How to put up a curtain rail or track
Shutting out light, giving you privacy, creating that ‘homely’ feel…curtains are an essential part of any home. But to start feeling the benefits, you’ll need to put up something for them to hang from. So follow our guide to find out how to put up a curtain track or rail.
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What you need
- Drill and drill bit
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- Curtain rail/track with fixings
- Stepladder, if necessary
How to put up a curtain rail or track
Step 1: Mark out your bracket points
First, you’ll need to mark out where your brackets will go. Ideally, these should sit 15cm higher than your window to keep in the heat, and between 10-15cm either side to make sure there’s enough space for your curtains to gather when they’re pulled back. But these measurements will depend on the length and thickness of your curtains, so have a play around to see what looks best.
Top tip: You can use a spirit level to make sure everything’s straight, but remember, most walls and windows aren’t completely level – it’s better to match your curtain rail or track to the line of your window.
Step 2: Check for pipes and cables
When you’ve made your marks (remember measure twice, drill once), it’s time to drill the holes using your brackets as a guide. Before you do, it’s a good idea to check for any pipes or cables with a multi detector – although it’s unlikely these will be placed close to the top of the window. If you’re not sure, always call an expert.
Step 3: Drill the holes
Once you’re happy, drill the holes using the right size drill bit for your screws. You may find it easier to drill a pilot hole with a smaller bit first – particularly if you’re going into masonry brick.
Top tip: If your curtains are particularly heavy, you may need to drill deeper into the wall and use slightly longer screws to take the weight.
Step 4: Screw in the brackets
Insert the right rawl plugs for your wall type (unless you’re securing into wood) and screw the brackets in place using a screwdriver.
Step 5: Put your track/pole up
Place your curtain pole or track on the brackets and get ready to hang your curtains!
How do you put up a curtain pole without drilling?
If you rent, or if you’re just not confident drilling into your walls, don’t worry. You can still put a curtain pole up without drilling using specially made adhesive hooks.
Make sure you buy hooks that can comfortably hold the weight of your curtains and that are the right shape for your curtain rod.
Simply mark up where you want your curtain rod to sit following the instructions above. Then instead of screwing in the brackets, just peel back the adhesive on your hooks and apply them directly onto your wall.
How do you hang curtains?
How do you hang eyelet curtains?
Eyelet curtains have round metal or wooden rings (otherwise known as grommets) sewn into the fabric. They’re one of the easiest curtains to hang, since they don’t need much assembly.
Fold up the curtain into a concertina shape so that all the eyelets line up. Slide all but one onto the pole, making sure the right side is facing into the room.
Then when you get to the end, place the final eyelet on the other side of the bracket – this will stop the curtain sliding all the way across when you draw it closed. Repeat the process on the other side and finish off your curtain pole with matching finials.
Top tip: Thread sections of foam piping between the eyelets to make your curtains look fuller when they’re open.
How do you hang pencil pleat curtains?
Pencil pleat curtains are a little trickier to hang as you’ll need to gather them to yourself – but that doesn’t mean they’re difficult.
First, double check how wide your curtain pole is – you’ll need to make sure each curtain is half the width of this when it’s fully gathered.
Knot the strings together at one end to avoid pulling them all the way through and tuck in the ends. Then, at the other end, hold all the strings firmly in one hand and start to gently gather your curtain.
When your curtain is gathered to the right width (that’s half your pole width), make sure all the pleats are evenly spaced out. Once you’re happy, tie the strings into a knot and tuck them in. Then you just need to insert the hooks into the tape itself (not the strings) at regular four-inch intervals.
If you’re using a pole, attached the hooks onto rings and thread them on, making sure the last one sits outside the bracket. If you’re using a track, simply attach the hooks onto the track loops.
Top tip: When your curtains are up, even out the folds, tie a ribbon around the fabric and leave it for a few hours. This will help set your pleats for a more professional finish.
Time for a trusted tradesperson?
If you’re still not sure how to put up a curtain track or rail, or you don’t have the right tools for the job, it might be time to call in the experts. All our Heroes are fully vetted by us and are backed by a 12-month British Gas guarantee.