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What is the Difference Between an Inside Mount and an Outside Mount for Blinds and Shades?

When installing your blinds and shades, there are two types of mounts you can choose from: inside mount and outside mount. You will need to make the choice of which mount style you prefer before measuring and ordering your window treatment. This is because the type of mount changes the length and width you will need.

The differences between the two mounts are not only visual, but there are also differences in functionality and setup. Both mount styles have pros and cons and we’ve listed them below to help you figure out which mount setup is right for your home and needs. 

What is an Inside Mount?

An inside mount is when your blinds or shades are installed inside the window frame. This mounting style is more traditional. It is also the most recommended by professionals unless your window frame is shallow or obstructions such as window cranks make it impossible to install and use them. 

The Benefits of an Inside Mount


A Clean Look

Inside mounts offer a clean, minimalist and finished look to your windows. This is because the blinds or shades are tucked neatly inside the window frame.

Trim is Fully Visible

When your blinds or shades are contained inside the frame, any decorative trim or moulding you have around your windows is fully visible, allowing you to show off your home’s woodwork.

Take Up Less Room

Because this mount style keeps the window treatment contained within your window frame, they take up much less room horizontally and vertically. This allows you to have more room between your windows for shelving, picture frames and other wall decor. This can be especially handy in a small room. 

Better Insulation

When blinds or shades are installed as close as possible to the window and fit snugly between the walls of the window frame, they provide better insulation for your home. A snug fit inside the frame ensures that hot or cold air from outside does not seep into your home and vice versa, providing better energy efficiency for your house. 

Better Layering

If you are pairing your blinds or shades with drapery or curtains, an inside mount allows for better layering. An inside mount keeps the blind or shade brackets from getting in the way of a drapery rod. Not only is it more functional, it also provides a cleaner look to your windows, especially when your curtains or drapes are open. 

The Drawbacks of an Inside Mount


Shallow Frames and Obstructions

As mentioned earlier, an inside mount is what is recommended most. However, there are a few instances in which an inside mount cannot be used. If your window frame is too shallow you will have to go with an outside mount. Also, if your window has obstructions such as handles, cranks, alarm sensors, etc. this also makes the usable depth of your window frame smaller or even make these things impossible to use. 


What is an Outside Mount?

An outside mount is when the blinds or shades are mounted on the wall above your window frame or directly on the trim. Here, the blinds or shades need to be slightly wider than your window frame opening. We recommend choosing blinds or shades that are at least 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than your window casing. 

The Benefits of an Outside Mount


Room Darkening

Because your blinds or shades overlap the walls a bit on either side of your window, this provides more room darkening. To get the fullest room darkening experience, we suggest choosing shades over blinds because the louvers in blinds allow some light seepage. 

Makes Your Windows Appear Bigger and Your Ceiling Higher

This trick of the eye can make your home appear bigger than it actually is. Because an outside mount requires that your window treatment be wider than your window frame opening, your windows appear to be wider. It also makes your ceilings appear higher because outside mounts also make your window look taller. 

Can Still Use Window Hardware

With the window treatment kept out of the window frame, your window cranks, handles and alarms are unobstructed. You also don’t have to worry about an unsightly window crank handle poking out between your blinds or pushing your shades out in an odd way. 

Covering a Door

If you want to cover a door, you’ll need to choose an outside mount. Often, this is because there isn’t enough room for an inside mount. Even sliding glass doors with a deeper frame may have a handle that becomes an obstruction.  

Covers Unsightly Casing or Trim

If you have ugly casing or trim that just isn’t worth showing off, you can cover it with an outside mount. We recommend blinds for this application. The louvers on blinds allow you to control the light while still partially obstructing what you want covered.

Drawbacks of an Outside Mount

Covers Decorative Trim

If your trim is worth showing off, an outside mount will cover that trim, unless you have your shades or blinds fully open and even then it will still cover the trim on the top of your window frame. 

Not as Clean and Minimalistic

Because the window treatment isn’t tucked neatly inside the window frame, the look is not as clean and finished as an inside mount. 

Takes Up More Room

Since your shades or blinds must be wider and taller than your window frame, they take up more room, making it difficult if the space between your windows is small. And if your room is small, an outside mount can make your windows appear too large for the space. 

Not as Good for Insulation

Because the window treatment isn’t installed closer to the window itself, this makes an outside mount less energy efficient than an inside mount. The smaller the pocket of air between your window and window treatment, the more insulating it is. 


Whether you choose an inside mount or an outside mount all depends on your needs and your home’s aesthetic. To ensure that your windows measurements are taken properly and the window treatments are installed correctly, consider calling in the pros. Elevated Views will walk you through the entire process making everything a breeze for you. And by custom ordering your window treatments, you’ll have more to choose from giving you the opportunity to find window treatments that truly match your home’s style and needs!

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