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How Long Should Curtain Rod Be? (Quick Answers)

If you are putting some new curtains on top of your windows to control the sunlight and breezes, you must consider putting a curtain rod on top first.

Also, curtain rod comes in different sizes and you must choose what would give you the threshold length at the most affordable cost.

Measuring curtain rod length is no rocket science, but a miscalculation can be very heavy economically. To identify the right measurement, you need to follow some criteria.

Let’s explore how you can find the length of the curtain rod, and what other knowledge you must acquire before putting one on top of a window.

Curtain rod length

A curtain rod should be long enough to cover the window along with 5” – 10” on both sides for staking the curtain. The support bar is responsible for carrying the curtain; thus, the weight of the curtain needs to consider. For a 36-inch window, the curtain rod should be 46 to 56 inches in length.

Curtains are an essential part of modern households. Not only do they protect us from the severe sunshine and cold breeze, but also allow us to decorate our walls with beautiful colors, and textures.

The functionality and practicality of a curtain are more than an object, it signifies personal taste and protects our privacy.

Traditionally curtains are hung from a rod, namely a curtain rod. This rod must have a thickness that would protect the curtain from falling off and would allow free movement.

As the curtain rod is a significant element of the process of covering your windows, knowing the right length is crucial.

36 inch window:

A 36-inch window is calculated by its horizontal side. To cover a window of that size you need a curtain bigger than the initial size because you must have something that would cover all sides very efficiently.

People tend to keep at least 10 inches on both sides of the window covered. Along with the coverage, the additional space would allow you to keep the curtain

on one side when you want to open the curtain to allow more sunshine and air to fill in your house.

So, your curtain rod must have that additional length so the curtains can get the space to be placed.

So, you get it, 10-inches on both sides and 36 inches in middle. So, the required length of the curtain rod is 56 inches.

But don’t be afraid if you don’t have so much space in your room. You can trim a few inches from both sides if you need, but that shouldn’t be less than 36 inches.

72 inch window:

A 72-inch window is calculated by its horizontal side. To cover a window that size, you need a curtain that covers all sides well. Both sides of windows are usually covered by 10 inches.

The extra room would allow you to partially open the curtain to let in more natural

light and fresh air. Having a longer curtain rod will allow you to hang your curtains in the desired location.

So, 10 inches on each side and 72 inches in the middle, as a result, the required curtain rod length is 92 inches.

However, there’s also the calculation of load. If you put a 90-inch rod horizontally, the middle section will be vulnerable. So, you must put an additional bracket in the middle.

How far should a curtain rod extend past window?

Although you have put curtains to cover the window properly, that doesn’t mean you need to keep it covered always. If you want to open the curtains, you would likely stake them in both corners for getting the maximum opening possible.

Due to this reason, people have some additional rod length extending past the window that allows them to stake the curtains in the corner allowing the whole window to be free.

It depends on the curtain, how heavy and thick these are, so that, these would fit in that space. Ideally, 10-inch space on both sides would be enough to keep the curtains staked. However, if you are low in the room, you can trim the space into 5 inches on both sides.

Such spaces are not required for inside mount curtain rods. However, a longer space would cost higher.

How to measure for curtain rods?

The following steps will allow you to figure out the right measurements for a curtain rod:

The weight to carry:

As the curtain rod is supposed to carry the entire weight of the curtain, you need to consider that. There are many types of curtains, weighing a lot more than normal fabrics.

If you are using a heavy curtain like a blackout curtain or drapes, you better be weighing those beforehand deciding the curtain rod.

For heavier curtains, longer curtain rods may feel more tension than their capacity. You neither need to change the curtain because of its load, nor you can install smaller rods because they must cover the window properly.

You need to get steep rods for those cases. Stronger material will be able to carry such curtains. Also, installing a third bracket in the middle can be a great solution in this case.

Determine the diameter of the rod:

Now you need to figure out the diameter of the curtain rod. It is important for two reasons.

One is to find the ideal brackets for the curtain rod. Another is to match the curtain heading for smooth movement there.

Also, rods with less diameter are prone to bend midways. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy a very wide-diameter rod.

Calculate the Length of the rod:

Finally, it is time for the length of the curtain rod. At first, measure the width of the windows in three places – top, middle, and bottom. The length measurement is to be considered as the window width.

Now you need to leave a 10-inch space on both sides for staking the curtains when needed. If you are low in space, you may keep only 5 inches on both sides.

Calculate the window size and space you left on both sides together to get the desired curtain rod size you required.

A pro tip is, that you must put the third bracket in the middle of your curtain rod length is more than 60 inches and one for another 30 inches.

How long can curtain rods go without support?

Traditionally curtain rods are used to support two brackets at both ends. But it has come a long way since, and now newer designs and requirements have changed the way of putting curtains on top of a window.

Curtains have become heavier and windows have become wider. Although there you need two brackets at either end of the curtain rod, it can require additional support in cases of long curtain rods.

As curtains have become heavier, you would the middle section of a curtain rod can be bent in the middle due to the curtain weight.

So, if your window requires a curtain rod that is no longer than 60 inches, you do not require any support in the middle. But a longer curtain rod will need support.

However, for a windowsill, long curtains curtain rods can go 75” without support.

Do you need 3 brackets for curtain rods?

Ideally, only two brackets are enough for most of the curtains. In special cases where curtains are heavier or the windows are very wide, you may consider putting additional support for the curtain rod.

Curtain rods are supposed to carry the load of the curtains and allow them to move freely. But in cases of overload, they can get bent it n the middle. In this way, your curtain rod will get wrong and it would look very distasteful.

So, if you are putting a heavier curtain such as a blackout curtain or a drape and your curtain rod is longer than 60”, you may consider installing a bracket in the middle.

Besides saving the look and the cost of repurchasing, this bracket would save the curtain from falling off and saving your family from any potential damage to health and wealth.

Final Thoughts

The curtain rod should be long enough to carry curtains that cover the window properly. Additionally, it must be 10 to 20 inches longer than the window so that curtains can be stacked on either side. For heavier curtains and curtain rods longer than 60 inches, a bracket should be put in the middle.