Measuring Doors for Blinds

Blinds for doors are usually mounted on the door though sometimes they are mounted on the wall above the door. Blinds on doors are almost always measured and installed as an outside mount. A single door doesn't present to many potential problems unless it is set deep in the opening as one might find in a finished basement where the jamb has been extended on the room side. French and sliding doors may present some challenges no matter where they are located.

The thing you need to keep in mind when measuring for blinds on French doors is, will the door open properly after the blinds are installed? A normal French door will swing about 170 degrees from the closed to open position. It is quite common for them not to open past the 90 degree mark after a 2 inch blind has been installed. The greater the glass area is as percentage of the total door, the greater the likely-hood that you will encounter a problem.

Be sure to order hold-down brackets for your door blinds. You may choose not to install them, but it is better to have them and not use them than it is to need them and not have them.

Hinged doors may or may not have a raised molding around the glass area. For a flat surface hinged door measure the width of the glass and add 1 or 2 inches. This is your width. Two inches is better for privacy and light control but you have to consider whether or not the extra inch will interfere with the proper operation of the knob. One also needs to consider how the width will affect the door swing on French doors.

Measure the length (height) of the glass and add 3 inches. This is your length. Three inches allows the blind to be mounted above the glass and room for the hold-down brackets to be installed at the bottom.

When you have doors with a raised molding surrounding the glass, measure the width of the molding and add 1 or 2 inches. Just like with flat surface doors, two inches is better for privacy and light control but you have to consider whether or not the extra inch will interfere with the proper operation of the knob. This is your width. The same considerations apply regarding the door swing.

Measure the length (height) of the molding and add 3". This is your length.

Sliding doors are always a problem when using horizontal blinds or shades. Mounting on the door never works because if you do the door can not slide. You can mount to the casing but then the blinds hangs low into the opening when it is retracted, interferes with both view and access.

Probably the best solution is to mount the blind on the wall above the door; far enough up on the wall that when it is pulled up it completely clears the opening. You should consult with the seller of your blinds for an exact amount but as a general guideline, a two inch wood or faux blind needs about 1/8" for each inch of height. As an example the blind in my office is 71" tall and stacks in 8 1/2" of space. The math would say it needed 8 7/8" (71 / 8 = 8.875). Short blinds will need little more and longer ones a little less since the 2" head-rail and the 1" bottom rail are fixed dimensions for all lengths of blinds.

Do keep in mind that wood blinds and especially faux wood blinds are heavy and anything wider than 48" is hard to lift so you are looking at two or more for a standard sized slider.

This article or portions of this article were previously published in a significantly different form on two websites owned by the author, window-wizard.net and lexkyweb.com/windows. Those articles are no longer available at those locations. Copyright is renewed with this revised publication (01-31-2010).


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