The modern architectural design of commercial and residential buildings continues to feature large expanses of glass, in order to maximise daylight to the interior and provide the best connection for the occupants with the outside. This trend has meant that architects and interior designers are often requiring cover to wide openings with a single window blind. We set out below guidelines as to how wide roller blinds can be made.
The maximum width for a roller blind is determined by the diameter of the roller tube or barrel, and the barrel diameter in turn is influenced by drop and weight of the fabric. Most common tube diameters and corresponding maximum recommended widths are set out below:-
Roller blind tube width 30-35mm: max 1.6m roller blind width
Roller blind tube width 40-45mm: max 3.1m roller blind width
Roller blind tube width 60-80mm: max 3.8m roller blind width
If the maximum blind width is exceeded, the roller blind tube can bow slightly which in turn can cause the blind fabric to ‘smile’ – this describes the angled ripples in the fabric starting from the centre and flowing out towards the edge of the fabric on both sides.
Widths wider than these common sizes listed above can be achieved but with a corresponding increase in barrel diameter and bracket dimension, which can become difficult to accommodate or conceal, which is why we often suggest the use of Linked Blinds.
Linked Blinds Option
A way to increase the glazing width covered by roller blinds is to use a system which includes linked brackets. This allows multiple blinds to be linked together and yet still be operated by a single control, whether a manual pull chain, a geared crank rod, or an electric motor.
It is important to bear in mind that linked blinds are still limited by weight considerations, particularly if manually operated. We would recommend no more than three blinds linked for manual operation.
Benefits of Linked Blinds
Linked blinds can be operated quickly and – in the case of electric roller blinds – the number of motors and power outlets required can be substantially reduced, saving resources. The slim-line intermediate link bracket also reduces the light gap between two adjacent fabric covers to as little as 20mm. Linked blinds are particularly useful when covering wide doorway openings as blinds that cover the whole opening can be operated with a single control at one end.
As a roller blind increases in width, the manual chain operation can become harder. To counteract this, some roller blind systems such as ShadeTech RBXL-C can be installed with a booster spring which is concealed within the roller tube and provides fingertip control for even the heaviest blinds.
In general, larger widths and drops can be achieved with motorised rather than manually operated blinds.
Where glazing wider than 3.5m needs to be covered by a single roller blind, the Draper Flexshade 2 and the Draper Colossal roller blind are satisfactory options. Both these blinds are electrically operated roller blinds that can cover widths up to 4.8m wide (Draper Flexshade 2) and an incredible 8.7m wide (the Draper Colossal)!
Panel Blinds Option
Another option to consider for extremely large glazed areas is Panel Blinds as an alternative to roller blinds. These are well suited to covering very wide areas of glazing. However care is needed to consider where the panels are stacked as they take up space.
Vertical Blinds Option
Vertical Blinds are another choice, as they can cover up to 6m in one blind, but these are not so robust a system.
See also this blogpost: What is the maximum window height that a roller blind can cover?
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