Although both tab top and grommet curtains are long panels, the tops that attach to the curtain rods are different. Understanding the difference will help you to know which curtain panels to purchase. Let’s explore these two choices!
Grommet Curtains vs. Tab Top Curtains
Grommet Curtains. A grommet curtain is one continuous panel with eyelets cut out across the top of the panel. The eyelets are reinforced, either with metal rings or with heavier fabric. To hang a grommet curtain, slip a curtain rod through each of the eyelets.
Tab-Top Curtains. A tab-top curtain is also one continuous panel, only it has tabs or loops along the top of the panel. Many of the more typical tabs are about 2” wide and hold a 2 ½” rod. The curtain rod gets slipped through each loop, and the panels hang straight down.
Hanging Grommet Curtains
Measure the width of the window as well as the height to where you want the curtain to rest so that you know what size of panels to purchase. If you have space to open your curtains so that they do not hang in front of the window at all, add 8″ to each single window width when purchasing the rods. For double windows, add 14″.
With your measurements in hand, purchase the curtains. To know how many panels to buy:
- Double the length of the curtain rod.
- Measure the width of the curtain panel.
- Divide the double length of the rod by the width of the panel.
- Round up to the nearest even number. That is how many panels you should purchase.
Measure the opening of the grommets and subtract a 1/2″. This will give you the maximum diameter of the rod you should purchase. Buy a rod in the length that you measured (plus the 8″ or 14″ if applicable).
- Measure along the top edge of the window to find the center. Mark with a pencil.
- Measure the length (or height) of the curtain panel, from the top center to the bottom center.
- Run a tape measure along the center window line that you marked from the floor up to the measurement of the length of the curtain.
- Ideally, it should measure about 2″ above the window frame. Mark it with a pencil, remaining in line with the center mark and then erase the first center mark.
- Beginning at the new middle mark, measure out the distance of half of the curtain rod length on each side of the mark. Mark the measurement with a pencil. The 2 new marks are where each bracket will be installed.
- Because the instructions and the brackets may vary, follow the manufacturer’s directions for installing them.
Hang the Curtains
- Lay the curtain panels down with the right side up. Start to thread the rod through the grommets, going in through the front of the first grommet and out from the back of the next grommet. Continue this pattern until the curtain rod is through all of the grommets, and then begin on the next panel in the same manner.
- Set the rod on the brackets, with the right side of the panels facing you.
- Fasten the rod to the brackets as the manufacturer instructs.
- Attach the finials at each end of the curtain rod.