Choosing the right commercial window treatments can seem like a difficult task. However, working with an authorized distributor like us here at Equiparts will make the task of choosing window coverings much easier. In this Window Treatment Guide, we’ll walk you through the most popular window treatment options for commercial facilities , and help you decide which is best for your situation. We’ll give you a full list of Graber window treatment options, as well as additional window treatment tips and terminology. We also have links to two short videos, featuring a window treatment specialist from Graber, that will teach you how to measure your windows. At the bottom of this article, we have five PDFs you can download and print that contain more information about our window treatments, as well as worksheets to help you measure your windows.
At Equiparts, our primary window treatment provider is Graber. Graber is the largest manufacturer of window blinds and shades in the United States. They have been making window treatments since 1939. Our sales reps have received training from our Graber rep so that they can better assist you with your window treatment needs. We will work with you and our Graber representative to provide the right window treatments for your facility.
Part I. Window Treatment Options
There are a wide variety of commercial window treatments to choose from. Watch the video below to learn more about the two most popular options: mini-blinds (the most popular type of blind), and solar shades (also known as solar screens).
Commercial Window Treatments: Mini-Blind and Solar Shade Options Video
Graber Shades and Blinds: A Review of the Best Options
In this video, Rebecca, our window treatment specialist from Graber, discusses the two most popular window treatments for commercial facilities with Joe of Equiparts. She explains the features of solar shades, where they are used more often, the opacity levels and what that means, and more. Rebecca also shares the features and options available for mini-blinds, a timeless window treatment option that is also found frequently in commercial facilities today.
The full selection of Graber Window Treatments available include the following:
- Cellular Shades
- Layered Shades
- Natural Shades
- Pleated Shades
- Roller Shades
- Roman Shades
- Sheer Shades
- Sun Shades
- Exterior Solar Shades
- Sliding Panels
- Wood Blinds
- Composite/Faux Wood Blinds
- Vertical Blinds
- Vinyl Blinds
- Aluminum Blinds
- Cellular Blinds
- Motorized Blinds and Shades
- Wood Shutters
- Composite Shutters
- Artisan Drapery
- Natural Drapes
- Valances and Cornices
We can provide you with any of the window treatment options listed above. However in this article, we focus primarily on solar shades and aluminum and vinyl mini-blinds. For more information on the options listed above, give us a call to get started.
Additional Solar Shade Information:
Solar shades are not designed for privacy. Their primary function is to offer shade while still letting you see outside. They keep rooms cooler, protect furniture, artwork, and carpeting from sun damage, and reduce glare on computer screens.
Solar Shades are available in four different opacity levels: 1, 3, 5, 10. The darkest option available is 1%, and is the most efficient at blocking out UV rays. (This option is recommended for hospitals). 3% Protects décor from UV rays (Recommended for offices.) 5% blocks 95% of harmful UV rays and reduces screen glare. 10% maximizes your view to the outdoors, and lets in some sunshine while still blocking glare. *If you are unsure of which opacity level you need for your facility, let us know, and we will get you sample swatches.
- 1% = 99% opacity
- 3% = 97% opacity
- 5% = 95% opacity
- 10% = 90% opacity
Solar shades are available in the cord options: continuous loop (most popular ) and cordless.
Additional Mini-Blind Information:
Mini-blinds are groups of horizontal slats connected by a cord that changes the angle of the slats to let in more or less light. Mini-blinds are available in vinyl and aluminum, and come in a variety of colors and slat sizes. Aluminum mini-blinds are available in two gauges, 6 (most popular) or 8. The 8-gauge slats are thicker and more durable.
Aluminum blinds are stronger than vinyl blinds. Vinyl blinds are easier to clean. Vinyl blinds tend to absorb the sun’s heat, whereas aluminum blinds are better at deflecting the sun’s rays. Vinyl is less expensive than aluminum.
Mini-blinds are available in the following cord options: corded and cordless. Cordless are great for nursing homes and facilities that small children frequent because they do not have cords that people and children can get tangled in.
Other Shade/Blind Option Information:
- Motorized Shades – A great option for hard to reach windows.
- Cellular Blinds – Bottom-up, top-down blinds that enable the blinds to open from the top. This feature is useful in a variety of scenarios. For example, apartment buildings with residential units located on the ground floor in high traffic areas may want cellular blinds so their renters can open the blinds from the top and let in some sun without giving up their privacy to street/sidewalk traffic.
Part II. Measuring Windows for Blinds and Shades
Learn the right way to measure windows for new window treatments in the videos below. In the first video, we show you how to properly measure windows for inside mounted window treatments. Inside mount is the most common mount for mini blinds. In the second video, we show you how to measure your windows for outside mounted window treatments. Outside mounting is commonly used for shades so that they don’t let in light through small gaps on the left or right side of the window.
Both blinds and shades can be mounted inside or outside the window frame. It’s mostly a personal preference, but if you prefer an inside mount, you need to make sure you have the proper depth in your window. After you decide whether your treatment will be mounted on the inside or outside, then watch either the inside or outside measurement video to learn how to measure correctly.
Video 1: How to Measure Windows for Inside Mount Window Treatments
In this video, Rebecca provides step-by-step instructions for how to properly measure windows for inside mounted window treatments. You will find out what tools are needed, how to measure, and why you need to take three measurements of the width, height, and depth. Rebecca will also explain how to record your window measurements for multiple windows, while sharing additional measurement tips and know-how.
Video 2: How to Measure Windows for Outside Mount Window Treatments
In this video, Rebecca and Joe show you how to measure windows for the installation of outside mounted window treatments. They go over how to measure each window for outside mount installations, how to adjust measurements to guarantee complete coverage, along with other measurement tips.
*Note: As stated in the videos, for orders of multiple window treatments going into multiple rooms, remember to write down on your papers what room the window measurements are for. When recording window measurements, always start with the first window on the left of the room entrance, and work your way around from left to right. Make sure you number each window in the room. So for example, windows in an office could be written as: Office #1, Window #1, and then the measurements. The next window would be Office #1, Window #2, and that window’s measurements, and so on for all the windows in that office. Due to how buildings settle and other factors, not all windows will be exactly the same. This is especially true for windows in older buildings. For your convenience and ease of installation, each window treatment comes with a label that states which room and window it is for, based on your descriptions.
Window Treatment Order Process Guide PDFs
Below is a list of PDFs that comprise our Window Treatment Guide. These PDFs will make your window treatment ordering process easy. You can either download each one separately, or you could skip to the 6th item, and download a single document that contains the Complete Set of PDFs .These guides are helpful takeaways that you can print and refer to while choosing your window treatment, taking measurements, and creating your order.
1. Mounting Considerations PDF
Read this PDF for help deciding whether to do an inside or outside mount. This PDF reviews the reasons for and limitations of both inside and outside mounted window treatments.
2. Measuring Guide for Horizontal Blinds
Refer to this PDF as a Measurement Guide for Aluminum and Vinyl Mini-Blinds. This PDF contains directions for measuring windows for both inside and outside mounting of blinds.
3. Measuring Guide for Shades
Refer to this PDF as a Measurement Guide for Roller Shades and Solar Shades. This PDF contains directions for measuring windows for both inside and outside mounting of shades.
4. Depth Requirements for Blinds and Shades
There are minimum depth requirements for inside mounted blinds and shades. Knowing the depth of your windows will help us to know which blinds and shades can be installed in your windows.
5. Blind and Shade Measuring and Ordering Worksheet
This window treatment measurement worksheet doubles as an order sheet. Use it to write down your measurements, and then send us a copy. If you haven’t worked with an Equiparts sales rep before, give us a call and tell us you would like to place a window treatment order. We will match you with a sales rep who can help you with all of your questions and concerns.
6. Complete Window Treatment Guide (All 5 pages)
View, save, share, and/or print all five PDFs listed above.
Window Treatment Support
Have more questions? Need more support? We’re just a phone call away! Give us a call to speak with one of our window treatment sales reps. They can answer any questions you have, and will walk you through the ordering process.
Phone Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am – 5pm EST
Additional Information and FAQs
Additional Measurement Tips and Information:
Take exact measurements (don’t round up or down.) Graber takes measurements rounded to the nearest 1/16ths of an inch, which is likely more exact than the measurement you will give.
Why Take 3 Width Measurements?
Sometimes the width isn’t congruent throughout the frame due to how a building has settled, along with other factors. Graber uses the smallest width measurement to ensure that inside mounted blinds fit the narrowest part of the window, and don’t rub up against the sides of the window frame. This is why it’s important to take the width in the three areas specified.
Why Take 3 Height Measurements?
Graber uses the longest height of the 3 height measurements taken. This ensures that the blind or shade will be long enough to adequately cover the longest part of the window.
Why Take 3 Depth Measurements?
The depth of the window is an important measurement to take for inside mounted window blinds or rollers. Taking an accurate depth measurement ensures that a window frame has enough room to house an inside mounted blind or roller. (The minimum requirement for a partially recessed head rail in window casing/molding is ¾”).
Why add 2-3 inches of overlap to outside mounted rollers or shades?
For windows without moulding, we recommend adding 2-3 inches of overlap to each side of an outside mounted blind or shade in order to minimize any light gaps on the sides. For windows with moulding, we recommend measuring from edge to edge on the outside edges of the moulding.
Optional Finishing Touches:
The finishing touches mentioned below can add another level of style to your window treatment.
Fascia: Fascia is a decorative housing that covers the roll of the solar shade. It is the most popular commercial finishing decoration. It is 3 inches tall, made of metal, and is available in 5 color options.
Valance: Similar to Fascia, Valance is a decorative housing that covers the roll of the solar shade. It is 3 inches tall. Unlike Facia, it is made of fabric. Valances are available in a variety color options.