Curtain Rod Problems

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Crooked curtain rods and drooping drapes make hanging curtain rods can seem like a chore. Avoiding common curtain rod problems can make decorating your windows easy and fun.

Choosing the Right Curtain Rod

Before you get out the hammer or drill, are you sure you are using the right curtain rods for the job?

Choosing the right curtain rod for your window and your curtains is key to painless curtain rod installation.

So which rod is right for you? Stick to these two rules when choosing your curtain rod:

  • The heavier the curtain, the heavier the rod. Heavy drapes need a rod that is sturdy enough to support their weight.

  • Measure, and then measure again. Nothing is more frustrating than getting brackets up, only to discover that the rod is too short or too long. To be on the safe side, always note the measurements.

Taking Your Rod to the Next Level

If there's one mistake that is all too common when hanging curtain rods, it's not aligning the brackets so that the rod will be level. A sloping curtain rod is not just unattractive—if you are using a heavy rod and/or heavy drapes, the extra weight on one side of the rod can result in damage to the rod and to your wall.

The easiest way to make sure that your curtain rod is level is to align your brackets with the outside corners of your window's frame. However, if you are hanging your brackets more than just an inch or so from the outside corner of the window frame, use a level to be certain that your rod will be level once hung on the brackets.

Do You Have Enough Support?

Heavy drapery rods and drapes often need more support than the two brackets that come with the rods. Support brackets, placed at the center of the window, or, for an especially large window or heavy rod and/or drapes, in two places between the end brackets, are essential. Unsupported rods will droop in the middle, warping the rod and possibly pulling the end brackets out of the wall.

As a rule of thumb, if the span of your rod is more than 4 feet (48 inches) wide, you need a center support bracket or brackets when using anything but the sheerest curtains and the lightest rods.

Starting with the Right Foundation

Even the sheerest curtains and lightest rods need a firm foundation in order for the brackets to support their weight. Hanging curtain rod brackets on a wall that will support them is important.

Most of the time, hanging curtain rod brackets just outside the corners of the window frame is a safe bet, because the window framing underneath the wall will support the weight of the rod and the drapes. Any farther than a few inches from the window, and you should consider using drywall anchors to support your brackets.

Always use screws, not nails, to hang your rods. In addition, if you are using a heavy rod and/or drapes, consider staying as close to the window frame as possible.

Accessories Make a Difference

Accessories such as clip rings, tie backs and even scarves draped over the curtain rod dress up your window, but they also add weight to your rod. If you plan on using these accessories, take them into consideration when choosing your rod.

Hanging curtains from clip rings is stylish and attractive. When using clip rings, remember that they add weight—and movement—to your curtains. Make sure you use a rod that can handle the weight and is secured to the wall, so that the movement of the rings doesn't prove a problem.

Tie backs are an excellent way to use curtains, while also preserving the view from your window. Always secure tie backs using special hooks for this purpose.

Scarves add extra weight directly to the rod. Consider using a center bracket when using a scarf to help your rod hold the weight.

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