Curtain rods come in various sizes and materials for many situations.
For example, shopping for window treatments can be easier when you know what you need to get the perfect look in your home.
Curtain Rod Sizes In a Nutshell
Curtain rods come in four standard sizes to accommodate various windows included in homes. These sizes include:
- 28 to 48 inches
- 48 to 84 inches
- 66 to 120 inches
- 120 to 170 inches
Standard Curtain Rod Sizes
Although curtain rods are readily available in four standard sizes, many are adjustable to suit various windows. These flexible features can also provide versatility in decorating your home or changing the style of a room.
Each curtain rod size provides an exceptional tool in helping to make your window treatments attractive and functional.
28 to 48 Inches
A curtain rod size of 28 to 48 inches will suit any window up to 36 inches in width. These are the small windows in a home, such as in a bathroom or the window on a door.
Although you can find them in various thicknesses, they will typically be thinner rods of one or one and a half-inch in diameter.
48 to 84 Inches
A rod that is 48 to 84 inches in length will adequately fit a window up to 72 inches wide. This size is the most common window you will find in many homes.
In addition, home builders often install windows in pairs, so a curtain rod of this length will be long enough to suit many double windows.
66 to 120 Inches
Using a curtain rod that is 66 to 120 inches long is typically for patio windows, french doors, or a bank of windows together up to 108 inches in total.
These extra-long rods won’t come in small diameter sizes as they need to be sturdy and durable enough to hold weight. You will find them ranging in diameter from two to three inches.
120 to 170 Inches
For a large picture window or to create a fabric wall in a room of up to 158 inches, curtain rod sizes of 120 to 170 inches are necessary.
These extended lengths will require additional support brackets and will sport thicker diameter rods than shorter lengths.
Longer Than 170 Inches
Although it is possible to find curtain rods longer than 170 inches, they aren’t readily available. However, if you require curtain rod sizes longer than 170 inches, it is possible to DIY and use multiple rods together for your desired length.
Remember always to use enough supporting brackets to avoid any sagging or bowing in the rod from the excess material.
Other Elements of Curtain Rod Sizes
Besides the length and width of a curtain rod, there are also other elements, including:
- Single or double rods
- Tension or smart rods
- Wrapped or traverse rods
Single or Double Rods
Single rods are one of the most popular choices for many homes. It is one rod that sits above the window frame to hold a single set of curtains.
This style typically has a decorative capped end and comes in lengths between 28 and 170 inches.
Double rods can provide the versatility of using two sets of curtains in a room. This style will typically hold a set of black-out curtains and corresponding sheer ones to suit any lighting needs in a room.
In addition, these rods will normally be wider to support thicker materials.
Tension or Smart Rods
Tension rods use a spring tensioner to help keep the rod in place. This style will sit inside your window frame so that the size will be smaller than traditional curtain rods.
Tension rods are ideal when you don’t want to install a long curtain rod above the window or are short on space.
Smart rods work in much the same way as tension rods, but the decorative capped ends extend outwards to give the illusion of length.
These rods also sit within the window frame to avoid drilling holes in a wall above a window to hang curtains.
You want to purchase a tension or smart rod that is slightly larger than the inside of your window frame. They are available in various sizes but are typically between 22 to 90 inches in length.
Wrapped or Traverse Rods
Wrapped rods curve around the edges of a window to help minimize the amount of light that enters a room.
With this style, the curtains can sit flush with the wall and block out the sun, unlike other curtain rods that run parallel to the window.
Traverse rods are ideal for large windows, glass patio doors, and others that require significant curtain coverage. These rods include carriers or clips joining the curtain material, helping to open and close them.
Things to Consider
When determining the curtain rod size you need for your window, consider some of these things for the best fit.
- Curtain material and stack on the sides when open
- Ample space above and beyond the window for longer or shorter curtains
- Weight of the curtain material
- Width of the rod
- Sufficient supporting brackets
- Room for decorative finials on the ends
Curtain Material Stacking
It is ideal to have curtain rods extend four inches or more beyond the window frame. This space allows the curtains to stack on the sides when open and still provide light through the window.
Shorter curtain rods will block the natural light with a stack that partially sits on the side of the window.
Although it is completely fine to have some stacking on the window’s edge, you should not cover more than 3 inches of the window frame.
Weight of Material For Rod Width
The curtain material can also be a determining factor to what size of rod you need to hang. Thicker fabrics will require wider rods to help support the weight.
Consequently, some sheer fabrics don’t have larger rod pocket access and require a smaller diameter curtain rod.
Traditionally, curtain rod sizes will range in diameter from one to three inches in width, depending on the material you use and the length of the rod.
For example, longer curtain rods will be thicker in diameter to support more window treatments, while small windows are fine with a thinner rod.
One critical consideration for lengthy curtain rods is the supporting brackets. You want to ensure that you have enough brackets along the rod’s length to support the combined weight of the rod and the curtain material.
The longer your curtain rod, the more supporting brackets it requires for proper installation. A few rules of thumb include:
- Small curtain rods of up to 30 inches don’t require a supporting bracket
- Curtain rods up to 60 inches will need at least one supporting bracket
- Extra-long rods up to 90 inches long will require at least two supporting brackets
- Curtain rods up to 170 inches will need four or more supporting brackets
Additional End Space for Decorative Finials
Space surrounding your window frames may be an issue. Some homeowners, they opt for decorative finials on the ends of the curtain rods. These can range in size.
They also extend the length of the rod. If you are short on space, blunt caps can close off a curtain rod and not interfere with adjacent walls or other features in the room.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know What Curtain Rod Size to Use?
If you have adequate space on both sides of your window, it is best to use a rod that extends anywhere from four to five inches beyond your window frame.
This length will allow enough stacking of the curtain material and give the illusion of oversized windows in the room.
How High Should You Hang a Curtain Rod?
To properly install a curtain rod, it should be anywhere between four to six inches above the window frame.
Although the higher the curtain rod is, the taller your windows will look in the room. Try to hang the rod closer to the ceiling rather than the top of the window frame.
Do Curtains Have To Touch the Floor?
When you have long drapes, it can be confusing to know if they should touch the floor or hang freely. Ideally, long curtains should hang just half an inch above the floor.
This small distance allows for sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping without bothering the curtains while still giving an illusion of floor-length drapes.
So, What Are the Average Curtain Rod Sizes?
Finding the right curtain rod size isn’t as difficult as you may first think. If you measure your window frame and add an extra four to six inches on each side to the total length, you will find the ideal size.
Keep in mind that you can also use longer curtain rods or hang them higher than usual to give the illusion of oversized windows. As long as you have the additional space, this decorative trick will provide the style you seek.
Alternatively, tension rods are terrific options for small windows where you are short on space but still require window treatments.