By November 2, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Choosing a Curtain Rod for your Window Treatment

You have many choices when you’re trying to pick a window treatment. But that’s just a start. You then have a second group of choices to make when it’s time to select a curtain rod to hold your window treatment. Your choices include:

  • Basic curtain rods
  • Spring Rods
  • Magnetic Rods
  • Traverse Rods
  • Decorative Rods

Basic Curtain Rods

The standard rod attaches to the walls or window casing on either side of the window. Typical rods are expandable to fit windows of many different widths.

The standard curtain rod is made for a sheer curtain with a pocket sewn into the top edge of the curtain. The pocket runs the entire length of the panel. The rod slides right into the pocket, and comes out the other end. Because the rod is inside the pocket, it doesn’t show unless you’re using sheer curtains.

If you use a tabbed curtain, the rod slips through the tabs. This permits the rod to show through at regular intervals.

These rods are lightweight and available in different finishes. White and cream are typical, but brass is another option.

Single, double, and triple curtain rods are available. Single curtain rods have a clearance of about 1 to 4 inches from the wall.

By using a double or triple curtain rod you can layer your window treatment. For example, you could use sheers closer to the wall and a second curtain with a different color or fabric in front of it. Or use a heavier fabric if you want some privacy.

Spring Tension Rods

Also called tension rods, the installation is very simple. When you place the rubber ends of the pole against the wall or window casing, the spring inside of the rod pushes toward the end of the rod. The tension in the spring holds the rod in place. You can adjust the width of the rod by twisting the rod.

Tension rods are available in different adjustable lengths, materials, and colors to accommodate your décor. If you want a quick and simple installation, this type rod is your best choice.


Magnetic Rods

These are perfect when you want to hang curtains from metal doors. Strong magnets keep these rods in place so you don’t have to drill any holes in your door to install them.

You can hold both the top and the bottom of the curtain in place by using a rod on the top and a second rod on the bottom. Using two rods will stop the curtain from swinging when you are opening and closing the door.

Traverse Rods

Transverse rods are used when your window treatment is a pinched or pleated drape. Because drapes are usually made of heavy fabric, these rods must be stronger than typical curtain rods. The drapes are sewn in fixed, almost rigid panels. The panels are able to move along the rod on a special track when open or closed with a cord.

You attach your drapes with a special hook through each pleat. The hook is then attached to a hanger on the traverse rod. You move the drapes by pulling on the rod’s cord.

Both one way and two way pulls are available.

  • Two way rods allow your drapes to move from the middle to each end.
  • One way rods move the drapes in only one direction. This is a good solution for patio doors or corner windows.
  • An automated, remote control solution is also available, but will cost more than a cord.

When the drapes are open, the traverse rod can be seen, so it’s important that you select a color that will coordinate with the drapes.

If you want to hang two pairs of draperies on one window, double traverse rods are available. For example, you might want lighter sheer curtains closer to the window to diffuse the light and heavier drapes as the next layer if you want to totally block the light.

Decorative Rods

These are poles intended to be seen and serve as a decorative accent to your window treatment. Not only are the rods available in many different materials, styles, and colors, but the brackets that hold the poles can also be part of the design. To complete the look, a variety of finials are available to attach to the ends of the rods.

You can have a hard time selecting a decorative rod. They are available in wood in a variety of stains. Metal rods come in brass, pewter, copper, and bronze. Even vinyl decorative rods can be bought. Black, white, and all colors in between are available.

When using decorative poles, different methods are available for attaching your curtains. The most typical method is to slide the rod through the pocket in the top of the curtain.




But, as shown, you can also use decorative rings for your curtains. You simply slide the rings onto the pole and attach the curtains to the rings with hooks or clips.




Curtains can be both a functional and decorative window treatment. Just be sure to include the rods that hold the curtains as part of your overall design plan.

Posted in: Window Treatments

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