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Details

Curtain rods and drapery hardware

Follow the guide as we raise the curtain on drapery rods and hardware. Find out about the various types of rods and rails available, their main features and functions and their mounting methods, to see which are most suitable for your drapery.

Factors to Consider

To decide what type of rod or rail to buy for your curtains, you will need to consider the following factors:

Weight of fabric

Not all curtain rods and rails can support the weight of heavy fabrics. For example, for insulated or blackout drapes a wood pole may be best, while for sheers you could opt for a tension cable rod.

Style of curtain

There’s a rod or rail to suit every type of curtain. Japanese panel shades, for instance, have their own specially designed tracks. 

Style of room

Each type of curtain rod will add a different accent. While a wood pole lends natural warmth, a PVC rod may suit a more modern setting. 

Location of the window

You might have the choice of mounting the rod on the wall or on the ceiling, depending on the window’s location. The mounting method will then help you decide on the best type of rod. 

Rods and rails

Plain, decorative, fun or functional: curtain rods enhance your window treatments and influence the room’s style. Read on to learn more about the various styles of drapery rods and rails available, their main features and the correct mounting methods for each.

Materials

Curtain rods are made from various materials; the choice varies according to the rod’s style and function.

Wrought iron

  • Lends a homespun, country feel
  • Solid, sturdy material

Steel

  • Very robust material
  • Always a popular choice
  • Timeless, durable material

Wood

  • On trend
  • Adds charm and lends a natural look
  • Available in a range of colours and stains

Metal

  • Solid and sturdy
  • Ideal for heavy drapery such as insulated curtains
  • Because they are strong, metal rods do not need to be as thick as other types of poles to carry the same weight

Plastic

  • Lightweight material
  • Good choice for sheer and lace fabrics

PVC

  • Stylish and contemporary
  • Sturdy material which comes in a variety of colours

Most of these curtain rods are also available in an array of finishes – matte, shiny, smooth, brushed, distressed, etc.

Mounting

Curtain rods can be mounted to the wall, between two walls, on the ceiling, or inside the window frame. It all depends on the type of window and the look you want to achieve. The following mounting methods are the same for most curtain rods.

On the wall, between walls, or on the ceiling

  1. Decide where to place the brackets:
    • To be able to draw curtains freely, the pole or rod should be 5 to 10 cm above the window. If there is a valance, increase this distance to 20 cm.
    • Using a rule and level, draw a line above the window to help you position the brackets.
    • Extend this line by 15 to 20 cm on either side of the window and mark the position of the brackets with a pencil.
    • Use the same method for wall-to-wall or ceiling mounting. For a ceiling mount, use a square to help you transfer the bracket locations to the ceiling.
  2. Screw the brackets to the wall or ceiling. You may need to use anchors or plugs for additional strength if the curtains are heavy.
  3. Measure the distance between the brackets and add another 15 to 20 cm to find the ideal length of the curtain rod. If the rod is adjustable you can lengthen it once it is in place. You may also be able to cut the rod to size.
    • Long, heavy rods will require a centre bracket for extra support.

Inside the window frame

Flat sash rods are generally extendable and very easy to install. These rods fit inside the window casement or frame. Most have a hole at the end which slips onto a pin on the self-adhesive mounting hook; others can be screwed directly into the window frame, and some models have tacks at the end which you push into the frame. The rod can be installed at any height you like.