Where Should You Place the Curtain Rod Brackets?

Men installing curtain rod in brackets

Trying to hang up curtains is a rather complicated task since it involves a lot of measuring and manual labor.

The trickiest part is knowing how to position the curtain rod brackets.

Ideal Place for Curtain Rod Brackets

Curtain rod brackets should be placed after measuring where the curtain rod should be. The rod is usually placed at least 8 or 11 inches from the window frame. As such, the curtain brackets will be installed around 4 to 6 inches from the same point.

In this guide, we help you figure out how to set up your curtains like a pro while answering a few of your burning questions.

3 Measurements to Find the Ideal Place for Your Curtain Rod Brackets

Installing your curtain rod brackets is a rather important step in putting up your beautiful curtains.

That’s mainly because one wrong measurement will lead to an overall wobbly appearance of the rod.

In other words, it’s essential that you know where precisely the curtain rod brackets should be placed.

Additionally, you also need to measure everything quite profusely.

So, keep your marking pencils on hand as well as your measuring tape.

Before you drill into your wall—a step that you can’t take back, you’ll need to remember the following measuring points in mind.

These 3 factors provide great help in successfully installing your curtain rod brackets.

Not only that, but knowing the below basic measurements will also help you choose the right rod brackets for your curtains—especially if they’re a model that didn’t come with their own brackets.

1. The Clearance Point

The bracket’s clearance point is the first and most essential measurement you need to know beforehand.

You can figure out the rod’s clearance by measuring the distance from the bracket’s rear to the wall or intended mounting surface.

The clearance point is important because it determines how much open or free space you’ll end up having at the back of your curtain.

Learning the length of your rod’s clearance will also help if you have a double-layered or decorative curtain.

Handymen typically use clearance points when working with certain rod brackets, namely valance, basic traversing, and drapery ones.

Clearance measurements can also help you later when you want to install an additional rod or a hardware piece.

2. The Return Point

The return point is just as fundamental as the clearance one. In layman’s terms, it’s the distance from where the curtain rod will hang on the bracket and the wall’s surface.

More specifically, you measure from the cup of the rod’s bracket to the middle of your window frame.

The return point is basically where your curtains will hang when they’re drawn back.

That’s the primary reason why this measurement is called the return.

That said, the bracket’s return dimension also helps determine how much fabric you can hang off your rod.

Keep in mind that both the return and clearance points are often confused with each other.

That’s because the two measurements are quite close to one another.

However, they’re independent dimensions that serve their own purpose.

3. The Projection Point

The projection is essentially the opposite of the return point.

Instead of measuring from the bracket’s cup, you’ll calculate the distance from the furthest extension of the rod to the wall—and that would be the projection point.

Contrary to the return point as well, the projection is called as such because it’s the point where the curtain rod is held.

In turn, it’s also the point from which the drapes or curtains are “projected” and drawn.

When measuring the projection point, it’s important to note that you need to measure from both the front and back extension of the rod bracket.

This is vital since you don’t want high furniture to block your curtain rods once they’re installed or vice versa.

How Far Apart Should the Curtain Brackets Be?

Curtain rod in brackets at a distance

You want to be meticulous when placing your curtain brackets apart.

If they’re too close to one another or too far away from each other, the rod brackets will eventually come out of the wall.

Since you want to avoid such a difficult issue, it’s good to know beforehand where your two (or three) curtain rod brackets should be.

In case you’re mounting the curtains against a wall, the golden rule is to measure around one to three inches from each window side.

This will also depend on the length, width, and dimensions of the curtain rod.

So, stick to the measurements mentioned above if you’re keeping the curtains open.

You can also add a few more inches (three inches at most) to make the window appear bigger.

How Far Should Curtain Rod Extend Past the Bracket?

Curtain rods should extend at least three inches past the bracket.

Less is better if you have a shorter rod of standard size and length (a maximum of 60 inches).

It’s worth mentioning that when a rod overhangs, this is yet another reason that may cause the curtain brackets to fall out of the wall with time.

Simply put, three to six inches of the curtain rod should extend from the bracket’s projection point.

How Many Curtain Rod Brackets Do You Need?

As a rule of thumb, most curtains will come with at least two curtain rod brackets.

Each bracket is typically placed at the far ends of the rod.

However, you might have to purchase your own brackets. So it can be tricky to answer how many you should get.

Generally speaking, metal rods have diameters of 1 to 1.5 inches and are about 5 feet long.

These will need the standard number of brackets (two).

You’ll require a middle curtain bracket in case the rod is any bigger than that in order to maintain the balance.

Do You Need a Middle Curtain Bracket?

Middle curtain brackets aren’t necessary unless certain factors are in play.

For instance, if your curtain rod spans a length bigger than 60 inches, the metal will require some support.

You can then use the middle bracket to ensure that the curtain is properly supported.

Another element to consider is how heavy the fabric of your drapes is.

Light, sheer curtains don’t need a middle bracket to keep the balance.

Heavier materials, however, such as vinyl and acrylic, may need a central curtain bracket.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Hang Curtain Brackets?

Our guide helped you figure out how to properly measure the placement of your curtain rod brackets.

Once you’re done with that step, hanging them should be relatively easy.

There’s a multitude of methods to put up your brackets as well. Some are drilling-free, in case you don’t have a drill or rather not ruin your walls.

In this case, you can opt for adhesive hooks, magnetic rods, or even tension ones.

Why Are Your Curtain Rod Brackets Falling out Of the Wall?

Among the two most common reasons for the curtain rods to fall out of the wall is the incorrect installation of the rod brackets or the use of an incompatible curtain rod.

For example, sometimes the rod brackets are either placed too narrow or too far apart, making the curtains hang incorrectly.

As a result, the hung curtains will pull on the brackets, and over time, they will come out of the wall.

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