How to fit your own Curtain Poles and Tracks – Part 4

Posted by on Sep 22, 2009 in Curtains, Tips & Techniques | No Comments

In Part 3 of our professional curtain fitter’s guide, we showed you how to work out the width of your curtain pole or track. You’re nearly there now and there are just a few more steps to observe before you’re ready to hang your curtains.

Checking for Pipework and/ or Electricity Cables

Once you’ve marked the position of your first bracket back plate, it is advisable to check that there is no pipe work or electricity cabling in the drill zone. You can purchase a cable and pipe detector for less than £20, and some have additional features (such as stud detecting/ laser rule). The detectors are easy to use and give you peace of mind before drilling.

Warning: many new homes have plastic water pipes which cannot be detected by most detectors on the market. If you are worried that there may be plastic piping behind the studwork in your new home it might be best to consult with the developer before drilling – to find out the approximate vicinity of these pipes.

Marking and Drilling your First Bracket
Note: for the (wooden) brackets featured in this Guide the centre of the bracket back plate is designed to coincide with the centre line of the pole. This will not always be the case – particularly for more ornate brackets or for some tracks, and so you should check your brackets before reading on – and make any necessary adjustments to the position of the back plate on the wall before drilling.

Place your bracket back plate over the cross you marked on the wall, lining up the screw thread in the centre of the back plate with the point where the lines on your cross intersect.

How to get your curtain bracket back plate in exactly the right position
How to get your curtain bracket back plate in exactly the right position

You could make a template of the bracket to get this absolutely central, but marking it by eye will be accurate enough. Mark with a pencil the position of the screw holes in the bracket.

Moghul Tip: Make sure you align the screw holes as we have in this picture, as you can fine tune the position of the back plate even after drilling, by adjusting the screws on the right hand side of the back plate.

Make a small hole with a bradawl (or if you don’t have one, use a hammer and nail) to ensure drilling accuracy, and drill each hole using the correct size drill bit. For full details on the correct size of drill bits and wall plugs refer to the Advice on Wall Fixings section in the full version of this guide, which you can download here.

Warning: choose your wall plugs and screws carefully! Whilst most curtain poles come supplied with wall plugs and screws these may not be suitable for the wall you are drilling into, or the weight of your intended curtains. After all, the manufacturer doesn’t know what sort of walls you are drilling into.  Refer to the Advice on Wall Fixings section in the full version of this Guide for advice on wall plugs and screws.

Don’t drill your hole too wide: For your wall plugs to operate correctly it is essential that the hole you drill is not too wide. A good quality drill bit (tungsten tipped for masonry) is essential to minimise the risk of this. If you are unsure about the quality or nature of the wall you are drilling into, drill a pilot hole with a small drill bit first, and then enlarge the hole with the correct size drill bit once you are confident of the wall’s consistency.

Don’t make a mess! Lay a dust sheet on the floor under the area where you are drilling. Holding a hand hoover or dust pan under the hole during drilling will eliminate most of the brick/ plaster dust – though you may need an extra pair of hands to do this, depending on your confidence with the drill!

Make sure each drilled hole is deep enough for the wall plug and then gently tap a wall plug into each hole using a hammer.   Next, fix the back plate to the wall, and if you are using an electric screw driver, make sure you do not overtighten each screw (as this can in some circumstances damage the wall plug).

Finally, screw the bracket onto the backing plate screw thread until it is tight to the wall. It needs to be tight so that the brackets don’t rattle against the wall (or gradually work loose from the wall) when you draw your curtains.

Moghul Tip: If your bracket is tight to the wall in the wrong position,

How to adjust your wooden curtain bracket
How to adjust your wooden curtain bracket

simply unscrew the bracket and slightly loosen the backing plate screws (a minute adjustment of ¼ to ½ a turn of the screw usually suffices). This adjustment will enable you to ensure that the bracket is tight in the correct (horizontal) position.

In our final instalment next week, we’ll be showing you how to make sure you get your pole or track level, and we’ll be passing on a few tips on how to hang your curtains.

As ever, if you can’t be bothered to wait until next time, you can download here a full version of our Professional Curtain Fitter’s Guide – complete with Advice on Wall Fixings.

Thanks for taking time to read our Blog – we hope you found it useful!