Ten Drapery Track Installation Tips:
1 – Plan the Position of the Curtain or Drapery
Before cutting or mounting or drilling anything, lay out your hardware and curtain panels to be sure you understand the relative positioning of the curtain to the drapery track. Adjust accordingly if you want the curtain to front or mask the track when the curtain is closed. Consider how the curtains will stack or bunch when opened – This can be especially important when using two tracks in parallel for blackout curtains and sheers as you don’t want the front curtain to interfere with the stacking of the rear curtain. Review the overall length of the curtain panels and the relative position desired from the floor. Curtains can be moved up or down by moving hook position or tape height relative to the top of the curtain, depending on what style curtains or draperies you are hanging.
2 – Use End Stops
These are the inexpensive parts that keep the carriers from coming off the drapery tracks. They also serve as anchor points for curtains at the end of tracks and also protect walls from being rubbed by carriers. Always consider leaving at a least an inch between the end of the track and the wall to allow for carriers to be added or removed later. Two ends stops can be used in combination to fix a carrier in place on most curtain tracks. Use end stops even on wall to wall installations to prevent the chatter of the carriers from wearing a hole in the side wall over time.
3 – Ask For Help
Usually it is much easier to install tracks if you have a second and even third set of hands. Don’t be shy about asking for help to position tracks during installation. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.
4 – Locate Your Studs and Joists
Identify where your ceiling joists or wall studs are and plan your mounting accordingly to take advantage of these sturdy anchor points when attaching tracks or mounting brackets. A stud finder can pay for itself in a single usage.
5 – Use Anchors If Needed
If ceiling joists or wall studs are not positioned where needed, use drywall anchors or masonry anchors to ensure yours screws don’t pull out after installation. Visit a local hardware store for advice as needed.
6 – Select Screws Carefully
There is nothing worse than being ready to complete your project only to find your screws don’t fit, they are not long enough, or you don’t have enough for the job at hand. If the screw needs to fit inside the curtain track, be sure the diameter of the screw head fits through the slot in the track. Be sure the head of the screw won’t interfere with the movement of the curtain carriers. Be sure that the screw is long enough to provide sufficient support in the wall or ceiling. Review your brackets and tracks to understand how many you will need.
7 – Align Brackets or Drapery Tracks Properly
Be sure that mounting brackets are aligned properly to allow for a straight or level curtain track installation. Maintain a consistent distance from the wall for ceiling mounted drapery tracks by using a ruler, guide block or laser level. Maintain a consistent distance from the ceiling for a wall mounted track using a ruler, guide block or laser level.
8 – Double Check Drapery Track Splices/Joints
Be sure the tracks are aligned perfectly to avoid creating a catch point where curtain carriers or glides may snag or catch. This is true where a splicer is available for the curtain track or not. There is often some play in a curtain track splicer, so the track alignment should be carefully reviewed regardless of installation methodology. A guide block used beside each joint during installation when no splicer is available can be helpful. Tracks mounted end to end should be flush and straight.
9 – Install Carriers on Drapery Track First
It is usually easier to add the carriers or glides to the curtain track before the track is placed on the ceiling or wall when hooks are used. For snap carriers and curtains with snap tape, it is easier to snap the carriers onto the curtain and then slide the carriers into the track.
10 – Measure Once, Cut Twice
Last but not least, be sure you have carefully thought through exactly where you want your tracks and how long the drapery tracks need to be. You can easily shorten a track, but it is a bigger challenge to lengthen one that has already been cut. Power miter saws or hack saws can be used to cut the tracks. If splicing, we suggest using the factory cuts as they are sure to be square and facilitat a better joint. Remember, there are no “do-overs” when cutting tracks.
Like any Do-It-Yourself project, installation of drapery tracks goes much smoother if you take the time to plan the project and double check your measurements. These projects are straightforward and don’t require a lot of expertise or special tools. If you have a drill, miter saw or hack saw, screw driver, tape measure, and level, you can complete these type installation projects. On a difficulty scale of 1-10, we would rate these installations at about a 3. Go ahead, give it a try, and your will be glad you did.
Installation Guides for most Curtain Tracks are available here.