Heavy curtains - blocking light and reducing sound reflections

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by silva741, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. silva741

    silva741
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    Hi everyone. I'm nearly finishing my modest home-cinema room, and need to find the best way to block the light from the windows. I'll use a projector, so the room needs to be almost completely dark, and equally important, I must also reduce the sound reflections coming from the glass windows.

    From the threads I've been reading, it seems the solution is to get some heavy cloth curtains, but I must confess this is something I have never paid any attention and have no knowledge whatsoever. To make matters worse my windows/doors are placed in the corner, which may make the task harder (at least in my mind). I'll place two images below.

    Is it reasonable to expect almost total darkness just from cloth curtains? I think some persons use blackout roll blinds, but if possible I'd like to avoid it. The simpler (and cheaper) the better.

    Regarding cloth curtains, I have no idea if I can use a curved track (is it the right name?), or if I need 2 tracks, on the corner at 90 degrees. Also, it seems some ppl use two curtains on the same track, but not sure if it's necessary something special for that. The weight worries me a bit too. Still regarding cloth types, no idea how to choose, or even where to start. There seems to be thousands of options.

    I'd appreciate all suggestions and tips. I'm very comfortable around computers, but in this subject I'm a total newbie.
    Thanks for your time.

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  2. The Dreamer

    The Dreamer
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    Heavyweight curtains are not cheap, but they ooze quality. You can get them double (or even triple) lined, a blackout material backing can be added, although most often, this is added as a separate layer (not directly attached as the linings are) as it is non washable. You can then wash the curtains themselves separately.

    I would advise a pelmet running around, above the windows. For best effect, this would be at ceiling height, and be 6 - 8" deep. Your curtains would then be floor to ceiling (extra cost, but best for light retention, and the most impressive feature-wise.) Try to avoid curtain poles, they leak light like crazy.

    Try to run the tracks one past the other, i.e. at the corner where they meet, form a T-junction, this will help light retention - just make sure the 'incoming' track does actually butt-up to the 'crossing' track.

    At the edge of the curtains that don't move, use Velcro to attach the curtain (or at least the blackout material) to the wall - this can be an inch or two in from the edge itself, so on casual inspection it's not obvious, but it will stop light seeping around the edge.

    It is perfectly possible to fully light-proof a room using curtains, I stay in hotels at work where it is a requirement that we can control the light sufficiently to allow sleep in the middle of the day. Not all attempts are totally successful, but the tips above are taken from the best hotels that I've stayed in.

    HTH
     
  3. silva741

    silva741
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    Thanks for the post The Dreamer, lots of info to digest. My ignorance about this is really showing, I had no idea some people use double or triple linings (it means three cloths sew together, correct? – English is not my first language, sorry).

    I’d like to avoid pelmets, they aren’t very visually appealing, but you may have a point regarding the curtain poles leaking light. hmmm
    Maybe if the curtains go really completely till the top, making contact with the ceiling, there’s no light leaking? In my case the height is 10 feet, so it’s necessary quite a lot of extra cloth, but perhaps it’s a good trade-off, not having to spend money in a pelmet. Assuming the light didn’t leak without the pelmet, that is.
     
  4. The Dreamer

    The Dreamer
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    Yes, that's right, to give extra weight to curtains, multiple linings can be used; in some cases this makes the use of blackout material redundant.

    I guess it's possible that simply taking the curtains all the way to the ceiling may well work without a pelmet - it'll depend on the amount of wall space above your windows and how far away from the wall the curtains are. For instance, there's only about a foot of wall above our windows, and the curtains that are hung from a pole just above the windows let a vast amount of light seep in above - so definitely wouldn't do the job.
     

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