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Should Curtains Touch the Floor? | The Answer Is Shocking!

Should Curtains Touch the Floor? | The Answer Is Shocking!

Curtains are an essential part of house décor and serve a functional purpose as well. However, the proper length of curtains is often disputed and begs the question: should curtains touch the floor? Keep reading to find out.


Disclaimer: The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.


Should Curtains Touch the Floor?

To illustrate when curtains should touch the floor, a modern living room with yellow curtains and beige furniture with off-white walls is pictured

Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Whether or not curtains should touch the floor is mainly subjective and based on personal preference. However, some curtains – like single pair and blackout curtains – generally should brush the floor.

Should the following curtains touch the floor?

  • Single Panel — Yes
  • Double Panel — Depends on your style
  • Blackout — Yes
  • Window Scarf — No
  • Valence Type — No
  • Window Tier – No
  • Window Treatment Set — No
  • Sheer and Semi-Sheer — Yes

While that’ll answer your question in a pinch, there are some things to consider with each type of curtain. Read on to learn what each of these are and more.

When Should Curtains Touch the Floor?

As a decorative touch to your home, when curtains touch the floor is ultimately your decision. However, certain factors like curtain type and window size can affect your decision. 

Curtain Type

First, consider the type of curtains you have or wish to hang in the home. Below you’ll find eight common curtain types and a general rule on hanging them. However, remember that the final decision is up to you and what looks best in your home!

Single Panel

Should single panel curtains touch the floor? Yes. This first type is just one curtain that sits on either side of the window, creating asymmetry. You can pull it across to completely cover the window, but this curtain is primarily decorative. You’ll often see this type of curtain touching the ground, as it’s intended to cover large spaces at a time.

Double Panel

Should double panel curtains touch the floor? It depends on your style. Panel pair curtains include two sections, one on either side of the window. You can pull them together to completely cover the window.

Depending on your style choice (more about that below), double panel curtains may reach only to the bottom of the window or extend to the floor.

Blackout

Should blackout curtains touch the floor? Yes. If you prefer function over style, you’ll likely choose blackout curtains for your room. These types of curtains are guaranteed to hit the floor.

Blackout curtains provide the most privacy and keep out light as an energy-efficient way to cool the room. They often touch the floor to cover as much area as possible surrounding the window.

Window Scarf

Should window scarf curtains touch the floor? No. Window scarf curtains are mainly a stylistic touch – just like the scarf you have in your closet. The window scarf drapes above the window, with the ends hanging down on either side.

Since it is mainly decorative and short, it will likely not touch the floor unless the curtain is abnormally long to make a grand stylistic statement.

Valence Type 

Should valence type curtains touch the floor? No. Similar to window scarfs, valences add a decorative touch to the top of the window. While some may have long ends, most only reach down to cover a fraction of the window. They’re more for style rather than functionality.

Window Tier Curtains

Should window tier curtains touch the floor? No. Tier curtains are unique since they only cover a specific section of the window. Some only cover the bottom half of the window, while other sets also include a top tier portion.

Even though these curtains often start at the middle of the window, they do not reach the floor. In fact, they only touch the window sill since people often use them for windows over the kitchen sink.

Window Treatment Set Curtain

Should window treatment set curtains touch the floor? Yes. This curtain set often includes a double panel and a scarf or valence. As a complete set, these curtains cover the whole area around a window – including the space between the window and floor.

Sheers and Semi-Sheers

Should sheer and semi-sheer curtains touch the floor? It depends on your preference. Sheer curtains add a soft decorative touch while giving some protection against strong sunlight.

Some styles lean more towards a fashionable look, which may include long, floor-length curtains. Others are more functional, so they may be shorter. As such, these curtains can touch the floor if you prefer, or not.

Style

Unlike the type of curtain, the curtain style ultimately depends on your room design. Here, personal preference trumps practicality. Floor-length curtains can add the bold statement your room has always needed, or they can overwhelm a smaller space.

Try laying a piece of fabric, sheet, or blanket on the curtain rod to see if your curtains should touch the floor. If you decide that floor-length curtains are perfect for your home’s style, the next step is to determine how much they should touch the floor. There are three common ways to style floor-length curtains: float, kiss, and puddle.

When a curtain has about one inch of space from the floor, that’s called a “float.” When it’s lightly touching the floor, it’s called a “kiss.” Curtains that extend onto and lay on the floor are “puddle” curtains. Again, the final stylistic touch is up to you!

Windows

Of course, one of the main deciding factors of whether or not curtains should touch the floor is the window itself.

Location

As a general rule, kitchen and bathroom windows pair well with shorter curtains. Bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms present opportunities for bold, floor-length curtains. Plus, you may want to add extra warmth in a room with longer curtains if you don’t have insulated windows.

Size

Windows come in all shapes and sizes, and the curtains should compliment them. If you have larger windows, floor-length curtains may be more appropriate. If your windows extend to the floor, you might want to let your curtains touch – or even puddle – the floor to ensure complete coverage. 

Purpose

Finally, consider why you want to hang curtains. If you’re just looking for a decorative touch in a room, choosing floor-length curtains is a stylistic choice. 

Now, if you want the curtains to double as an extra level of privacy or insulation, curtains that touch the floor may be an excellent choice. Since they cover more area, you can ensure maximum heat retention, sunlight blockage, and privacy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

For a frequently asked section for a piece on should curtains touch the floor, a man hangs curtains while his partner supports the ladder

Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Knowing the right circumstance to let curtains touch the floor can sometimes come with additional questions. Find some answers to frequently asked questions on the topic below.

How Far Should Curtains Hang from the Floor?

Depending on how close to the ground you want your curtains to hang, you can choose one of the standard curtain sizes: 63”, 84”, 96”, and 108”. The 63” curtains generally reach the bottom window sill, while the other measurements reach the floor or puddle on the floor.

Can You Use Long Curtains on Short Windows?

Pairing different curtain lengths with different-sized windows may not seem like the most intuitive way to decorate, but it can be beneficial. You can use longer, wider curtains to create the illusion of a larger window. Go for the floor-to-ceiling look if you want to be modern with the approach.

Should You Hang Curtains to the Ceiling?

Where you hang your curtain can visually add length to the space. Curtains create the appearance of higher ceilings when hung above the window rather than to the ceiling.

So, Should Curtains Touch the Floor?

So there you have it — our complete guide to help answer “should curtains touch the floor?” If you’re wondering how long to hang your new curtains, remember that your personal preference is the key.

If you wish to serve a particular function with the curtains – like blocking out light – you may need to let the curtains touch the floor. Or, if you want to achieve a particular look with floor-length curtains, that’s okay, too. Play to the qualities of your home, and let your curtains hang as low as you please!

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