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The Right Wall Anchors
For Installing Curtain Rods

When it comes to installing any curtain rods. The biggest issue is what kind of wall anchors will you need to use to fix the curtain rod brackets securely to the wall over your window.

That is if your newly hung curtains are not to end up draped all over the floor in quick time, or even in the long haul for that matter.

So what can you do to make sure the window curtain hardware stays securely fixed to your wall ?

The fist question you need to work out even before what wall fastenings you may need. Is how is the wall over your window constructed. This will then make the choice of which anchor for you.

What is your wall made of ?

There are 2 main kinds of walls you will installing your window treatment hardware on to. The first is solid walls mostly brick or block built. The second is hollow wall construction.

1. Solid walls are usually made of brick or cement blocks. Then finished of with either plaster or drywall sheets and then given a finishing skim.

2. Hollow wall construction is as the name suggests hollow. The building will have either a brick or timber exterior. Then a wooden inner frame. Then on top of this for the interior walls is a layer of dry wall sheets. These are then given a plaster skim to finish.

All images of wall anchors and screws below are curtesy of, click any image for more details

The right anchors for solid walls

Usually plastic anchors like these here will be sufficient if used with the right size screw. Personally I use the regular red ones with a no.8, 1 3/4 inch cross head steel screw.

I usually throw the screws away that come with the curtain hardware. They are mostly completely useless. The heads strip out when you try to drive them in because they are made from soft steel. They are also almost always too short to grip well.

To drill the right size holes for the red plastic anchors I use. I use a 1/4 inch masonry drill bit. This creates the right size hole for the red plastic anchor and also for the no.8 screw to drive in easily but firmly.

so it's all about the 3 items all being the right size to get a good secure fixing. The size of the hole (drill bit), the size of the fixing anchor and the size of the screw.

Problems fixing to solid brick or block walls

Depending on how old the building is or simply the quality of the bricks. You might on occasion find a regular red wall anchor is just not giving you a solid fixing. What I do when this happens to me is one of 2 things.

The first thing I try is to dill a deeper hole. Rather than drilling a 2 inch deep hole, I will drill a 3 1/2 inch deep hole. Then I insert a red plastic anchor and then place the tip of a 3 inch long screw in to the opening of the anchor.

Then with a hammer I tap the head of the screw forcing the wall anchor deep in to the hole. I then push another red plastic anchor in to the same hole. So I now have one anchor sat on top of another. Then I drive in the 3 inch long screw until it is holding the curtain bracket (hopefully) tight. This works in 80% of cases.

The second thing I try is to use a plastic hollow wall anchor. I tap it in to the hole with a hammer, then use a regular 1 1/2 inch screw to secure the curtain rod bracket.

The right kind of anchors for hollow walls

Sods law says that the timber frame behind the dry wall sheets is never where you need them to be :-(

So you will often be fixing to just the dry lining wall. So you will need to use special hollow wall anchors to get good enough fixings. I tend to use a mixture of hollow wall anchors to doing my job. Depending on how heavy the curtain rod and curtains are.

For light weight curtain rods with light weight curtains I use these kind of plastic anchors. They are fairly cheap and easy to use. I use an 8mm drill bit to create the hole for this kind of anchor. You will need a hammer to tap it in to the hole.

I again as before I use a no.8, 1 1/2 inch cross head steel screw. Cross head screws are better for use with power drivers than slot headed screws.

For medium weight curtain rods with medium weight curtains I often use these metal screw in hollow wall anchors. They are a good way of getting a solid fixing for all but the heaviest of window treatments. They come with matching right size screws so no others are needed.

You drive these metal anchors in to the dry wall just like a screw. Then secure the curtain rod bracket to the wall using the supplied screws.

For heavy weight curtain rods with heavy weight curtains I favor using toggle bolts like these ones here. You can get them long enough to pass thru the the bracket and dry wall and allow room for the little arms to pop open. They are also slim enough to fit thru holes in the curtain brackets.

Problems fixing to hollow walls

You will find that the weight a curtain rod bracket fixed to dry lined wall will carry is often a lot less than a traditional solid brick wall. If you load too much weight on to the brackets. No matter which anchor you use, it will still become loose.

I would recommend you avoid fitting a double curtain rod on to a hollow dry lined wall. Because the brackets extend further out from the wall than regular brackets. It will put too much strain on the wall anchors.

› Wall Anchors

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