- Fantastic Team
- 14min read
- Published: August 28, 2019
- Views: 198
How to Choose and Install Window Blinds – the Complete Guide
Whether you need a slight interior refreshment or you have just moved into a new home, blinds are the perfect way to customise your space, control the amount of light that gets inside the room, and even increase your home’s energy efficiency. However, blinds fitting is a decision that comes with a certain investment, so you want to get it right the first time.
But what are the main problems that homeowners face when making the decision to install new blinds?
- Is inside or outside the window frame the right option for my windows?
- What type of blinds suits the room best – what are the pros and cons of each type?
- How to take the right measurement and order the blinds that will fit perfectly?
- How to install my new blinds?
First of all, let’s see what are the different types of blinds available on the market.
Venetian blinds have horizontal slats and are often made of metal such as aluminium, wood, or plastic. They are operated by a cord and give you the option to draw them completely open to the top of the window, or you can leave them down but tilt the slats open up to 180 degrees to allow light through. Also, there are cordless Venetian blinds, designed to add an extra level of security for homes with young children and pets.
Venetian blinds are a great alternative to curtains and can create a stylish and modern look within your home. For a more contemporary feel, you can choose aluminium Venetian blinds. The strong material will not rust or bend, making these blinds ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
These blinds can be found in a wide variety of colours to match your décor and style preferences.
- Available in aluminum for a modern and clean look and wood for a more natural atmosphere.
- Both materials look stylish, elegant and timeless and match perfectly with any home decor.
- Provide excellent light control by partially or fully closing the slats.
- Easy to clean
- Child and pet safe
- Motorisation options are available
- Venetian blinds can be installed inside and outside the recess.
- The wooden Venetian blinds are not suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
- The aluminium Venetian blinds can be very thin and this may lead to easy bending.
Vertical blinds are made up of flat slats which, when drawn, can be tilted to allow light to filter through. They are easy to operate, drawing to the side rather than lifting or lowering.
A good choice for doors and windows that slide open from side to side, French windows, patio doors, or angled windows.
- Ideal for large windows, patio glass-doors and windows.
- Moisture resistant.
- Blackout and motorisation options are available.
- Easy to clean
- They can be easily pulled off the small hooks if you push or pull them too hard or if you have pets.
Roman blinds are designed to work by raising and lowering a series of panels. They can be top or face fixed to walls or window frames. They can visually enlarge your windows if installed a little higher above the windows. This will give an impression of higher windows, which is a nice visual effect for small spaces.
As they are made from soft fabrics, they are not suitable for bathrooms and rooms with a high level of moisture. Roman blinds are very effective in blocking sunlight which makes them useful for bedrooms or nurseries where sleeping in a calm atmosphere is a priority.
- The wide variety of fabrics available makes it easy to find the perfect match for your interior and they fold elegantly when they are raised up.
- Available in Wood Weave & Blackout.
- As the Roman blinds are most commonly fitted outside the recess, they provide full coverage over the window and increase your privacy.
- They are child and pet safe.
- Even when they are up, the fabric stack can partly block your view and reduce the amount of sunlight streaming in.
- They don’t offer the flexibility of being partly opened or closed as the Venetian blinds do. Roman blinds are either up or down.
- They are not suitable for rooms with high levels of moisture or kitchens where the different scents from the cooking food can get inside the fabric.
Roller blinds offer a minimalistic look as they roll up neatly and don’t block the clear view. They can provide full privacy and improve the energy efficiency of your home.
If you choose this type of blinds, keep in mind that the cloth is always narrower than the bracket. This means that there will always be areas of glass that aren’t covered fully by the blinds.
If you choose sunscreen roller blinds, they can protect your furnishings from UV rays, glare, and heat.
If you need a blackout option or the ability to block out noisy neighbours, these blinds are a very good solution. In addition, the roller blinds are very effective for homes that are exposed to the winter chill because they don’t have gaps so the cold air can not get through.
They are easy to install and clean and come in a wide range of colours and textures. These features make them ideal for families of all ages.
You can choose moisture-resistant and wipe clean PVC options, perfect for the kitchen and bathroom, or blackout roller blinds that will ensure a high degree of darkness.
- They offer a high level of privacy and light control.
- There is a wide variety of thicknesses, colours, and textures.
- There are waterproof materials suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
- You can roll them up and down as much as you prefer and even when they are halfway down, they provide more visibility.
- Child and pet safe.
- They are not suitable for very narrow or specially-shaped windows.
- All fabrics have a maximum width which can be an issue with larger windows.
- Due to the design, these blinds create side gaps of up to 22mm.
Wooden blinds bring nature inside your home or office. They are available in many different shades, stains, and colours to suit any style. Wooden blinds are lightweight which makes them a good choice for large windows. These blinds are not suitable for kitchens and bathrooms as the wood may crack or warp due to high humidity levels.
- Match any style decor.
- The natural wooden blinds are lightweight and suitable for large windows.
- Excellent insulation qualities, provide a high level of privacy, and protect furniture from sunlight damage.
- Wooden blinds are not water resistant.
- They can be easily damaged if you clean them with chemicals.
- Installed to south facing windows or high temperatures, they may warp.
Faux wood blinds
Made from PVC/vinyl or a composite wood material, the faux wooden blinds are available in a wide range of colours and stains. Both painted and stained blinds are available with an embossed texture that imitates the look of real wood.
They are water-resistant and you can use them in high humidity areas. The material is heavier than real wood so they are not suitable for large windows.
- Faux wooden blinds are resistant to moisture and good for high humidity areas.
- Match any home decor.
- Easy to clean.
- Some faux woods are heavier than real wood so they are not suitable for large windows.
- If not made from quality materials, faux blinds can warp under the harsh sunlight and high temperatures.
Do you know what Energy Saving Blinds are?
Energy-efficient blinds or thermal blinds are just a few of the names of these innovative blinds.
They are different in design but fundamentally have one main function – to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They feature a high-tech coating that provides extra insulation. It could be a blackout coating or a silvered reflective as both add to the thermal properties of the fabric. These thermal fabrics come in a roller, vertical, panel or pleated blind style. In addition, they are hard wearing and easy to clean. They can reflect up to 78%, ensuring they keep the heat even in the coolest rooms. They are a great choice if you are taking the energy efficiency of your home seriously. With a wide range of colours to choose from you don’t have to sacrifice your ideal style, either.
Thermal blinds can reduce heat loss by up to 51% and, with their honeycomb pockets, they create a barrier between the warm room and the cold window. With their sleek, modern and stylish look they can create a more comfortable, warm and cosy environment. Battery operated or motorized, these blinds can make life easier and help you save money.
But is there a way to combine energy efficiency and modern technologies? In fact, the blinds and curtains manufacturing industry has an answer. See below some of the innovative types of blinds you can choose from.
Electric roller blinds
They combine all the benefits of standard roller blinds with additional ease of use and extra child safety features. They are battery powered and you can control them with switching buttons or a remote controller. The motor that turns the blinds is installed within the blind tube and can not be seen, so you don’t have to worry about how these blinds will fit into your room. They can also be combined with a solar panel option that allows for an environment-friendly way to power them. In addition, this is a great solution for difficult to reach areas.
Solar Control Blinds
The Solar control blinds are perfect for windows facing the sun in all directions, like in conservatories or, especially in the summer months. They are the right solution if there are certain spots in your house exposed to bright sunshine.
Are you curious about all the new technologies and how you can benefit from these innovations? Many homeowners are not quite sure if this investment is worth it just because they don’t know exactly how smart options can ease their everyday routines. Let’s examine some of the key benefits.
Solar-powered blinds are the latest trend in the integrated blinds industry. By including a photovoltaic panel that produces energy from the sun, these blinds are ideal in case there is no electricity supply available. This technology contributes to better energy efficiency in the home by using renewable power sources.
You may already know about the motorized/electrical blinds, but if you think that investing money in such blinds is just a luxury, here are some of the main benefits:
- Easy to use
- Improve energy efficiency
- Safety and Security
- Improve your sleep
- Protect your furniture and valuables
- Control of all of the blinds in your home
- Enable energy-saving mode and set your preferred temperature, synchronized with your smart thermostat
- Defined daily and weekly schedules
- With the integrated sensors, you can turn on sun/temperature tracking and benefit from the natural level of light.
- Set the desired position of each blind
Motorized blinds can be easily controlled by a smartphone app, remote control or touching a button on the wall. Window blinds are the time-tested way to reduce solar gain and prevent heat loss. That’s why they have become not only part of the home decor but a necessity.
Technologies are all around us in our everyday life and blinds are no еxception. The ability to set a day and night schedule or a specific time to open and close is a convenient addition to the set of functionality they offer.
The smart blinds can be connected to a smart home hub, so they can be synchronized with your heating system. They are equipped with sensors that collect data from the outside and inside environment. This makes it possible for the blinds to close during the hottest part of the day and reduce the usage of the heating system or open during the sunny days in the winter so the sun can heat the room in a natural way.
When combined with smart lighting, the motorized blinds can help maximize the amount of daylight in the rooms and cut down the electricity usage in your home.
The lack of cords with motorized blinds is a significant improvement in the mission for preventing child injuries. Some models can even communicate with your fire alarm and automatically open the blinds when the fire is detected, allowing the emergency responders to look through the windows.
Another security feature is setting a schedule to open and close which can be very handy if you go on a vacation. This way the blinds will simulate that there is presence in the house and can prevent a burglar attack.
Matching your sleep pattern to the day/night cycle has always been an issue, especially if you find yourself more productive at night. And if you think that you can take your extra hours of sleep at the weekend, think twice about how many other things you can possibly do if you are not that tired.
One good way to train your body to wake up in the right way is to set up an exact hour for your blinds to open and close.
One additional benefit that motorized blinds can offer is extra protection from damaging sunlight for your furniture, carpets, rugs or valuable paintings, or even the wall paint. Of course, any blind can offer this protection but as this is a repetitive task, it may become boring and you have to be at home to do it. Smart blinds would handle this task for you.
They are designed with functionality in mind, so controlling them with special apps gives you many options, like:
Integrated Venetian blinds in double glazing windows are the perfect option for people who prefer complete solutions. The blind is located between the panes of glass, so you don’t have to think about how to clean it. They are operated by a magnetic slider allowing for precise and smooth control and are ideal for rooms where regular blinds can get wet, like bathrooms or kitchens. They are designed with safety in mind and are completely cordless. They provide privacy and energy efficiency in one product
The integrated blinds available on the market are encapsulated within the double glazed window at the installation stage, but it’s possible to retrofit them into existing glazing.
Integrated window blinds can help you create the perfect environment, giving you precise control over thermal efficiency, shading and privacy.
Motorized, remote controlled or wi-fi controlled integrated blinds are available in a wide range of colours, giving you the freedom to keep the style of your home intact.
Some of the main benefits of these blinds are:
- Maintenance free – You don’t have to clean them
- Totally hygienic as they are sealed within the window
- Child safe
- Suitable for your residential and commercial properties
- Help you increase the energy efficiency of your home
With all these options available and the smart home systems, you can save time and money, go green and easily control every single one or every group of window blinds.
Inside or outside recess
What is a window recess?
They are generally described as the empty space between the glass itself and the space inside the wall.
Blinds can be hung within the recess or outside the recess, and both possess their own list of pros and cons that you will need to consider.
The first step is to identify if your window has a recess so the blind can fit in neatly. This type of mount keeps the windows looking neat and refined. If there is an obstruction inside of the window frame like an alarm sensor or crank handle or the window depth is not enough for the blind to operate smoothly, you should consider an outside recess fitting. The minimum clearance between the window to any obstruction should be at least 25 mm depending on the blind type.
- Minimalistic look.
- Blinds are attached to the window frame for maximum coverage.
- If you store objects on your window sill, they will remain visible even when the blinds are closed.
- Less light can enter the room even when the blinds are rolled up.
- If the blinds have an unevenly shaped bottom, they may let some small amount of light into the room.
Outside mounted blinds generally, cover the entire window. Some of the most common reasons to choose this option are:
- Unique window shape or size
- Shallow recesses (of a smaller depth than 7.5 cm)
- Window opens inwards
- Windows are slightly uneven
- Window trims have to be covered
- When the blinds are rolled up, it allows much more light into the room.
- Blocks more light when fully down.
- You can place objects on the window sill.
- The outside recess mount type gives you more flexibility on the blinds’ size.
- The fitting process requires installation of a blind batten above the window.
- The decorative objects on the window sill will be visible from the outside or when the blind is rolled up.
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How to measure for window blinds
The first step is to identify if your window has a recess so the blind can fit in neatly. This type of mount keeps the windows looking neat and refined. If there is an obstruction inside of the window frame like an alarm sensor or crank handle or the window depth is not enough for the blind to operate smoothly, you should consider an outside recess fitting.
Materials you need:
- Metal tape measure
- A sturdy step-ladder
Measure for inside recess blinds
Step #1: By using the metal tape measure, carefully calculate the distance from left to right within the walls of the recess. Repeat this step 3 times as you make sure to write down the top, middle, and bottom measurements. The shortest length is the one you need.
Step #2: Measure the distance from top to the bottom of your recess following the previous technique. Take measurements in three different places and write down the shortest one.
When measuring the recess depth, don’t forget to add the distance between the glass to any obstruction such as a handle.
The following table will give you the most common blinds’ sizes and the required recess depth.
|Slat size||Recess depth|
|25mm slat Wooden Blinds||55mm|
|35mm slat Wooden Blinds||65mm|
|50mm slat Wooden Blinds||70mm|
|63/64mm slat Wooden Blinds||80mm|
|89mm Slats Vertical Blinds||70mm|
|15mm Metal Venetian||30mm|
|25mm Metal Venetian||30mm|
|35mm Metal Venetian||55mm|
|50mm Metal Venetian||55mm|
|Roller Blind Top-Fix||50mm|
|Roller Blind Face-Fix||70mm|
Measure for outside recess fitting
Opposite to the inside recess fitting, the outside fitting allows the blinds to overlap on each side of the window, giving you better coverage.
Measure the size of the area you need to be covered and follow the “3 different measurements” technique.
How to measure for perfect fit blinds
- Measure the visible glass of each window by using a metal measuring tape.
- Measure up to the edge of the rubber bead, but don’t include it.
- Use the 3 different spots measuring technique and take the shortest measurement. Repeat this to find the exact drop and again take the narrowest.
- The last step is to measure the depth of the window from the glass to the window frame. This measurement determines the bracket size.
How to install window blinds – the step-by-step process for each type
How to fit roller blinds
- To mount the brackets, drill the holes carefully. Drill and mount the first bracket and then check if it is levelled correctly with the marks for the other one. Drill the holes for the second bracket.
- Then, identify which end is the one without a control mechanism and insert it into the bracket first.
- Press down the leading pin in the other bracket and pull down until you hear how it clicks securely into place.
- Check if the blind is working correctly.
- Install the child safety device and secure the cord.
How to fit Roman blinds
- The first step is to place the brackets exactly where you want the blind to be fitted.
- By using a pencil, mark the positions of the holes in the brackets. This is where the screws will go.
- Drill the holes for the first brackets and then check if they are well levelled with the marks for the second bracket.
- Screw the brackets tightly and hook the clip into it.
- When this step is done, just push the head rail down until you hear it click into the right place.
- Don’t forget to install the safety device.
How to fit Venetian blinds
- Place the brackets on the wall so you can mark the position of the holes. Make sure they are level.
- Drill the holes and screw the brackets securely to the wall.
- Place the blind in the bracket until it clicks.
- Make sure the blind is working correctly.
- Fit the child safety device to the wall.
How to install vertical blinds
- To begin the installation you need to mark the position of the holes for the brackets. Mark the screw holes with a pencil.
- Drill the holes for the first bracket. By using a spirit level, check if it is well-positioned with the mark for the second one. Then drill the holes for the second bracket.
- Screw the brackets into place to secure them.
- Position the rail and clip it into place.
- Hook the back of the headrail into the bracket and rotate the headrail into position. Secure it by tightening the short screw in the front of the
- With the headrail in place, use the beaded chain to turn the hooks so they are all facing in the open position and then hook each slat onto each of the hooks on the headrail.
- Fit the safety device.
How to fit wooden blinds
- Mark the positions of the bracket’s holes on the wall.
- Place the first bracket and carefully drill a hole for the screw. Check if the marks for the second bracket are still levelled after you screwed the first one to the wall. Correct the position if needed. Complete the same action with the second bracket.
- Remove the plastic caps and insert the headrail into the brackets until it fits into place. The velcro patches on the headrail should be on the front side.
- Remove the velcro patches’ plastic backing and slide the fascia over the front of the headrail. Press firmly to secure the installation and make sure it fully covers the ends.
- Never forget to install the child safety device.
You can easily change the look of your home by fitting new blinds and even reduce the heat transfer via your windows. During the cold days, window blinds can help you keep your home warmer but don’t forget:
- Take into account the size of the window so you can determine how you can fit your blinds – inside or outside the recess;
- If the mounting method is not an issue, choose carefully the right type of blinds so they can serve your specific needs;
- You don’t need so many tools to complete your blinds fitting, but if drilling and climbing high ladders is not your thing, it is better to turn to an experienced handyman.
Image source: depositphotos / belchonock
If you have any personal experience, or think we have missed something, please share in the comment section below.
- Last update: January 29, 2020
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