Are Curtains Supposed To Touch The Floor?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Picking curtains is never easy because you need to consider everything from fabric and color to price and size. You have endless options between styles, brands, and even how far they hang from the floor. So, are curtains supposed to touch the floor?

Curtains can touch the floor and they can help make the wall and windows look larger. Otherwise, professionals recommend that they hang between ¼ and ¼ inches off the floor. You can create a puddled effect with curtains that are too long where the excess fabric pools on the floor.

It is a matter of personal choice and what kind of effect you want to evoke with your curtains. Floor-length curtains often require more maintenance because they can get dirty much faster. Follow allow as we explore whether or not curtains are supposed to touch the floor.

How Far Should Curtains be From the Floor?

Professionals recommend that your curtains hang no more than ½ inch from the floor. However, many interior designers recommend that you hang curtains that touch the floor. Curtains that touch the floor are desirable because they can add depth to a room.

The wall and windows will look much taller than they are if the curtain touches the floor. This is useful if your room feels too cramped and you want to open it up. Otherwise, the ½-inch rule is reliable and low-maintenance compared to curtains that touch the floor.

Curtains that have ½ inch of space at the bottom are much less likely to bunch up. This means that they won’t easily wrinkle and that you won’t have to worry about as much lint, dust, or pet hair. You still can create depth with curtains that are ½ inch from the floor, especially if you have furniture, plants, or decorations in front of them.

Is it Okay if Curtains Don’t Touch the Floor?

It is okay if your curtains don’t extend to the floor. Curtains don’t have to touch the floor, but they should at least stop within an inch of the floor. Many homeowners would tell you that curtains that don’t touch the floor are more convenient.

You won’t have to constantly straighten your curtains if they don’t touch the floor. Curtains that touch the floor tend to bunch up at the bottom and that can make them uneven. Luckily, that’s not a problem when your curtains stop just short of the floor.

Curtains 2 Inches off the Floor

Most interior designers will tell you that a 2-inch distance from the floor to the bottom of the curtain is too much. However, modern homeowners often hang curtains that hang between 2 and 3 inches from the floor. This casual look can make the curtains look airier, especially when there is a breeze or the air conditioner turns on.

Sometimes it is unavoidable to have a large gap between the floor and the curtain if you don’t measure. That is why you should always measure the space between the top of your windows and the floor before you buy curtains. Otherwise, you can end up with curtains that are far too short or long which can be off-putting if you don’t expect it.

Curtains 4 Inches off Floor

Curtains that hang 4 inches off the floor are casual and modern. However, it can be a distracting look if you have no decorations underneath them. One way to avoid this is to line the floor underneath the curtains with houseplants to make the space more lively.

You can leave the space empty as long as you enjoy the color of the wall beneath the curtain. It may be necessary to have curtains 4 inches off the floor if you have curious pets. Cats in particular are known to scratch and tug on curtains when they are too close to the floor.

Can You Shorten Curtains?

You can shorten curtains without having to cut them at all. All that you need is a sewing hem and you won’t need to worry about damaging the fabric. Cutting curtains is a bad way to shorten them because it can render them useless for future use if you put them in a different spot or house altogether.

Carefully fold the excess fabric at the bottom of the curtain upwards to where you would like it to stop. Lightly mark the fold at the bottom using a yardstick and a pencil. Use a lot of pressure so that the fold stays in place before you sew the hem.

Remove the curtain from the rod after you mark the fold. Sew the hem by hand to ensure accuracy. Hang the curtain back up from the rod and check to make sure that it is at your desired height.

Puddle Curtains

Puddle or puddled curtains throw away all of the rules of how far curtains should hang down. Not only do puddled curtains touch the ground, but they bunch up at the bottom to create a puddle. The excess fabric creates a “puddle” that sits on the floor in a unique shape.

They used to serve the practical purpose of insulating windows during autumn and winter. Now, homeowners use puddled curtains to create a casual atmosphere in the room. Puddled drapes can be dramatic if you pair them with the right sconces or floor lamps.

Curtains need to be floor length or longer to properly puddle. You can change how much your curtains puddle. The only downside to puddle curtains is that they can quickly become dirty at the bottom, especially if you have pets that shed their hair.

Can Curtains be Too Long?

Curtains can only be too long if you don’t want them to puddle on the floor. It also depends on your taste and whether or not you measured the space before you hung the curtains. Some curtains may be too long for you if you were expecting them to be at least ½ inch from the floor.

Some homeowners simply don’t want long curtains and would prefer them to “float” above the floor. You can avoid getting curtains that are too long if you measure from the floor to the window. This will leave little room for chance and can save you time and money.

Should Curtains Match Wall Color?

Curtains should match wall color if you want to create a monochromatic aesthetic throughout the room. Matching your walls with your curtains can make them look natural and like they are part of the wall. However, that can be bland for homeowners that want to add character to a space.

Curtains are a great way to offset the other colors in a room and create a contrast. For example, black curtains in a room with primarily light colors are noticeable and bold. You can use contrasting curtains to add dynamics to a space

Designers recommend that you choose curtains one shade darker or lighter than your walls to create a contrast. That look isn’t for everyone and can be distracting if you want your curtains to blend in.

Summing It Up

Curtains are generally supposed to either touch the floor or hang ½ inch from the floor. Some designers recommend that they hang as low as ¼ inch from the floor if you’d rather not have them touch the ground. Puddle curtains are quite popular and require you get curtains with excess fabric so they pool on the ground.

Curtains that touch the floor often make the wall look larger which can add depth to the space. This is ideal if you have a small room and want to help make the space feel less cramped. Curtains that hang between 2 and 3 inches from the floor are preferable to some homeowners.

The more space between the floor and the curtain, the less often you’ll need to straighten them. Puddle curtains and floor-length curtains can easily bunch up and knock themselves out of place.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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