Most of us enjoy decorating our homes with lovely new curtains. While we’re at it, we wonder if our curtains should be touching the floor. The answer to this question is significant because it can influence how we decorate.

Your curtains should, indeed, graze the floor. With a few exceptions, the longer the curtains, the more stylish and elegant they will appear. Because of this, most standard ready-made curtains are quite long.

However, different decorating styles require different curtain lengths. Some styles require the curtains to touch the ground, while others do not. Here are some examples of common curtain drop styles to help you understand them better.

Curtain Drop Styles

Apron

An apron length curtain is typically 1 inch shorter than the window apron. This curtain length is not widely used. However, they are useful because their length prevents dust and dirt from accumulating on the floor. These curtain lengths may appear too short at times. As a result, they should only be used on windows with objects that block full-length curtains.

Trouser

Trouser length curtains give your home a sophisticated look. It is at least 2 inches longer than the distance to the floor. This curtain length creates a fold or bend in the appropriate places. It gives your curtains a more polished and fashionable appearance. Trouser length curtains look best when made of crisp, thicker fabrics. It’s ideal for your bedroom, living room, and dining room.

Floor

Floor length curtains are one of the most popular curtain styles for use in the home. It is usually half an inch above the floor. This curtain length has a smooth and stylish appearance. It gives your windows a taller and more elegant appearance. Floor-length curtains rarely touch the ground. Your curtains will hang straighter and look cleaner as a result. This curtain length is used in high-traffic areas such as the living room. It is both functional and appealing to the eye.

Sill

The Sill is the shortest type of curtain length. Its typical length is a half-inch above the window sill. These curtains can add a casual and charming look to your home. It makes use of vibrant colors and patterns to give a room personality. We use this length of curtain for small windows. They are short in length so that they do not obstruct the furniture, heater, or counter located beneath them. This type of curtain can be found in most bathrooms and kitchens.

Breaking

Breaking length curtains, also known as the break puddle, have a tailored appearance. Its length varies from a half-inch to an inch or more above the ground. Curtains with a breaking length have a slight fold or break at the bottom. This results in contrasting banding that is both stylish and elegant. This length is best suited for curtains made of cotton or linen. Using these materials can give your home a more relaxed and laid-back vibe. However, because breaking means your curtains are in contact with the floor, they will need to be washed more frequently.

Puddling

Puddling occurs when there is at least 6 inches of extra fabric on the floor, forming a “puddle”. Puddling works well in formal, romantic, or traditional-style settings. Puddling looks best with thick curtains made of a luxurious fabric, such as velvet. Of course, having a pile of fabric on the floor has some drawbacks. If you go with this look, you’ll have to wash your curtains more frequently and move them out of the way when you sweep and mop.

Standard Curtain Lengths

Standard curtains come in three lengths: 84 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches. Unless you have very low ceilings, you should generally avoid 84-inch standard curtains. They don’t look right in most situations and are an awkward length.

The 96-inch and 108-inch lengths fit in more typical spaces. I recommend rounding to the nearest length to your measurements. When in doubt, go with the longer option rather than the awkwardly short one. Even if your curtains will fall behind a piece of furniture, I never try to fake it. You’ll be able to tell because the curtains lack physical and visual weight.

Consider Custom Curtains

While standard curtains may be appropriate in a room that is being renovated, such as your children’s rooms or a soon-to-be-renovated office, I prefer custom curtains in all situations.

Consult a Designer

A designer can ensure that your curtains are precisely the right length, even if your floor isn’t level; assist you in selecting a print or pattern that works best for the size of your curtains and your space; and leave you with a polished finished product that is well worth the extra cost. I always recommend working with a designer to ensure that the scale and pattern work with the scale of the curtain and everything else in the room. Window treatments can be a significant investment for your home, and you don’t want to make a mistake with them.

Work with a Tailor

A local tailor can hem pre-made curtains to your measurements for a more affordable custom look, but working with a professional designer has more advantages. Most people have no idea what goes into making window treatments or how expensive they can be.

More Information on Curtains

Curtain Width

After you’ve decided how you want your curtains to hang, it’s time to think about the width, which is equally important!

Curtains that are too narrow will have no effect. In general, fuller curtains result in a more dramatic appearance. Nobody wants flimsy curtains, do they?

Here’s how to figure out how wide your curtains should be: Calculate the width of the window by multiplying it by 1.5 to 3 times.

Types of Curtain Fabrics

Consider the following when selecting fabric for your curtains:

  • Do you have big, draughty windows?
  • How much light would you like?
  • Is the room formal or informal?

Answering these questions will help you choose the best curtain fabric. Cotton, polyester, linen, velvet, and silk are some curtain fabric options. There are many more, but these are the most common.

  • Cotton panels keep rooms feeling bright and airy while also being easy to clean and can range from casual to dressy.
  • Polyester is the most cost-effective, long-lasting, and easy-to-clean curtain fabric.
  • Linen curtains must be dry-cleaned because of their natural weave, which feels casual yet tailored and filters just the right amount of light.
  • Velvet curtains are plush and polished, and they help to block cold, heat, light, and noise.
  • Silk is luxurious and drapes well because of its heaviness, but it must be dry cleaned and is susceptible to sun damage.
  • Sheers create a finished look and add a touch of privacy while making a room feel light and bright. By using a double rod, you can layer sheers with a heavier fabric on top.

Tips: Remember that most fabrics (except sheers) can be lined with a blackout liner, so don’t let the light filter deter you from going with a lighter fabric.

Types of Curtain Rods

Curtain rods come in two varieties: single and double.

Single Curtain Rod

A single curtain rod is a single bar that is mounted at the top of a window and threads through the rings, grommets, or pockets of curtains or drapes to secure them. These rods are available in a variety of materials and finishes, including plastic, wood, and metal in bronze, brass, silver, stainless steel, and others.

The majority of single curtain rods are straight and rest freely on wall-mounted brackets, but others are curved 90° at either end and mount directly to the wall. Because the curtain can be flush against a wall, these curved styles of single curtain rods, known as French rods or return rods, block out more light than standard single curtain rods. Finials are ornamental, knob-like structures that can often be removed and replaced on either end of standard single curtain rods that reach straight across.

If you want to add decorative curtain rods to your windows, single curtain rods are the way to go. With bracket-mounted single curtain rods, you can select from a wide range of bracket and finial styles to match your decor. Cap a simple single curtain rod with a set of beautiful gold finials or mount it on ornate gold brackets to elevate it.

Double Curtain Rod

Double curtain rods are similar in design to single curtain rods in that they are supported by wall-mounted brackets and topped with finials, but they allow you to layer window treatments for a more dramatic, decorative look. Typically, the back curtain is sheer, while the curtain on the front rod is opaque. These rods are sold as a pair, with a shorter back rod with simple finials and a longer front rod with more decorative finials. Unlike single curtain rods, which are frequently purchased separately, double curtain rods are frequently sold as a set with matching double brackets.

While most double curtain rods are made of metal, they are available in a variety of finishes such as gold, nickel, chrome, and others.

FAQ

How To Measure Curtain Lengths

You must take a measurement to determine the correct length. Start measuring from the floor up to the curtain rod with your measuring tape. Add the length required for the curtain style you’ve chosen, and you’re done.

Measure from the rod to the window sill or apron for sill and apron length style.

Should Curtains Be Longer Than the Window?

Yes, your curtains should be longer than the length of the window. Unless you’re using a tension rod that fits inside the window frame, you should hang your curtains slightly above the window. 

Are Short Curtains Out of Style?

According to our research, short curtains are fashionable and will not go out of style! They’re a classic way to add privacy, color, and style to your windows. With the rise of minimalist style, short curtains have recently seen a resurgence in popularity. Curtains that are short and simple are more popular than curtains that are long, frilly, or ornate.

To ensure that your short curtains are fashionable, make sure they extend no more than 3″ past the bottom of your windowsill. Curtains that extend halfway between the windowsill and the floor are typically awkward and dated.

Should Curtains Match Walls or Couch?

Yes. To achieve a balanced look, the color, texture, and style of your curtains should match your walls and couch. The overall ambiance and style of your room is determined by the coherence of all its elements, and curtains are an important component of that balance.

Curtains that do not match the wall, couch, or other decorative pieces create a conflicting look in your home.

Can I Use Long Curtains on Short Windows?

Surprisingly, yes. Long curtains on short windows make the room appear larger and bring the entire space into more symmetrical proportion. Short curtains on short windows reduce the impact of curtains by making the room appear hollow. As a result, short curtains on short windows are not visually appealing and have an effect on the room’s style.

Is It Acceptable If the Curtains Do Not Reach the Floor?

Yes, as long as it is no higher than an inch off the ground. Interior designers recommend that curtains touch the floor to create a more enigmatic view, but if you do not want fabric puddling, make sure that the curtain hem is not more than an inch above the floor.

What Is the Best Curtain Puddle for Bedrooms?

Break puddles or medium puddles are ideal curtain puddling for bedrooms. The fabric puddling should be just enough to conceal flaws or cover a small window. At the same time, these puddling lengths are short enough to cause slipping but long enough to allow for easy vacuuming.

Last Thoughts

It is normal for curtains to come into contact with the floor. Some styles require even more length to achieve the desired effect. It is acceptable to use any of the curtain length styles as long as it enhances the beauty of your home.