How to Measure for Solar Shades

Measure for new solar shades
BY BLINDSTER | July 11, 2015
September 25, 2023

Solar shades are perfect for rooms where you want to preserve the view of the outdoors and natural light from your windows while also maintaining your privacy and reducing the effect of the sun's rays.

If you're considering purchasing solar shades from Blindster, it's important that you first know the exact measurements of the window or door where they will be installed. Without precise measurements, you may find that your shades are too long or too short or simply don't fit.

Installation Choice: Inside Your Window Frame or Outside Your Window Frame?

There are two primary ways to install window treatments—inside the window frame or outside the window frame. Because both of these methods require different measurements, it's important that you decide beforehand which installation you will use for your new shades.

To learn the major differences between the two types of installations, check out the table below:

Inside MountOutside Mount
  • Shades and blinds that are inside mounted are installed flush with the interior of your window frame
  • These installations provide a built-in look that minimizes the appearance of the window when the blinds or shades are closed
  • Inside mounts are ideal if you wish to leave woodwork or other wall materials exposed
  • Minimum depth required for secure inside mount: 3/4"
  • Minimum depth required for flush inside mount: 3" without fascia, 4 1/4" with fascia
  • If your window frame doesn't have the depth to support an inside mount, choose an outside mount installation instead
  • Outside mounts are the ideal installation option if your window frames aren't deep enough to support inside mounts
  • This option allows you to mount your blinds or shades to any surface near the window, including the ceiling, molding, or wall
  • Use this installation method to make your windows appear larger or to hide unattractive windows
  • Minimum flat surface required for secure outside mount: 1 1/2". Note the flat mounting surface area when taking your measurements and that the factory will make the fabric 7/8" to 1 3/8" narrower than the ordered width.

Weigh the pros and cons of both types of mounts to determine which installation is right for you and your home. When you decide, use the instructions below to get the most accurate measurement possible before you place your order with Blindster.

Measuring Your Window or Door for Inside Mount Window Treatments

To get precise measurements that will provide a clean and flush look with your window frame, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Measure the inside width of the top of the window opening in the same spot where you will mount the shade. Note that the factory will make deductions of around 1/8" after you place your order.
  • Step 2: Measure the inside height of the window in three separate places—the far left side, the middle, and the far right side. Note the largest measurement of those three, as that's the measurement you'll use when you place your order.

Note that solar shade fabrics differ from other types of shades, as the fabric will be 7/8" to 1 3/8" narrower than the width you provide when placing your order. This deduction is to allow room for the mounting brackets and operating mechanisms.

Measuring Your Window or Door for Outside Mount Window Treatments

If your window frame doesn't provide the minimum depth for an inside mount, or if you prefer the appearance of an outside mount, follow the instructions below to get accurate measurements:

  • Step 1: Measure the entire width of the area you wish to cover with your solar shade. If possible, add at least 2" to 3" of total space to help reduce light leakage. Use this measurement when placing your order.
  • Step 2: Measure the entire height of the area you wish to cover with your solar shade. Note that you must take into account a 1 1/2" flat surface area for mounting when taking your height measurements. Adding 3" to 4" to your ordered height will give you enough fabric to mount your solar shade above your window frame to cover molding or framework if desired.

Ready to start shopping? Browse through the complete Blindster.com solar shades collection to find the shade that's just right for you.

For specific instructions for each of our products, visit our official How to Measure for Solar Screens instruction page on our main website.