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Outdoor Curtain Installation Tips

Outdoor Curtain Installation Tips

Curtain Rods

Your first order of business will be figuring out how many rods you'll need, and what length they should be.

We carry three sizes of high-quality curtain poles: 4 feet, 6 feet and 8 feet. Our curtain poles are made to be easily attached to one another, to create new poles of greater lengths (for example, a 6-foot pole may be attached to an 8-foot pole to create a new pole spanning 14 feet).

Determining Pole Length(s)

If you plan to use either wall brackets or eyelet brackets for hanging your outdoor drapery, first measure the length of actual hanging space, and then add about 12 inches more. This way, you'll have adequate space to each side not only to install the brackets, but also to then stretch your curtains slightly past the opening itself.

Things work a little differently, however, if you plan to use inside-wall mounts for hanging. Inside-wall mounts are best if your hanging area has built-in borders such as columns or walls on either side, which makes hanging your curtains similar to how you would install them within a shower stall. In this case, you use the exact measurement of your hanging space for your pole length. Inside-wall mounts require pole ends to fit securely within their brackets; no overhang is possible for curtain poles, and no finials are needed for pole ends. Note that inside-wall mounts often will require custom-size curtain poles.

Curtain Width and Number of Curtain Panels

The rule of thumb is to multiply the length of the curtain rod(s) you'll be using by 1.5 to get the panel width and the number of curtain panels that you'll need. For instance, for every 4 feet of curtain rod, you'll need roughly 72 inches of actual curtains (4 feet = 48 inches, which you then multiply by 1.5). Simple as that!

However, if what you want is a more opulent, plush appearance, then try doubling-up your number of curtain panels per rod!

Hanging Brackets

Brackets are typically installed every 3-4 feet of curtain rod, and also at any connection point where two rods are joined. So for one of our standard 8-foot curtain rods, you would need only two brackets; however, if you were instead connecting two of our 4-foot curtain rods to create one that was then equal to 8 feet, you would install three brackets instead, with one bracket at each end of the joined pole, and one bracket where the two shorter poles join.

The most effective way to decide on the height of the brackets is to have two people hold up the rod with the curtain already on it, and then have a third person – preferably the person who has chosen to hang the curtains in the first place – mark the desired height of the pole. Ordering online doesn't typically allow for such an ideal scenario, so here are a couple formulas we recommend for making an informed decision right now:

Grommet Top Curtains

Take the total height of the curtain (A), and then subtract the distance between the top of the curtain and the inside top of the grommet (B). Next, subtract the width/diameter of the curtain rod (C) and add the distance you want your curtain to hang up from the floor (D).

If your answer is 80.5 inches, for instance, then install the bottom arc of your bracket at that height. 

Tab Top Curtains

Take the total height of the curtain, including its tab (A), and then subtract the width/diameter of the rod (B). Next, add the distance you want your curtain to hang up from the floor (C).

If your answer is 80.5 inches, for instance, then install the bottom arc of your bracket at that height.

Specific Installation Needs

Installation between posts, on walls or from the ceiling

For hanging curtains out away from walls or other vertical hanging surfaces, standard wall brackets will do the trick. With wall brackets, your curtains will hang approximately 4 inches away from the wall or other hanging surface.

You can also use eyelet brackets for wall hanging, which will put your curtains about 6 inches out from your wall instead.

For installing from an overhead surface like a ceiling, you'll want to use eyelet brackets, which will have your outdoor curtains or outdoor-curtain sheers hanging approximately 6 inches below the ceiling or other overhead surface.

If you want to install the rod between two walls, posts or other vertical structures, you'll need inside-mount brackets for hanging. These are easy to install, and actually keep costs down since you then don't need finials for the pole ends. Note, though, that if your hanging length spans more than 6-8 feet, you will also want to install a center bracket from the ceiling itself, to stabilize the rod and prevent it from sagging or collapsing in the middle. Consult a local carpenter if needed.

Installation Without Existing Hanging Surfaces

It's possible, with a little creativity to guide you! If you'd like to install curtains at the edge of your deck, for instance, then you can erect vertical 4"x4" beams onto the outside posts to use as your hanging surfaces. Depending on the height you want for the beams, some type of angled reinforcement beams may also be necessary. Consult a local carpenter or contractor if need be.

Another terrific option for outdoor-curtain hanging is to install a wide arbor in your preferred outdoor-living area, using the lower arc of the arbor itself, or the structure just above it, to create your hanging surface. The result can be quite stunning. You'll need to follow the installation steps that come with the arbor, if it's part of a kit (and when they say leave 24 hours for the concrete to harden, trust them!), or you may want to involve the services of a carpenter or contractor, if your needs are for something more customizeable.

If you'd prefer not to install traditional hanging hardware at all, you can even hang outdoor curtains between two poles, wooden beams or other upright surfaces using quality airline cable and a couple of eye bolts. Buy your cable fitted with turnbuckles on each end, and you can then fine-adjust the tightness of the hanging wire. Do note that your curtain tabs or grommets may not slide quite as easily along the wire as they would with a standard curtain pole, though you can easily thread some thin PVC pipe over the top of the airline cable, to act as a curtain rod. Again, a local carpenter or contractor may be of real assistance here.



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