Recess fit vs face fit – which is better?
The way you choose to mount your blinds can make a big difference to the end result – not just with the way your window and blinds look, but also with the way your blinds fit against your window and their light blocking capabilities.
Here at Blinds Quickly, our customers frequently ask us questions about where and how blinds can or should be mounted. So, let’s look at the different types of mounting options and weigh up the pros and cons of each.
What are the mounting options when fitting blinds?
There are several options that can be used to mount your blinds. These options allow you to obtain exactly the right fit for your window treatment needs, to optimise their light blocking and privacy control capabilities or customise their look and maximise their aesthetic appeal. The two most common ways of mounting blinds to a window, door or opening, are face fit or recess fit.
Face fit blinds
Also referred to as an ‘outside mount’, ‘face fixing’ or ‘face fixed’, face fitting your blinds involves installing the blind to the front or face of the architrave, or above it. With a face fit, the blind covers the entire window, extending past the diameter of the window space. Face fitting usually allows for a blind to have around 35-55mm of overlap on either side of the window, so the edges of the blind often sit flush with the edge of the architrave or window frame.
What are the pros of face fitting blinds?
We recommend this kind of fit for bedrooms or other living areas where you want to maximise the light and privacy control features of your blinds. Having the blind extend beyond the diameter of the window provides several immediate, tangible and very attractive benefits, however there are also potential drawbacks.
- Greater light and privacy control: As the entire span of the window is covered, this method of installation enables you to more effectively block the entrance of light.
A face fit roller blind that has been reverse rolled on to the tube will generally provide the highest level of privacy and light control as the ‘under rolled’ blind sits flush against the architrave, so there are no gaps between the blind and window. Eliminating gaps also ensures that your privacy can’t be compromised.
- Larger-looking windows: Similarly, as the blind extends beyond the edge of the window, the window immediately looks larger. This kind of fit is perfect for windows that have unattractive frames or are small.
- Improved climate control: As the blind sits flush with the architrave, air is trapped in the gap between the window and the blind. This can help to provide a buffer between the outside and inside temperature, making it easier to regulate your home’s climate and improving its energy efficiency.
- Stylish finish: A face fit under rolled blind allows the blind sit flush against the architrave or window frame, providing a sleek and tidy finish that is both stylish and practical.
- Greater flexibility with measurement and installation: The mounting position of a face fit blind allows for slightly more flexibility with measurement of the window and installation of the blind. If the measurement or placement of the blind is off by one or two millimetres it is unlikely to negatively impact the functionality or aesthetic appeal of the window treatment.
Additionally, if the blind is to be installed on a window or door that has a potential obstruction – for example, an opening bar or sliding door handle – a face fit blind allows greater clearance between the obstruction and the blind. Installing an ‘over rolled’ face fit roller blind will position the blind approximately 55-70mm away from the window, allowing even greater clearance for any obstruction.
What are the cons of face fitting blinds?
- Potentially less visually appealing: With a face fit blind, the mounting bracket and hardware is visible at the top of the window which may be less visually appealing. This may particularly be the case if the blind is an under rolled roller blind that has a plain white backing, which can starkly contrast against a darker or textured blind fabric. The contrast may be lessened by using a fabric that has a coloured backing like the colour of the blind.
To completely conceal the mount and the top of the blind, and the backing of an under rolled roller blind, then it may be necessary to have a pelmet installed over the top of the blind mount.
- Strain on the architrave or window frame and mounting brackets: Face fitting a heavier blind, such as a roman blind, or timber or faux timber (PVC) venetian blind, can put significant weight on the mounting bracket and hardware, which in turn puts strain on the architrave or window frame. Over time, it’s likely that this constant weight will bend the mounting bracket and may damage the average MDF or a hardwood architraves or window frames used in Australian homes.
‘Recessed fit’ blinds
Also referred to as an ‘inside mount’, ‘recess fixing’ or ‘recess fixed’, recess fitting your blinds involves installing the blind within the window recess. With a recess fit, the blind covers the glass portion of the window, often leaving the aluminium or wooden window surround slightly visible. Recess fitting usually allows for very little clearance between the window and the blind, so that the blind sits close to the glass.
What are the pros of recess fitting blinds?
This kind of fit provides a neat and tidy look, as the mounting bracket and hardware (and the roll of a roller blind) are better concealed within the window frame. Recess fit blinds emphasize the size of your window, making them a great option for windows that are already large, and they are perfect for windows that have a deep recess or frame that can easily accommodate and conceal the extra bulk of the mounting bracket and hardware.
- More visually appealing: A recess fit blind allows the mounting bracket and hardware to be more easily concealed within the top of the window recess, allowing for a neater, sleeker, and more aesthetically pleasing look. When recess fitting a roller blind, it is recommended that the fabric of the blind be over rolled, to better conceal the roll and prevent the backing of the blind fabric from showing.
- Can be paired with another window treatment: As a recess fit blind sits within the window frame, it can be easily paired with another type of window treatment – for example, a sheer curtain, a heavier curtain for better light control, even another blind (see below for more information on double blinds).
- Stronger installation location: A solid window frame is generally much stronger and able to hold more weight than the MDF or wood of architrave, so is better able to support a heavier blind.
What are the cons of face fitting blinds?
- Less light and privacy control: as the blind sits within the window recess, it is almost impossible to achieve effective light blockage. With a recess fit blind being positioned closer to the window glass, there may be adequate privacy control, however this type of mounting results in unavoidable gaps of around 20-30mm on either side of the blind that admit light – even a blackout blind will still let light in.
- Less flexibility with measurement and installation: The mounting position of a recess fit blind requires window measurements and installation of the blind to be very accurate. If the measurement or placement of the blind is fractionally off the blind will not fit properly, which can ruin the visual appeal of the window treatment and may impact the functionality of the blind.
For example, if you are considering installing a recess fit blind on a window or door that has a potential obstruction, such as a door handle or knob, you may find that the window recess is not deep enough to accommodate both the obstruction and the blind. This may impede the tracking (opening and closing) of your blind, and causing the blind to be pushed outward Installing an ‘over rolled’ face fit roller blind will position the blind approximately 55-70mm away from the window, allowing even greater clearance for any obstruction.
- Inconvenient positioning of blind control: Just as the blind sits within the window recess, so too does the control for the blind. This means that when the blind is closed it may be a little more difficult to see, access and use the blind controls. It is almost impossible to achieve effective light blockage. As the blind sits closer to the window glass when recess fit there may be adequate privacy control, however this type of mounting result in unavoidable gaps on either side of the blind that admit light.
The perfect combination of face fit and recess fit. Dual blinds, otherwise known as double blinds, are a set of paired blinds that provide dual functionality. The most common pairing is a recess fit sunscreen blind, which allows light admittance and privacy control during the day, coupled with a face fit blackout roller blind to provide complete privacy at night and light blockage at any time of the day or night.
They are a neat and tidy option that provides the best benefits of both kinds of blind installation, while effectively cancelling out most the others’ negative points.
Talk to Blinds Quickly about the best fit option for your custom-made window blinds
Blinds Quickly aim to deliver an exceptional, personalised experience to each and every customer and strive for 100% satisfaction, so our team of experienced design professionals are on hand to help you select the perfect blinds, and the perfect fit, for your windows.
To find out more about our fantastic range of high-quality blinds, to enquire about our free design consultations and made-to-measure process, or to place your order, contact Blinds Quickly today!