 1/2 inch smaller in width than the window frame to ensure a proper fit. However, it's essential to follow the manufacturer's specific guidelines for the blinds you choose.

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