Installing curtain track for heavy drapes


I would like to put a double cord-drawn curtain track in a bedroom, with heavy drapes/shear combination, but I am somewhat unclear on the best method of installation.
(The wall is timber-framed, with gyprock/drywall on the inside, with a steel casement window, if this makes any difference). The window has ~4 inch wooden trim above and on the sides, and all the current curtain rods and tracks in the house are attached to the trim at the top.
This particular window is 285cm (112 inches) wide (from outside of trim to outside of trim). The drapes will have a triple-pass lining sewn to the decorative fabric, be ~2.3m long (lining a bit shorter), with a gathering ratio of ~2.
The available tracks that I can buy at my fabric store are 200-290cm (with 2 centre supports I believe), or 290-380cm (with 3 centre supports), and I would need to buy double brackets separately to convert to a double track. I am going to find out tonight if I can buy extra centre supports individually, if needed.
Where is likely to be the best place to attach the track so that the weight of the drapes doesn't pull the track down? The wooden trim or above the trim, into the wall?
If I attach it to the trim, I would need to use the shorter of the tracks-would 2 centre supports be sufficient? Could the trim be pulled away from the wall over time?
If I attach to the wall, I could use the longer track (although not much longer due to a perpendicular wall nearby). If I need to attach the brackets to the studs, they may not be evenly distributed, would that be a concern?
I will be making the drapes, and their exact length is not an issue. But I have never picked/installed a track before, so would appreciate any advice.
TIA, Karina
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On 14 Mar 2007 19:59:57 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I know only a bit about curtains, and only wrt to the USA, where they don't use the metric system, so you probably don't live here.
But, since we are on the subject....
Didn't windows used to have extra wood around the upper corners, underneath the sheet rock, so that curtains could be attached there?
Do they still?
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clipped

I would get at least one, preferably two, of the brackets anchored into wall studs. If center bracket is in studs, no way they can fall down.
I would also choose rods that have separate brackets available. I made drapes about the same size - a little over 11' wide - from denim, which is rather heavy, and with lightweight lining. Anchored only with plastic thingies in wallboard. Not my first choice, but I was tired of the dang project and wanted to be done with it :o)
I don't care for brackets anchored on window trim, but it is a matter of personal choice. You may want to consider placing the brackets far enough from the edge of the window so that when the drapes are open all the way there is room to "stack" alongside the window, not in front of window. Fabric stores in my area are not great places to shop for hardware; if there is a specialty shop that carries a variety of hardware it might be a better choice. Expen$ive. We would have had to mortgage the house to buy new rods, so we bought bamboo poles, cut to size, less than $30 each window. Wood rings stained to match.
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How many brackets did you need to use? Last night, the saleslady told me to install the track with one centre support, and only put in more if it sags, which sounds like a recipe for a bent track!

Normally I would, but there isn't much room on one side of the window (BIW). I think that I am better off putting the end bracket in a stud, even if it means covering the window a bit-it is quite a large window anyway.

Did you find that touching them to open/close left marks? (one reason I would like something corded)
Thanks, Karina
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

two rooms, thus the huge draperies. Our bamboo rods are about 1 3/4" diameter and don't sag at all. I am sure there are heavier duty traverse rods, although I would expect them to be prohibitively expensive for 11' windows.
You can test the rods before you install them by extending them and then putting each end on a chair. Give some pressure on the middle to see if they flex. The shape of traverse rods is such that they should not bend much, if at all.

open/shut them often, and just touch the ring when we want to pull it shut. I made a little "wand", fastened to the center rings, so hubby/mechanic wouldn't grab the white drapes to pull them shut :o)

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(foolowing up to myself...)
I had a look at the curtain tracks at the store last night, and I can buy extra centre support brackets if required. However, when I had a close look at them, I realised that the track didn't have a smooth profile at the front (which is what I expected). Instead, there it a small bulge/lip running along the top front of the track, and the centre supports only hook on to this bulge/lip, rather than passing down the entire front and underneath of the track. Is the arrangement that I saw last night too flimsy for heavy drapes? (my gut feeling)
TIA, Karina
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On 15 Mar 2007 19:18:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Are these the ones that the maker designed for this rod?
Without mounting to the wall, put a bracket on the rod and hold each half in one hand and pull in the direction of force that will exist when the drapes are hung. See how well it holds. Then come to a conclusion about how many you need. Put the bracket in a place where you don't expect to put a bracket so that if you damage the rod, it won't matter.
Why do you need draperies so heavy in the first place? I have black- out drapes in my bedroom that don't weigh more than average.
If you have bought or made the drapes already, start with the assumption that a 9 foot window will use 45 "center", intermediate brackets. If you can get buy with fewer, that would be good too.

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Take a look at Levelor (or Empire). They have high quality heavy-duty tracks and rods with smooth finishes.
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These guys have all stolen my response with their good answers. On the wall above the casing is the correct place. There never give you enough center supports to carry the weight of really heavy drapes. For a double traverse rod I would space them no more than 30" apart. When I installed my own I had one support every 24". 10 years later there has been no deflection at all. With your specs I would suggest the same.
I have Graber and Kirsch superfine parts in the basement if you need some they are cheap.
Colbyt
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Thanks for the offer, but I'm in a different country. I'm also appreciative of your website, which turned up on an earlier search-I'm sure that I'll be referring to it when the time comes to put the rod up.
Have you seen the type of rod with a small (~1/4 inch) bulge/lip across the top, to which the centre bracket attaches? The brackets are sold to fit, so clearly they are intended to go together, but are they only suitable for lightweight curtains? I'm sorry that I don't have a picture, but it isn't on the manufacturer's website.
Karina
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The lip in this photo http://www.continentalwindowfashions.com/category_k003_Kirsch-Superfine-Traverse-Rods_3.html
is more like an 1/8". There are a couple of other brands where it is slightly more pronounced. Some do not have any lip at all. If the brackets come from the same place as the rod, that is as good as it gets.
If you are buying a brand used by professionals you will have no problems. If you are buying something from a mass retailer like potterybarn you might have problems. There is a reason the stuff sold by the mass marketers is cheaper. IMO, it is of a cheaper quality. I just don't install that cheap stuff anymore. There is an old country saying, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear". For years I tried to give a quality installation with inferior parts and then I said "no more".
Feel free to contact me via email or my site contact form and I will try to help you with any advice that I might be able to offer.
Colbyt
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Lots of great ideas but up until 10 or years ago I did professional installations..
The rod you pointed to in the link if it hasn't been cheapened is quite strong but like most things do sag if not correctly supported
Rule of thumb (s)
Hang curtain rods at the finished length of the draperies +1 " after they hang they will come down some if the width of the window is 112 see if the span between the first pleat and the last pleat on both panels add the distance together and see if you have 114" or more that way the draperies will cover the frame nicely. If you have more they will just hang fuller.
Knowing the height and width you are now ready to start mounting . if you have the 60 120" rod you will find two center supports on labeled "IN" & one labeled "OUT" I woul say you need 1 additional "OUT" per rod . You will also need the extension brakets for the center supports and the end brackets. You will transfer the movable brackets from the single depth mounting to the double mounting!
Attachment locate a stud but the header is better, toggle bolt are far better the molly bolts, throw away the plastic anchors and #6 x 1" screws. If you hit the header or wwoor use a 2" x #8 screw 2 per end bracket top abd bottom only on the side away from the bracket, as far as the center supports go use onlt the top holes on the outside of the brackets. No studs use toggle bolts.
Just as a side if the drapes are long enought you can take the center supports off and attach to the ceiling and the end you just secure with the hole in the very end of the rod.
What to do with the cord.... Buy a tension pully and attach it to the wall in line with the window frame, put cord through the pulley, then draw the guides all the way back and set the ceter by looping the cord on the left bracket over the grabber, then on the right guide puul th right hand knot and pull excess until tension pulley rises about 2 inches - cut the cord and retie a new knot.
Hang the drapes and your done!
Cheers
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Your directions were right on target but what decorator let you have 3/4" of floor clearance?
They want them a neat clean 1/4" off the floor around here.
Do I sound bitter?
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Actuall after they hang for a week or so they stretch out to 1/2 3/8 clearance!
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On Mar 14, 9:59 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I put a double traverse rod on my front window, which is also 112". I used 2 single traverse 120" rods from HD, and hacked it with some aluminum plates and the brackets that they give you. Now you have the hardware kit from two rods, so you have enough center supports. I have 3, spaced roughly equally. If you can find the studs above the 4" trim, that'll be the best place to put the brackets. With 120" rods, you have 4" on each side to find the studs, and even you find some wood just inside the 112", you're OK, because the ends of the drapes will cover an inch or so on each side. You can go as high as you need to clear the trim, because you're making the drapes and they can be as long as you need.You don't need to find studs for every bracket and support, wall anchors are OK, as long as maybe 2 or 3 are attached to studs.
If you do make end plates yourself to make a double rod from 2 singles, remember to leave enough space between the rods for the drapes to gather. Double rods are expensive on-line, and HD, etc. don't have them, but a custom drapery store might have some.
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Thanks to everyone who replied. The type of rod that I was looking at online also has brackets available to convert a single rod to a double, so I hopefully won't need to make such brackets myself. It looks like I'll be putting in at least 3 centre brackets. (into the header if it extends above the window trim)
Karina
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