Window blinds are shades made from uniform horizontal slats that are lightweight, can be tilt-adjusted for light control, and pull up to open to an unobstructed view. Most window blinds are metal, wood, or plastic, and you can generally find stock blinds at home improvement and big box stores. Stock blinds are window coverings that are made to standard sizes and may be adjusted to fit the window. So the most common window sizes determine the easiest-to-find and most-economical ready-made blinds.
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Standard Sizes for Blinds
If you stroll the window covering section of any home improvement store, you'll find a wide range of sizes for blinds. Blinds designed to fit the most common window sizes are often what you'll see the most. When selecting window blinds, consider three measurements: window length, width, and depth. Depth determines the size of slats, but standard window lengths are:
- 36 inches
- 48 inches
- 60 inches
- 72 inches
Standard window widths are:
- 24 inches
- 36 inches
- 48 inches
- 60 inches
Older homes or custom windows vary considerably and may require custom-manufactured blinds. But a standard size can usually be trimmed in the store to make it fit inside your not-quite-standard window. This is often the most economical solution if custom-made window coverings aren't in your budget.
Blind Slat Sizes
The slats can be tilted, opened precisely horizontally for the most light, or closed for privacy or to block light. Deeper windows look best with the widest slat sizes, and small, shallow windows work better with the narrowest slats. Common slat widths are 1/2 inch, 1 inch, or 2 inches, which is the most popular width. Smaller slats look proportionate on smaller windows, and they offer a more subtle look that blends in with the surroundings.
Medium-sized windows offer more flexibility. They look good and can accommodate the common 2-inch slats, but they can also look good with smaller or larger slats. Smaller slats sometimes offer more privacy and light-blocking capability because the slats are closer together. Larger slats tend to offer a more noticeable, chunky look on your windows, and more light tends to filter through them, even when you open them slightly.
The wider the slat, the heavier the blind, so a large window that can handle the look of a 2 1/2-inch slat might require a light, synthetic slat material to make the weight of the blinds manageable. When choosing classic wide wood slats, consider the weight; extra-wide slats might make real wood an impractical choice for large windows.
Miniblinds and Measuring
Skinny, lightweight blinds with very narrow slats are called miniblinds and look best in modern decor on smaller windows. Those slats are typically 1/2 inch deep and hung within the window frame; the width and length of the blind correspond to standard window sizes.
To find the right size for inside-mount blinds, the most typical mounting method for any blind, take three precise window measurements for the width: from inner frame to inner frame at the top, middle, and bottom of the window, noting the width to the nearest 1/8 inch. Then find the height by measuring to the nearest 1/8 inch from the inside top of the frame to the sill at left, center, and right. For overlapping blinds that rest outside the frame, add 1 1/2 to 3 extra inches to the window width.