How To Put Up A Curtain Pole

curtain pole

The curtains you choose for your window won’t look their best unless you put up the pole correctly first. When choosing a pole, bear in mind the weight of your curtains and the width of your windows. Heavier curtains will need a more substantial pole and windows of more than 180cm wide will require a third central bracket for extra support.

Tape measure
Pencil and eraser
Pipe and cable detector
Safety goggles
Face mask
Masonry drill bit
Wall plugs


Cheap wooden or metal poles cost around £10 from DIY stores and IKEA - or you can spend hundreds of pounds for bay-window cast iron or brass finish poles. Whatever you choose, try to pay for the best you can - cheap poles don't last.


30 min


Basic DIY skills, but the confidence to wield a power drill.

Mark The Height Of the Pole

Step One: Mark The Height Of the Pole
To calculate where your pole should go, first decide how high above the window it should be. If you don't want to rehem your curtains, you'll need to bear their length in mind while making your calculations. Ideally, your pole should be placed about 8-12cm from the top of the window frame; this distance will ensure the header tape isn't seen from the outside of the window and will minimise light when the curtains are drawn.

Mark and draw this line on the wall lightly in pencil (you can erase this later). In older houses, the ceilings and windows may not be 100% horizontal; draw your line so it looks correct to the eye rather than using a spirit level.

Mark Where The End Brackets Will Go

Step Two: Mark Where The End Brackets Will Go

The curtain pole should extend 15-20cm on either side of the window frame, allowing for the curtains to stack neatly either side of the window without impeding the light. Using the same measurement on either side, mark where the end brackets of the pole should go. At this point, you may need to cut your curtain pole to size with a hacksaw.

Prepare To Drill The Screw Holes

Step Three: Prepare To Drill The Screw Holes
Use a pencil to mark the exact position of the screw holes that will fix the brackets to the wall. Check there are no electrical cables or pipes where you will be drilling into the wall using a pipe and cable detector.

Drill The Holes

Step Four: Drill The Holes
Then, wearing safety goggles and a mask, drill into the wall at the marked positions using a masonry drill bit, starting to drill slowly. Insert wall plugs, ensuring they are flush with the wall and then screw the brackets into position. Follow the manufacturers instructions to make sure they're the right way up!

Hang The Pole

Step Five: Hang The Pole
Place the pole into position on the brackets. There should be one curtain ring between the bracket and the finial at each end. Put the finials on the ends of the pole.

  • You can spend hundreds of pounds for cast iron or brass finish poles that fit into bay windows. Whatever you choose, try to pay for the best, since cheap poles don't last, especially if matched with heavy curtains.

Illustrations: Ed Roberts


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