How to Install Curtain Rods: A Step-by-Step Guide

You will find all of the information you need to choose your curtain poles, as well as detailed instructions on measuring and installing them.

If you require assistance or additional information, please use the Live Help button above or contact us, and a member of our support team will gladly assist you.

All Poles and Blinds products are shown in both units, allowing you to select either. To avoid confusion, you must take care when measuring to stay within the unit you choose.

Measuring Where a Pole Already Exists

Simply measure the total length of the existing pole, excluding the finials, to replace it with a new one. This will give you the total length of pole you'll need to start shopping.

For example, if your pole is 230cm (90 12 inches), you would select a 240cm (94 1/2"), as these are sold in set lengths and can be cut to fit.

Taking Measures for a New Pole

Begin by measuring the window recess width (A) and making a note of it.

Window recess measurement

As shown in the diagram, this measurement gives you the length of the curtain pole minus the length of the finial. Curtain poles are made in fixed lengths, so if your measurement differs from a standard length, order the next size up and cut to size if necessary.

Curtain pole lengths do not include the length of the finials (the decorative pole ends); if you need to know the length of the finials, check the product specification tab when you select your pole and finials.

Curtain pole length with curtain stack back

To begin shopping for Curtain Poles, click here.

How to measure curtain poles video

Click on the video below to see a simple demonstration of how to install a metal curtain pole.

Hints and tips for measuring and fitting curtain poles

Measuring Suggestions

  • For accuracy and convenience, a metal tape measure is recommended.
  • Always double-check your measurements and keep track of them as you go.
  • Use a step ladder or a sturdy chair to stay safe; do not over-reach; large windows and long poles will necessitate assistance.
  • It is helpful to have someone hold the other end of the tape when taking measurements to ensure accuracy.
  • Take this measurement and make a note of it if you have limited fixing space above your window. Check the bracket depth of your preferred product to ensure that it will fit above your window opening.
  • If there is limited space on either side of the window, a smaller finial would be preferable. The finial section includes finial lengths.
  • An extension bracket is required if your pole is for wave-headed or widely-spaced eyelet-headed curtains. This is also required if your window sill is excessively protruding to ensure adequate clearance between the pole and the wall.
  • Mark your fitting positions on the wall with a pencil to make removal easier.
  • When removing the pole and fittings from the packaging, use caution and avoid using a sharp instrument that could damage the contents. Set them out and check them against the fitting guide in the box to ensure you have all the fittings.
  • Clear the window sill of any ornaments before you begin, and protect your furniture and carpets from any brick dust that may fall from the drill.
  • It is recommended that a tile drill bit be used without the hammer setting when drilling through tiles to avoid cracking them.
  • After you've installed the brackets, position the pole without the curtains and take a step back to ensure everything looks good. This is critical if your ceilings or floors are uneven.
  • Cleaning the area with a vacuum cleaner immediately after installing the brackets will prevent your curtains from becoming marked when you hang them.
  • If you are fitting the pole into wood, you will not need to use a drill or rawl plugs; simply make a small hole with a bradawl and then fit the brackets with wood screws.
  • Fit your pole about 8-12 cms above the window frame if you are fitting it across the front of the window and this measurement is not predetermined by your curtains. This is the most common position because it not only hides the header tape of the curtains from the outside, but it also helps to reduce light seepage when the curtains are drawn during daylight hours.
  • If you already have curtains, keep their length in mind because, at this point, adjusting the position of the pole above the window opening may save you a lot of time having to re-hem the bottom of the curtains.
  • A hacksaw can be used to cut pole lengths.
  • If you are unsure about the location of pipes or cables, use a detector to find out.

How to fit a curtain pole

This is a general guide for installing a curtain pole; full instructions for your specific pole type will be provided.

You Will Require

A tape measure (metal is preferable)

A pencil (rather than a pen because it is easier to remove the marks) and paper

A couple of steps

An electric or cordless drill (preferably with a hammer attachment)

The screwdriver

A level of spirit This is not required, but it is useful to ensure that your track is installed level. You can also double-check by measuring down from the ceiling or up from the floor or window sill to the holes, but this is not a guarantee because the ceiling may be slightly slanted. The most important thing is that it looks good visually.

A length of string and a couple of nails (we use bradawls in our videos) are helpful. This can be used to check the level before installing the brackets by stretching between the bracket holes.

Location of Curtain Pole Brackets in General

Tools for fitting curtain poles

If you already have drapes, Then, to determine the height of the curtain pole above the window (A), measure the drop of the curtains and add the measurement from the top inside of a curtain ring to the bottom outer edge for heading that will hang from the curtain pole. curtain rods

Drop measurements for eyelet curtains should be taken from the top inside of the eyelet ring to the bottom of the curtain, plus an extra 1cm for full length curtains to allow for floor clearance.

For a short curtain, measure the drop length from approximately 12cms below the sill to mark the height (B) for the bracket location above the window recess, plus 0 for curtains to sit on the sill. clearance of 5cm

Use the drop measurement from the floor plus 1cm to mark the height (C) for the bracket location on a full length curtain.

If you haven't yet purchased curtains, choose a bracket height of 5-10cm above the window recess. This will provide the best visual appearance, but your final choice may be determined by the height of your ceiling.

Curtain pole bracket height

Using a spirit level, mark the top line of your brackets from your measurements above the window recess.

Measure for bracket using a spirit level

Mark the position of the bracket with a pencil, a minimum of 10cm or your calculated length of your curtain pole, from the side of the window recess. Repeat for the remaining brackets, usually just one on each side of the window.

Measurment for curtain pole fixing bracket

If you have an extra-long pole, you must install a central bracket at the window's midpoint, as shown in the diagram.

Centre bracket for extra long pole

1. Once you've marked your bracket positions on the wall, use your pencil to mark the mounting holes, as shown in the diagram below. If your bracket has a key hole fixing, start with the top screw (top of the key hole), making sure the bracket is oriented correctly. Then, fit the key hole bracket so that it rests on this screw, and then drill and fit the bottom screw to keep it in place.

Mark bracket fixing holes

2. Drill 2mm pilot holes first if attaching to a wooden batten. If you are fitting your curtain pole directly to a masonry or studded wall, the instructions for your curtain pole will include this information. If you are unsure about any electric cables or pipes in the wall, you can use a detector to double-check, though these are unlikely to be placed close to the top of the window recess.

Drill bracket hole

3. Insert rawl plugs into the drilled holes. If you have a stud wall with plasterboard, for example, you may require different plugs.

Fit rawl plugs into the drilled holes

4. Secure the bracket to the wall with the appropriate screws. If you're fixing directly to a wooden batten, use wood screws.

Fix the bracket in position with the screws

5. Repeat the fixing procedure for all necessary brackets.

6. Double-check that you have correctly measured the length of the pole required to fit your window. The required length is usually the width between the brackets plus 5 - 6cms on either end of the pole to allow for one curtain ring between the bracket and the finial.

7. If the pole needs to be cut to the correct length, remove the finials first with the allen key provided and cut with a hacksaw for a metal pole or a wood saw for a wooden pole. Remember to double-check your measurements on your pole before cutting. When cutting down a two-piece pole, the join will be in the middle, so always cut an equal length from each pole's finial.

8. You can now put your pole together.

Assemble the curtain pole

9. Slide the appropriate number of curtain rings onto the pole, leaving two rings at each end between the brackets and the finials.

10. Place your pole on the brackets; if you have a particularly long pole, you may require assistance. Measure so that an equal length of pole protrudes from each end bracket, ensuring that the pole is centered.

Locate the pole onto the bracket

11. Use the provided locking screws to secure the pole to the brackets. After placing a curtain ring between the curtain bracket and the finial and using the provided fixing screws, the finials can now be attached to the poles' ends.

Fit the curtain rings and finials

12. Attach your curtains to the curtain pole rings by slipping curtain hooks through the eyelets.

To begin shopping for Curtain Poles, click here.

Metal curtain pole with modern finial

Poles made of metal

Metal poles are currently the most popular choice for hanging curtains; they are well suited to modern and contemporary interiors and come in a variety of styles, finishes, and colors.  
Because metal curtain poles are generally stronger than wood, thinner diameters can be used to hang medium to heavy weight curtains. We recommend a 28mm (1 1/8") diameter for general curtain use, and a 35mm (1 3/8") diameter or larger for all heavy interlined curtains.

All Metal Curtain Poles can be found by clicking here.

Wooden curtain poles

Poles made of wood

Wooden poles are best suited to traditional window interiors, but they can also look great in bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, depending on your décor style. Contemporary wood treatments will soften the overall feel of a room and complement any similar-finish wooden furniture. The wooden pole is available in far more color finishes than you might think, making it an excellent decorative choice.

Some of the most popular stain colors are mid oak, dark oak, light oak, antique pine, beech, light ash, walnut, rosewood, and mahogany, among others. Our wooden poles can also be painted in a variety of colors and styles, including various shades and tones of white, cream, black, silver, gold, and gilt, among others.

We recommend a curtain pole diameter of no less than 35mm (1 3/8") for hanging medium to heavy weight curtains. For heavy interlined curtains, a 50mm (2") pole is recommended.

To see all Wooden Curtain Poles, click here.

Bay window curtain poles

Bay Window Poles

There are three types of poles for bay windows:

Standard packages - Typically designed for three-sided bay windows, they can be cut to size to fit your bay and include all necessary components and installation instructions.

Made to Order - These poles are manufactured to the exact contours and size of your bay. They can be made to any length and are suitable for bay windows of any size.
The procedure is straightforward: download a Bay Window Measuring Form, fill it out, and return it to us. We will then double-check your measurements and angles before fabricating your pole.

Create Your Own - Our "Create Your Own Curtain Pole" collection allows you to build your own bay window pole by purchasing all of the necessary components separately. The "Create Your Own Bay Pole" section contains instructions on what components are needed for your size bay.

View all Bay Window Poles by clicking here.

Double curtain poles for privacy

Curtain Poles with Two Poles

Double curtain poles can be purchased as a set or assembled from "Create Your Own Curtain Pole" components.

You can dress your windows with two pairs of curtains or voiles and curtains using double pole sets. The primary set of curtains is typically installed on the front pole, with nets or voiles installed on the back pole. Excellent for privacy and camouflaging an unappealing view while still allowing light into the room.

View all Double Metal Curtain Poles by clicking here.

Eyelet and tab top curtain poles

Curtain poles with eyelets and tab tops

The main difference between eyelet curtain poles and standard curtain poles is that eyelet poles come without curtain rings.

The other major difference is that eyelet curtain poles come with extendable brackets that allow the pole to be set further away from the wall, allowing space behind the pole for the 'S' wave shape created by the curtain heading.

The eyelets used on eyelet curtains have a diameter of 40mm (1 9/16"), but please double-check this before purchasing your pole. A 28mm (1 1/8") diameter pole is ideal for this size eyelet, allowing enough clearance to open and close the curtains without snagging.

Although eyelet curtains are popular, they do not work well in bay windows because the eyelets cannot pass through the support brackets.

To see all Eyelet Curtain Poles, click here.

Poles that are extra long

PolesandBlinds has a section dedicated to curtain poles in extra-long lengths. These are made specifically for hanging curtains in large windows and patio doors.

Made to Measure poles, such as the Silent Gliss Metropole range, are ideal for large windows because they can be purchased in lengths of up to 6 metres. This can be attached to the wall or ceiling and is intended to allow the curtain to pass freely along the entire length of the pole.

View all Extra Long Curtain Poles by clicking here.

Poles for Recess Windows

Recess window curtain poles allow for the installation of a curtain pole between two walls or surfaces, such as in a window recess or dorma window. Simply select the correct diameter and length curtain pole and then add the matching recess brackets from the related items to the main product.

To see all Recess Curtain Poles, click here.

Poles with Cords

Corded poles, like corded curtain tracks, allow you to open and close your curtains with a cord system within the pole and the control cord located at the end of the pole.

If delicate fabrics or light-colored curtains are constantly handled, they may become marked or damaged over time. A corded pole is the ideal solution in this case. Corded poles are also an option for hanging curtains in tall windows, where hand operation may be difficult.

View all Corded Curtain Poles by clicking here.

Poles that can be extended

Metal extendable poles are available for use when a permanent curtain pole fixing that has been cut to size is not desired. A pole in the size range required for the length can be purchased.

Adjustable length curtain poles should be regarded as a temporary fitting, such as for tenants in a rented property, because they can be removed and reused in a different window at a later date. A standard pole fitting is generally the most aesthetically pleasing option.  

  View all Extendable Curtain Poles by clicking here.

Poles Made to Order

They are made to an exact length, color, or shape, even for a bay window, in the factory to meet your specific requirements.

Made to Measure poles are available to meet your exact specifications, so you can hang your window covering however you want.

Poles can be mixed and matched.

PolesandBlinds' Mix and Match poles allow you to purchase separate components, allowing you to customize the items needed for your specific windows.

Mix and match poles and accessories give you complete control over your pole selection.

To see all Mix and Match Curtain Poles, click here.

Pole Lengths Only

Separate lengths of wooden and metal poles in various colors and diameters can be purchased. These come without brackets, curtain rings, or finials.

This is an easy way to replace an existing pole or to match up with a specific number of brackets and components for your non-standard window.

  Click here to see only the pole lengths.

Drapery Arms and Portiere Rods

Rods de Portiere - Portiere Rods - If you have draft-proof curtains in your doorway, portiere rods lift the curtain off the floor as the door opens, preventing the curtain fabric from catching under the door.

Arms for Drapery - Drapery Arms or Dormer Rods are used to hang curtains in small window areas where there is little or no space for the curtains to open without blocking the light.
Rather than opening and closing curtains on a traditional curtain pole, the Drapery Arm swings away from the window with the curtains attached.

To see all Portiere Rods & Drapery Arms, click here.

Net Wire and Net Rods

Net Rods are a contemporary way to hang light weight curtains and voiles. There is no need to cut or drill because the rubber ends keep the rod taut against the window recess. Net rods can be used in windows with any finish, including tiled, painted, and wallpapered, and come in a variety of lengths to fit windows up to 250cm in length.

Net Wire is the traditional method of hanging net curtains; it comes with hooks and fittings, is simple to install, and can be cut to length with a pair of pliers.

  Net Rods and Net Wire can be found by clicking here.

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