Should Curtains Be Floor-To-Ceiling? (Explained)

Hanging curtains correctly can do so much for the look and feel of your room. When you hang your curtains from floor to ceiling, you can create a more elongated, elegant space.

If you hang your curtains too tightly around your window, you can make the same room feel cramped and small. 

Here’s Why You Should Hang Cutrains Floor-To-Ceiling

To make your room feel more spacious and elongated, you will want to hang your curtains from floor to ceiling (or just about). Ideally, your curtain rod should be several inches above your window frame and the curtains should flow down to gently touch or lightly puddle on the floor. 

Should Curtains Stretch to the Ceiling?

When hanging curtains, the more space they have to flow the better. Let your curtains reach the ceiling.

As curtains have more space to hang, the longer and more spacious they will make your room look. 

However, to achieve this style, it’s not always necessary for your curtains to stretch all the way to your ceiling. The exact answer to this will depend on the dimensions of your room and the position of your windows. 

Ideally, your curtain rod should be about halfway to two-thirds of the way from the top of your window frame to your ceiling.

If you have at least 12 inches of space between your window and ceiling, you can hang the curtain rod in that available space. It won’t be necessary for your curtains to touch the ceiling in this case. 

It’s possible that you won’t have that much space between the top of your window and your ceiling. If you only have a few inches, it can be too cramped to try to space a curtain rod halfway up the surface.

If space is limited, you can hang your curtains so that they are stretching to the ceiling. 

Whatever you do, avoid the common mistake of hanging your curtain rod in line with the top of your window frame.

This rod placement actually shrinks the appearance of your room, oftentimes without you even realizing it. 

The illusion of higher ceilings and a larger, more spacious room is much more desirable than an awkward, cramped space. To maximize the perceived space of your room, be sure to hang your curtain rod at one of the advised heights. 

If your room has crown moldings, you can aim to hang your curtain rod just below the moldings.

About three-quarters of an inch is ideal. This will give a beautiful visual as the curtains fall from the crown molding to the floor. 

Should Curtains “Puddle” On the Floor?

Puddling curtains can be very fashionable and elegant.

This refers to the few inches of fabric from the bottom of your curtain that gather on the floor. Especially with the right fabric, puddling can make your curtains look dynamic, luscious, and full of movement. 

However, puddling isn’t for everyone or every room.

Here’s why you normally shouldn’t let curtains be longer.

There are four types of trendy curtain hanging styles you will come across in the world of interior design. Two of these design styles involve puddling, while the others do not.

It’s up to you if you like this style and want your curtains to puddle. 

Let’s take a look at these four common styles and how you can make your curtains puddle if this style appeals to you. 

The Kiss

First, we have the kiss. The kiss is the term for when a curtain reaches all the way to the floor and just gently kisses it with its bottom seam.

The curtain is exactly measured to stop exactly where the floor begins. 

This length is one of the hardest to achieve because the curtain must be sized and hung with complete precision. By accidentally hanging it a bit too high or low, you won’t achieve that perfect kiss length. 

Even though it’s tough to pull off, it’s one of the most desirable styles. It looks so elegant and custom when done correctly that many people can’t resist wanting it for their home. 

The Puddle

Next, we have the classic puddle. This is when the bottom of your curtains extends beyond where it meets the floor to create a puddle effect. While this style might require you to clean your curtains more frequently, it is a desirable and dramatic decorating technique. 

You can achieve the perfect puddle when you have about 2 – 4 inches of fabric gracefully gathering on the floor.

Any more fabric than this can start to look messy and unpolished. 

The Break Puddle 

If you like the idea of puddling and want your curtains to have even more dynamic movement in their creases, you can give the break puddle a try. 

The break puddle is another puddling style with slightly less material on the floor. This style has elements of the kiss’s freedom and flow and the puddle’s chic drama. 

To pull off this style, you will only want about .05 – 1 inch of fabric touching the floor.

Because it has less weight at the bottom than the classic puddle, it can give your curtains a lighter and more energetic look.

The Float

Finally, if you don’t want your curtains making contact with the floor, you might choose the float. As the name implies, this is where your curtains float perfectly just above the floor. 

There should be a maximum of half an inch of space between the bottom edge of the curtain and your floor.

Any more space can begin to look awkward and ruin the flowy, chic style of your floor-length curtains. 

How Many Inches from the Ceiling/Floor Should Curtains Be?

The exact measurements you will need to use when hanging curtains will depend on the style you are looking to achieve.

Let’s review some acceptable measurements you can use to help hang your curtains. 

From the Ceiling

Whatever you do, avoid hanging your curtains in line with your window frame. Instead, measure the distance between the top of the window and the ceiling.

Let’s say the distance is 12 inches. Anywhere from 6 – 8 inches above the window frame would be acceptable for hanging.

This follows the golden rule of halfway to two-thirds of the way from window to ceiling. 

If you have less than 12 inches of space or crown molding, you can choose to hang your curtains much closer to the molding or ceiling.

From the Floor

If you want your curtains to puddle, you will want the fabric of your curtains to extend past where they meet the floor. For a traditional puddle, it can be about 2 – 4 inches.

For a break puddle, it should be an inch or less. 

For the kiss or the float, you can measure your curtains so the bottom reaches the floor perfectly or stops about half an inch before. 

You will want to avoid any awkward lengths where your curtains are several inches above the floor.

This can also make your room look unnecessarily small and cramped. 

Adjusting Your Curtains

You can adjust the length of your curtains even if you’re not sure how to use a sewing machine.

You can purchase iron-on hemming tape to create perfect hems on your curtains without using a needle and thread.

You will only need a clothes iron to activate the tape and create a hem exactly where you need it. 

If you don’t have any of this tape on hand, you can order Fabric Fusing Tape Adhesive Hem Tape from Amazon.

This pack comes with two rolls that each measure 27 yards long. Once the tape is properly applied, it can be washed and dried just as a regular hem could be. 

How Heavy are Ceiling-Length Curtains?

The exact weight of your curtains will largely depend on the material they are made from. You can find same-sized panels with completely different weights.

Lightweight materials that will weigh significantly less than heavier velvets and luxurious materials. 

Your floor-length curtains will usually measure between 84 and 96 inches.

Depending on the material and exact measurements, your curtains could weigh anywhere between 5 and 20 pounds. 

How Big Should Your Bedroom Curtains Be?

Generally, bedrooms tend to be more informal rooms of the home. In informal rooms, shorter curtains are more acceptable.

Unless you want to create a dreamy, romantic atmosphere, you can choose short curtains for your bedroom. 

When it comes to the width of your curtains, you will always want them to be 1.5 – 2 times the width of the windows.

To make this math more manageable, you can think of each panel needing to be 1.5 – 2x the size of each window section. 

When you have plenty of curtain width, they will look beautiful and gathered when they are opened.

The flowy appearance of your curtains opened during the day can be a great decorative enhancement to your home décor. 

How Big Should Your Living Room Curtains Be?

Living rooms tend to be more formal rooms in the home.

For formal rooms, you will want to go with longer curtains for an elegant, polished look. 

Formal rooms also tend to see less day-to-day action and traffic. This helps keep your curtains clean, especially if you choose a puddle or break puddle style. 

While short curtains can look good in a bedroom, short curtains are usually a big no-no for living rooms.

Your living room curtains are a great chance to make a long, flowy, stylish curtain choice. 

The same width guidelines apply to living room curtains. Your curtains should be 1.5 to 2x the width of your windows.

Final Thoughts

When hanging curtains, the more elongated and graceful, the better.

This means avoiding short curtain lengths and giving your curtains plenty of space to flow and gently kiss or puddle on the ground.

Remember that your curtain rod should never be too close to the window. It is better for your curtains to reach towards the ceiling than be in line with your window frame. If you’re short on space, having your curtains stretch to the ceiling is a stylish option. 


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