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How do I know if I can fit a pole at my window
 Back You are here: Home Curtain Poles Curtain Poles Buying Guide How do I know if I can fit a pole at my window

How do I know if I can fit a pole at my window?

There’s nothing worse than finding what you think is the perfect curtain pole for your window – everything from the perfect style to the perfect size, shape and colour - only to get it home to find that it won’t fit your window. This could be for any number of reasons, so to avoid your enthusiasm turning into disappointment; it’s worth taking a few moments to consider what limitations there might be on your choice and whether or not you can actually fit a pole at your window at all.

Assessing your windows for poles

The first step to establishing whether or not you will be able to fit a curtain pole at your windows rather than a curtain track is to assess your windows. Take a good look at them and consider how much room you have above and to either side of the window in question. Also check if there are any obstructions near the window such as closely fitted wardrobes or cabinets; or an adjacent wall maybe, if the window is very close to the corner of the room. Architectural details could also affect the position of your pole so look for things such as picture rails or decorative architrave (a decorative wooden trim sometimes used around the window frame) and consider whether these will prevent you from having a pole or just affect where it can be fitted.

assess windows

Unlike tracks, poles have decorative fancy bits on the ends called ‘finials’, rather than just end caps and usually have much bigger and longer brackets than tracks, depending on the style of curtain pole that you use. You will need to ensure that the space available above and to either side of the window will accommodate the space needed for these fittings.

If, for example, you have a window that is very close to or actually in the corner of a room, then you may have room to fit the supporting bracket for the curtain pole but not the finial. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t fit a pole however, as it is perfectly acceptable to take the curtain pole flush (right up to) the side wall and to have only one finial on the pole at the end that is not restricted by the wall.

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I have no wall space above my window, is it possible to fit a curtain pole to my ceiling?

If you have a window that is very close to or actually meets the ceiling of your room, then a wooden curtain pole is most likely not an option. Wooden curtain pole brackets are not designed to be top-fixed (fixed into the ceiling rather than the wall). The brackets on wooden curtain poles are quite long as they are designed to hold the curtain pole a good distance away from the wall, usually anything from 6 to 10 centimetres. If the brackets were fixed into the ceiling therefore, the pole would be suspended the same 6 to 10 cms from the ceiling, leaving an uncomfortable looking gap between the ceiling and the top of the curtain pole, which would not be covered by the curtains once they were hung.

pole on ceilingSo, does the same apply to metal curtain poles and is it possible to ceiling fix those? Well yes and no.

Standard metal curtain poles have angle brackets (a bracket cast with a 90 degree bend) with a curve or cup at the end which the metal pole rests in. The pole is then normally secured into place with a discreet tightening screw known as a grub screw. These brackets are either a single bracket in a fixed size or are in two parts and are adjustable in length and again, with either option, can hold the curtain pole anything from 6 to 10 cms away from the wall – so would not be suitable for top fixing into a ceiling as this would again create an uncomfortable looking gap above the pole. Also, if this type of metal bracket is turned into the upright position and fitted into a ceiling, the cup shaped curve that holds the curtain pole would be facing forwards rather than upwards and the curtain pole would have to be offered ‘into’ it rather than ‘onto’ it. The entire weight of the curtain pole and the curtains on it would then be completely reliant on the small tightening screws in the pole brackets to keep them securely in place, which is not at all advisable. You don’t want to invest time, effort and money into purchasing and fitting a new curtain pole and curtains, only to find that the pole works itself loose from the brackets with everyday use and falls down on a regular basis. That is frustrating as well as dangerous!

pole angled bracketStandard metal curtain poles have angle brackets (a bracket cast with a 90 degree bend) with a curve or cup at the end which the metal pole rests in. The pole is then normally secured into place with a discreet tightening screw known as a grub screw. These brackets are either a single bracket in a fixed size or are in two parts and are adjustable in length and again, with either option, can hold the curtain pole anything from 6 to 10 cms away from the wall – so would not be suitable for top fixing into a ceiling as this would again create an uncomfortable looking gap above the pole. Also, if this type of metal bracket is turned into the upright position and fitted into a ceiling, the cup shaped curve that holds the curtain pole would be facing forwards rather than upwards and the curtain pole would have to be offered ‘into’ it rather than ‘onto’ it. The entire weight of the curtain pole and the curtains on it would then be completely reliant on the small tightening screws in the pole brackets to keep them securely in place, which is not at all advisable. You don’t want to invest time, effort and money into purchasing and fitting a new curtain pole and curtains, only to find that the pole works itself loose from the brackets with everyday use and falls down on a regular basis. That is frustrating as well as dangerous!

bay pole-ringThe bay curtain pole rings are specially designed too. Instead of being a full circular ring they have a section of the ring cut away to create a ’C’ shaped ring. The gap in the ring that is created by this cut away, allows the ring the pass the cut away brackets. Full rings which completely encircle the curtain pole, as they would on a normal curtain pole, would not pass the ceiling mounted brackets. This would therefore prevent the curtains from actually working and opening and closing.

Our bay pole kits include different sized sections of pole that are suitable for cutting into the smaller sections of pole that you normally need to go round a bay window so it may be that you need longer sections of pole for your straight window. So, rather than purchasing a bay window pole and having to get longer sections of pole to go with it, it would be more cost effective to purchase one of our metal eyelet curtain poles (these don’t include any curtain pole rings, which reduces its cost) in the correct size for your window and then to simply purchase just bay pole brackets and bay pole curtain rings as additional extras.

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Creating optical illusions by considering you window proportions

If you have plenty of available or unhindered wall space around your chosen window, then your choice of style, size and diameter of curtain pole is unlimited really too. You can be as creative, frivolous, creative and enthusiastic as you like with your choice of curtain pole.

When you do have this option available to you it’s worth considering the proportions of your window though before you make your final decision on what size pole to order; and how you could possibly create the optical illusion of altering those proportions.

Here’s two quick examples to get you thinking.

curtians narrow windowPortrait Windows - If you have a tall slim window (portrait) in a good wall space and you want to keep or accentuate the upright, slim look of the window then mounting your curtain pole a good way above the window (judge this by eye) but not more than about 15 to 20cms to either side and take your curtain length down to the floor; you will make the window look elegantly tall and narrow.

If you mount the curtain pole only about 15cms above the window but a good 30 to 40cms to either side (or more if preferred and available) on the other hand, you will be creating the illusion that the window is much wider than it actually is, giving it more landscape proportions. This is a good way of being able to use more fullness and fabric in your curtains to add colour and detail and also a good way of keeping the curtains well off the window when they are in the open position to maximise the amount of natural light filtering into the room.

curtians wide windowLandscape Windows - If you have a wide but not very tall window (landscape) in a good wall space and you want to keep or accentuate the width of the window proportions then again, only mount the curtain pole about 15 cms above the window and anything from 15 to 40 cms to either side to maintain or further emphasise its wide, landscape proportions. Floor length curtains are always more dressy and elegant, particularly in living rooms and master bedrooms, but installing short curtains in this situation will make the window look even wider should that be your desired effect.

If you want to avoid the window looking any wider than it already is though and wish you had a taller more portrait proportioned window, then mount the curtain pole a good distance above the window (again assess this by eye) and only take it an additional 15 to 20cms to either side of the window. This starts to give the illusion that the window is actually taller and narrower than it really is and hanging long curtains to floor length in addition to this, will further add to the illusion of height rather than width.

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