Curtain Poles - An Alternative to Tracks
Installing curtain poles
Curtain poles are an attractive alternative to using track to support your curtains and are usually exposed, meaning that there is often call for some decorative flair to blend them into the feel of the room.
They come in all sorts of styles and materials from plain simple poles to unusual, intricately-designed poles. They can only be fitted if there is enough space above the window - hence track is usually used for bay windows.
Curtain poles are attached to the wall, window frame or ceiling with brackets. Where the poles are fitted depends on how strong the supporting wall is. If the wall is soft and uneven it may be better to attach the curtain pole to the window frame which is likely to hold better. Another alternative would be to attach the pole to the ceiling. Remember it is not only the weight of the curtain pole that is an issue; the weight of the curtains needs to be taken into consideration as well.
Installing a curtain pole
The pole should be positioned about 4-6 inches above the window frame and if there is space either side of the window, then the pole should extend beyond the edge of the window frame to allow the curtains to be pulled back away from the window.
Mark where the brackets should go in a soft pencil and then install the brackets according to the manufacturer's instructions. This usually involves drilling holes for screws. Fix one of the brackets and, attach the curtain pole and then fix the other bracket. Put one curtain ring on each end of the pole outside the bracket before attaching the curtain finials. This is to prevent any chance of the outside edge of the curtain being pulled across the window area.
Tension curtain rods use a spring to hold the rod in place i.e. there is no need for brackets, drilling or screws. These rods are more practical and would work best with a window treatment that hides the rod - for instance panel drapes with a pocket hem that the rod slides into. Double curtain poles for hanging two layers of drapes consist of two poles attached to a single bracket and should be installed in the same way as single curtain rods.