How to Install Drapery Rods in 5 Easy Steps

What You'll Need
Drapery rod
Drapery rod brackets
Power drill
Tape measure
Stud finder
Toggle bolts or molly bolts (optional)
Nail block (optional)

Drapery rods are a fairly easy install for the do-it-yourself home improver. Even when doing your own installation, there are several options to make the most of your new drapes. Below are 5 easy steps to install your new drapery rods.

Step 1 – Where Do You Want Your Rod?

You have some wiggle room as to where to install your brackets. You can install them directly onto your window’s wood casing, though most people prefer to install the brackets above the casing. If above the casing, use a stud finder to determine where you want your brackets to be. Screw the brackets into the studs.

If not screwing into studs, there are two other options. You can install a “nail block,” which is essentially a long block of wood to attach your brackets to that will disperse the weight of the drapery rod across a wider section of the wall. Otherwise you can use toggle bolts or molly bolts, which are mounting clips that allow you to hang moderately heavy loads on drywall with no supporting stud.

Step 2 – Determine Bracket Location

Hold the drapery rod up to see roughly where you want it in relation to the window (this works best with a second person to hold it). Measure out an equal distance from the ceiling for each bracket, and measure to make sure they are symmetrical horizontally. Mark the location with a pencil.

As a preliminary check, you can line your level up between the marks to see if the line is perfectly horizontal.

Step 3 – Drill Your Holes

Start with pilot holes, especially if there is no stud for your brackets. Pilot holes are very small holes that make it easier for a larger screw or larger drill bit to drill through the wall without causing unsightly damage.

If drilling into a stud, you can drill the pilot holes with a drill bit sized for the screws you’ll be using. If not using a stud, drill a hole large enough for the “wings” of your molly bolts to slip through. If you don’t think a molly bolt will be enough to handle the full weight of your drapery rod and drapes, you can use a toggle bolt, but the wings on these will fall off behind the drywall if you ever need to remove the screw.

Step 4 – Placing the Brackets

Drill or screw your brackets into either the hole in stud, or the molly bolt. Note that until you tighten the screw with the bracket on it, the wings of the molly bolt will not spread out to anchor it on the inner side of the drywall.

Step 5 – Place Your Drapery Rod

Place your drapery rod into the brackets, and set your level on top to double check your work. If for some reason it's not level, decide which bracket you need to raise or lower and repeat this process for that bracket.

Once it's level, you're ready to hang your new drapes.