Curtains are an essential part of any home decor. They regulate temperature, provide privacy and allow you to control the natural light in your home. But how, exactly, do you set up curtains over a bare window? To install a rod, you're going to need:

  • Curtain rods with brackets
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • A level
  • A pencil

Step One: Measure Your Window

man measuring a window
A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock

Before you can purchase rods to hang your curtains, you have to know how wide your window so you know that size rod to buy. When you install a rod yourself, you also have control over placement and how low or high the curtains will fall in front of the window. Lifting the curtains by installing the rod a few inches higher than average will give the window a longer, taller appearance.

Step Two: Purchase Your Curtains And Rods

Believe it or not, the style and color of curtains that you purchase play a major role in your selection of rods. Coordinating colors is a natural part of completing a room, and ultimately the color and design of the curtains have a influence over the rods you choose. Pick a rod that matches the color scheme or aesthetic of the curtains it will be holding. If you choose a rod with ornately designed knobs at the ends, they will have a big impact on the tone of your room, even though they seem like a small detail.

Some rods also hold certain fabrics and weights better than others. For example, skinnier, flimsy rods cannot support heavier drapes or thick velvet curtains. There are dozens of different types of curtains that you can use throughout your home, although some of the most important things to consider when it comes to choosing the ideal curtain rod for your selection is where the curtains are hung (over the window, inside the windowsill, on the casting or on the wall, etc.), how much fabric your curtains use, how heavy they are, what type of curtain hooks you plan on using, how a particular type of curtains are attached to the rods and how tightly the curtains fit around a rod. But no matter what kind of curtains you use, you should always look for rods which are fairly thick and thus have strong support.

Step Three: Prepare For Installation

man and woman hanging a curtain rod
Ivan Filimonov/Shutterstock

When getting ready to install your curtain rods, measurement becomes important again. Measuring the distance between the ideal length of your drapes can help you form a clear picture of where to place your brackets on the wall. Once you're fairly certain that you've marked the height that you'd like to install your rods at, you can note the location where you plan on placing your brackets by marking the spot with a pencil to use as a template. Once you've done this, triple-check to make sure that the positioning of the brackets will result in a level rod and a curtain that falls to your desired place. If you're certain you've drawn correct measurements, drill pilot holes and place the anchors. These anchors ensure that the screws placed into the wall will cling firmly to whatever material the wall is made of and not break out due to the heavy weight of the rod and curtains. After you've inserted these, there are only a few more things required to get your curtains hung.

Step Four: Install The Rod

white curtains hanging from curtain rod

After the anchors are in the wall, you're ready to tighten the screws into the studs that hold the brackets in place. Once you've mounted these brackets, you can then test to see if the mount is level. By placing the rod on it, you should be able to eyeball it and tell whether or not it could use a little adjusting. You can also use a carpenter's level to ensure that it is flat. To check that the anchors are secure and able to handle the added weight of curtains, tug down slightly on the rod.

Once you've slipped your curtains onto the rod and have returned it to the brackets, make sure you check to see if there seems to be any signs of support lacking at any point in the bar. If the bar is bending down, it may mean you didn't get a thick enough rod to support the weight of your curtains. If the brackets pull out of the plaster, it may be necessary to try to screw the supporting screws again or, if the rod is simply too long, add another bracket where it will not interfere with the movement if the curtains. If your curtains fit smoothly on the rod and look great, your task is complete.

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