Curtain Fitting Tips

Curtain tracks

When choosing a curtain track make sure it will be strong enough to support the type of curtains to be hung — lined floor-to-ceiling curtains, for example, are very heavy. In most cases the track will be fixed to the face of the wall above the window, but special brackets or track may be required if the fixing is to be made in the top of the window recess, or to the ceiling. Also make sure that the track is long enough to allow an overhang of 250mm to 300mm on each side of the window opening depending on the fullness of the curtains

The easiest way to put up curtain track is to screw it to the top of the frame, or to a batten fixed to the wall above the window frame. The problem with fixing directly to the wall is that it often hides a reinforced concrete lintel and fixing into this can be very difficult.

Always fix the number of brackets recommended by the manufacturer. Usually you need a bracket 25mm from each end, and intermediate brackets at about 300mm intervals. Fix the end brackets first — they should be equal heights above the sill for sill-length curtains, and equal heights above the floor for floor-length curtains. Be careful if you use a spirit level to level the brackets in case either the floor or the sill is out of true, which is quite common in old houses.

Once the end brackets are in position, string can be stretched between them so that the intermediate brackets can be fixed in a straight line. Fixing to the frame or to a batten is easy because the wood screws provided can be used, but fixing to the wall is more tricky. Use a masonry drill bit to make holes for plastic wallplugs into which the fixing screws can be inserted. But make sure the screws are long enough to go right through the plaster layer into the brickwork beneath.

If the masonry drill bit makes slow going this is due probably to a concrete lintel. In this case switch to a percussion masonry bit in an electric drill with hammer action. Even then the going can be hard, so reduce the number of fixings that have to be made by making just sufficient holes to fix a 12mm thick batten above the window, and then screw the brackets to this.

Once the brackets are fixed, normally the track just snaps into place.

Cornice poles

These are normally supported on brackets on either side of the window, and they must be securely fixed. After fixing one bracket at the desired height, and with a spirit level on the pole, mark the position of the other bracket. But check that the top of the window, the sill and the floor are also level.

Roller blinds

These must be fixed level or the blind will not roll neatly. The slotted bracket must be fixed on the same side as the mechanism and flat pin of the roller.