How do I bend a curtain track to fit a bay window?

Terry Baskeyfield | Updated

Like many others you may be wondering what tracks we supply that are suitable for bay windows? You will be pleased to know that all our tracks are suitable, however some are better than others. In this article we will demonstrate how each track differs and what tracks are more suited to bay or bow windows.

If you haven't already looked we offer a wide range of tracks from leading manufacturers including Swish and Harrison and drape. We offer uncorded tracks and corded track options depending on how you want to draw your curtains. Each track has similar instructions on how to bend inside a bay, however we will outline the differences below.

Fitting a PVC track within a bay window

To start with, if this is your first time fitting a track into a bay we highly recommend that you choose a PVC track. This includes the Swish Sologlyde, Swish Deluxe, Swish Superluxe and Harrison Drape Standard Drape. The reason behind this is that the PVC material is extremely flexible making installation super easy.

Step One: First of all you will need markup where your brackets are going inside the bay. Make sure they are roughly 12” apart and equally spaced. Make sure you allow for any obstructions i.e window handles. If you want your curtain sill length, then ensure your track is fitted far enough back. However, if you want your curtains to go below the sill (i.e radiator or floor length) then ensure the track is fitted further out of the bay. 

Step Two: Once you have completed this step you are ready to bend your track. With the material being PVC it's easy to bend by hand. Start from either the left or right hand side and bend each corner to the correct angle of your bay. If you are having to use two pieces due to your bay window being bigger than 250cm, then use the same method but work towards the middle. If you are not completely happy with the angle you can re-bend the track, just be careful to not apply too much pressure otherwise you may cause a kink or the track to snap.

Step Three: Once you are happy to proceed, fit the track into the brackets and lock it in place. Now certain tracks i.e. Swish Sologlyde and Harrison Drape Standard Drape are suitable for reverse bends. This means if you wanted to, you can have the curtains sat outside the bay. To do this, fit your brackets on the wall and follow the same method as above. Starting from one side and working towards the middle. Once you're happy, lock it into place with the brackets.

Fitting an aluminium track within a bay window

Now if you are feeling a little more adventurous and fancy using an aluminium track, your options are Swish Supreme Glide, Swish Supreme Corded, Fineline & Harrison Drape White Drape. The steps to fit these tracks are exactly the same as the PVC tracks however be mindful as aluminium is difficult to restore back to its original shape. Therefore we recommend taking extra time bending your track.

How to achieve a smooth curve

To create a curve which will allow the gliders to operate smoothly we recommend using the arm of a chair or the thigh of your leg. This way you will avoid ruining the track and causing a kink. If this was to happen unfortunately you will have to replace the track as the gliders will no longer run smoothly. We recommend to point the face of the track down when bending. This again will eliminate kinks in the track.

Certain tracks (i.e. Fineline Tracks) supply two plastic splices. These are there to help you maintain a nice curve. Simply slide them into the back of the track where you aim to bend and slowly apply pressure over the arm of your chair or leg to create a curve. Once complete remove the plastic splices.

If you're happy with the angles you've created and happy to proceed then simply lock the track in place with the provided brackets. Remember aluminium doesn't react well when reverse bent, therefore reverse bends are not suitable on these tracks.

Hopefully the above information will help you to get your track installed into your bay or bow window. Manufacturer instructions are supplied within the packaging of each track and contain useful diagrams to demonstrate. We highly recommend using these instructions as each manufacturer provides different components. Please use the two links below for full fitting instructions.

Still undecided on what track to use?

We recommend the Swish Sologlyde Track, it’s an uncorded PVC track. Due to the clip on gliders the curtains will draw smoothly and if you're able to top fix the track you can create a discreet look. This is because when the curtains are closed they will fit flush to the ceiling creating a stylish minimalist look.

Another benefit of this track is the material it's made out of, the PVC allows the track to be extremely flexible therefore making installation super easy. We provide the track up to 250cm in a single piece however not to worry if your bay/bow window is larger. We supply joining splices which allows you to connect two tracks, meaning you can have a max width of 500cm! This product is extremely versatile and a perfect all rounder. Check it out here

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