Curtain Rod Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Curtain Rod

The primary function of curtain rods is supporting curtains to cover your windows, but these furnishings can also add detail to a room. You can decide how to buy curtain rods by learning how different types and styles of rods can help you manage natural light and decorate a room.

>> Which types of curtains do you plan to hang?

The best curtain rods to buy depend on the types of curtains you plan to hang. For heavy curtains, you need rods that can support the weight. You might, therefore, choose iron rods or hefty wooden ones. Shower curtains often require a rod that mounts between two walls rather than alongside one. If you plan to hang sheer panels inside of your curtains, you'll need curtain rod sets that provide one rod for the panels and another for the curtains.

>> What are your window frames like?

The characteristics of your window frame factor into deciding how to buy curtain rods. If you have recessed window frames, you might want a curtain rod that you can place inside rather than outside the recessed area. You can also buy curtain rods shaped to fit the rounded tops of bay windows. Corner curtain rods work well for windows that adjoin at the corner of a room. If you have windows that swing open into the room, you might prefer to mount your curtain rods on the windows instead of the window frames

>> Choose curtain rod sizes

Curtain rod sizes correspond to window frame sizes, so you should measure the width of your window frame to determine how to choose a curtain rod. Your curtain rod should be at least slightly longer than the width of the window frame, but how much longer depends on how far back you'd like to be able to draw your curtains. You can also buy adjustable window rods if you want the same rods for window frames of different widths. One part of the rod is narrower than the other, enabling it to slide inside the wider part. Some adjustable window rods also have a locking mechanism to fix them at the length you want.

>> Choose your type of curtain rod

Choosing the right type of curtain rod is important to determining how to buy curtain rods. The table below describes the different types of curtain rods to help you make your decision.

Type Description Spring-tension curtain rods A spring inside enables you to compress the rod in order to fit it inside a window frame or between two walls. The spring then pushes the ends of the rod back out to hold the rod in place. This type of curtain rod works well for both shower curtains and fabric curtains hanging on the inside area of recessed window frames. Double curtain rod sets Two rods share the same brackets, enabling you to hang two different sets of curtains. These sets are a good choice if you want both sheer curtains and regular curtains covering the same window. The sheer curtains permit light but prevent people outside from seeing in. The regular curtains then darken the room when you want them to. Traverse curtain rods A series of hooks running along a string inside of the rod attach to the curtain. You can pull the section of string hanging down from the rod to open the curtains. Some traverse rods open a single curtain from end to end, and others open two separ ate curtains from the middle of the rod to either end. Wrap around curtain rods Many curtain rod systems use mounted brackets running along the top of the window frame to hold the rod. Wrap around curtain rods bend 90 degrees at both ends, where they attach to brackets that you mount to the wall or window frame. This design prevents light from coming through the sides of the curtains. Cafe curtain rods These are lightweight and short rods for hanging small curtains over a kitchen or bathroom window. You can buy two of the same rod to mount a curtain at the top and bottom of the window frame. This maintains a close fit between the curtain and the window. By choosing the right type of curtain rod, you can decorate your home and manage natural light the way you want.

>> Consider curtain rod styles

When you look for the best curtain rods for your home, try to match curtain rod styles to the decor of the rooms that they will go in. You have many options for materials and embellishments. Wood rods add subtle accenting to a room, and you can choose from different types of wood, such as cherry, mahogany and walnut. Metal rods are stronger than wood and can therefore run thinner. They often have a finish to enhance their appearance. Smoky pewter gives a curtain rod an understated look, while brass cleaning rods have a bright shine that draws attention to them. Curtain rod ends, otherwise known as finials, also make a rod more eye-catching. They come in various designs such as a fleur de lis and an ivy leaf.

Matching the right type, size and style of curtain rods to your curtains and window frames helps you decide how to buy curtain rods that you'll be satisfied with.

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