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How to Hang a Curtain Rod

Want to add some color to your windows, or do you need curtains to help darken a room? DIY Expert and House One Editor Jenn Largesse demonstrates the best (and easiest) way to hang a curtain rod.

Hanging a curtain rod seems easy, but can quickly become frustrating when you hang the curtains only to find out the rod is too high or low, or not level.

Steps for Hanging a Curtain Rod

Follow these steps to learn how to properly hang a curtain rod. Scroll down for the list of tools and materials needed for this project.

Step 1: Measure the window

  • To add drapes that partially cover the window, I’d add 2-5 inches to each side of the frame.
  • To position the curtains completely to the sides of the window, which is always my preference to let in the most light, I’ll add 8-15 inches to each side of the window.
  • To fine-tune this measurement, I use a stud finder to locate the stud beside the window. If a stud if close to my desired location, I’ll shift my placement so that my mounting screws can insert into a stud.
  • If your placement can’t land on a stud, just be sure to install wall anchors before installing the hanging brackets. If you have a long span of over 4 feet or are using a thinner rod, you may also need to add a center bracket to prevent the rod from sagging.
  • Next, I’ll measure the height, from the floor to the top edge of my window’s frame. A curtain rod usually sets about 4 inches above the window, but many people raise the rod even higher to make the room feel taller.

Keep in mind that floor-length curtain panels come in somewhat standard heights of 84 inches, 95 inches, 108 inches, and 120 inches. If you decide to move the rod up, you may need to purchase a longer panel and hem it to length or spend more money on custom curtains.

Step 2: Decide what kind of curtain you’ll be installing before hanging the rod

  • The most common hanging types are grommets, which are metal-lined holes in the curtains, tabs which hang above the top edge of the curtain, rings which clip onto the curtain and hang on the rod, and a pocket sleeve which slides over and completely conceals the rod.
  • The hanging type can adjust the overall height of the curtain, so be sure to have your curtains on hand to help determine the final height of the rod.

Step 3: Measure and mark the location of the hangers on the wall

  • On an open space, it can be difficult to replicate these measurements on both sides of the window and have them turn out perfectly level, so today I’m creating a quick cardboard template.
  • To do this, cut the corner out of a square piece of cardboard that can fit over the top corner of the window frame.
  • Measure and mark the desired location of the hardware
  • Create two holes using the hanger as a guide. Now place the template on the wall, slide it against the window frame, and mark the position of the holes.
  • Drive the screws into the wall, and position the hanger.
  • Flip to the opposite side to make the remaining marks and install the screws.
  • Feed the curtain onto the rod, and then place it on the hook. Add a finial, and then tighten the set screw

How to Determine the Number of Curtain Panels Needed

Wondering how many panels to add? If you want the curtains to be functional, the rule of thumb is to get enough panels to cover space at least twice the width of the window.