Curtain Design Rules

How Long Should Curtains Be For 8 Ft Ceiling?

Curtains can be pricey. It’s essential to know what size you need before deciding to buy them. If you have an 8-foot ceiling, you might be wondering what curtain length would look niceā€”not too long or too short. We’ve scoured the web for ideas and tips to help you decide on which is best for your 8-foot ceiling.

The standard length of curtains for an 8-foot ceiling is 84 inches. As a rule, the curtain panels should be hung 4 to 6 inches above the window frame and extends up to the floor.

The standard curtain length may not be a hard and fast rule. There are always variations in home decorating due to many factors to consider, such as the size of the windows and curtain styles of varying lengths. Read on to learn more as we dig into the nitty details of the specifications to hang curtains.

Interior of a spacious modern hall, How Long Should Curtains Be For 8 Ft Ceiling?

How to Choose Curtain Size

In order to determine the size of curtain you need to purchase, you need to know the width of the windows where the curtains will be hung.

Typically, windows with an 8-foot ceiling have curtain sizes of 84 and 108 inches as shown in the table below:

Width of Window (in inches)Length of Curtains (in inches)Width of Curtains (in inches)
36 or less84maximum of 60
36 to 72108maximum of 96

The above width of the curtains gives drape allowance to close or open them easily. For windows less than 36 inches wide, you may opt to hang 2 panels for added privacy during the daytime. And for wider windows, that is 36 to 72 inches wide, you may add 1 panel each at both sides for accent and a balanced look.

Check out these curtain panels on Amazon.

How High to Hang Curtains?

White air conditioner in the bright room

The height of the curtains can affect the overall appearance of your space. It affects privacy, the level of light, and the color of the room.  The recommended height for the curtains is 4 to 6 inches above the window frame.

The higher the curtains work well and can be visually appealing. It makes the windows look larger and the room bigger than they really are. It is also possible to go further up and hang the curtains up to the ceiling as seen in the photo below.

Vintage wooden desk inside a room with white curtain

Nevertheless, do not hang the curtains more than 8 inches above the window frame. It may look awkward, especially for uncovered windows and sheer curtains where the placement of the windows gets apparent.

At the other extreme, when curtains are hung lower, it projects a shrinking effect to the room. It makes the ceiling appear lower and the room looks smaller.

Where to Hang Curtain Rods?

Curtain rods are designed to be conveniently adjustable to the width of the window frame. The standard placement of curtain rods is 6 inches above the window frame. The space allows optimal room to install the rod as well as insulation for the window.

For the length of the curtain rod, it should be 3 to 6 inches past the window frame on both sides.

For lower windows or if you want to project an illusion of larger windows and spaces, the rod height can be raised to 4 to 6 inches off the ceiling.

To determine how long to extend to the sides, the overall size of the window should be considered. Do not extend the rod to more than one-third of the total window length. Moreso, the longer the rod, the more curtain panels are needed to sufficiently cover the whole window.

Check out this decorative curtain rod on Amazon.

What is the Standard Window Size?

An 8-foot ceiling is considered the standard in residential homes. The height of the windows is set at 6 feet and 8 inches from the floor. This leaves a 16-inch gap between the top of the window frame and the ceiling.

The windows’ standard height from the floor is 3 feet. This height is sufficient to allow pieces of furniture and fixture to be positioned under the sill. For practical reasons, more often than not, we need to utilize the floor space below the windows for our home appliances and furniture. These could be heaters, humidifiers, coffee tables, or couches.

Therefore, windows are approximately 42 to 48 inches in height.

There may be variations to the above specifications. If the window is on the main floor, it is recommended that the window height and the height of the door frame are the same to create a coordinated and pleasing visual appearance.

The gap between the window and the ceiling is perfectly sized to allow for headers and plates. It can even accommodate big window trims and cornice moldings. There will be structural issues if the window height is raised closer to 10 inches to the ceiling.

Now, modern home designs allow further lowering the window sill for increased ventilation. The bigger window opening will increase the airflow into your space. Also, it affords flexibility in window designs and offers a greater view of the outside.

But for safety considerations, especially for bedroom windows, window sills lower than 2 feet should have a window guard. Also, windows with glazing lower than 18 inches off the floor must have safety glass.

Curtain Length and Style

The way curtains are hung is the most visible design element in your home interiors. For your 8 feet ceiling, a 95-inch curtain is the best length.  However, most custom panels are available at 90 inches which you can hem to extend up to 96 inches so that your curtain could reach floor length.

If your window has crown molding, you may reduce the curtain length. A 92-inch length is appropriate so that the curtain will not get too close to the molding.

However, there are variations in curtain length depending on the style listed below. The bottom line is that all designs point to the rule that curtains should be touching, or close to the floor.

Floating Curtains

Vintage color filtered armchair

The curtain length is about half-inch off the floor. A less formal style that is perfect for a casual and cozy ambiance. This is ideal for high-traffic areas where you won’t worry about the fabric getting stepped on.

Grazing Curtains

Edge of curtain

The curtain length is the exact floor length. It should be precise that you need to measure both the curtains and the height of the curtain rods.

Breaking Curtains

Young man relaxing on a chair at home

The curtain length is 1 to 2 inches to the floor. In a relaxed style, the design slightly gathers on the floor to create a folded and uneven hemline. The drawback o this design is that it readily gets dirty to the floor contact. Be sure to get a sturdy fabric material that can withstand frequent machine washing.

Puddled Curtains

Red metallic curtain

The curtain length is extended past the floor line of at least 6 inches, thus creating a puddle effect at the bottom. The design creates drama and intensity for added embellishment and flair to your space. This design tends to get dirty due to floor contact and can be stepped on by kids and pets.

How Long Should Curtains Hang Below Window Sill?

White transparent curtain at the window in the dark room

Curtains look best when they cover the entire window and reach the floor. However, there are situations that curtains need to be shorter in length. For practical reasons, functionality and aesthetics should always balance in home decorating.

For example, puddle curtains look great but it may seem ridiculous if these are placed in high-traffic spots of your home where kids and pets frequent.

In many situations, curtains that hang at the edge of the window are preferred. Fixtures or furniture may be positioned against the window that full-length curtain proves impractical. Another example is bathroom curtains since long curtains are unhygienic.

Short curtains that hang the length of the window have the following options:

  • Sill-length curtains should be half-inch above the window sill.
  • Apron curtains should be 1 inch past the apron or the bottom edge of the window.

Check out these apron curtains on Amazon.

How Full Should Sheer Curtains Be?

Partial view of sea seen through white translucent curtains at balcony window

Sheer curtains use lightweight fabric. The fabric material should be at least twice the width of your window to achieve the look of proper fullness.

Check out this sheer curtain on Amazon.

In Closing

Touch up your home interior decorating with stylish curtains to blend with your 8 feet ceiling. A curtain length of 84 inches would look best, having in mind what curtain style you would like to have.

Similarly, determine the size of your windows to ensure complete coverage of the curtains. Other factors such as the moldings, the height of the curtain rods, curtain fabric, drapes, and sheers should also be considered in choosing the type of curtain that would look best for your 8 feet ceiling.

If you’re interested to read more about curtain designing, check out these posts:

Curtains or Blinds for a Kitchen Window: Which to Choose?

What are the Best Fabrics for Kitchen Curtains?