A DIY guide to measuring & installing curtain rods

July 27, 2015

Once you've decided on the type of window treatment you want, and have chosen fabrics, it's time to measure and install. Here's how:

A DIY guide to measuring & installing curtain rods

Do-it-yourself measuring

The finished length of a curtain or drapery depends on its style and the rod's style. Here's how to get the right measurement:

  • For plain curtain rods, you can allow 1 to 7.5 centimetres (1/2 to three inches) above the rod for a heading if you like.
  • Then add (or start with) the depth of the rod plus one centimetre (1/2 inch) of ease.
  • Add the distance from the bottom of the rod to the sill, the bottom of the apron or the floor minus one centimetre (1/2 inch). This stops fabric from dragging on the floor.
  • For decorative traverse rods with rings, measure from the bottom of the rod to one of the three length positions described above.

Set the rod for the best look

Once you know the style and length of window treatment elements you want, decide on the placement.

  • Installing the rod just above and outside the width of the window frame gives the window the illusion of being larger, and maximizes the available light.
  • You can install the rods just at the edges of the window frame to keep a trim appearance.
  • If windows are near the ceiling, try installing the rods just below the ceiling to give the window, and the room, more height.

Specialized rods for specialized situations

Spring-tension rods and wooden rods with inside brackets attach to the inside of the window jambs. Follow the instructions supplied with the rods to perform the actual installation. They'll be specific to the rod that you purchase.

Putting up curtain rods is an exact, but not impossible task. If you keep the measurements in mind, and take your time, you could have your new window dressings up in no time.

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