Step 1: Select the Size
First, you need to measure your windows.
Ideally, you’ll want a curtain rod that extends about three to six inches beyond the sides of the window frame. Extending your curtain rods will make your windows appear larger and bring more light into the room.
Standard Curtain Rod Sizes
Unlike curtains, which tend to come in ready-made lengths, there isn’t a clear-cut size guide for curtain rods. It depends on the window, and many can be adjusted.
If you’re not sure how wide you want your curtains to extend past the window frame, it’s best to get an adjustable one. Here are typical curtain rod size ranges:
Curtain Rod Sizes:
Curtain Rod Measuring Tips
It’s important to measure your windows before purchasing curtain rods. Here are a few tips to simplify the process.
Double-check your work: Precise measurements are key.
Use a steel or metal tape measure: Round to the nearest one-fourth inch.
Measure each window and door: Even if two windows appear to be the same size, measure each one individually.
Consider finials: Add an extra inch to your measurements if you’ll be using finials.
You’ll want to choose a curtain rod based on the material and weight of your curtains. Heavier blackout curtains should be paired with thicker curtain rods at least one-inch thick.
Thinner rods are best for lighter fabrics like sheer curtains. Keep in mind that thicker rods are usually more durable than thin rods.
Step 2: Select the Curtain Rod Style
With so many types of curtain rods, how do you choose?
Here are the most popular ones:
Standard rods: Common and widely available, these are ideal for holding up most types of regular curtains.
Double or combination rods: These can be used to combine two window treatments to create a layered curtain effect.
Return or wraparound rods: With these U-shaped rods, curtains can fully wrap around the edges, covering windows completely. Wraparound rods are a great option for blackout curtains.
Wire or cable rods: Thin and flexible, these rods are made of wire and are suitable for lightweight curtains that can be curved or angled.
Tension or spring rods: These rods are recommended for smaller windows or windows that can’t accommodate regular rods or brackets. Though adjustable and inexpensive, tension rods aren’t durable enough for heavier curtains.
Curtain Rod Styles
Top L to R:
Standard rods, double rods.
Bottom L to R: Return rods, wire rods, tension rods.
Don’t forget to pick a curtain rod style that best aligns with your furniture or home décor. Retailers sell a variety of traditional and modern rod styles.
Step 3: Choose the Curtain Rod Material
The finish of your curtain rod can add a subtle design element to any room. Wood and metal rods are the most popular and work in most rooms or homes. You can also find rods in steel, nickel, bronze or brass finishes.
Choose a material that complements the room and is compatible with your curtain needs. For example, a sleek, modern brass rod would appear out of place in a formal dining room with mostly wood furniture.
Once you’ve decided on the finish, you’ll be able to choose the right curtain rod color with ease.
Step 4: Pick the Perfect Color
The color of your curtain rod should match with either the curtains, furniture or other decorative items in the room.
If you have a dark brown wood bed frame, you may want to choose curtain rods of a similar material and color. Or, perhaps you have cool-toned curtain colors, like a rich teal or a light gray. In that case, you may want to opt for a silver metal rod.
Curtain rods typically come in standard colors (like white, black, silver, bronze or gold) that should fit the décor of most rooms.
For even more tips on how to choose the perfect curtain rod color, click here.
Step 5: Add the Finishing Touches
Now that you’ve found the perfect curtain rod, it’s time to add finishing touches.
Curtain finials are the endcaps or knobs of your curtain rods. They secure the ends of the rods and prevent curtains from sliding off. They’re mainly decorative, so it’s important to choose a finial that matches your rod, your curtains and your room.
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