When designing window treatments and constructing a property a point that often gets overlooked is the ‘space’ needed for the installation of window treatments. We often have conversations with designers & contractors about the amount of ‘room’ that we will need to install our product and ensure that it works correctly. Here we’ve sought to explain what we mean by ‘space’ or ‘room’ in the hopes that it helps you the designer out in spec writing, you the purchasing agent,  or you the project manager out in avoiding headaches.

The typical answer to the question is three inches. Three inches are needed between each treatment, between the wall and the 1st treatment, and between the last treatment and a cornice or valence if there is one. The reason why three inches is key, is that if less exists then we starting running into problems such as treatments rubbing on each other, the smoothness of the treatment traversing becomes impaired, or the treatment rubs on the inside of the cornice/valence and is worn much faster than normal. All of these are serious problems to the functionality and integrity of the product. All of them can also easily be avoided by simply allowing three inches of space between treatments.

Drapery Orientation Diagram

Below you can see two pictures where adequate space between treatments was not given. In this case GC built cornices were installed prior to our team being onsite. As we began to install we quickly realized the distance between the wall and inside of the cornice was less than adequate.

In this situation the results are as follows...

  • In image 1 you can see the sheer between the two tracks of hardware. The limited space is causing the sheer to rub on the backside of the over drape’s master carrier. Immediately this causes the sheer to have trouble traversing. Long term this continued rubbing will wear the front of the sheer very quickly creating the need for replacement.
  • In image 2 you can see the overdrape between the hardware track and the cornice front. The overdrape rubs, just the same as the sheer, on the front of the cornice causing it to not traverse smoothly and will potentially cause wear much more rapidly than normal.

For reference please see the two diagrams below showing from an above view how that 3" is taken up by the drapery. The first image shows a pinch pleat rod & drape from above.

Pinch Pleat drape & hardware from above

The second image shows a ripplefold rod & drape from above.

Ripplefold drape & hardware from above

Problems like this arise from time to time but together we can avoid them! We hope this was helpful. Please let us know if you have any specific questions.


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