Choosing The Correct Curtain Rod For Your Window Treatments

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Window treatments are often a focal point in a room and can be very expensive. Therefore, it is important to choose the very best curtain rod for your draperies, shades, valances, and curtains. But with such a varied selection how do you know which curtain rod is best for your home?

There are several types of rods available and each one serves a different purpose. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of curtain rods and the window treatments they handle.

Traverse rods

A traverse rod is designed to move (or traverse) drapery panels across the window or door area. They consist of a horizontal rod with a pulley system that makes it possible to draw the curtains open or closed. A small metal or plastic clips are placed inside the rod. These pieces have a small hole designed to accommodate a two-sided drapery pin; one side is placed into the pleat of the drapery panel and the other side is inserted into the rod. When a cord is drawn all of these pieces move simultaneously across the rod to operate the draperies.

The most common type of window treatment used with a traverse rod is the pinch pleated drapery. In this instance, the rod is not visible when the drapes are closed. However, when the drapes are open the center part of the rod is visible and is most often a piece of plain white metal.

To make the rod more attractive, traverse rods with rings are also available. In this instance, the drapery pins are hidden by the curtain rings but are attached in the same manner as a standard traverse rod. The rings create an attractive look when the drapery panels are closed and also provide a more attractive rod view when the panels are open.

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Tension rods

A tension rod is a small metal rod with rubber caps on the end. Tension rods have a spring mechanism built into them that allows the rod to be installed on the interior of a window frame without additional hardware. You simply push the rod ends together, place it inside the window frame and let go. The rubber caps will rest up against the frame and protect the paint and stucco from markings or damage.

Tension rods are most often used with a cafe style curtain or valance. They work great in a small window that might be in a bathroom, kitchen or utility room and are available in several metal finishes including brass, nickel and oil rubbed bronze.

Curtain poles

A curtain pole is a round pole attached to the wall with brackets on either end. These poles do not have any mechanism that moves draperies, the drapery panels simply slide along the pole to open or close. They can be made of wood or metal and are available in a wide range of finishes to complement any decor.

A curtain pole is used with drapery panels that have a rod pocket or tab top as well as scarf valances that drape over the pole. The pole is inserted into the opening of the curtain and they are ready to hang.

The ends of curtain poles often feature a decorative finial. This might be a simple round ball in the same finish as the pole or it could be a decorative glass globe, an iron design or open metalwork. While it is decorative it also prevents your window treatment from sliding off the rod.

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Curtain rods

A curtain rod is meant to be used with rod pocket drapery panels and valances. The rod is inserted into the pocket and the fabric is shirred onto the rod, completely covering the metal rod. The widths of curtain rods can vary from a very small 1inch to what is called a European rod in a larger width of up to 4 inches. It is important to choose the correct rod diameter to fit the pocket of your window treatment.

Combination rod

A combination or double, curtain rod allows a set of stationary panels to be hung behind a traverse rod. These are commonly used when a set of sheer panels are desired for privacy but still allow light into the room. The traverse rod controls the drapery panels and the inner rod controls the second set of drapes, most often sheer panels.

By choosing the proper curtain rod for your window treatment style your draperies will hang properly, thereby showcasing your beautiful fabrics and window treatment designs.

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