should drapes touch the floor

A major question that people ask when setting up their drapes is should drapes touch the floor?

A key ingredient in getting the perfect interior design for our home is the drapes or curtains we use.

Selecting the right set of drapes has a lot of factors to be considered.

But then again is the question of drapes touching the floor of our homes. The right way to set up our drapes and curtains has been an age-old question

Overflowing drapes are truly a thing of personal preference and home design. There are a few factors that determine if a drape should touch the floor.

A short answer is, Yes drapes should touch the floor. Or at least should be at full length to the end of the wall. But we need to understand fully what drapes are and the necessary factors that involve properly selecting the perfect drapes.

Drapes Or Curtains?

drapes or a curtain

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who is an expert interior designer.

We discussed which window treatment was best for my new home. And I recall asking her “should the drape touch the ground’.

To which she replied, “yes, but mostly it depends on the length”. Afterwhich she engaged me in a full lecture on drapes, curtains, and their difference.

A common misconception among house owners and even interior designers is that both curtains and drapes mean the same thing. 

They are indeed both fabric panels for covering our windows. But there are quite a several differences between them.

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Drapes and curtains have been used interchangeably for so long. So much that we have come to see them as the same thing.

So What Is the Big Difference?

big differences

Curtains just like Drapes are fabric panels that cover our windows.

But curtains unlike drapes are made from lightweight and sheer materials. Whereas drapes are made from thicker and heavier materials.

Another major difference is that drapes are made to cover the full length of your window area.

They are to cover from above the window to the floor beneath the window. Sometimes they cover even as long as having a puddle of fabric on the floor.

While Curtains are made to mostly cover just the length of the window. 

Or from just above the window frame to the edge of the frame or a few inches below the frame.

For this article, we shall refer to both of them as drapes.

Should Drapes Touch The Floor?

drapes touch the floor

So should window drapes touch the floor? Ideally, drapes should touch the floor. But sadly long drapes aren’t the best for all window settings.

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Although there are no standard lengths for drapes there are a few popular and widely accepted lengths.

The most common lengths are 54 inches, 72 inches, 84 inches,96 inches, and 108 inches.

Tip:  A drape of shorter length is best suited for certain window frames and settings.

Factors That Determine The Length Of A Drape

factors to determine

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right window cover. This will help you decide which drape length is best suited for every window in your home.

Below are some key factors.

Factor #1. Personality

Selecting the right drape length for the windows of your home is heavily dependent on your personality.

Some persons might want a private space and can go on for days without opening their drapes, while others might not want that. 

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Also, some individuals might enjoy the sunlight and constant air flowing in from the window others might not.

The key is to know your personality preference and that will help you select the right drape.

Factor #2. Size

The size of the window is another key factor to consider. A small window would generally require a shorter drape.

Whereas a big window or a medium-sized window would require a drape of full length. 

Factor #3. Location

the location

Another factor to be considered when selecting the right drape is the location of the window.

Will it be in the sitting room, the bedroom, or the kitchen and bathroom? There are different drapes lengths suited for each of those places.

Note: Another thing to note is the amount of foot traffic that happens in the room where the window is located.

Factor #4. Warmth

This is a very necessary factor to be considered. As your drape can serve as a source of warmth for you on days of cold.

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Using thick full-length drapes will help reduce the amount of cold that comes in through your window.

Also, this might not be necessary for every window. Because having drapes that cover the full length of your window will help a lot during the cold seasons.

Tip: Hang drapes high close to the ceiling and wide. This gives the room a much more grand look.

Drapes Length Styles

the length styles

One of the major factors to consider is what length style you want for your window. There are seven different length styles for drapes and curtains.

Puddling

This design is used to signify when the length of a drape is 6 inches or more on the ground.

The puddling style is by far the longest style of drape length. The idea behind this is for the drape to be so long to the ground creating a puddle on the ground.

This is a very elegant style and is used majorly for rooms with large windows which we don’t intend on opening frequently.

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This style of drapes gives the room a grandiose look as the drape bar is extended close to the ceiling and runs down to the floor.

The major disadvantage of this length style is that it isn’t ideal for places with kids and pets or places that easily get dirty.

Breaking

This is also known as a broken puddle. Its length ranges from 0.5 inches to the floor.

A loose brake is created around the hemline giving it this casual vibe. This is more suited for cozy rooms such as a bedroom.

Trouser

the trouser

The trouser length drape style is attained when the drape is 1-2 inches on the floor.

It is ideal when you want a drape of long length but doesn’t want a puddle. This is due to the continuous dirt accumulation of puddle style.

Grazing

The grazing is gotten when the drape has a precise length. Range from the top of the window to slightly touching the floor.

No extra length, no short length, just enough to brush the ground. This has a more modern look. It is suited for both parlors and even bedrooms.

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Floating

As the name implies, this length style is attained when the drape is 0.5 inches above the ground. It doesn’t touch the ground.

This is best suited for bedrooms. Or if you wish to reduce the amount of dirt that your drapes gather at the bottom.

Short

the short

This is also called an apron. This is a drape of short length. It is long enough to just cover the window.

It extends to the end of the windowsill or just a few inches below.

It is ideal for kitchen windows, bathrooms, children’s rooms, and windows with a radiator below it.

Tip: This style is mostly for locations where the windows have cabinets or radiators beneath them. 

Also in the children’s room, it prevents the kids from pulling the drape down on themselves.

Cafe

This drape style is similar to the apron except it is of shorter length. It reaches just midway of the window sill or just a little below the midway.

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But most certainly doesn’t get to the bottom of the sill. It is a unique style mostly used in bathrooms and kitchens. 

Tip: A valance, swag, or jabot can be added to the drapes to give them a more stylish look. There are too many window valance ideas and styles one can pick from in stores.

How To Measure Drape Lengths

how to measure drape

Most ready-made drapes come in a common and standard length. Although when it comes to getting the right measurement for our drapes, it is based on personal preference.

Measure from the ground or the window sill up to your curtain rod depending on the style you opting out for.

Add any necessary length needed for the curtain style you want.

Conclusion

A final note on should drapes touch the floor? Ultimately it depends on you.

But having drapes that are midway through your window sill and reach the bottom of your wall is up to you.

So when next you are shopping for new drapes. Consider all the necessary factors involved. Then ensure that you are aware of the drape length styles you want.

Also when shopping for drapes lookout for the most stylish drapes that match your home settings.

Put into consideration the color of your wall and furniture. But ultimately the feeling you are trying to achieve in your home.

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Don’t forget curtains are very crucial parts of your home’s interior design.

I hope this article has been helpful. I also hope you make good use of the information in this article.

Kristina D
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