Installing bamboo blinds is a simple way to add exotic ambience to your home. Bamboo provides a more natural look than vinyl or fabric, yet is much more sustainable than most hardwood blinds. But bamboo blinds are more than just attractive. They can also be inexpensive if you install them yourself. Whether you've previously put up other types of blinds or are a window treatment novice, you can lean to install bamboo blinds without the help--or cost--of hiring an expert.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Safety goggles
- Electric or cordless drill
- Drill bits
- Mounting brackets
- Stepladder or chair
Determine whether the bamboo blinds will be mounted inside or outside the window casing. Mounting blinds inside provides a more "finished" look, whereas mounting them outside requires a less precise measurement. If you prefer an inside mount, measure the length and width of your window from jamb to jamb before ordering shades to ensure they will fit. When taking the width, make three different measurements--towards the top, middle and bottom--and use the smallest of the three.
Remove any existing window covering, including hardware. Check the installation manual to make sure you have all of the required hardware and tools. Most blind installations follow the same basic steps, but may vary slightly depending on brand or model.
Hold blinds at your desired height. For an inside mount, place the headrail, or the top of the blind, just inside the top corners of the window casing. However, it should not touch the top of the casing as any obstruction will interfere with blind movement. For an outside mount, position the headrail in front of the casing above the window. Raise or lower the headrail depending on where you want the blinds to end or begin.
Make sure the bamboo blinds are centered and, for inside mounts, that they fit inside the window casing without catching on either side. Make pencil marks for bracket installation. For inside mounts, mark just under the headrail on each side jamb. For outside mounts, mark the casing directly under the corners of the headrail. Then make additional marks 1/8 of an inch outside the first marks. You'll use the outer marks to ensure the brackets aren't too tight on the sides of the blinds.
Open the bracket covers and align the brackets with the pencil marks. Use the level and measuring tape to ensure the brackets are even. Mark the position of the bracket holes with the pencil.
Put on safety goggles and drill pilot holes over the pencil marks with a bit slightly smaller than your screws. Center the brackets over the pilot holes and screw in place with the drill. If support brackets are included with your blinds, center them between the two end brackets and screw them in place.
Insert the headrail into the brackets. If support brackets were used, make sure to tilt back the headrail to engage them before inserting into the end brackets. Close the bracket covers.
Pull the blinds down to test the installation. If necessary, gently pull on the ends or sides to align them with the window. Bamboo blinds will sometimes appear a bit short after installation, but will stretch as flexible fibers relax over 1 to 2 days.
Tips & Warnings
- Since window casings are sometimes uneven, taking the smallest of the three measurements helps assure a clean fit. If possible, have a second person hold the blinds in place as you make pencil marks and drill. This will ensure the blinds stay level and centered during the process. A 1/16-inch drill bit will be the right size for most bamboo blinds.