Should Curtains Touch The Floor? (Answer Inside!)

Sep 5, 2022 | Curtains

How you hang your curtains can drastically change the look of a room. So, should curtains touch the floor?

Curtains should not touch the floor. It is recommended that curtain panels simply hover above the surface of your floor. This look and hanging style is called the kiss. However, there are several other hanging styles that one can pick from. These are called puddling, break panel, and floating.

Curtains not only provide privacy, but they also add texture and softness to a room. Many people are unaware that curtains, like the paint color you choose, can change your space. They also have the ability to make a space appear bigger if they are hung from floor to ceiling. It is imperative to hang them just right or choose a hanging style that works for your room and its functionality.         

Should Curtains Touch The Floor?

Suppose you’re wondering if curtains should touch the floor. In that case, the answer is no. Basically, you want to have the curtain just kiss the floor. It is typically a hard look to pull off, but it’s also the best as it gives the curtain a more polished look.

This requires you to ensure that you get your measurements incredibly accurate as the curtain panels need to be hovering perfectly on the floor’s surface. Ensuring that your curtain just kisses the floor will look the most customed, polished, and tailored. 

To get this look, people generally measure the distance from the top of the curtains all the way to the floor. One way to do this is to hang the curtains on your rod and mark where they reach while their hanging.

Modern living room interior with beautiful curtains on windowModern living room interior with beautiful curtains on window

What Other Ways Can Curtains Be Hung?

Apart from the fact that curtains should just touch the floor, there are typically several well-known ways that interior designers like to hang their curtains. Therefore, apart from the kiss look mentioned above, there are also the puddling, break puddle, and floating looks.

Hanging Your Curtains Using the Puddling Method

Puddling of a curtain never seems like a good idea as it basically looks like you bought a curtain off the shelf and never bothered to hem it. This is kind of like the equivalent of someone that is wearing pants that drag on the floor. 

Many people consider this one of the worst ways to hang a curtain, as the curtain will require frequent cleaning. However, this hanging style is typically done for a dramatic effect. To get the puddling look just right, 2 to 4 extra inches of length should be added to the floor of the curtain panels.

Backlit window with white curtains in empty roomBacklit window with white curtains in empty room

Hanging Your Curtains Using the Break Panel Method

Another way to hang curtains would be the break panel way. This is a somewhat in between how you would do the kiss look and the puddling look. This is because the panels don’t hang straight down or float either. 

This hanging style is usually effective at creating a dynamic effect. Furthermore, more interest is added by the break. To get this look, simply add an extra half inch to 1 inch beyond the floor to the length of your curtain. This will ensure that the curtain panel will break as it hits the floor.

Modern room interior with armchair and curtainsModern room interior with armchair and curtains

Hanging Your Curtains Using the Floating Method

Most people have no desire to have their curtains touch the floor. If that is the case for you, an excellent hanging style would be the floating look. Simply hang them half an inch above the floor. This is one way to get a clean look. 

However, this style is often considered less formal. The curtains will also need to hang stick straight when using this style. The goal should be not to let your curtains float more than half an inch, as this will give the impression that you made a mistake when doing your measurements.

How Can You Figure Out What Curtain Length To Go For?

Figuring out the length of your curtains so it just touches the floor can be daunting, especially when you do not know where to start. However, one way to make it easier is to figure out what height your ceiling is. 

This is because the height of your ceiling will help you determine what length your curtains should be. Although different houses are built differently, and ceilings vary, a standard ceiling height tends to be roughly 8 or 9 ft. Curtains also typically come in standard sizes.

Furthermore, suppose you find yourself slightly confused about what length you’ll need for each kind of room. In that case, the first thing to do to help you figure it out is to look at the function of that particular room. Generally, you can have longer curtains if the room is more on the formal side. 

However, for informal rooms, it is best to choose curtains that are a bit more on the shorter side. This is because, typically speaking, formal rooms don’t have that much traffic, so the puddle look mentioned above would work. 

However, a room like your bedroom is more on the informal side, so it would be best to avoid longer curtains unless you desire a romantic look. In that case, the puddle look would work. Living rooms are typically just the right amount of formal and informal. This is where the kiss or float look would work best.

Modern living room. Room window with curtainsModern living room. Room window with curtains

Can You Hang Short Curtains?

There are some instances where the curtain simply wouldn’t work if hung using the kiss style. Sometimes when spring and summer come around, you may feel like there is a lot of fabric and want a lighter look and feel. Yes, curtains should mainly be hung long, but there is an exception to every rule.

The trend of long curtains is great. However, there are several places where short curtains are much more practical. Imagine walking into a bathroom that has a curtain that is hovering off of the surface of the floor. It wouldn’t look good.

Short curtains would be more appropriate for areas with something like a built-in radiator directly below the window. It would also be appropriate if you have furniture placed directly under the window simply because of the layout of the room.

Furthermore, short curtains typically tend to be used in kid rooms. This is a good idea as kids are still clumsy, and the chances of them tripping on a curtain puddling on the floor are high. Kids also generally make a mess, so shorter curtains are more likely to stay clean a little longer than long curtains would.

As mentioned above, the bathroom isn’t a space where you want a ton of fabric. This is where short curtains come in handy. The kitchen is also another place where short curtains are suitable, especially if the window is directly above a kitchen sink.

Small curtains look more chic on smaller, narrow windows. In addition, a pair of drapes will look overwhelming on a small window. These types of windows are generally found in the basement or the attic.

As you can see, curtains typically should not touch the floor. They should just barely kiss it. If you want a different style, there are several to choose from. Puddling is great for formal rooms and when you want a dramatic look. The break panel is for when you want a combination of both kiss and puddling looks. 

Floating is excellent when you don’t want puddling but also want your curtain to be just a little more elevated from the floor. Each of these looks works in different rooms and designs. Smaller curtains also have their place, as proved above. You simply need to assess the room, try out different looks, and see which one brings life to the room.


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