How to put up a curtain track or pole

It's important to let as much light as possible into a room, so when installing a track or pole, extend them far enough at the sides for even the bulkiest of curtains to draw clear of the window.

What you'll need

Tools: Long wood or metal rule; pencil; bradawl; drill with wood or masonry bit; screwdriver.

Materials: Track/pole. Perhaps a length of batten; wall plugs; plasterboard plugs; brackets or sockets; 38mm No. 6 screws; screw eyes; gliders or rings; end stops or finials.

Before you start: Most tracks or poles must be screwed into sound ceiling timbers or plugs in a wall; extra brackets on ceilings may be screwed into plasterboard plugs.

The screws supplied with a track or pole are not always long enough to make secure fixings: replace them if necessary. Don't saw off any excess track or pole until you are certain there is enough overlap at either end.

Read more: Top tips for making your own curtains



1. Mark the fixing height for the track at least 50mm above the top of the window. Brackets on which a track slots down should be at least 20mm below the ceiling to allow room for fitting the track. Brackets for clip-on tracks can be up against the ceiling.

2. Measure up from the window top every 200mm across and make pencil marks at the right height. If the track or pole is to be nearer the ceiling than the window top, measure down from the ceiling.

Neither window top nor ceiling is necessarily horizontal. The track should be parallel to whichever of the two is closer or it will always look crooked.

3. Join the pencil marks with a straight line and extend it at the sides to the width of the track. Mark positions for the brackets with pencil crosses on the guide-line. Put one 50mm from each end. Space others about 300mm apart, or as specified in the manufacturer's instructions.

4. At each cross, drill through the plaster into the lintel and insert a plug. On a concrete lintel, use a hammer drill. Screw a bracket into each plug.

Read more: Should you choose curtains or blinds?


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