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Installing curtains adds ambiance and forms an integral component of most interior designers’ checklists. Curtains change the look and feel of a room, make it lighter or darker, and enhance the decor. So, make an informed choice for the curtain types you install. Curtains can be categorized by fabric, window type, height, linings, and whether they are ready-made or custom-made. Each affects the final cost.
The national average is $50 to $500 per window for curtain installation, including the curtain cost, hardware, and installation. A set of professionally installed linen curtains on a single rod for a standard-sized window costs about $200. The price varies, depending on the amount of work and curtain cost. Simple DIY nylon curtains for a small fixed window cost $20, while professionally fitted custom-designed silk curtains for a large bay window cost up to $3,000.
|Curtain Installation Prices|
|National average cost||$200|
Curtains come in many fabrics, from affordable options like nylon and acrylic to exclusive high-end alternatives, such as velvet and silk. The cost is heavily influenced by the material. The table below shows common fabric types and their average costs without installation.
|Fabric||Average Costs (per window)|
|Nylon||$10 - $50|
|Acrylic||$10 - $75|
|Polyester||$10 - $75|
|Voile||$20 - $100|
|Cotton||$20 - $150|
|Chenille||$20 - $150|
|Chiffon||$20 - $150|
|Lace||$20 - $300|
|Bamboo||$25 - $300|
|Linen||$25 - $300|
|Wool||$30 - $500|
|Velvet||$50 - $750|
|Silk||$100 - $1,500|
Nylon curtains usually cost between $10 and $50 per window, with nylon and other synthetic fabrics being the most affordable options. Nylon curtains offer numerous advantages despite being inexpensive, coming in many colors and styles and resisting wrinkles. However, they can fade in the wash and do not have the same aesthetic or tactile qualities of other materials.
Acrylic curtains cost from $10 to $75 per window. The price is dependent on the curtain size, color, and style. Like nylon, acrylic is an affordable synthetic material, and acrylic curtains can be found in many colors and patterns. However, they may not last as long as the more expensive options and do not offer the same elegant, aesthetic appeal as silk or velvet.
Polyester curtains or drapes range from $10 to $75, depending on the size and style. They come in a wide range of styles, and polyester is a relatively durable material that resists wrinkles and lasts for years with regular care. Polyester curtains are a good value but lack softness and elegance compared to other materials.
Voile curtains or drapery cost between $20 and $100 on average. Voile is a delicate, lightweight, woven fabric, usually made from 100% cotton. It is very soft and looks elegant, so it can be a popular option for its aesthetic appeal. However, it is not good at blocking out light, so it is not the best for private spaces like bedrooms.
Cotton curtains average $20 to $150 per window, depending on the size and style. Cotton can be used in many ways and is known for its softness and durability. Various cotton types can make curtains, so you have many options. Cotton is one of the most versatile options for curtains.
Chenille curtains range from $20 to $150 per window. This material is known for its softness and beauty. It is usually made from cotton but can also be made with synthetic fibers. Chenille curtains come in a wide range of colors and are impressively durable, resisting wrinkling and pilling. Chenille also has quite a luxurious, elegant aesthetic, so it can be a good choice for brightly colored floor-length curtains to draw attention.
Chiffon curtains usually cost between $20 and $150 per window. Chiffon is a very delicate, lightweight fabric, usually made from a blend of synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester. It is reasonably affordable and durable, feeling soft to the touch but lasting for years without issues when treated with care and attention. However, chiffon is not very thick, so it is not the best choice if you want to block light.
Lace curtains prices range from $20 to $300, depending on the size and style. Some simple lace sheer layers can be used as the curtain base layer and are very elegant, elaborate lace designs. The open weave nature of lace allows light to pass through easily, so lace curtains are not the best for privacy or shade, but they can be aesthetically pleasing.
Bamboo curtains usually cost between $25 and $300 per window, and bamboo is usually used to make shades and blinds rather than traditional curtains. It is a durable and attractive material, effective at blocking out light, and provides a unique aesthetic touch. It works well in many home themes and styles.
Linen curtains range in price from $25 to $300. Linen is a fabric made from the flax plant, which is well-known for its strength, durability, softness, and flowing appearance. Linen curtains are popular and can last for many years without any issues, but it must be handled carefully because linen wrinkles easily.
Wool curtains average $30 to $500 per window. Wool is not a common choice for curtains, so this may restrict the options you have. However, you can find some very attractive wool and wool-blend drapes in various colors and styles. Wool is soft and gentle to the touch and can last a long time without fading or degrading. It also traps heat in the room. However, it must be cleaned and maintained with great care to avoid shrinkage.
Velvet curtains cost between $50 and $750, with velvet being one of the most expensive and luxurious fabrics. It blocks the light out and insulates your interior spaces, trapping heat inside during winter. It also feels very soft and has a striking appearance, bringing beauty and grace into bedrooms, living rooms, and other spaces.
Silk curtains range from $100 to $1,500, and silk is usually the most expensive material for curtains. It is well known for its unique softness and elegant shimmering appearance, adding visual appeal to interior spaces. However, silk is very delicate. It easily tears and can fade over time, so silk curtains usually must be lined, handled with care, and dry cleaned regularly.
Curtains are available in many types and designs. They often have different top sections or headers, with unique pinches or styles, resulting in different folds or pleats lower down the fabric. Each curtain type provides a unique look. Some are more flowing, folded, and elegant, while others are more sleek, modern, and minimalistic. The table below shows common curtain types, complete with average costs:
|Type||Average Costs (per window)|
|Pencil Pleats||$10 - $750|
|Pinch Pleats||$10 - $1,000|
|Eyelet||$10 - $1,000|
|Wave Header||$20 - $1,500|
|Anti-Ligature||$50 - $500|
|Flat Roman||$50 - $1,500|
|Hobbled Roman||$50 - $1,500|
Pencil pleat curtains cost between $10 and $750 per window on average. They have relatively short and shallow headers, with small pleats along the curtain’s top that grow fuller as you descend. They are one of the most affordable curtains and work well on small and large windows.
Pinch pleat curtains range from $10 to $1,000. They are formed in a classic, elegant style, pinched at the top to create full, distinctive pleats and more of a gathered look farther down the curtains. Since the pinch pleats at the top can be quite deep, these curtains look best when they are long and fitted around large windows.
Eyelet curtains, also called grommet curtains, cost between $10 and $1,000 per window. They have holes and hardware built-in so that you can easily slide the curtain rod through the holes. They are easy to install and form large folds and ripples, giving them a modern look that works well in many homes.
Wave curtains range from $20 to $1,500 per window, depending on the size, style, and material. These modern curtains are popular at the moment, offering a sleek minimalistic look that works well in contemporary homes. They use special curtain tracks to glide along the rod and do not bunch up when opened.
Anti-ligature curtains or blinds cost between $50 and $500 per window on average. They are designed with safety in mind and specially made to avoid accidents, which makes them popular in hospitals and care facilities. They function like other blinds and shades but separate from magnetic brackets when too much weight is applied rather than potentially causing a choking hazard.
Flat Roman shades range from $50 to $1,500 per window. They are one of the two main kinds of Roman shade, hanging flatly against the window and made of seamless fabric panels attached to strong bars for shape and definition. These shades are modern, attractive, and work well in darker rooms.
Hobbled Roman shades usually cost between $50 and $1,500, depending on the size and material. They offer softer folds than flat Roman shades, drawing more attention to the windows for an elegant and airy look. They can also be referred to as soft-fold or teardrop Roman shades.
Your curtain type and size choice depend on the window type. Windows come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, from little fixed windows to large bay and picture windows. The table below shows common window types and the average curtain costs for those windows.
|Type of Window||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|Fixed Windows||$10 - $1,000|
|Sash Window||$10 - $1,500|
|Casement Window||$10 - $1,500|
|Egress Window||$20 - $1,500|
|Skylights||$50 - $1,000|
|Bay Window||$50 - $1,500|
|Bay Window||$50 - $1,500|
Curtains for fixed windows cost $10 to $1,000 per window. A fixed window cannot be opened. It is designed only to bring in light and provide an outside view. Fixed windows are not usually too large, so the costs to curtain these windows is usually low.
Sash window curtains range from $10 to $1,500. Sash windows are very popular and made of different panels or sashes. One or more of those panels move around to open and close the window. They vary in size, leading to the wide disparity in curtain prices for these windows.
Curtains for casement windows cost between $10 and $1,500. Casement windows are hinged on their frames and can open fully outwards for maximum ventilation. Their sizes vary, leading to different curtain costs, depending on how big your windows are and your curtain style and type.
Curtains for egress windows are $20 to $1,500, depending on the material and size. Egress windows are large because they function as emergency exits from basements and similar spaces, so they need large curtains to cover them.
Skylight curtains or blinds cost $50 to $1,000. The price mostly depends on the material and size. Since skylights are usually positioned in ceilings or sloped walls, regular curtains will not work. They need fixed blinds or shades.
Curtains for bay windows usually cost between $50 and $1,500. Bay windows tend to be very large, consisting of one central panel and two side panels, so the curtains need to be equally sizable. This leads to higher costs than a sash or small fixed window.
Curtains for picture windows range from $50 to $1,500 on average. Like bay windows, picture windows are usually big. They are fixed and designed to allow the maximum amount of light into the room and provide a large, wide, and unobstructed view. They need long, wide curtains to cover them completely.
You must also consider the rod’s cost. Curtain rods come in many types and sizes, with different types offering aesthetic appeal and unique advantages. Some are designed for big, heavy drapes capable of withstanding weight, and some can even hang multiple drapes from the same rod, while others are simpler and cheaper. The table below shows common curtain rod types and average prices.
|Type of Rod||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|Swing Arm||$5 - $150|
|Continental||$5 - $150|
|Tension||$5 - $150|
|Single Curtain Rod||$5 - $300|
|Double Curtain Rod||$10 - $350|
|Traverse||$25 - $300|
A swing arm curtain rod should usually cost between $5 and $150, depending on the size and type. This curtain rod is formed in a unique L-like shape attached to the wall at one side. The rest of the rod swings out to the left or right, giving you more options to open and close your drapes or curtains. Swing arm rods can be quite elegant but cannot withstand the same weight as other rod types, so it may need additional hardware with heavy curtains.
Continental curtain rods range from $5 to $150, depending on the size, style, and materials. These rods feature flat and wide designs for hanging valance window treatments or single layers of drapery. They are usually simple, putting the focus firmly on the curtains or drapes.
A tension curtain rod usually costs between $5 and $150. This is one of the simplest types of curtain rods using tension to stay in place. These rods are usually very easy to install because they do not require special hardware fitted into the wall, and they stay in place through tension. However, they can be less rigid and may collapse under heavy curtains, so they must be handled with care.
Expect to pay around $5 to $300 for a single curtain rod, depending on the size and style. Single curtain rods come in many types and styles, ranging from simple and affordable to elaborate and elegant.
Double curtain rods range from $10 to $350. The exact price is mostly determined by the materials and the rod size and style. Double rods feature two rods connected in parallel to hang two layers of drapery. This gives you more options in terms of how you want to cover your windows and decorate your rooms, potentially using two separate curtains or curtains combined with valances.
Traverse curtain rods cost $25 to $300. They feature little clips or eyes along a set track in the rod, and you can attach your curtains directly onto these clips to keep them in place and move along the track. They are reliable and easy to use but can be among the more expensive varieties of curtain rods.
Your curtain height and length depend on the window’s dimensions and if you use the curtains to make your windows appear wider or higher. Curtains are normally installed 6 inches above the window frame, but you can install them higher for a more dramatic look. Curtain panel measurements extend from the top of the panel to the bottom hem, so be sure to consider that extra measurement when ordering.
Knowing the curtain’s position above the window trim determines where and how to install the curtain rod. To get the width of your curtains, add 4-8 inches on either side of the window and double the measurement for fullness. The extra inches around the perimeter of the window frame helps block any light. However, this requires the curtain rod to also extend beyond the window frame by the same dimensions for the partial opening of the curtain, while making the window look wider.
You also must consider labor costs in fitting the rods and hanging your curtains. You can do this project DIY, and it can be simple to fit curtains in place in some cases. If you already have a rod, attaching new curtains is usually simple, and even setting up a new rod can be easy if you follow the instructions and measure carefully.
Be precise when installing curtains. If you get the measurements or angles slightly wrong when drilling holes and installing the hardware, you can end up with an uneven rod and curtains that do not stay in place. Many people prefer to contact a professional for this reason. Professionals usually charge around $15 to $50 per window or around $35 to $100 per hour.
The amount of work varies depending on what needs to be done. Fitting a simple tension curtain rod and a single set of curtains can be done in half an hour, but installing traverse rods around the home and several sets of curtains can take much longer. The cost can also be affected by location because some professionals and handymen charge extra if they have to drive a long distance.
The trickiest part is fitting the rods. Attaching the curtains afterward is usually quite simple, but the rods involve a lot of work, such as precise measurement, drilling holes, and fitting the hardware.
The amount of work involved depends on the rod type. A tension rod requires no additional hardware or tools, so it can be simple. However, a traverse rod requires much more work.
Usually, the installation cost is included in the standard rate of curtain installation, ranging from $15 to $50 per window. If you can handle the curtains and only want the rods fitted, some handyman may be willing to do the job for a little less, so it is worth negotiating with your handyman and getting a quote.
Custom-made curtains offer different benefits, such as the option to customize the panel dimensions to your window size and infinite design options in material and style. These benefits make them more expensive than off-the-shelf curtains. They average between $250 and $2,500, depending on the material, style, size, and designer.
Curtains can be layered in ultra-thin translucent curtain panels, called sheers, to filter sunlight while providing minimal privacy, usually accompanied by thicker curtains to roll out according to the light needs. These curtains cost $10 to $100 per panel and vary with the material type, size, and brand.
A curtain may include a valance, which is a short piece of cloth covering the uppermost part of the window, hiding the rods. It enhances the window decor and lets light in. Typically, valances cost around $10 to $50 but can go up to $600 for quality brands. They are mostly hung on kitchen windows.
Cornices are constructed wooden boxes above window trims. Sometimes, it is added to a window on the rod’s top to disguise it, adding to the treatment’s aesthetics. Their prices range from $150 to $600.
Curtains on high windows can be fitted with crank-systems to open them with a pulley cord. Expect to pay $100 to $300.
Curtains may also need to be cleaned because they gather dust and dirt and potentially stained from accidents. Throwing your curtains in your home washing machine can cause problems, so many people turn to professional drapery cleaning companies, which charge $100 to $200.
This varies, from the instant installation of spring tension to more conventional rods that require specialized hardware, which could take as long as 30-45 minutes per window.
This depends on your taste and preferences. Many interior designers like curtains or drapes that very lightly touch the floor or hover just an inch or so above. Other people prefer shorter curtains or those that pool a little on the floor. It is your decision.
This depends on your preferences. It is common to have long curtains in the bedroom because they create a more cozy and romantic feel while blocking out excess light and keeping the bedroom warm and dark at night.
Yes, you can use long curtains on short windows. This is a common technique in many spaces, and it works well to make the window appear larger.
Both have advantages, and neither option is necessarily better than the other. It depends on your preferences. Curtains add coziness and warmth to a room, while blinds often appear neater and fold away more easily.
Either option can look great. Many designers often play around with shades of curtains that are lighter or darker than the walls. Darker colors add warmth to the room, while lighter colors often make the space feel a little larger and airier.
Both white and ivory curtains work well in homes, adding a light, neutral tone without drawing too much attention or distracting from other decorative elements and furnishings. Choose the color you like best.
The rod should ideally be positioned 3-4” past the window on both sides, letting the curtains overlap the window edges to prevent cracks of light breaking through and provide total privacy.