How To Measure and Hang Curtains

A living room with different coloured curtains hanging from a curtain pole

Difficulty rating: Low

These tasks should be fairly straightforward, whether you have experience doing DIY or none at all.

Before you get started on any of our ‘how to’ guides, please take a moment to read through our DIY safety tips.

1. How do I measure up for curtains?

It’s important to correctly measure up before buying your curtains. The perfect fit can transform a room and will ensure you don’t end up with curtains too short, or that don’t fully close. Simply follow our step-by-step guide below.

Measure your window and decide whether you would like a curtain pole or a track.

Measure the width and height of your window recess.

If you would like eyelet curtains, you will need to go for a pole. Pencil pleat curtains can be fitted on a pole or track. We have a wide variety of styles and finishes to suit all homes.

See section 2 of this guide for advice on how to measure up for a pole or tracks.

Fit your pole or track

We recommend fitting your pole or track before you measure for your curtains. See section 3 of this guide, or for more detailed advice, follow the instructions included with your product.

Measure the length of your pole or track.

You want your curtains to be wide enough to frame your window when open, and cover your window well when closed – this is particularly important if you’re choosing blackout curtains. Measure the length of your pole or track, and use this measurement to ensure you have enough extra fabric each side of your window.

The curtains will need some gather to hang correctly and cover your window. The width of your curtains will need to be approximately twice the length of your pole or track.

Check whether you are buying a single curtain or a pair (all our voiles are single curtains). All sizes are for one curtain, so bear this in mind when looking at the width.

To make this a bit easier, see below approximate pole / track lengths and the best curtain width to buy.

Pole / track length

100 – 140cm

(39″ – 55″)

140 – 200cm

(55″ – 79″)

200 – 260cm

(79″ – 102″)

Curtain width required 46″ 66″ 90″

Measure the desired length of your curtains.

Measure from the top of the pole or track to where you would like your curtains to finish.

If you want your curtains to be floor length, it’s important to take this measurement before fitting your pole. The maximum length of our curtains is 90 inches (228cm). Allow a few centimetres of clearance at the floor, then measure upwards the length of the curtain. This is where you should fit your pole or track. You can also use this method if you want your curtains to fall at a certain point, e.g., above a radiator.

2. How do I measure up for curtain poles and tracks?

How to measure up for curtain poles and brackets

Curtains should neatly frame your window when pulled open. To achieve this, your pole should extend beyond the edges of your window surrounds by around 15-20cm (6-8″). So, when you’ve measured the width of your window, you need to add an extra 30-40cm (12-16″). Many of our poles can be cut down to size, or we offer extendable poles to ensure a perfect fit. The pole should be mounted 5cm-15cm above the top of the window, while it’s supporting brackets need to be fixed 50mm in from each end of the pole. Larger poles will come with an extra, central bracket for support.

How to measure up for curtain tracks

Your curtain track needs to extend slightly beyond your window’s edges, so when you’ve measured your window’s width you should add an extra 30-40cm (12-16″) to give you a 15-20cm (6-8″) overlap either side. We offer a range of tracks which can be cut down to size for a perfect fit. The brackets should be fitted 25mm in from each end of the track and at least 50mm above the window recess.

3. How do I put up a curtain pole or track?

How to fit a curtain pole

Using a pencil, mark where you’ll be fixing your brackets to the wall, including indications of where you’ll be securing them in place with screws. Drill your holes, fit with rawl plugs, then screw in the wall brackets.

Next, slip your curtain rings or looped curtain fabric over your pole before fitting it into the brackets, making sure that there’s a ring or loop between each bracket and end finial to keep the curtain in place. Screw or fix your pole to make it secure, then finally attach the finials.

How to fit a curtain track

Mark up the position of the screw holes for the support brackets. The number of brackets you’ll need depends on the length of your track. Drill the hole, fill with rawl plugs, then screw your brackets securely into place.

Cut your track to the length required using a junior hacksaw, cleaning the rough edges with sandpaper. Fit the track to the brackets, then slot in the end stops. Finally, attach gliders to your curtain track – we recommend 1 glider every 10cm.

How to fit a curtain track inside a bay window

Angled tracks are available to fit within bay windows. Count the sides in your bay window, a side counting as any flat section, so that you know your bay window style, e.g. 3 sided or 4 sided. Measure from one end to the first angle of the window, then repeat for all sections. Add these measurements together to give you your total track length.

If your window is a more unusual shape or curved, it’s best to seek help.

4. How do I fit curtain tie backs?

The height at which you fix your tiebacks or holdbacks changes the way your curtains look, so you need to work out which style you prefer.

First, try placing a tieback about a third of the way up from the bottom of your curtains. Next, move it up or down until you’re happy with the look you’ve achieved.

When you’ve found your ideal height for your tiebacks, draw a line on the wall on either side of your window. Next, hang a weighted string down from the end of your pole or track (before the finials on your pole). Where this string crosses your drawn lines, mark these as the points where you’ll be attaching the hooks for the tiebacks. Make sure the marked points are at the same heights before fitting.

5. How do I take care of my curtains, poles and tracks?

How to clean your curtains

To avoid damaging the fabric or shrinking your curtains, you should only wash your curtains according to the instructions. Many of our curtains can be machine washed, however, more delicate fabrics may need to be dry cleaned.

How to look after your curtain poles and tracks

Like everything else in your home, poles and tracks collect dirt and dust which can affect the smooth movement of your curtains. You can regularly wipe your poles and tracks clean using warm water to keep them gliding smoothly.



Writer and expert