Alternatives to el cheapo tension curtain rods

sch9171January 29, 2011

We have windows in the corner of the eating area of our kitchen. They have cellular blinds, and when we bought the house they also had curtains starting about half way down the window. So the blinds just go down to the curtains, and the curtains cover the rest. We like it this way, because it looks nice(ish) and it's nice to have the light from having the blinds up while still having some privacy from the street with the curtains closed (the street is below the house, so you're looking up from out there and really can't see anything inside with the curtains closed).

The curtains are on tension rods, which is kind of annoying because on the larger window (roughly 70") the rods tend to sag in the middle. It's just too long of a span, it seems. I've looked at every hardware store around us (both national chains and local stores), and all I can find is very similar extremely cheaply made rods. We can't use mounts that go outside the window frame on the wall, because in the corner where the windows meet there's nowhere for it to go (there's about 1/4" of wood on each side).

Any ideas for a better solution? I thought using a dowel with a pole socket like you'd have in a closet might work, but I can't find pole sockets smaller than the ones for the closet, and those are way too large (a dowel that size would look ridiculous and also wouldn't fit through the curtain). I'm not sure how else I could mount a dowel there. Maybe someone knows of a place to buy tension rods that are made of better material?

We're getting ready to sell this house in a few months, so I probably don't want to go to extreme lengths, but I'd like it to look nice and be sturdier than what we have now.


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Well I'm not sure this would work without seeing a picture of the window for sure, but they make screws with a hook like end to hold up sagging rods.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 5:55PM
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Hmm, interesting. If I understand correctly how that works, I don't think it would do it for us. There's nowhere in the middle to screw it, because the rod spans the window and there's no wood anywhere between the ends of the rod.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Inside mount cafe rods

Here is a link that might be useful: Inside mount cafe rods

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 7:46PM
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I can help you. HD sell these long rods, I believe they are actually called electrical rods. They're real strong and don't require any support. My neigbor told me about these when I needed something similar for my sliding glass doors.
They aren't disgusting to look at either. They are galvanized steel rods. The best part, they're cheap. Only costs about 5.00 for 10 feet.
They are really long so you can cut them to whatever length you need. You could probably put finials on them too.
Mine are under a cornice board so I didn't care what the ends look like.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 9:58PM
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Thanks dollfanz, I'll check those out! Palimpset, those look perfect except the maximum length appears to be 60" and our front window is 70". I guess maybe I could get those and then use the connecting pieces with a different rod, but it seems a little bit extreme.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:53PM
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Country Curtains has two types of tension rods that can span 90". One they call "sturdy" which is a bit more expensive.

I know the OP doesn't want this, but I was surprised to see that they also have a double tension rod that can go up to 90", if someone wants to hand both sheers and curtains.

Here is a link that might be useful: sturdy tension rods

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 9:04AM
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I recently purchased something called "net curtain wire", which I believe is popular in England. It is intended for very lightweight curtains.

It's a very thin plastic-coated wire into the ends of which you can screw tiny hooks. You then insert the tiny hooks into eyes installed at each end of the run. I have mine spanning 92", and there is a tiny bit of sag, which I could theoretically eliminate if I increase the tension.

Might be worth looking into.

I bought mine on ebay. Seller cut it to length for me.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 11:43AM
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