Standard Curtain Rod Lengths

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Shades and blinds have become the go-to window coverings of recent years. This is partly because of their functionality and cost-effectiveness. But because of their structure, they do not contribute to the warmth of a room as the fabric does.

Your home has many beautiful touches that enhance your interior design style. And your curtains can add a lot to your home’s unique overall look.

There are many advantages to using curtains when putting a room together. After choosing the correct curtain for your windows, you need to select the proper size curtain rod to hang them on. Use the following guide for your curtain rod installation.

Standard curtain rod lengths:

  • 120 inches — 170 inches
  • 66 inches — 120 inches
  • 48 inches — 84 inches
  • 28 inches — 48 inches

How To Choose Curtain Rod Length


It is easy to overlook the hardware that’s involved while shopping for curtains. But it is one of the essential parts of your window décor. Choosing the proper curtain rod and finials is just as important as selecting the curtain.

  • First, figure out how much weight needs to be supported. Heavier objects such as blackouts, thermals, and brocade drapes are bulkier than the sheer and light-filtering options.
  • Weigh your curtains to know how much weight per foot the curtain rod needs to support. Then divide the weight of the curtains by the length of the curtain rod.
  • Choose the diameter of the curtain rod to determine if the curtain will fit on the rod.
  • Then measure the width of your window, including the frame or trim. Take the measurement three times, once at the top, the center, and near the bottom of your window. Use the largest of the three as the window’s width.
  • If there is not much space on either side of your window, find a curtain rod the same width as your window. If possible, it is recommended to extend the curtain rod five inches past your window on either side. When your curtains are open, a small portion of the window remains covered by the fabric.
  • A longer drapery rod will give your windows a more grand appearance allowing more room for the drapes to be opened and more sunlight to enter the room.

Measuring Curtain Rods For An Inside Mount

If you decide to use an inside mount with a tension rod or another type of rod, measure the width of the windowpane.

  • Begin at the inner edge of the frame on one side and measure across to the opposite inner edge.
  • This width is the length needed for your curtain rod.

What Size Curtain Rod is Needed for a 36-Inch Window

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For a 36-inch-wide window, you need curtains that provide a minimum width of 72 inches or two 36-inch panels for that window. Two panels will enable the curtains to look nice and full.

  • If space allows, they recommend that your curtain rod go five inches past your window on either side. Therefore, a 46-inch rod is needed for a 36-inch window.
  • If you have little space on either side of the window, look for a curtain rod the same width as your window or consider an inside mount.

What Diameter Should a Curtain Rod Be?

It is preferable to choose a rod with a diameter of at least 1 inch. Thin curtain rods not only look cheap but can bow under the weight of a heavier drape. As pleasing aesthetics and curtain support are essential, select a rod with a diameter of at least 1 inch.

Measuring for Extra-Long Curtain Rods

The first thing you need to do before installing curtain rods that are extra-long is to determine the rod length you need.

  • Using a steel tape measure, determine the width of your windows. You can measure from casing to casing or frame to frame, depending on the style of your window.
  • After noting the window’s measurements, add six inches to account for stacking of the drapes.

Extra-Long Curtain Rod Sizes

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There is a difference between a standard curtain rod and an extra-long curtain rod.

Standard lengths for curtain rods are available in the following size ranges:

  • 28-48 inches
  • 48-84 inches
  • 66-120 inches

Extra-long curtain rods have a span greater than 120 inches. While some popular retailers stock 120-inch curtain rods, they are typically less available than standard curtain rod sizes.

You may have difficulty locating the right extra-long curtain rod in stores if you have unconventionally sized or custom-made expansive windows. This is where internet shopping comes in handy!

To ensure that you have proper curtain coverage, consult a professional to determine the length rod for your particular situation.

Do Drapery or Curtain Rods Need to Be Hung On Studs?

You do not need a stud to hang a curtain rod. But a different type of wall anchor is required to help hold the weight. There are two different anchors, a drywall anchor or a toggle bolt.

When to Use a Curtain Rod Mounted on the Ceiling

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If you prefer the illusion of having a higher ceiling, a ceiling mount curtain rod can provide that.

Typically, the space above the window opening is the traditional spot to hang a traverse curtain rod, but there is no reason it cannot be installed on the ceiling above the window.

If you cannot locate studs able to bear the weight of a heavier drape, such as a blackout or brocade drape, ceiling joists directly above the window may provide the support needed to install curtain rods safely and securely.

How to Hang a Ceiling Mounted Curtain Rod

  • Measure the width of the drapery from the first pleat to the last pleat.
  • Between the edge of the drapery and the first pleat of the drape is the drapery return that stacks against the wall.
  • You must add five inches to overlap the drapes in the center to ensure proper curtain closure and to decide the minimum length of the curtain rod to purchase.
  • Note the location of where to mount the curtain rod brackets on the ceiling.
  • Drill a 1/16-inch pilot hole at the locations marked in the ceiling. If using drywall anchors, insert the anchors into the pilot holes. If you drilled into the ceiling joists, anchors are not needed.
  • Install the brackets into the ceiling with screws from the curtain rod’s assembly kit.
  • Count how many pleats are on each side of the draperies, then subtract four from each side of the drape.
  • Pull the traverse rod apart. Using the count determined in Step 4, remove any slides not needed from the rod. Slide the rod back together again.
  • Place the curtain rod onto the hanging bracket.
  • Tighten the screws that are holding the rod with a screwdriver. There are some rods that use thumbscrews to secure the rods, while others use clips or locking cams.
  • To ensure smooth operation, open and close the traverse rod. Based on your preference, pull the excess cording to either the right or left side of the rod. Slide the cord around the tension pulley.
  • Then mark where you want to install the tension pulley, either on the windowsill, wall, or floor.
  • You need to drill pilot holes for the pulley bracket and secure it with screws from the assembly kit.
  • You are now ready to enhance the beauty of your room by hanging your lovely drapes.

The Difference Between a Drapery Rod and a Curtain Rod

Curtain rods and drapery rods are both used to hang fabric.

While both use hooks, the hooks for drapery rods are heftier to support more weight, while the curtain rods hold slightly less weight.

Types of Curtain Rods

There are three types of curtain rods.

  • Single
    • Single café rods feature one long pole with a finial at either end
  • Double
    • Double café rods hang two curtains, one on top of the other
  • Tension
    • Used for an inside mount, tension rods are the easiest to install

Types of Drapery Rods

There are three basic types of drapery rods.

  • Two-way traverse rods allow the drapery to move away from the middle to each end
  • A one-way draw allows the panels to move in only one direction
    • One-way rods are often used on sliding patio doors or in corners
  • A decorative traverse rod is used with rings that are visible when drapes are closed

A basic need for draperies, a proper curtain rod can add natural allure and beauty to your window treatments. But curtain rods that are too long, do not complement your curtains, or are improperly installed should be avoided.

The proper curtain rod for your situation depends on the drapery fabric you use.

If you’re leaning towards a heavier fabric, such as brocade or damask, stick to a sturdier metal like wrought iron to prevent your curtain rod from bowing under the weight of the heavy material.

It’s also essential to remember where you want to mount your curtains, which affects the type of curtain rod needed. Curtains mounted within the window framework work best with tension rods, while outside-mounted curtains use a pair of brackets to hang the rod.

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