Just when you think you can spend some relaxing time at the weekend, you remember that it's time to buy and install new curtains. Not to worry, installing curtain rods is easy and quicker than you might think. This article will guide how and what to hang and how to make the process run as smoothly as possible. Start from Step 1.
Part 1 of 2: Preparation Stage
Step 1. Buy curtains
Determine the curtain model that is right for you if you haven't bought curtains and rods yet. There are various types, and each gives a different feel and function to the room. Here are some options:
- Curtains are usually made of heavy and pleated material, which requires transverse rods. To hang it, you need to attach the curtain pins in the folds, then hang them on the slats. There is a rope that can be pulled to open and close the curtains.
- Panel blinds, eyelet curtains, and tab top blinds are designed to be hung from simple cylindrical rods. There is a pocket along the top that the rods can pass through, or the rods are already inserted through grommets or tabs. Panel curtains can be mounted above or below a window sill, extending to the floor, or even longer (this style is known as puddling).
- The cafe curtains only cover the lower half of the window to let light in while maintaining privacy. These curtains are popular for kitchen windows and are usually hung on a rod attached to a window frame or tension rod.
- The door panels have pockets on the top and bottom and require two curtain rods, which can be attached to the door or simply attached with a magnet. Door panels are often used on french doors and sidelight windows.
Step 2. Determine how far the curtains will fall
When buying curtains, keep in mind that their length should cover the entire window (except cafe curtains). If you buy tab top curtains, make sure the length does not include the length of the tab (the pin).
- It's recommended that the bottom edge of the curtains be 1.25 cm from the floor, unless you live in a humid area, which means that the ends of the curtains should be 2.5 cm from the floor. This is because the curtains will stretch more on a humid day. If you are planning to weave the curtains, just make sure they are of sufficient length.
- Curtains hanging below the sill should extend 10 cm below, long enough to cover the edges of the casing under the window.
- Sill-length curtains should cover the threshold.
Step 3. Consider how far the curtains can be closed
If you want to be able to open the window completely, choose a rod that is much longer or one that has a return (a 90-degree turn at each end of the rod so the curtains can be pushed, turned, and leaned against the wall). The length of the return depends on the type and width of the curtain.
Step 4. Decide whether you want to mount the rod on the case or the wall outside the case
If the rod is installed inside the case, part of the window will be covered. On the other hand, if the rod is installed outside the case, you can open the curtains completely. Your choice will depend on the style and look you want, but don't forget the associated wall or casing material. If the casing is plastic, the curtain rod will need to be attached to the wall. If the walls are made of plaster, cob, or stone, the installation of the rods can be easier.
- Keep in mind that curtains will only open as far as the brackets that hold the curtain rods up, whether they have a return or not, and the style of the curtains will determine how much compression it is. The number of curtains that can be compressed is called the stack back.
- It's a good idea to leave part of the window closed even if the curtains are open, or you can open the entire window to let in as much sunlight as possible.
Part 2 of 2: Installing the Right Curtain Rod
Step 1. Measure the height of the rod
Use a measuring tape. Determine the top point of the curtain based on the end of the curtain drop: on the threshold, under the threshold, or on the floor. Keep in mind that some types of curtains have a flutter or pleat that extends above the top of the rod; subtract this part from your measurement result. Mark this point on either side of the case or wall with a pencil. Use a laser level to make sure the marks are balanced.
Step 2. Mark the bracket location
When you make sure all the measurements, use a pencil to mark where the screws will be installed. Be careful not to get too close to the edges when installing the casing as this will make the material too brittle and crack the wood.
Step 3. Add a mid brace if needed
Consider the length of the rod when hanging brackets. While most curtain rods are adjustable, it's best if the brackets aren't too far apart so the rods don't bend in the middle. Usually, the stem is not extended beyond 50%.
Step 4. Drill pilot holes with a drill to help screw in
This will keep the screws from cracking the case or walls. If mounted on a wall bracket, make sure the pilot hole is large enough to fit anchor screws, if used.
Screw anchors are only needed if the bar brackets are spaced such that they are not attached to the wall studs. If you don't want to use screw anchors, make sure the brackets are only 1-2.5 cm apart from the case
Step 5. Attach the bracket to the case or wall
If installed between wall studs, you will need plastic screw anchors. These anchors will expand inside the drywall wall panel to weigh the rods and curtains and prevent screws from slipping off the wall. Otherwise, you can simply use the mounting screws provided or recommended by the manufacturer.
Step 6. Check the balance of the rod
Fit the rods to the brackets and use a carpenter's ruler to ensure balance. Provided you measure the height of the bar when marking the location of the brackets.
Step 7. Install the curtains
Remove the rods again, insert the curtains into the rods, then hang them on the brackets. Congratulations, your job is done!
If you are hanging tab top curtains, we recommend using thin rods. Thick rods will pull the curtains up so they hang too high
- If you don't have a level, there are many level apps that you can use, both default and free.
- Don't rush to re-hang the curtain rod if it seems too short. Let the curtains hang for 1-2 days to see if the material loosens up a bit. You can iron the curtains before hanging them if the curtain material is not damaged by ironing.