Tuesday, 21 August 2012

How to Install a Curtain Rod

It dawned on me recently that perhaps my lack of curtains in my apartment was contributing to my lack of quality sleep. It just doesn't get that dark. I went to a local department store to try to fix this issue. Curtains are actually surprisingly expensive. So, I took the cheap way out and decided just to wall off the bed area with a curtain (my apartment is pseudo-open concept, with just a big opening in the wall delineating the "bedroom" from the living room area).

When I got home, I realized that I didn't really know how to install a curtain rod. So, I looked it up on YouTube:

It seemed simple enough. I had all the right tools.
Regrettably, my attempt at curtain rod installation was not as smooth and effortless as what is shown on the video.

First, I was trying to install a curtain rod on a solid wood window frame. I didn't think this made any difference; it is actually a huge deal. When I tried to hammer in my "wall supports" like on the video, they just sort of went kersplat and broke.

First text message to my brother (B):
M: Do I need wall supports if I am installing a curtain rod into solid wood?
B: Nope, screw into the wood n ur good. :)

So, I tried screwing into the wood. Didn't work especially well. So, frustrated, I took a hammer to the stupid thing.

Next text message:
M: Ummmm... can I just hammer the screw, or would that be bad?
B: Lol. It wouldn't go in properly and grab the wood.

Yeah, that's what I thought. Ok, so back to the screwdriver. By this point, I've destroyed the top of the screw (even I knew that was not a good thing). Clearly, this was a job that needed a drill.

Email a friend (F):
M: Random question: I don't suppose you own a drill?
F: Yes, it's all yours. I'll bring it to you this morning.

This particular friend is as awesome as they come. This is not the first time she has rescued me from a pickle. Back in business.

The screw still didn't screw in easily.

Phone call to 1-800-HIDADDY:
D: Sounds like you're using drywall screws. You need wood screws.
M: I didn't know they were two separate things. The curtain rod came with the drywall screws.
D: What drill bit are you using?
M: Uh, the one with the X on it.
D: You should be using a square-head. Bring your square-head drill bit with you to the hardware store and pick up some wood screws.

Off to the hardware store. I probably had a bit of a deer-in-headlights look when standing in front of the display of screws because it wasn't long before someone (S) offered to help me:

M: I need something like this (holding out the drywall screw) in its "wood screw" version with a square-head.
S: What are you using it for?
M: Installing a curtain rod. The rod is kinda heavy; it sits on three big hooks. The hooks are screwed into a solid wood frame.
S: How thick?
M: Like this (I showed a small space between my index and thumb.)
S: This is what you need. (He picked out a box in nanoseconds out of the like 300 that were on display.)

$2.52 later, and I'm back home.
Not surprisingly, with the right tools and the right screws, the job actually was easy peasy. 15 minutes, tops.


And this is how I discovered that the advertised width of the curtain panels is actually 4" wider than the actual width. An extra 8" across would have been nice. I need to decide whether it's worth returning the curtains, or just springing for a second set of panels. Any thoughts?


  1. I love that you looked it up on youtube. My mom still finds it halarious that anytime 'our generation' has to do anything.....we look to youtube for instruction. That is, until she was making sandwiches with her friends for an event and wanted to make a certain type (some kind of pinwheel or something) and she looked it up. I think her friends were pretty impressed!

    I have looked up everything from 'how to x-country ski' to 'how to butcher a rabbit' (that one kind gross I guess, but we had rabbit in our freezer and I wanted to know what to do with it) to 'how to apply eye make-up'


  2. Stace, that is the most comprehensive use of YouTube I have ever heard! You deserve an award! :-)