So, you’ve decided to purchase curtain poles for your windows and you’ve done your research and chosen your colour, type and diameter of pole and you’re ready to make your purchase. So how do you work out what length it needs to be?

Hopefully by now you have already assessed your windows to make sure you can actually fit curtain poles to them and there are no reasons or restrictions why you can’t.

If you haven’t, then hop over to our buying guide and take a quick look at: How do I know if I can fit a pole at my window? > before you go any further.

If you’re ready to order, then here’s the technical bit on how to measure for your pole width. Firstly take the measurement of the full width of the window from one side to the other and make a note of the measurement. Now consider how far you are going to take the curtain pole past either side of the window. You need to do this to create a stack-back area for the curtains to sit in when they are in the open position. If the pole only covers the window area then when the curtains are opened they will encroach onto the glass area of the window, block a lot of light and obscure your view.

If you have a window with a good wall space to either side then the norm with curtain poles is to take them a good 15 to 20cms (6” – 8”) to either side of the window. If you want to alter the look of the proportions of your windows slightly, then consider that taking the curtain pole even further to either side of the window (if space allows) will make it look wider and give it more landscape proportions. Alternatively, only taking the curtain pole about 10 to 15 cms (4” – 6”) to either side of the window and mounting it a good distance above ( again where available), will give the window taller and more narrow, portrait proportions.

When you have decided on your proportions and your stack-back width, add two times your chosen stack back width to your window width and this will give you your required pole length. For example: 20cm (left stack-back space) + 200cm (window width) + 20cm (right stack space) = 240cm pole width. This is the length of curtain pole that you will need not including the fancy bits on the ends, called finials. The finials are decorative finishing pieces at either end of the curtain pole, which also act as end stops to prevent the last curtain pole ring from falling off the end of the pole. They do not play any other part in supporting the curtains so do not need to be included as part of the final pole length measurement.

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