How High to Hang Curtains (Height Guide)

Here’s our guide on how high to hang curtains , including from high ceilings, and where to hand the curtain rod.
Decorated master bedroom with floor to ceiling curtains

The height at which you hang our curtains can make or break a space. Curtain height affects privacy, as well as the light levels, color, and texture of the room.

The optimal height for the curtains to be placed is anywhere from 4 to 6 inches above the frame of the window.

The higher you place the curtains on the wall , the larger the window looks; it can also make the room look larger.

That being said, even if you want the window to look larger, hanging the curtains above 8 inches from the frame can cause the room to look awkward, especially if you have other uncovered windows or sheer curtains that show where the window really is.

Below are some specific examples for different heights of ceilings and where the curtains should be hung.

Height to Hang Curtains from High Ceilings

The height that you decide to hang curtains can be affected by a number of circumstances. High ceiling heights, and abnormally sizes windows are two of the biggest factors. Based on that selection will then help determine where to start.

How high to hang curtains

How High to Hang Curtains 8 Foot Ceiling

An 8 foot ceiling is pretty standard for a residential home. With this standard height will be safe to put the rod about 6 inches above the top of the framing of the windows. This avoids any extra framing and gives space between the frame and the rod.

For lower windows, or even just more open areas where you want to give the illusion of larger windows and space, you can raise the rod height to just 4 to 6 inches off of the ceiling.

How High to Hang Curtains 9 Foot Ceiling

9 foot ceilings are going to be a combination of the 8 foot and 10 foot rules, and they have a great deal of flexibility. These curtains can range from 6 inches above the frame to just below the ceiling , depending on the window size.

How High to Hang Curtains 10 Foot Ceiling

Hanging the curtains with 10 foot ceilings is a little more tricky. Often the ceiling are this high because the windows are oversized, meaning there is not much space over the windows to place the curtain rod.

In this case, you should do one of two things: hang it a close as you can to the ceiling, or hang the curtains from the ceiling.

The complete opposite could also be a problem, if a window is smaller or lower with a lot of wall space on top of it.

In this case if you hang a curtain too high it could look a little off, especially if there is a lot of bright light coming through, showing where the actual window is. In that case you should hang them about 8 inches or less above the window frame.

Visit this page for more information about the different types of curtains.

Where to Hang Curtain Rods

Another contributing factor to think about when hanging curtains is how long the rod needs to be. Nowadays a lot of the curtain rods are an adjustable length, which is generally pretty handy.

This still needs to be taken into account to make sure you get a rod that has the ability to be long enough or short enough for the desired space.

As a general rule you should hang curtain rods 3″ to 6 ” past the window frame on either side.

Curtain Rod Length

Curtain rod with curtain and liner

To find the length of the curtain rod you need, first start with the length of the windows you are trying to cover. Next add 3 to 6 inches for each side, that number should be the best length for the curtain rod.

When deciding whether to go 3 or 6 inches on each side, take into account the overall size of the window – you do not want to extend more than one third the total length of the window.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the longer you make the rod, the more panels of curtains you will need to purchase to cover the window sufficiently.

Curtain Rod Height

A curtain rod in most standard homes should be placed just above the window frame.

By giving about 4 to 8 inches of space between the rod and the window frame you have the optimal amount of room for hanging the rod, as well as insulation for the windows.

Based on the size of the windows and the height of the ceilings, this could vary slightly.

How To Hang Curtains On An Arch Or Transom Window

In most cases hanging curtains can be as easy as tossing a curtain rod above the windows and slipping the curtains on the rod. This is not always the case when there are unique windows in the home.

Some examples are transom or arched windows. These windows were likely designed to be seen, so just throwing a giant curtain over them is not always the best choice.

Instead with just a little creativity you can create some beautiful and unique curtains that fit your window style.

A transom window is in the simplest terms a glass pane above a door or other window. This transom window is separated from the door or pane below by a structural beam or bar to give the support the combination needs.

This is most commonly used above doors to allow access light into the home, or above a window wall where the size is getting too large and they need the structural bars.

One way to deal with the transom window in the sense of curtains is to treat both the underneath door or glass pane and the transom as one giant window. This does a number of things for the design.

First, it makes the transom look more natural and connected to the below window or door.

Second, this is going to be the simplest solution as the curtain can be hung just as any other curtains in the home.

And third, it offers the most privacy, but does not always need to, since the curtains can be open or closed as desired.

Another solution for transom windows is to leave the transom part itself uncovered. This offers the most amount of light while still having privacy. The bottom portion of the window or the door is covered by the curtains, and the rod is used to cover the bar between the bottom pane and the transom window.

The third solution for transom windows is a combination of the first and second options. Sometimes the transom is just not for you, maybe you bought the home with it and it is not something you would like to accent.

In this case you can use the regular curtains for just the bottom portion of the window or door, these curtains can open and close as desired. After that you can add a valance to the transom window. This effectively hides the transom while sending the light down, and making the bottom window or door appear larger.

When it comes to arches in the windows it is best to stick with the second option if you would like to see the arch, which in most cases was architecturally designed to be a focal point. You can also use the other two options if the arch part is not important to the user of the space.

For more related content read about how high to hang a closet rod or standard towel bar height on this page.

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