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The Curtain Rod, Track and Rails Handbook

by Martha's Furnishing Fabrics

02 May 2022

Choosing new custom curtains can be a very exciting but daunting process. However, you may be surprised with the level of customization you can achieve; it makes for an outstanding final result fitted exactly to your style but the choices along the way come thick and fast. You’re in the right corner of the internet if you’re looking for help!

 

Once you’ve chosen your curtain fabric you’re going to need some way to hang them on your wall! In this blog we’re going to walk you through the different options for curtain tracks, rods and accessories to help you make the best decision for your décor and also the functionality of your home.

 

Haven’t chosen your fabric yet? Browse over 1,400+ fabrics on our website now to get started on your decision. If you need some more information about choosing a curtain lining to pair with your fabric, read our Guide to Curtain Linings here.

Please note: if you are ordering both custom curtains and tracks/rods from us, they may not be ready for pick up at the same time due to varying lead times. 

 

The General Stuff

When you’re deciding which curtain track to get or browsing the differences in curtain rods, there’s a few things to knuckle down first!

 

Do you want a curtain rod or a track? 

The difference between a curtain rod and a curtain track can be simple. Rods are meant to be features on your wall that the curtains hang below* whereas the tracks are meant to be more inconspicuous and are usually covered by the curtains themselves, although they can also hang below.

*(If you decide against your curtains hanging below your rod then the warranty will be void at your own risk. Give us a call to chat more about this if you’re pondering it.)

 

When deciding where to place your rod or track, we do not recommend that tracks be installed on an architrave** or doorframe. Where possible, a flat wall or ceiling surface is ideal.  

 **(decorative moulding around your door or window)

 

Which style and thickness? 

When choosing which style your tracks/rods and accessories will contribute to, consider your décor. Is my house modern or contemporary? Do I need a bold feature or do I want something that will blend in so the rest of my décor can shine? Etc. 

 

Also, consider how heavy or light the fabric will be as this will need to factor into the thickness and durability of your fixture for functionality. If you are choosing a wool or velvet curtain, you might decide to go for a chunkier rod to support the weight and to visually match the heavy look of the curtains. If you were choosing a gauze or a lightweight linen, you might decide to get a thinner rod.  

 

Your chosen heading must also be considered. The top piece of fabric that attaches to the curtain rod or track is called a heading. Often, you’ll see sewn pleats or other decorative techniques used here to aid draping and style. Certain headings look better with certain styles of rod or track. For example, sewn pleats are best paired either with the rods or with the tracks when sitting below them because of the way the pleats stack when the curtain is open. We’re happy to chat to you about this if you’re needing advice, just contact us!

 

Single or Double Track?

There is also a creative choice of deciding whether to install a single or double track.

A single track is the more traditional option where your curtain and lining fabric is one piece and all sits on the same track/rod.

Double track is slightly less common but slowly gaining popularity. When choosing a double track, we often see people installing their curtain fabric on one track/rod and separately hanging their lining fabric on the rear track/rod. This is usually the case when the curtain fabric is sheer or a gauze so they can be pulled separately for aesthetics, sunshade or privacy and then the lining can also be pulled for insulation and sun-blocking purposes. A double track doesn’t necessary mean two holes in your wall and there is often brackets available that will hold two tracks at once. Refer to each rod description below to see if this is an option.

 

Which bracket style? 

Your curtain bracket is the hardware that physically screws your curtain rod or tracks to the wall. Choosing your brackets is really about the practical application of curtains in your space. Once you have decided where your curtain will go, the brackets make it happen.

 

For example, if your doorframe or architrave is larger and protrudes from the wall, your brackets will also need to allow the curtain rod to protrude a little bit. Another example is that curtain rods or tracks fixed to the wall, fixed to the ceiling or end fixed on the adjacent walls will need different brackets to achieve and must be chosen appropriately.

 

Consider where your curtain will be placed and what heading you have, as well as how much fabric you will have to stack back when curtains are closed.  Having either glides or rings will also determine which style brackets you get, as well as whether you are getting just a single or a double track. 

 

Rings or Glides? (where applicable) 

Similar to the differences between tracks and rods, rings are more of a statement that thread onto your curtain rod to attach the fabric whereas glides are more internal and hidden. Some curtain rods may only be available with glides, so it may be worth choosing your rod first. 

 

Most curtain rods have an in-built grove suitable for glides, but if you choose to use rings instead this groove will face up. This means it can gather dust over time and the curtain can become difficult to draw when it builds up. A simple silicone spray in the groove every now and then can get rid of this problem, but this is something to be aware of for people who don’t have the ability to get up on a ladder or easily lubricate it themselves.

 

Which finial? 

On a curtain, the finial is the decorative knob on each end of the curtain rods (only rods, not tracks) that can also serve as end-stops. Finials heavily contribute to the overall aesthetic of your curtain rod and can come in many styles and colours. Finials can be kept minimalistic or go grandly majestic! You can choose a different finial for each end, if you so desire (we told you the customization was vast!).

 

Considering practicality, be mindful of the space you have on either end of the rod when choosing your finials. A longer design may not be appropriate for a narrow space. If the rod will be butted close up to a wall, you may want to re-measure to ensure the finial will fit.

 

Which colour? 

Choose a rod or track colour to complement both your curtain fabric and existing interior décor!

 

Rods are available in 10 colours (samples in-store), including ­­­black, ivory, steel grey, and more.

 

The tracks are available in 3 colours – white and silver, and black (35% surcharge for black). 

 

 

The Specific Stuff

So now that you’ve got your mind ticking over the possibilities for all things style and function, we’ve also got some very specific information for you. Ordering your curtain rod or track through Martha’s is easy and comes with expert advice. Here are some of the options we offer when you’re choosing your specific hardware.

  

16mm Versatrak Rod 

A 16mm Versatrak is a slimline and minimalistic curtain rod that is inconspicuous while still adding interest to your wall and available in 10 stunning colours.

 

This rod is suitable for light to medium weight curtains and you have the option of either rings or gliders. This rod is available as a single track or combine with the 25mm Versatrak Rod to create a double track. Decorate the 16mm Versatrak Rod with your choice of six different finial options and this rod can be mitred, bent or curved if necessary.

 

This rod can be face-fixed, end-fixed or top-fixed but please chat to our team as some exclusions apply. When face-fixing to the wall, brackets available allow the rod to project at set measurements of 50mm or 100 mm from the wall. Wanting to conceal your baseplates? This is available for double tracks only in the 16mm.

 

 

25mm Versatrak Rod

A 25mm Versatrak is also a sleek and contemporary curtain rod but is thicker and slightly more robust than the 16mm and is also available in 10 stunning colours. The slightly thicker but simple rod perfectly pairs a feature rod with the clean look.

 

This rod is suitable for light to medium-heavy weight curtains (slightly heavier curtains than the 16mm) and you have the option of either rings or gliders.

This rod is available as a single track or combine with the 25mm Versatrak Rod to create a double track.

Decorate the 25mm Versatrak Rod with your choice of 26 different finial options and this rod can be mitred, bent or curved if necessary.

This rod can be face-fixed, end-fixed, top-fixed or suspended but please chat to our team as some exclusions apply. When face-fixing to the wall, brackets available allow the rod to project at set measurements of 50mm or 100 mm from the wall. Also, unlike the 16mm, this rod has the option for a custom bracket projection but this needs to be quoted individually. Wanting to conceal your baseplates? This is available for all face-fixed brackets.

 

 

35mm Versatrak Rod

A 35mm Versatrak is a bold look that commands attention and communicates its’ intentionality. To completely customize the bold feature rod, you can choose form 10 stunning colours. 

 

This rod is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains but is only available with glides.

This rod is available as a single track or combine with the 25mm Versatrak, 16mm Versatrak, or Verve Rod to create a double track.

Decorate the 35mm Versatrak Rod with your choice of 15 different finial options and this rod can be mitred if necessary but not bent or curved. Finials can also be adapted from the Reeded Rod range if you see something you really love as well as most finials being available with contrasting band or silver disc.

This rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed but please chat to our team as some exclusions apply. Top-fixed curtains will sit right up against the ceiling. When face-fixing to the wall, brackets available allow the rod to project at set measurements of 50mm or 100mm from the wall. Also, this rod has the option for a custom bracket projection but this needs to be quoted individually. Wanting to conceal your baseplates? This is available for all face-fixed brackets.

 

 

Vantage Eyelet Rod

Vantage Eyelet Rods are sleek and simple, specifically designed for eyelet headed curtain (metal-edged holes in the top of your curtain that are threaded directly onto the rod). Although design for a specific purpose, there is no shortage of custom options with 10 colour choices and 26 finial choices (all 25mm finials can be used for the Vantage Rods).

 

This rod is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains and is only available with eyelets or full ring circles only.  A centre support bar runs thought the inside of the rod to add strength and this rod also features a PVC strip on top which ensures smooth movement of the curtains, prevents the eyelets rom starching the rod, reduces the noise of the metal eyelets moving and just overall prolongs the life of the rod.

 

This rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed but please chat to our team as some exclusions apply. When face-fixing to the wall, brackets available allow the rod to project at set measurements of 50mm or 100mm from the wall. Also, this rod has the option for a custom bracket projection but this needs to be quoted individually. Wanting to conceal your baseplates? This is available for all face-fixed brackets.

 

 

40mm Reeded Rod

The 40mm Reeded Rod is designed to convey traditional elegance in your space. The subtle ribbing of the rod itself is a stunning statement that you can pair with your choice of finial; will it be a bold finial to add to the grandeur or a sleek shape to let the rods’ design speak for itself?

This rod is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains but is only available with glides and is available in 10 colours.

This rod is available as a single track or double track.

Decorate the 40mm Reeded Rod with your choice of 11 different finial options varying from stylish simplicity to stunning statement. This rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed but please chat to our team as some exclusions apply. Top- fixed curtains will sit will right up against the ceiling. When face-fixing to the wall, brackets available allow the rod to project at set measurements of 50mm or 100mm from the wall. Also, this rod has the option for a custom bracket projection but this needs to be quoted individually. Wanting to conceal your baseplates? This is available for all face-fixed brackets.

 

 

32mm Square Rod

The 32mm Square Rod is as its name suggests; square! This rod a modern and slightly industrial look on your wall with clean, straight lines that satisfy any eye. Make a square statement or keep it subtle with your choice of 10 colours.

 

This rod is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains but is only available with glides. This rod is available as a single track or double track.

Dress up the 32mm Square Rod either of the 2 finial options, available in the same colour as the rod or in high polish chrome/brushed aluminium. 

This rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed but please chat to our team as some exclusions apply. Top- fixed curtains will sit will right up against the ceiling. When face-fixing to the wall, brackets available allow the rod to project at set measurements of 50mm or 100mm from the wall. Also, this rod has the option for a custom bracket projection but this needs to be quoted individually. Concealed baseplates available for all face-fixed brackets. This rod can also be mitre-returned, meaning the end of the rod can have a right angle added so the rod itself snakes sideways to connect with the wall instead of ending parallel to the wall when left straight. With a square rod, this gives a particularly tidy look.

 

 

Davani Cable System

If you need a tough and durable way to hang your curtains, the Davani Cable System is here to meet your needs. The cable and end fixtures have a very unique and futuristic look that would suit a commercial property or a super modern décor.

 

The beauty of this system is that the cable can span 2.5m-3m before extra supports are required (depending on the weight of your fabric). If you’re interested in the Davani Cable System, you need to ensure you have a a strong and secure surface to fix it to that can support he tension the cable requires. This system can be face-fixed, end-fixed, or ceiling fixed. Chat to us about the various hooks available for this system!

 

Verve Track

The Verve Track is a simple, slim rectangle track that gives a clean, modern and slightly industrial look in a range of 10 colours.

 

This rod is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains but is only available with glides.

Unlike other rods, this track does not have the option of finials and instead has modest end caps that can be the same colour as the rod or high polish, brushed  aluminium. This rod is available as a single track or double track.

 

This rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed but please chat to our team as some exclusions apply. Top- fixed curtains will sit will right up against the ceiling. When face-fixing to the wall, brackets available allow the rod to project at set measurements of 50mm or 100mm from the wall. Also, this rod has the option for a custom bracket projection but this needs to be quoted individually. Concealed baseplates available for all face-fixed brackets. This rod can also be mitre-returned giving a particularly clean look with this rectangle rod.

  

DS Track

The DS Track is a simple track that gives a clean look and its curved face allows it to be a little more inconspicuous than harsh lines. This track is available in white or silver, or black with 35% surcharge 

This rod is suitable for light to medium weight curtains only and only uses glides. This rod is available as a single track or double track when face-fixed.

This rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed. Top- fixed curtains will sit will right up against the ceiling. When face-fixing to the wall, adjustable brackets are available but please chat to our helpful team about this as there are weight restrictions for these options.

Also, this rod has the option for a custom bracket projection but this needs to be quoted individually. Concealed baseplates available for all face-fixed brackets. This rod can also be bent if required.

 

KS Track

The KS track is largely the same as the DS Track in term of colour and bracket options but with a few minor differences.

This track is more of square shape with slightly curved edges but is not as streamline in shape as the DS Track; without the curve it is ever-so-slightly smaller. This track is a standard choice, making it the most affordable option for many people. The KS track is also able to bent and curved/rolled if requested.

CKS Track

The CKS track is an identical to the KS track in look and customizable options except this track is corded, meaning there is a cord on the side of the track for ease of opening and closing the curtain. Perfect for convenience or someone with strength/mobility limitations. If you love the KS Track and love the sound of adding a cord, the CKS Track is for you!

 

 

CS Track

Again, the CS track differs only slightly from the previously mentioned options. This track does have the benefit of being chunkier and therefore sturdier than its counterparts. This also makes the track itself slightly bigger and bulkier when sitting on your wall.  The colour and bracket options remain the same as the DS Track.

CCS Track

The CSS track is an identical to the CS track in look and customizable options except this track is corded. If the CS Track is the one for you but you’d like to add a cord, you’ve found your match!

 

Flush Fit Framework

The Flush Fit Framework is by far the cleanest and more modern option for a curtain track because you can’t even see the track! This system is made to the recessed into the ceiling, concealing it and looking like your curtains are a part of the ceiling itself, flowing seamlessly from ceiling to floor. The tracks come in white but can be powder coated to suit your ceiling colour.

While the end result is ultra-satisfying and modern, it does take the most amount of prep work and forethought to pull off so keep this in mind. The surface need to be prepped by a a builder or professional tradesperson. Whole process should involve this person to ensure that the recessed track can be and is installed correctly, but at the very least the surface prepped by them.

So, here’s the technical things! This track needs to be screwed into the framework so whoever preps and/or installs it must know where the framing is or be able to provide timber fixing above the line of the track rebate. Builders need to allow for parallel gap of 18mm in GIB. T

here are no brackets needed and it comes with predrilled holes with the screws to go with it. The Flush Fit Framework can be bent anywhere between 180-90 degrees with a 150mm or 250mm bend radius and is available in continuous 6m lengths, after which they will need to be butted together. Thinking of functionality, tracks are cut 11mm shorter than the given length so that access to glides is possible on one end without having to remove track; one end sits hard up against the recessed groove and a cover plate disguises the 11mm gap at other end.

This one is quite the process so if you’d like to talk through it, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

 

There you have it! That’s almost all of the general considerations and specific information you need to making the important decisions when it comes to your curtain tracks or rods! Super specific exclusions, weight limits and combo information is sure to overwhelm and confuse the decision making process.

Give us a call when you’re ready and we can let you know all the particular information for the track or rod you’ve chosen so you only get the most relevant advice going forward.

 

New curtains coming soon, how exciting!

 

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