How to install bay window curtain rods

By Matt Miller of ironhardware.com and irondraperyrods.com

Disclaimer:

Hardware should always be installed by a competent professional with a good understanding of interior wall types and mounting fasteners. Please do not attempt to install any hardware unless you know how to safely operate the necessary tools, and have a good understanding of what you are doing. The following instructions are basic guidelines for qualified installers, and should be read through completely before starting your job.

Basic tools include:

Safety glasses, ladder, laser level, measuring tape, pencil, battery powered screw gun or drill/driver with 4" to 6" screw holder extension tip (do not overlook the importance of this item, it is required installation equipment), hammer, 3/8 drill bit.

How to install / hang a bay window curtain rod:

 

  1. Assemble the bay window curtain rod on the floor below the window if possible so you can clearly see where the mounting brackets will need to go. Don't use the set screws now as you are going to be taking the rod apart again, but don't forget them at the end of your job. If you put the mounting brackets on the wall prior to assembling the rod, you will likely put the mounting brackets in the wrong place an have to move them. Never put mounting brackets on both sides of a corner or angle or you wont be able to slide your curtains into the corner. Also, the mounts will conflict with each other and look cluttered. It is important the the mounting bracket goes only on one side of each angle, usually the longer wall. This way, the rod follows the wall to the bracket, then turns and follows the other wall very naturally. Most bay windows will require two mounting brackets on the back wall and one bracket on each side wall at the end of the rod next to the finial.
  2. To avoid marking up the wall, tape some paper up on the wall where the curtain rod mounts will go, You can pull these protective paper sheets out just before you tighten down the mount screws.
  3. If you want to utilize the ends of the rod to stack the drapes, it is usually best to locate the mounts close to the ends of the drapery rod right before the finials.
  4. Hold one curtain rod mount up and make sure it is high enough so that the curtains will cover the top of the window. Higher than the top of the window by a few inches may look better, and block out more light. Using a pencil, mark the location of the bottom screw hole on the wall and set the curtain rod mount down. Pre-drill a hole into the wall just deep enough to make it easy to drive the screw straight into the wall.
  5. Holding the curtain rod mount in one hand at a slight angle so you can easily drive the screw in without interference from the arm of the mount, using your screw gun with extension screw holder tip, drive the bottom screw into the wall. Level the curtain rod mount as it begins to snug up against the wall, then drive in the top screw. If your screws do not tighten securely, you may not have hit a stud or adequate backing. When installing wrought iron curtain rods or any other hardware to your wall, you will need wall anchors (see below).
  6. Take the bay window curtain rod apart and place one end of the rod in the mount you just installed. Lay the (magnetic) level on top of the curtain rod while holding the curtain rod and the curtain rod mount together and raise them up so that the curtain rod is level. When the rod is level, repeat step 4 and 5. The idea is to hang all four (or more) mounts level and in the right places.
  7. Assemble the bay window curtain rod, slide the rings onto the curtain rod, install the finials onto the rod and be sure to secure every rod section and finial on with the self drilling set screws. Drop the curtain rod into the mounting brackets. Hook your curtains into the curtain ring eyelets. Stand back, pat yourself on the back, and admire the quality and beauty of your wrought iron bay window curtain rod made especially for you by Paso Robles Ironworks.

How to install an extra long curtain rod:

If you are installing an extra long curtain rod with a center connector and center mount, mark the center of the window, and install exactly as above, one side at a time. This means, temporarily install both finials on one of the curtain rod sections, and mount that first half as if it were a separate curtain rod. Then using the same half section with finials installed, proceed to step 3 and install the third mount. Now you are ready to put the entire curtain rod together and with a helper set the rod into place.

Note: Whenever you join a rod at a corner, angle, or any straight section, it is very important to insert screws into both sides of the connector so the rod can't slide apart and fall out. Some rods will be predrilled. Use the self drilling screws provided and screw them through the rod and into the connector with your drill or screw gun so the rod can not be pulled apart. We don't pre'drill the connector sleeves as lining the holes up upon installation would be very difficult. The self drilling screws will easily penetrate the connector sleeve using slow speed or your drill driver, and some pressure, this is done best on the floor over a dropcloth or cardboard.

How to join curtain rods together using internal connector:

Slide the connector halfway into one side of the curtain rod (you might need to tap it in with a wooden block). Drive a self drilling set screw through the pilot hole and into the connector to lock it in place. Repeat for the other half of the curtain rod to lock the rod together as one piece. We don't pre'drill the connector sleeves as lining the holes up upon installation would be very difficult. The self drilling screws will easily penetrate the connector sleeve using slow speed or your drill driver, and some pressure, this is done best on the floor over a dropcloth or cardboard.

 

How to install wrought iron finials:

Slide the finial into the end of the rod (you might need to tap it in with a wooden block). Drive self drilling set screw through the pilot hole and into the finial.

Tips: Plan ahead so any set screws you install can be turned to the backside of the rod where they will not show. Don't worry if the rod does not have pilot holes everywhere you need them, the self drilling screws will go through the rod and connector, or finial.

The following are basic directions provided with most winged anchors:

 

  1. Determine the thickness of your drywall (usually 1/2" or 5/8"). You can remove a switch plate to measure the edge of your drywall or use a bent wire in one of the holes you have created for the mounting brackets. We recommend Toggler brand or comparable "nylon winged anchors" because they will work with the decorative screws we provide, and will not fall into the wall like moly bolts if you should take out the screws to repaint the wall. They are available at most hardware stores.
  2. Drill the screw hole out to 3/8", fold the anchor wings in and tap the anchor into the hole with a hammer until it is flush with the wall surface. Insert the provided tool into the anchor and push until the wings "pop" out behind the back surface of the drywall.
  3. If no tool has been provided with the anchors, a 6d nail may do the trick, try it on an anchor before you put it in the wall. Reinstall your wrought iron mounting brackets. Do not over tighten the screws. If you over tighten the screws, you may be able to get slightly larger screws (#10 or 12) to work without replacing the anchors.

Return Rods without a center mounting bracket:

These are specific instructions for our "Return Rods" with no center bracket. Please read the basic installation instructions first, and skip to the correct section if your rods are longer and include a center bracket. We will use "right" and "left" to avoid confusion but you may install either side first.

  1. Attach the left mounting bracket to the wall using two # 8 x 2" screws, (refer to the anchor section of these instructions if anchors are necessary in your walls.)
  2. Slide the right mounting bracket into the right end of the rod and secure with a # 6 x 1/2" self drilling set screw.
  3. Slide the left end of the rod onto the mounting bracket that is already mounted on the wall, level the rod and mark its position on the wall at the right end.
  4. Hold the rod in position and attach the right mounting bracket to the wall using two # 8 x 2" screws.
  5. Secure the rod onto the left mounting bracket with a # 6 x 1/2" self drilling set screw.

Return rods with a center mount:

We will use "right" and "left" to avoid confusion but you may install either side first.

  1. If the center connector sleeve is not already installed in one section of your return rod, install that first. Slide it halfway into the straight end of the rod and secure it with a # 6 x 1/2" self drilling set screw.
  2. Attach the left mounting bracket to the wall using two # 8 x 2" screws, (refer to the anchor section of these instructions if anchors are necessary in your walls.)
  3. Slide one half of the rod onto the left mounting bracket, hold the center mount and the rod together as they will be when they are installed on the wall. Level the rod and mark the position of the center mount on the wall. Then attach the center mount to the wall using two # 8 x 2" screws). Now is a good time to put the rings on the rod, 1/2 of them will go to the right of the center mount after you have the right side installed.
  4. Secure the rod onto the left end mount using a # 6 x 1/2" self drilling set screw. Now you should have one half of the rod securely mounted to the wall.
  5. Slide the right mounting bracket onto the rod and secure it with a # 6 x 1/2" self drilling set screw. Attach the right half of the rod to the left half of the rod at the center, and secure the rod to the center connector sleeve with a # 6 x 1/2" self drilling set screw.
  6. Slide 1/2 of the rings to the right of the center mount. Set the rod back down into the center mount and level the right end of the rod, mark the position of the right mounting bracket on the wall. Attach the right mounting bracket to the wall using two # 8 x 2" screws.

Matt Miller
ironhardware.com 
Paso Robles Ironworks Inc.
800-549-9754