I want to know everything about .......Bay window curtain poles

Flexible or bendable curtain tracks that can be shaped into a bay window have been around for a long time. Flexible or bendable bay window curtain poles, however, are still a relatively recent solution to dressing bay windows and one that seems to be complicated or confusing to many home owners, so let us simplify the matter for you and guide you through the process of selecting a bay window pole so that you feel confident and sure that you’re selecting the right product for you and your bay windows.

Unless you’re fitting blinds only at your windows, you are going to need a method of suspending your chosen window treatment that works effectively and reliably and the norm is usually a curtain track or curtain pole. Bay windows, however, offer a different set of challenges than normal, straight windows when it comes to selecting the right track or pole for the job - so here’s our comprehensive but simple guide to choosing a bay window curtain pole....

What are the colour choices with bay poles and are they metal or wood?

Bay window poles are available in both metal and wood. Custom made wooden curtain rails are available, but as with anything tailor made, the customised service is reflected in the price and as always we have worked hard to make our product range realistically affordable as well as practical and all of our bay window poles are metal and come as a complete package with everything you need to customise and install them. That doesn’t mean a compromise on choice though and we have bay window poles readily available in all the following colours and finishes and with a range of matching finials, to complement your home and decor:

Measuring A Window With Tape

Antique-brass, satin-silver, black, gilt, silver, chrome and graphite. As with all our straight metal and brass curtain poles, we have a range of matching accessories such as bosses and hold backs available to complement our bay window poles too.

Are bay poles only available in one set size?

Selecting the correct size bay window pole for a bay window is slightly different to selecting the correct length for a straight pole. You will still need your overall full window width measurement to make sure you’re selecting the correct size, but the most important consideration when ordering your bay window pole is whether you have a 3 sided or a five sided bay window. Bay window poles at Terry’s fabrics are available in two different thicknesses – 19mm diameter and 28mm curtain pole.

Thin Black Tension Pole

Once you have decided on your preferred diameter and colour choice you will need to check if that style of pole is available for your type of bay. All the information you need is available in the description and detailed product information beneath the main image of each of our bay window poles on our website.

How do I know if I have a 3 sided or a 5 sided bay?

Bay windows come in many different shapes and sizes. You’ll find them in modern homes and period homes and in traditional wood or modern day upvc plastic; but generally there are only two main styles of bay window and that is 3 sided or 5 sided. So how do you identify which type you have and therefore which type of bay pole you need? Well quite simply you count the number of straight sides and internal corners that your bay window has.

Hanging Pencil Pleat Curtains

3 sided bay windows will have a main centre window at the front - usually the widest section of the window - and two smaller side windows which are at an angle of either 90 degrees (a boxed bay) or 45 degrees (a splayed bay) to the main one and your window will have just two internal corners where the side windows meet the front window. 5 sided bay windows have a centre, front window and two additional window panels to either side, creating 4 internal bends in total.

On a 5 sided bay window the 5 sections of the window can often be of similar size in width; although it can be the case as with the 3 sided bay, that there is a longer front section and two smaller side windows. Where there is wall space available to either side of these two side windows inside a bay though, it is preferable to treat these areas as panels of the window and extend the pole across them to create a good stack back are. In this instance the window would be treated as a five sided bay as there would be 4 internal corner bends.

What is a bay window pole return kit?

If you plan to have full working curtains in your bay window, it can often be the case that the curtains can take a considerable amount of natural daylight off the window when they are pulled back in the open position. The area where curtains sit when they are open is called the stack-back area. On a straight window poles and tracks are usually extended well beyond the edges of the window to create a stack back area that keeps the majority of the curtain fullness off the window, maximising the amount of natural light available in the room.

With a bay pole the outer edges of the pole usually stop at the edge of the window where the inner walls of the bay meet the facing flat wall of the room. There is normally little or no wall space before the first window pane inside the bay, so a good portion of the curtain will encroach onto the first section of window. To create a bigger stack back area which will ultimately keep more of the curtain off the window area, and maximise the potential light in the room, it is often possible to extend the edges of the bay curtain pole beyond the edges of the bay window and onto the flat wall with a bay window pole returns kit.

White Curtain Pole Bracket

The kit contains short lengths of pole, extra support brackets and extra knuckle joints to help you create an extra corner at each end of your bay pole. The knuckle joints that come with the main bay window pole are used to create bends for the internal corners of the bay window; whereas the extra knuckle joints that come with the bay returns kit are used to create two external bends that will help to extend the pole out beyond the edges of the bay and round onto the facing flat wall.

This extends the available stack back area and brings more of the curtain off the glass area of the bay window. Stacking the curtains in this position is not only practical as it opens up the bay window and lets more light in, but also creates the illusion of making the window look substantially wider and often more impressive. The bay returns kit, like the bay window poles, comes as a complete kit with everything you need to assemble and fit them, including full instructions and are available in a range of matching colours to the full bay pole kits.

How do you bend a metal pole to fit a bay window?

You can’t successfully bend any metal curtain poles to fit a bay window (well not unless you’re a blacksmith with your own forge anyway). Bay window curtain poles are cleverly engineered and designed to make the task not only easy but successful and there are two main ways of creating ‘bends’ or ‘corners’ in the correct places on your bay window pole. Our 19mm diameter County bay window poles use a bending system.

As series of small evenly spaced cuts or slits are visible in the sections of the pole that are to form the corners or internal bends on the pole. As the pole is gently bent towards the open cuts, they squeeze together allowing enough flexibility in the rigid pole to create a smooth bend. Our 28mm metal bay window poles use a flexible knuckle joint system. The sections of pole which come with these complete bay window pole kits are not bent into shape at any point, but are instead cut into relevant sized straight pieces which are then joined by a series of pre-manufactured flexible joints, which work in a similar way to a jointed knuckle, to create internal or external bends. This system not only creates resilient and durable strength in the pole joints, but also allows for greater accuracy in measuring and fitting the separate sections of pole.

Are bay poles easy to fit? I’m on a tight budget and don’t want to pay for a fitter.

Bay windows are notoriously difficult to dress even if you do know what you’re doing and be it with curtains, blinds, nets or voiles; and have sent many a cautious home owner running in fear at the thought of tackling it themselves or footing the bill for a professional track and curtain fitter! The advent and development of stylish, affordable and effective bay window poles has changed all that though. If you have a decent tape measure, can do some simple maths and can use a screwdriver and a drill, then you can fit a bay pole as well as any trained fitter.

Three Brass Curtain Poles

All our bay poles come in complete (confusion-free) kits with everything you need to fit them, including clear and precise instructions on how to do it. The best piece of advice we could give you is simply to read the instructions thoroughly first and don’t start the job until you understand and have a clear plan of what you’re doing (as you would with any project that you want to do well, it’s no different with curtain poles). Even if you’ve never fitted even a straight curtain pole before, don’t let that put you off tackling one of our bay window poles.

Just think how confident you’ll be about fixing straight poles once you’ve mastered a bay window pole! You may never need the services of a trained professional again? (kerching! kerching! – that’s cash staying in your pocket) And the cost of the poles.....??? Well, we pride ourselves on our collection of good quality; value for money and user friendly curtain poles and our selection of bay window poles is no different. They’re stylish effective and affordable!

Our bay window curtain poles will make it easy to hang curtains in any bay window. But, if we still haven’t convinced you and you’re not up for tackling a bay window curtain pole just yet, but might consider the time honoured and tried and tested bay window curtain tracks, then we also have a flexible metal curtain track available in a range of attractive colours, which can be bent into any shape for those extra difficult windows, as well as the traditional, flexible PVC tracks.

Is it true that you can only have dress curtains and not full working curtains on a bay pole?

Bay window curtain poles have revolutionised the way that you can apply window treatments to bay windows. No longer is your choice simply limited to the traditional, functional and uninspiring (not to mention sometimes unattractive) curtain track, as you can now give these windows a more contemporary look and feel with far more scope in terms of style and design with a bay window pole. Apart from looking great though, you want your bay window pole to actually do the job it was intended for. So can you have full working curtains on a bay window pole or do they just provide an attractive way of hanging dress curtains? The answer is yes and no - it just depends which style of bay window pole you go for.

Measuring Window Width

Bay window curtain poles which use the slotted bending method use full circular curtain pole rings and a sleeve bracket system. This is a bracket that completely encircles the pole rather than a cup bracket which just supports the underside of a pole. And whilst sleeve brackets provide secure support for the weight of the pole and the curtains, it is not possible for the curtain pole rings to pass the points at which the brackets encircle the pole. This means that the curtains will not be able to be drawn fully towards the centre of the window, thus creating a situation where they can only sit at the outer ends of the pole as decorative dress curtains.

Our range of 28mm diameter bay window curtain poles which use the flexible knuckle joint system, however, also use a cut away cup style bracket and ‘passing-rings’. Curtain pole rings are usually full circular hoops with a small eyelet hook hanging beneath them which is used to attach the curtain hooks to. Passing rings, however, are not a full circular hoop and look more like a capital letter’C’. The gap or break in the circle is positioned.

Can I get matching straight poles for my other windows?

More often than not when you’re dressing a bay window with a bay window pole, there’s a pretty good chance that at the other end of the room or on a side wall maybe, there’ll be a straight window that you want to dress with a matching pole. All our bay window curtain poles are available with matching straight poles, and are available in a range of styles and finishes, so why not take a look at our full range, which we believe offers some of the best value and choice available.

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