How to Install Curtain Rods

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Installing a curtain rod involves more than drilling holes and attaching the rod to the wall. The placement of the rod in relation to the window affects the design of the room. Whether you want to highlight the window frame, make the window seem larger or create a dramatic focal point, the installation process is key to creating the effect.

Things You'll Need

  • Stepladder
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Drywall anchors
  • Hammer
  • Curtain rod hardware

Choose Positioning

Curtain rods typically go above and slightly outside the window frame. This allows the curtains to fully cover the window when closed. The height depends on the location of the window and the look you want. A typical range is between 2 and 5 inches above the window. If you want the window to look taller or larger, you can go a little higher. Stick to no more than 8 inches above the window for the best look.

The width of the curtain rod is another personal decision. Extending several inches beyond the outer window frame edges helps widen the appearance of the window. The extra space also allows you to fully open the curtains without the curtain fabric blocking the edges of the window. An extra 3 to 6 inches beyond the window frame edge is a general recommendation.

If you're not sure on the mounting position, slide the curtain panels on the rod and enlist the help of an assistant. Have your helper hold the curtain rod with curtains on it at different heights and widths to see which positioning looks the best to you.

Hang the Rod

Hanging the rod comes down to accurate measurements and holes for the hardware.

Step 1

Mark the general position on one side of the window to indicate where you want the mounting bracket. Measure up and over from the window corner to that position to get exact measurements. Use those measurements to mark the position on the other side of the window frame. Use a stud finder to check for studs or other obstructions that could interfere with the installation of the wall anchors you will use to hold the brackets in place.

Step 2

Hold the bracket up to the wall in the mounting position. Mark the screw holes with a pencil. Repeat on the other side of the window frame. If the curtain rod is long enough to need a center support, mark the screw holes for the middle bracket as well.

Step 3

Check the alignment of the marks by holding a level up to the wall. Adjust the marks and positioning if necessary to align the holes so they are level.

Step 4

Drill pilot holes based on the dimensions of the drywall anchors and screws. The pilot hole should not be larger than the anchor or it won't stay in place. If the initial hole isn't large enough, make a slightly larger pilot hole.

Step 5

Tap the drywall anchors gently into place with a hammer so the anchors are flush with the wall. Test the anchors to ensure they don't wiggle or move in the hole.

Step 6

Position the curtain rod hardware. Screw the brackets into place. Tighten each screw just enough to hold the bracket in place without shifting or movement.

Step 7

Place the empty curtain rod on the brackets to check the positioning. Place the level on the rod to ensure it is level.

Step 8

Hang the curtains on the rod and put it back in place on the curtain rod brackets.


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