How To Install Curtains At Home
As Kiwis, we’re brought up with a can-do attitude. We’re not afraid to put in the mahi and get our hands dirty for home renovations and alterations. This mentality is especially prevalent when changing window finishings like curtains or drapes. Luckily, you don’t literally have to get your hands dirty when installing curtains and blinds, and the process isn’t too tricky with a bit of prior research.
Whether you want to hang up new living room curtains or bedroom curtains, this helpful guide will point you in the right direction. We’ll answer your burning questions, like whether curtains should touch the floor or be above? and whether it’s easy to install thermal curtains or blackout curtains? Here are the main points we’ll cover:
Let’s get started!
Why you need to hang your curtains correctly
There are many reasons it’s a good idea to take the time and effort to install and hang your curtains correctly. Despite the obvious of your new curtains not looking wonky, here are other reasons for being a perfectionist.
Installing your curtains properly can assist with the overall insulation of your home. Curtains help to provide a barrier between your window and indoor space. This barrier helps to reduce the exchange of cold air. To assist with installation, your curtains should seal your whole window frame, be wider than your window frame, and touch the floor if possible. It can also be a good idea to consider curtains with at least two layers, thermal curtains or blackout curtains. Consumer NZ has other handy tips when it comes to curtains and insulation.
Top tip: Sheer curtains or net curtains can also help insulate your home if they’re close to your window.
Prevent messing up your wall
Installing your curtain rod or track correctly will prevent the need to drill secondary holes in your wall. Having to fill in small drill holes in your wall can be a time-consuming exercise and expensive.
Preserve your curtain
Whether eyelet curtains on a rod or pencil pleat curtains on a track, proper measurement and hanging will help prevent damage to fabric. If your curtain is the wrong size or not on its rod or track correctly, it can lead to bunching, ripping or tearing.
What you’ll need to install curtains at home
You need various tools and equipment to correctly and safely put up curtains at home. Some of this equipment you may already have lying around the garage, whereas other equipment you may need to borrow from your neighbour or hire. Tools required to install curtains at home includes:
- Stud finder
- Spirit level
- Pencil or chalk
- Tape measure
- Drywall anchors (optional)
How to put up a curtain rod or track
It may seem a little intimidating at first, but installing a curtain rod or track yourself can be made simple by following our step-by-step guide. Obviously, if your rod or track is already installed and you’re just hanging new curtains or drapes, skip this process. If you have a set of manufacturer instructions for installing your new rod or track, follow these in the first instance.
1. Make your mark
To start with, you’ll need to measure and mark where the brackets for your new rod or track will go. Generally, your rod or track should extend out about 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm) past your window frame. Using your pencil, make your mark on the wall. Then, using your bracket, mark the spots you’ll be drilling into. Use your spirit level to make sure everything is even.
Top tip: If you can, you’ll want to screw into a wall stud. This is where a stud finder comes in handy. Screwing into a wall stud will help support your rod or track’s weight.
2. Put together your brackets
Step 2 should be relatively easy to do. Simply put your brackets together using your screwdriver and screws provided. The manufacturer may give a few pointers here.
3. Install your brackets
Next up, place your brackets against the marks you drew on the wall earlier. You’ll want first to drill holes into the wall using your drill, then using your screwdriver, screw in your brackets. You may also want to install a drywall screw anchor for heavy rods, tracks or curtains. This will help stabilise the screw and secure the brackets into your drywall.
4. Put up your rod or track
Before doing this, check that your new brackets are secure on the wall. Once done, expand your curtain rod or track and fix it onto the brackets. At this point, you may also need to screw on your finials, depending on your particular rod or track.
Now, you’re good to hang up your new curtain! When installing a new curtain rod or track, you must keep safety top of mind. Be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment when operating any tools or gear. For example, you may want to use gloves while drilling. If you’re not confident using power tools, it may be a good idea to ask an experienced friend or family member for guidance.
Top tip: Finials are like a buffer on each side of your rod or track to prevent your curtain from coming off.
How to hang rod curtains
Hanging eyelet curtains, tab top curtains or drapes to a rod is a simple process. As with installing your rod or track, it’s always important to follow manufacturer instructions in the first instance. Otherwise, follow these simple steps:
- Lay your new curtain out flat
- Take your rod off from the brackets
- Remove any finials
- Thread your curtain through the rod
- Put your finials back on
- Place your curtain rod back on its brackets
If you need advice on how to best measure curtains before putting them up, read our helpful guide on how to measure curtains.