fitting curtain rail

I am about to fit a curtain rail (screw to new wall) .The other rails (old part of house) have a wood batten screwed to the wall and then the rail screwed to that. Is the wood necessary or can the rail go against the plaster? The wall is made up of outer brick then insulation then grey block then glue? then plaster board then (thin) plaster.
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You can put it straight on the wall, if you can get a fixing! I think the wood strip is there because you can't always get a fixing point exactly where you want it. The piece of wood can be affixed anywhere along its length and then the curtain rail or pole fixed to that. Personally speaking I have normally managed to put them straight on the wall without much hassle
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Wood strips are generally good for older, crumblier walls. You can fix them with BIG screws and plugs and try several times if you have trouble hitting sound wall. The wood covers up failed attempts :-) This gives a much stronger fix to the wall than the small screws you get with curtain rail fixings. Especially good where the plaster is crumbly and/or damaged by previous fixings. It is also easier to position the curtain rail precisely if you are screwing directly into sound wood. Nice modern walls should be O.K. for direct fix.
HTH Dave R
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Thank you all.
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