How to | Fit a pole or track

This guide will show you how to fit a curtain pole or curtain track.


You will need

  • Pencil
  • Steel tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Drill & masonry bit
  • Plugs & screws
  • Step ladder
  • Spirit level
  • Hacksaw
  • Your pole/track

Step 1: Cutting the pole/track width

If you already have your curtains (or have them on order)

If you have already measured for curtains for a particular pole/track width, use this size for your pole/track width measurement.

Tip: We recommend that, where possible, you fit your pole/track before measuring for our made-to-measure curtains.

If you have not yet measured for curtains

Curtain pole width

Decide on the width that the pole/track is to span by measuring the width of the window opening and adding a suitable overhang to each side. For a typical window without architraves, we recommend poles/tracks overhang the width of the window by not less than 15cm (6") each side (excluding finials).

Mark the pole/track and check your measurements again. Then cut the pole to your required width (excluding finials).

Note that for wider windows, poles sometimes come in two parts with a centre bracket. To cut down a two-part pole, you need to cut an equal amount off each half for your centre bracket to be in the middle.

Step 2: Horizontal bracket position


Curtain pole bracket position

For Poles

Pole brackets should be fixed so there is room for at least one ring (or eyelet/tab) between the outside edge of the bracket and the finial. About 5cm (2”) is usually about right for rings. If there is a centre bracket, this must be fixed at the centre of the pole.

Curtain track bracket position

For Tracks

Ensure a sufficient number of brackets to take the curtain weight, evenly spaced along the track. It is helpful to test-assemble the brackets to the track to check suitable positions prior to fixing.

Make a note of the horizontal fixing positions.

Step 3: Height of bracket position

Decide on a final positioning of the fixing height of the pole/track above the window soffit.

If you already have your curtains (or have them on order)

Your pole/track must be fitted at an exact height to suit the curtain length. You will need to work out where the top of the curtain comes to relative to the pole/track bracket fixings and if your curtains are hanging to a precise point such as the floor or sill, you will need to be very accurate.

Tip: If you already have your curtains, it is helpful to test-assemble the pole/track, brackets, rings and curtain to establish the correct height for the bracket fixings. This can be done on a horizontal surface.

If you have not yet measured for curtains

Curtain height above window

If you do not yet have your curtains the fixing height is not quite as critical. It is recommended that the bottom of the pole/track is typically fixed no less than 8cm (3") above the top of the window soffit.

Make a note of the bracket fixing height.

Step 4: Fixing the brackets and pole/track

Use a soft pencil to mark the bracket fixing hole positions on the wall (or ceiling/soffit for top-fix installations). Now check your marks (and calculations) for accuracy and ensure that they are aligned. You may want to check with a spirit level, but where curtains are hanging to the floor or to the sill, it works best to align the pole/track with these as reference points.

Make sure to check for any obstructions such as cables or pipes in the wall before drilling. It’s helpful to use a metal/voltage detector but be aware that modern plastic piping is very difficult to detect. Seek advice if you are unsure.

Tip: You may be able to feel for obstructions using a bradawl (or small screwdriver). Modern houses usually have a cavity between plasterboard and block work where obstructions may be found.

Make starter holes with a bradawl, enlarging the holes just enough to accommodate your wall plugs. Sometimes, with cavity walls, it is adequate to use tight fixings into the plasterboard or use specialist plasterboard fixings. On solid walls or for heavier curtains, use your drill to continue deeper into the wall.

Secure the brackets to the wall with suitable screws.

Fixing curtain pole

Prepare your pole/track with the required number of rings/gliders and fix the finials/end stops (remember to leave one ring between the pole bracket and finial on each side). Finally, assemble the pole/track to the brackets.

If you are planning to take measurements for curtains once you have fitted your pole/track, see our curtains measuring guide.

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