Choosing Inside vs Outside Mount Blinds
When considering your window treatment options, one of the questions you may ask yourself is: Which is better, inside or outside mount blinds? The mount refers to how the blinds or shades are installed, which can be inside the window box (inside mount) or outside the window box on the trim or wall (outside mount). The difference between inside vs outside mount blinds is not just visual, but they also have different measurement and install needs.
Is It Better to Mount Blinds Inside or Outside?
There are multiple factors to consider to decide whether inside or outside mount blinds are better for your space, such as:
- Window box depth: Inside mount blinds and shades require a certain depth to be properly mounted inside your window box. Typically, window boxes with less than ¾” depth will not be able to support inside mount blinds or shades.
- Whether you plan to layer window treatments: If there isn’t enough space within the window box for two or more window treatments to be installed, then you may have to mount one window treatment inside and the other outside. Or, both may need to be outside mounted.
- Your chosen control type: Different control types, such as cord lock, continuous loop, cordless and motorization, have different install needs and may be too large for a shallow window box. In this case, outside mount is the only option.
- Your preferences: You may prefer the look of inside vs outside mount blinds or shades, and as long as both install options are possible, the choice is totally up to you.
Now that you have an idea of the differences between inside vs outside mount blinds and shades, it’s time to explore which is truly right for your space.
What Are Inside Mount Blinds?
Inside mount blinds and shades are installed inside the window box or window frame. This type of installation requires the window treatment to be secured to the top of the frame.
Find out more about why you should choose inside mount when comparing inside vs outside mount blinds. Plus, get measure and install requirements to help you decide if inside mount is possible for your room.
Benefits of Inside Mounted Blinds & Shades
Between inside vs outside mount blinds, inside mount is typically the more popular installation method. It comes with several benefits including:
Provides a Clean, Minimalist Look
When comparing inside vs outside mount blinds, inside mounted blinds and shades are less obtrusive, providing a custom, highly styled aesthetic. With the ends and sides of your window treatments tucked neatly inside the frame, you’ll enjoy a sleek, minimalist look and feel.
Takes Up Less Space
Sitting inside the window frame, inside mounted window treatments naturally take up less space, which can help make the room feel larger and is ideal for smaller spaces. Plus, inside mount blinds and shades may still allow you to use your window sill for shelving or design accents for a more complete, finalized look in your room.
Allows You to Showcase Your Window Frame
When it comes to inside vs outside mount blinds, inside mount blinds will allow you to showcase your home’s woodwork more easily. This is best for homes with intricate window frames that add architectural detail to your room.
Inside Mount Measure & Install Needs
While you may not opt to install your inside mount blinds or shades yourself, it’s still important to understand the measure and install requirements for this type of window treatment. That’s because there are certain situations where inside mount blinds or shades may not be possible, particularly when the depth of your window frame is too shallow.
So, before deciding on inside vs outside mount blinds, first measure for depth as this is the most important measurement for inside mount blinds. Then, you measure for width and length.
To inside mount blinds or shades, there needs to be enough space within the window frame for the headrail to be installed. The depth requirement refers to the narrowest the window frame can be to allow for an inside mount installation. To measure for depth, measure the space at the top of your window frame from the glass to the edge of your window’s interior trim. If the measurement is ¾” or larger, it is likely that you’ll be able to inside mount your blinds or shades. But keep in mind different window treatments and different control types have varying depth requirements.
Measuring for Width
When comparing inside vs outside mount blinds, measuring for the width of your inside window treatments needs to be more precise than outside mount. Measuring for width will vary slightly based on the type of blind or shade you’ve chosen because no window is truly a perfect rectangle. For instance, measuring for inside mount Roller or Solar Shades will only require you to measure the width of the inside of your window frame at the top of the window box. This is because Roller and Solar Shades are widest at the top where their tube is. Meanwhile, measuring the width for Roman Shades or Wood Blinds requires you to take the width of the inside of your window frame at the top, middle, and bottom. Then round all to the nearest 1/8” and take the smallest number for your ordering width. This is because these types of window treatments will have the same width from top to bottom. By taking the smallest width, you ensure they fit inside your window box without snagging anywhere at the edges.
Measuring for Length
Measuring for the length of inside mount blinds or shades is a similar process to measuring for width. Measure the length in three places: left, center, and right, round all to the nearest 1/8” and take the largest number. That will be your ordering length.
What Are Outside Mount Blinds?
Outside mount blinds and shades are those that are installed outside of the window box or window frame on either the window trim or the wall above or next to the window trim. This type of installation is a bit more flexible since the window treatment is not required to fit within any parameters.
Learn more about why you should choose outside mount when comparing inside vs outside mount blinds and shades. Then get insight into measure and install needs for outside mounts to better understand how these window treatments are applied.
Benefits of Outside Mount Blinds & Shades
When comparing inside vs outside mount blinds and shades, outside mount has several benefits, both aesthetic and functional, over inside mounted window treatments:
Makes Windows Look Larger & Ceilings Taller
Since outside mounted blinds and shades hang outside the window box, you have more flexibility to place them as high or low as you want. Placing them higher can create the illusion that your window is larger and that ceiling is taller, making the whole room look and feel roomier.
Covers More of Your Window for Fuller Coverage & Light Blocking
Extending beyond the window frame, outside mount blinds and shades will cover old, damaged, or unattractive trim for a more aesthetically pleasing effect. Additionally, as they cover more of the window, outside mount window treatments using blackout material help to block out more light for a greater room darkening effect — which is ideal for bedrooms or media rooms.
More Flexible Application as it Requires Less Precise Measurements
Between inside or outside mount blinds and shades, outside mount is far more flexible in its application. Because an outside mount allows the window treatment to sit outside of the window box, it is not restricted by specific parameters, like depth requirement. So, you can use outside mount blinds and shades on nearly any window, including shallow windows with a small frame that won’t fit inside mount window treatments. Outside mount blinds and shades can also be used on doors, as they can be installed above the door or directly onto the door panel.
Outside Mount Measure & Install Needs
When it comes to measure and install needs of inside vs outside mount blinds and shades, outside is far more flexible, as it doesn’t have any specific measurement requirements in order to be installed.
Depth Requirements: Not Required
Because there is no depth requirement for outside mount blinds, you don’t have to measure your window’s depth.
Measuring for Width
Measuring for width will depend on how far you want your outside mount blinds or shades to extend beyond the window frame. Keep in mind that the wider your window treatments, the more light will be blocked when your blinds or shades are closed.
Measuring for Length
Measuring for the length will depend on how high you are hanging your shades and blinds above the window. Remember that placing them higher above your window will help make your windows and ceiling look taller.
Other Considerations for Choosing Inside or Outside Mount Blinds
To further help you decide on whether inside or outside mount blinds and shades are right for your space, we’ve outlined a few other considerations to think through:
Deductions for Inside Mount Blinds
Deductions refer to the amount of space in between your inside mounted window covering and the edge of your frame. Some inside mounted window treatments naturally sit closer to the window frame than other, such as Cellular Shades, while Roller and Solar Shades may have a bigger gap. If your plan is to darken your room with blackout window treatments, you may want to consider layering your inside mount window treatments with drapery to cover the deduction gap. Or, opt for an outside mount window treatment for greater coverage.
Cost: How Much Extra for Outside Mount Blinds?
Since they use more material, outside mount blinds are typically more expensive than inside mount blinds. How much more expensive will depend on your specific window treatment size, material and application. Be sure to keep cost in mind when planning your budget and deciding between inside or outside mount blinds.
Get a Free Measurement for Your Inside or Outside Mount Blinds
Now that you understand the difference between inside vs outside mount blinds as well as the benefits of each, you’re ready to start measuring. If you’d rather have some help with measuring for inside or outside mount blinds or shades, get a free measurement from The Shade Store. Choose a virtual measurement where we walk you through measuring yourself, or have one of our professionals visit your home to do the measurement for you. Schedule your free measurement today.
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