How to Put Up Curtain Rails
Putting Up Curtain Rails
Window treatments play an important part in the design of any interior and, although the overall size and shape of your windows are fixed, you can emphasize or modify their proportions by careful dressing with curtains. Curtains also provide privacy and help to insulate a room from the sun, cold and noise. Curtains can be bought ready-made in a variety of fabrics and sizes, or you can make your own.
- Masonry bit
- Power drill
- Spirit level
- Tape measure
- Wood bits
Should you choose curtain rails or poles?
The fabrics you choose for curtaining can make a dramatic difference to an interior, but the method you adopt for hanging curtains can contribute to the decorative style and overall effect, too.
Modern curtain rails
Modern rails are made from plastic, aluminium or painted steel. They are available in various styles and lengths and come complete with fixing brackets and glider rings or hooks. Some are supplied ready-corded, which makes drawing curtains easier and protects them from hand soiling.
Although typically used in straight lengths, most rails can be shaped to fit a hay window. Depending on the tightness of the bends, more brackets may be required when fitting a plastic rail into a bay than for metal types. Rails vary in rigidity, which dictates the minimum radius to which they can be bent. Plastic bends more easily when warm.
The curtain poles that were a feature of heavily draped Victorian interiors have become a popular alternative to the low-key track systems of modern times. Made from metal, plastic or wood, they come in a range of plated, painted or polished finishes. Traditional poles are supported on decoratively shaped brackets and are fitted with end-stop finials and large curtain rings. Some designs now conceal corded tracks to provide the convenience of modern curtain rails while retaining old-world charm.
Two wall-mounted decorative brackets are normally used to support curtain poles, but a central bracket may he required to support heavy fabrics or long poles. Plated-plastic tracked versions with ring-effect gliders are available in a range of lengths and are mounted on angle brackets. Lightweight slim poles are also made for sheer curtains or nets. These are fitted with side-fixing or face-fixing sockets.
Screwing a Rail or Pole to the Wall
Draw a guideline at a suitable height above the window opening, then plot the positions for the brackets along the line. Drill holes forwhen you are fixing into masonry walls. The must penetrate right into the structural material, not just into the plaster. Screw directly into the wood framing of a partition wall, and use self-tapping screws or cavity fixings for metal lintels.
If it proves difficult to get a secure fixing at all the marked positions,a 25mm (1in) thick batten to the wall on which to mount the brackets. You can paint the batten to match the wall or cover it with wallpaper.
In some cases, you canlightweight fixing brackets directly to the wooden architrave of a traditional sliding sash or casement window.
Fixing to the Ceiling
In a modern house it may be more convenient to mount curtain track on the ceiling.
- Joists that run at right angles to the wall provide a fixing for placing curtain track at any distance from the wall. Drill pilot holes into the joists and the brackets in place.
- Joists that run parallel to the wall need noggings nailed between them at the required fixing points. Skew-nail the noggings flush with the ceiling.
- If the required position is close to the original joist, nail a 50 x 50mm (2 x 2in) batten to the face of the joist to provide fixing points for the curtain track.