A guide to fit your new curtain track

"How to Fit" Guides for Curtain Tracks

We have a variety of curtain track styles and types for you to choose from, including plastic, metal, corded and uncorded, straight and bendable, for use with most window treatments, including layered curtains on a double track. PDF guides are available for specific tracks and we include here two general guides covering the fitting of metal and plastic curtain track.These "how to fit tracks" guides are easy to follow and will help you produce a professional finish to your windows.

If you cannot find the information you are looking for or need further advice, then please use the Live Help button to the right or call us and one of the team will be happy to help.

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How to Fit Tracks - General Information

Get the professional finish by using our easy-to-follow fitting instructions.This is a general guide and may not apply to all types of tracks. A full set of instructions will be included in your product packaging for your specific track.


You Will Need

 

Tools required for fitting curtain tracks A tape measure (metal ones are best)

A pencil ( a pencil is better than a pen as you can remove the marks more easily) and paper

A pair of steps

An electric drill or a cordless drill (preferably with a hammer option)

A screw driver

A spirit level. This is not essential but is helpful to check your track is being fitted level. Alternatively you can always measure down from the ceiling or up from the floor or window sill to the holes as a double check, but this is not a guarantee as the ceiling may be slightly sloping. The most important thing is to make sure it visually looks right.

It is useful to have a pair of bradawls or a couple of large nails and a length of string, in order to make a visual check before fitting the track brackets, especially if you have sloping or uneven ceilings.

General Guide for Track Bracket Location

 

You will have decided when you measured for your track whether to fit it across the front of the window (exact) or inside the window opening (recess).

Decide on fitting the track outside or inside the window

 

Measure the window width for the track

 

 

 

To locate the end track bracket positions for a track outside the recess you will need measurement C, which is simply the width of the track A minus the width of the window B, divided by 2. Measure from the edge of the window the length C and use this to mark the wall on each side at the height you have chosen to fit your track. You will then have marked positions from which to measure the recommended intervals for the other track brackets.

 

To fit inside the window recess decide whether to face fix the bracket to the window frame or top fix the bracket to the lintel. When measuring for bracket location ensure that obstructions such as window handles or tilting windows are taken into account.

If you are fitting the track directly into wood, you will not need to use the drill or rawl plugs, just make a small hole with a bradawl and then use wood screws to fit the brackets.

If you are fitting the track across the front of the window and this measurement is not pre-determined by your curtains, then fit your track about 8-12 cms above the window frame. This is generally the most common position as it will ensure that the header tape of the curtains is not on show from the outside, but also helps to reduce light seepage when the curtains are drawn during daylight hours.

If you do have your curtains then you will need to bear their length in mind as at this point, adjusting the position you fit the track above the window opening may save a lot of time having to re-hem the bottom of the curtains.

Before fitting your track, carefully open any packaging without using a knife which may damage the contents of the box, and check you have all the component parts. You may check this against the list enclosed with your track.

If you are worried about electrical cables or pipes, double check with a pipe or cable detector. Normally pipes and cables run vertically down the wall to their outlet point.

Drill the holes where you have marked the wall using a masonry drill bit. Push the rawl plugs into the holes until they are flush with the wall and then screw the brackets into position.

 


How To Fit Metal Curtain Track in Easy StepsBack to top 

1. Having decided on either A WALL FIX or B FACE FIX

 

Top fix or face fix the brackets

 

 

Use your pencil to mark the position of the bracket hole, then drill and insert the rawl plugs.

Drill the fixing holes

 

 

 

2. If you have an uneven or sloping ceiling you may wish to mark the position of the end track brackets, insert a bradawl or temporarily loosely hammer in a long nail into these marked positions and hang a string between them, shown in the diagram below. This will allow you to step back and visually assess the level. You may then adjust the bradawl position at one end until you are satisfied that the level looks right.

Measure with a string line to check brackets are level

 

3. If you need to cut your track to fit your window, use a fine tooth saw or hacksaw. To provide an overlap, the track must be cut to allow sufficient length for each half of the window plus an additional 10cm on one half of the track. In general, an overlap with plastic track may be created using an overlap kit which has a special bracket and a template for the bend.

4. Plastic track may be bent to fit angles, such as in bay windows, carefully over a curved surface as shown below.

Plastic track can be bent by hand

5. Bends in the track should not have a radius of less than 22cm to ensure a smooth operation of the gliders and to prevent your curtain from snagging when operated.

 

Maximum bend of track for bay windows

 

6. When you have marked the position of your track, using a spirit level or the bradawl and string method mentioned above, the position of the end mounting brackets should be marked first and the rest of the brackets spaced evenly, ideally 36.5cm apart.

Position the brackets equally along the track

7. Mount the brackets at your marked positions, with a bracket at each end of the window inset 3cm from the end position of the rail.

Fit the fixing brackets to the wall

8. To create an overlap, the end of the longer half of the track should be bent to the position shown in the overlap template provided in the kit and shown below, having first marked the bend points with a pencil. Mark position of the overlap bracket using the recommended measurements for your specific track, the diagram below may be used as a general guide

Overlap template for bending the track Curtain track overlap bend

9. Fix the overlap bracket as illustrated, attaching a track mounting bracket

 

Curtain track mounting bracket

10. When all the brackets have been fixed either slide or clip the curtain track onto them

 

Fix the curtain track bracketsFix the track to the brackets

 

11. When the track is in position, tighten the locking screws

Tighten locking screws when in position

12. Clean any rough or cut ends with a file before fitting an end stop to each end of the track, then finish the track by pushing on the endcaps

Fit the track stop end

13. Check everything is working correctly.


How To Fit Plastic Curtain Track in Easy StepsBack to top 

Remove the track from the packaging carefully. Do not open the box with a knife as you may damage the contents.

The track can be fitted inside or outside the window recess and is suitable for wall fixing or top fixing. Once you have decided on where you are fitting the track, mark the position of the fixing line.

 

Wall and Face Fixing Plastic Track

For the measurement of the bracket positions for wall fixing, the centre bracket needs to be marked first. Using a spirit level and tape measure and line 10cm above the window recess needs to be drawn, which should extend 15cm either side of the recess in order to allow the curtains to stack back.

Wall or face fix plastic track

If you have uneven or sloping ceilings, it is better to use a pair of bradawls or long nails and string line which is stretched across the window at 10cm above the recess, first using the spirit level and then stepping back to view. If the line does not look level visually, adjust one of the bradawls until you are happy and then mark the wall along the string line.

Check brackets are level with string line

Mark the line at the middle point of the window recess then using a bracket placed at this point, use your pencil to mark the wall through the hole in the bracket. This will give you the position of the drill point.

From the midpoint, mark the positions of the remaining brackets, spacing them evenly with a gap not greater than 50cm.

Mark the positions of the fixing brackets

If you are fitting a two part track, the first two brackets should be positioned 15cm either side of the centre point, shown below.

Tracks in two sections need brackets either side of join

For bay windows, brackets will need to be fitted in the angles indicated in the diagrams below. Plastic track can normally be bent to fit in windows with up to a 90 degree angle. The track must not be bent before fitting it.

Maximum bend of track is 90 degreesPlastic track with reverse bend

Certain plastic tracks can also reverse bend out of a bay window, you may need a separate set of reverse bay fixings, depending on the type of track you are using.

Mounting the Brackets

When you have marked the position of all your brackets, drill the holes, fit the rawlplugs and screw the base brackets into position. If you are using a wooden batten, you can screw the brackets directly into this.

Fit the fixing brackets

When all the base brackets have been fixed, you can snap the track brackets into them as shown. Some plastic track does not have a two part bracket, the track being fixed directly onto a base bracket.

Fixing brackets for one or two lengths of track

Cutting The Rail

Having slotted all the mounting brackets in the base brackets , measure the length of rail you need, allowing 10cm for the end pulley if you are using a corded track. Carefully cut the tie holding the cord, but do not cut the cord. Lay the track down with the open channels facing you and the master slides centred.

 

Shortening a corded curtain track

 

 

 

a). From the end of the track where you are going to cut to shorten it, remove the pulley covers by loosening the screw underneath.

 

 

 

 

 

b). Gently pull the cover off the end of the track without twisting the cords, then carefully pull the cords out of the channels and, keeping them parallel, lay them out of the way.

 

 

 

 

c). Measure the track twice to avoid any mistakes and mark it with a pencil line where you are shortening it. Make your cut using a hacksaw or fine tooth saw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

d). Carefully slide the pulley cover back on the rail ensuring the cords are in their tracks and tighten the locking screw. Pull the cord drops to take up any slack.

 

If you shorten a 1 part track, you will need to re-centralise the master slide. When you have replaced the end pulley cover and taken up any slack from the shortened track, you need to position the master slides at either end of the track by pulling the cord drop.

 

Shortening a corded track

 

 

 

a). Unhook the cord from the lock on the unknotted master slide. Keep hold of the cord so that it does not slip into the track channel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b). With the loop unhooked, slide the master slide until it reaches the master gliders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c). Pull the inside cord at the cord drop to tighten and then loop it over the back of the master slide so that it locks firmly around the arm.

 

 

Fit the overlap arm to the master slide on the same side as the cord drop, using the screws and washers provided.

 

Fit the overlap arm

 

 

Mounting the Track

With all your brackets installed and the track shortened to the correct length, you are now ready to mount the track on the brackets. If you are fitting a long track, it is very useful to have an extra pair of hands.

 

Clip the track into position on the fixing bracket

 

 

 

 

Starting at one end of the window, hook the rail onto the brackets to the first click as shown in 1. For 2 part track, start from the centre bracket with each bracket in turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue until you have mounted all the track on the first click as in 2. You may now check the position of the track and re-align if necessary by sliding from side to side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you are satisfied that the track is correctly positioned, press firmly over each bracket to snap it into the second click position (shown in 3)., which will firmly lock it in place.

 

Clip the join cover over the join Finally, to hide the joint on a two part track, click the join cover into position over the join as shown.

 

Top Fixing Plastic Track

 

This section describes how to fix the track to the ceiling or top of a window recess. For this procedure you do not use the base brackets.

 

Top fixing a curtain track

 

 

If you are mounting the track on the ceiling, you should mark each end of the track position. Draw a line with a pencil between these points, checking that it is parallel to the window.

 

 

As with the wall mounting, at least 15cm should be added on either side of the window for the curtains to stack back.

 

Once you have marked the position of the mounting brackets, drill holes and use rawl plugs to fix the brackets. If you are fitting directly to plaster board, you will need to use appropriate plaster board fixings which you will need to purchase separately.

 

Fix the curtain bracket to the ceiling or window recess

 

 

 

If you are mounting directly to the ceiling, snap in the mounting brackets to the first click on the track, as shown. Line up the holes in the brackets to the holes you have drilled and plugged in the ceiling, screw the brackets into place, check the track is aligned with the window and then snap the rail to the second click to secure it.

 

Fitting track brackets to a wooden batten

 

 

 

You may wish to fix a wooden batten to the ceiling or window recess to facilitate the mounting of the rail. This will make it easier for curtains to open and close and is the preferred method for hanging heavy weight curtains.

 

Fit the curtain track tension pulley Fit the tension pulley using the screws provided, either to the floor, skirting board or window cill, directly in line with the pull cord from the curtain track.

 

Adjust the cord tension for corded tracks To provide the required tension, extend the neck of the pulley, securing it in the higher position with a pin or small nail. Take out the central barrel of the pulley by pulling it down and then out. Loop the cord inside the pulley opening and push in the central barrel ensuring it clicks into place.

 

Shorten the cord for corded curtain tracks In order to provide sufficient tension in the pulley, you will need to take up any slack in the cord by locating the end behind the master slide arm, pulling it through and then tying a new knot. You may need to reduce the cord length by cutting it and re-tying the knot again.

 

Should your cord become twisted, simply rotate the head of the pulley until the cord operates freely again. You are now ready to hang your curtains by fitting curtain hooks through the curtains and then hooking them through the track sliders.

 

Finally, check your curtains are opening and closing smoothly and fit any accessories such as tie-backs. The track is designed to provide you with many years of trouble free operation and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The occasional application of a silicon based furniture polish to the roller glide channel will maintain performance.


How To Fit a Metal Curtain Track For a Bay Window in Easy StepsBack to top 

1. Having decided on either WALL FIX

Wall fix curtain track brackets

 

or TOP FIX       Top fix curtain track brackets

 

 

Use your pencil to mark the position of the bracket hole, then drill and insert the rawl plugs.Mark and drill bracket fixing holes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. If you have an uneven or sloping ceiling you may wish to mark the position of the end track brackets, insert a bradawl or temporarily loosely hammer in a long nail into these marked positions and hang a string between them, shown in the diagram below. This will allow you to step back and visually assess the level. You may then adjust the bradawl position at one end until you are satisfied that the level looks right.

Check track fixing brackets are level with a string line

3. Cutting to size: Release the screw under the end stop and remove it.

 

Curtain track end bracket

 

Cut to the required length with a fine tooth saw or hacksaw. Shorten curtain track with hacksaw

 

Replace the end stop and tighten the screw. With a two piece track cut an equal amount from both sections to ensure the join stays in the centre of the window.

 

4. Release the bracket retaining screw and fit the track into the bracket. It is best to offer the track up to the bracket at a 30 degree angle. Clip the top channel under the front rim of the bracket. Return the track back to a vertical position and clip securely into place.

Fit curtain track to the fixing bracket

Tighten the track retaining screw to secure in place.

Tighten track end retaining screw

 

5. Joining longer track lengths may be done using a joining bar.

Curtain track joiner

 

6. To bend your curtain track for angles follow these simple instructions. Firstly, lightly spray the inside of the track with a silicone or furniture polish. Slide both the bending inserts provided into the track channel. Make sure that the flat edges are positioned together and the bending inserts have the cords at opposite ends as shown in the diagram below.

Bending a curtain track for bay windows

Use the cords to pull the two bending inserts to the centre of the position where you want to bend the track.

How to bend curtain track

Firmly bend the track at the correct angle position by applying gentle pressure, slightly bending the track a number of times until your desired angle is achieved.

Gently bend the track for bay windows

When you have finished bending your track to the correct angles, slide out the bending inserts using the cords.

 

Remove the bending track insert

7. When you have fitted your track into position, you are now ready to hang your curtain by hooking the curtain hooks through the small eyelets on the bottom of the track sliders, remembering to fix the last hook on each curtain to the track end stop.

 

Caring For Your New Metal Curtain Track

  • Your metal curtain track is designed to give you years of maintenance free operation. If you remove your curtains for cleaning, the track may be wiped using a damp cloth, do not use any solvents or detergents as they may effect the finish.

Bending Track To Fit a Bay Window Using a TemplateBack to top 

 

How to make a template for a bay window To make simple templates to accurately bend your curtain track for a bay window, all you will need is some scrap cardboard, paper for more complicated angles, a tape measure, pencil, string, a nail and a straight edge for drawing lines.

 

How to measure for a 90 degree bend in a bay window For a 90 degree angle, place your scrap cardboard in the corner of the bay, it is usually easier to do this on the floor below the window sill if possible. Mark the cardboard at 20cm from the corner on each side.

 

Mark the angle for a bay window template Tie one end of the string to your pencil and make a loop in the string at 20cm, then push the nail through this loop. Push your nail through the cardboard where the two 20cm pencil lines cross and draw an arc across the corner.

 

Cutting a bay window template Before you cut the template, draw a diagonal line from the corner to the nail pivot point. This will give you the centre mark on the arc where you will start the bend.

 

Making a template for 90 degree bay windows Now cut the 90 degree template, which can be used for all 90 degree angles in your bay window.

 

Mark the bend points for the curtain track Cut the track to size, remember if you are using a long track with a join to shorten each amounts from the opposite ends of both tracks so that the join will be in the centre of the bay. You need to mark all the bend points on the track with a pencil before you start as this is much easier to do with a straight track.

 

Bay window curtain track bending bars If your track uses gliders running inside a slot, you will need to use the bending bars provided. This ensures that the slot is kept open along the angle during the bending process. For a rail type track which has runners that slide along the rail, bending bars are not necessary.

 

Insert track bending bars Insert the bending bars in the track, with the attached trailing cords at opposite ends of each bar. The cords allow you to pull the bars though the track as you make your bends and they will easily slide out when you have finished. Centre the bars on the first bend mark.

 

Bending a bay window track Place the track on your knee centred on the marked bend point. For an internal bend, the track should be runner slot uppermost, and an external bend (usually used to take the track out from the bay for the curtain staking area) will be track face up. Be absolutely certain you are going to bend the track in the right direction, as any mistakes will weaken or even ruin the track.

 

Bend the curtain track from the centre mark Begin to bend at the centre mark, use a series of bending steps and check against the template as you go.

 

Bend bay window track following template Continue bending, moving slightly away from your centre point on either side each time, until the bend fits your template.

 

Remove the bending bars When you are satisfied your first bend fits the template (don't worry if the straight parts of the track are not exactly lining up with the 90 degree edges of the cardboard, these will spring into place when you click your track to the mounting brackets), move the bending bars on to centre on the next bending mark.

 

Reverse bend bay window track You may use your 90 degree template for an exterior bend. This is where the track comes out of the window and returns back against the wall of the room and the angle can be sharper as the curtains will not need to run along it. Bending with the track facing uppermost, the force should be concentrated mainly on the marked bend point and the straight lengths of track should line up with the template, rather than the bent rail.

 

How to make a bay window template For a more complicated bay, you will need to make individual templates.

 

Mark the angle of the bay with paper Using a piece of clean scrap paper, for example left over wallpaper, mark the outline of the angle of the bay, firstly with a blunt object, and then with your pencil.

 

Cut the paper and mark the card Cut round your pencil mark on your paper, place on the scrap cardboard and trace, then cut the cardboard template.

 

Check the template fits the bay You now have the exact angle to create your bend. Mark on the cardboard the exact position of the angle and check that you have made a mark on the track from your initial measurements. The bending procedure is as before, for the internal angle, make sure you bend with the track channel uppermost. Check against your template frequently.

 

Insert the runners and brackets Now you have finished bending the track to fit your bay window, you can insert the runners, attach the stop ends, click the track in place. Hang your curtains by hooking the curtain hooks through the eyelets of the track runners and check for a smooth gliding action.

 

We hope you have found guides useful. If you would like more information do not hesitate to contact us. If you haven't purchased your track yet, PolesandBlinds have a great selection of top quality curtain track to choose from.

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