How High to Hang Curtains Above Windows, Solved!

How High to Hang Curtains Above Windows, Solved!

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How To Hang Curtains For Wide Windows?

If you have wide windows that need to be covered, bring the rod as high as possible (between 8 and 10 inches depending on wall height). This will balance out the width, making the window seem taller as well.

You may want to avoid making the rod extend too much further than the window frame on wide windows. It can make it appear even wider and may look awkward.

How High To Hang Curtains Above Sliding Glass Doors?

The curtain rod over sliding glass doors is hung between 3 and 6 inches over the door frame. Just like with windows, the higher you hang the rod, the table the door will appear. These curtains should hang, so they touch the floor barely to make for convenient passage through the doorway. 

NICETOWN Sliding Door Curtain

These curtains are designed to be wide enough for use with sliding doors. Click here to see them on Amazon.

Should Curtains Touch the Ground?

Yes, curtains can touch the ground slightly or eve

Yes, curtains can touch the ground slightly or even pool onto the floor. Long curtains that trail onto the floor slightly create a romantic look, which is a good option for bedrooms. Keep in mind that curtains that puddle onto the floor tend to get noticeably dirty quicker than curtains higher off the ground. You will also need to hold or tie them up when vacuuming or sweeping.

These curtains are 95 inches long, which should be tall enough to allow for pooling. Click here to see these on Amazon.

How to Hang Curtains

Once you have panels in the right width and length, hang the curtains using this simple two-step process.

What You Need

  • Curtain rod with brackets
  • Screws
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Wall anchors (optional)

cottage style contemporary living room with blue curtains Credit: Brie Williams

3. Hang them in the right length

Choose curtains in a length that will hang either just above the floor, or just touch the floor. You can “puddle” the curtains on the floor for a more luxurious, bohemian look — but never, and we mean never, hang your curtains so they hover more than a couple inches off the floor. Where’s the flood?

How Fabric Impacts Curtains

Lighter fabrics, such as sheers, will help make the room feel airy as they let in more light. If you need to warm up a room, try denser fabrics or thermal drapes which will also give you more privacy. Winter curtains can stop drafts and save energy.

Ceiling Height

Ceiling height plays a major role in how high you should hang your curtains. In a room with standard ceiling heights of about 8 feet, either method of hanging can work. The typical height for hanging drapery on a window that has more than 12 inches of space between the top of the window and the ceiling is about 4 to 6 inches above the window trim. If there is not at least 12 inches of space, hanging the curtains at window level may highlight the limited space. Hanging the curtains at the top of the wall hides the trim, and can visually heighten the wall. Cathedral ceilings or ceilings higher than 8 to 10 feet are another matter. It is often best to use the 4 to 6 inches above the window trim rule here unless the windows stretch close to the high ceilings. If there is little space between the trim and the ceiling, then hang the curtains from the ceiling.

Width Considerations

Use these tricks to make the drapes a standard width and to create the illusion of wider windows:

  • The standard distance from the window casing to the end of the curtain rod (excluding finials) on each side of the window should be four to 10 inches.
  • As a general rule, drapes will be open during the day, so make sure the curtain rod extends at least four inches on each side of the window’s inside frame.
  • To create the illusion of a wider window, extend the rod up to 10 inches beyond the window's frame.

Illustration: The Spruce / Emily Mendoza

Step 2: Mount curtain rod and hang curtains

After you've determined the proper placement, hanging curtains is easy. Use a screwdriver to install the curtain brackets; make sure the sides are even using a level. For particularly heavy curtains or rods, you might want to install wall anchors ($12, The Home Depot) to mount the brackets securely to the wall.

Place curtains on the rod. If your curtains have large grommets or eye-holes, thread the rod through the openings. Otherwise, attach the panels to the rod with curtain rings or clips ($9, Target). Then set the rod into the brackets to hang the curtains.

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