The Curtain Rod, Track and Rails Handbook
by Martha's Furnishing Fabrics
12 May 2023
Choosing new custom curtains and rods can be a very exciting yet daunting process. You may be surprised by the level of customisation you can achieve, making for an outstanding result suited 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!
There are several options when it comes to attaching your curtains to the wall. In this blog we’re going to walk you through these, along with the additional choices to be made, such as finials, brackets, colours, and more.
So, by the end of this blog post, you should walk away with the knowledge and confidence to choose a track or rod suited to the style and functionality of your home, but if you still need a bit more guidance or information, our friendly team is always available to help either in person, over the phone, or via email.
Rods vs. Tracks. What’s the difference?
The first decision you will need to make is whether to get tracks or rods. The main difference between the two is the aesthetic.
Curtain tracks are primarily chosen to be discreet. While the track will inevitably be seen when the curtains are open, it can be hidden behind the curtain header when the curtains are drawn shut and are simple enough designs to hide in plain sight.
Curtain tracks are ideal for those either wishing to make the curtain and track blend into the background, those who want simplicity, or for those on a tighter budget.
Curtain rods, however, are meant to be featured, with the curtain hanging below them. With many variations in colour, style, and accessories, curtain rods can be complimentary to your curtains, or can be made to stand out and add opulence or wow-factor to your home. Curtain rods are highly customisable, so are a good choice for those wishing to achieve a cohesive interior design.
An important point about curtain headers:
If you are wanting a sewn pleat, we recommend choosing a rod, or a track with your curtain hanging below it, as some sewn pleats can become a bit distorted when covering the track – especially when open.Rods
There are many different rod choices, and a number of brackets and accessories to choose from.
Some things to keep in mind while you read through the below are the weight of your chosen fabric, the design style of your home, and the physical space you have for your rod.
Many of the below rods are highly customisable, so if there’s something specific you are wanting that we haven’t covered here, get in touch with us and we will see if we can make it happen.
All our rods (except for the Davani Cable System) are available in 10 standard colours. Click here to view the colour options.
If you’re struggling to decide whether to get rings or glides, make a note of this on your quote request and we can provide you a quote for both as well as some technical and design-based information that might help you make that decision.
Continue reading for rods or skip ahead to tracks.
16mm Versatrak Rod
- Pictured: 16mm Versatrak Rod with rings in Classic White
This is a slimline, minimalist rod, suitable for light to medium weight curtains (think sheers, cottons, and linens) and is available with rings or glides.
This rod can be face-fixed, end-fixed, or top-fixed, turned into a double track, and bent or mitred.
Some weight restrictions may apply with this rod, particularly if it is being ceiling fixed. Contact us to find out more.
25mm Versatrak Rod
- Pictured: 25mm Versatrak Rod with glides in Raw Steel
The most popular of our rods, the 25mm Versatrak is a sleek and contemporary rod which is slightly thicker and more robust than the 16mm.
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 glides.
This rod can be face-fixed, end-fixed, or top-fixed, turned into a double track, and bent, curved, or mitred.
35mm Versatrak Rod
- Pictured: 35mm Versatrak Rod in Matte Black
This rod has a bold look that draws attention. It is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains (great for wools or velvets) and is only available with glides.
This rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed, turned into a double track, or mitred.
Vantage Eyelet Rod
Vantage Eyelet Rods are sleek and simple, specifically designed for eyelet headed curtains.
This rod is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains and is only available with eyelets or full-circle rings. It has a centre support bar running though the rod to add strength, as well as a PVC strip on top which ensures smooth movement of the curtains, reduces noise, and protects the rod from scratches.
The Vantage rod can be face-fixed or top-fixed and is available in continuous 2m pieces before an extra bracket is required.
40mm Reeded Rod
- Pictured: 40mm Reeded Rod in Ivory
This rod brings traditional elegance and personality to the home. The subtle ribbing (reeding) of the rod speaks old-world charm, and the thickness of it means that you can pair with it almost any weight of curtain.
This rod is available with glides only and can be face-fixed or top-fixed, turned into a double track, or mitred.
- Pictured: Combo - Verve front, 25mm back in Riverstone
The Verve Track is a simple, rectangular rod designed to bridge the gap between standard curtain tracks and decorative rods. Its contemporary profile makes it a great choice for those wishing to modernise, or even industrialise, or those who want clean, crisp lines in their home.
This rod is suitable for light to heavy weight curtains and 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 a high polish, brushed aluminium.
The Verve can be face-fixed, top-fixed, turned into a double track, and bent or mitred.
This rod can also be mitre-returned, meaning that the end of the rod has a mitred piece which touches the wall, concealing the brackets that might have been seen when looking at the rod side-on.
32mm Square Rod
- Pictured: 32mm Square Rod in Orbital Silver
This rod has a modern, slightly industrial look, and is suitable for medium to heavy-weight curtains with glides only.
It can be face-fixed or top-fixed, turned into a double track, mitred, or, like the Verve, mitre-returned.
Davani Cable System
This system offers a futuristic (and strong) way to display your curtains. The tensioned cable requires only two brackets every 2.5 – 3m, making it the strongest of all our rods and tracks. To achieve this though, it must be screwed into the framework or another secure surface.
The Davani System can be face-fixed or end-fixed and is available only in silver.
Vanda Wave Rod
This rod is designed specifically for the Vanda Wave heading. While the wave heading can be paired with some of the other rods and tracks, this was the original, built-for-purpose rod, meant to compliment the elegance of the wave pleat.
This rod can be face-fixed and top-fixed and can be turned into a double track.
There are a few different track choices, including manual, corded, recessed, and motorised options. We will go through all these as well as brackets below.
All our manual and corded tracks, except for the Flush Fit Track, are available in three standard colours: white and silver, or black with a 35% surcharge.
Likewise, the same bracket options are available for all our manual and corded tracks, except for the Flush Fit Track.
All tracks are available with glides only (no rings).
Pictured: Combo - CS front, KS back in Silver
The simplest of our track options, the KS Track is a low-profile, affordable track available in three colours: white and silver, or black with a 35% surcharge.
The KS track can be bent or curved/rolled if requested. It can also be made into a double track.
- Pictured: CS Track in Black
The CS Track is similar in shape to the KS Track, but is slightly larger with a taller profile, meaning it is great for extra heavy curtains.
This track is available in three colours: white and silver, or black with a 35% surcharge, and can be bent or curved/rolled if requested. It can also be made into a double track.
- Pictured: DS Track in White
The DS Track is the ‘design’ track. With its sleek curved edge, it hides in plain sight and allows for a smoother visual transition from track to wall.
Like the others, this track is available in white or silver, or black with 35% surcharge, can be bent/curved, and can be made into a double track.
This is the corded version of the KS Track. It has the same colour, bending, bracket, and double/single track options.
This is the corded version of the CS Track. It has the same colour, bending, bracket, and double/single track options.
Flush Fit Track
The Flush Fit Track is by far the cleanest and most modern curtain track option. This system is made to be recessed into the ceiling and screwed into the framework, requiring no brackets, meaning your curtains flow seamlessly from ceiling to floor. This is a great option for those looking to open up their space, those with little wall space, or those looking to modernise or add wow-factor to their home.
The preparation for this track requires a degree of precision, and it is highly recommended that this be done by a builder or qualified tradesperson, as there is quite a bit to it.
This track comes in white but can be powder coated to suit your ceiling colour.
If you think this is the track for you, get in touch to find out the all the nitty gritty details.
If you’re considering choosing a motorised track, get in touch with us and we will go through the options with you.
A couple more choices to make:
Single or Double Track?
Whether you choose a rod or a track, you have the option of making it a double/tandem.
A single track is the more traditional option where your curtain fabric and lining are joined (as a regular curtain would be), and all sit on the same track/rod.
A double track is slightly less common but slowly gaining popularity. This is a great option for those who want a privacy curtain for the daytime (that still lets light into the room) as well as a regular curtain for warmth and light-blocking. You could have a lining on the back track/rod and a sheer on the front one, or a full curtain on the back and a sheer on the front. The choice is yours, and there are many combinations you can achieve with this.
Double tracks can either be two of the same style of rod/track, or a combination of two different styles. Get in touch with the team to find out which combinations can be made with your chosen style.
Which bracket style?
The bracket is the hardware that physically screws your curtain rod or track to the wall. The bracket style you choose is largely determined by whether you have rings or glides, or a single or double track. It can also be determined by whether you have an extra thick architrave or curtains with a deep stack and need a bracket with a longer projection.
There is, of course, an element of design involved too.
Rings or Glides?
Like the difference between tracks and rods, rings are more of a statement, whereas glides are usually hidden. Some curtain rods may only be available with glides, so it may be worth choosing your rod first.
Most of our curtain rods have an in-built groove suitable for both glides and rings. If using glides, the groove will face down, but if using rings, the groove will face up meaning that dust can gather in here over time causing some degree of difficulty opening the curtain. A simple silicone spray in the groove every now and then can eliminate this problem, but this is something to be aware of for people who don’t have the ability to get up onto a ladder to lubricate it themselves.
The finial is the decorative knob on each end of the curtain rods (not tracks). Choosing the right finial is a small but important part of the design process and can greatly contribute to the overall aesthetic of the room.
Considering practicality, be mindful of the space you have on either end of the rod when choosing your finials. A re-measure may be wise if considering a longer finial, but always chat to the team about this if you’re unsure and we will be able to help you make a decision you’ll be happy with.
Where to position your rod or track?
The position of the track is a very important decision, and one that should be made before your curtain measurements are confirmed.
If wall-mounting (face-fixing) is preferred, check out our handy guide to deciding where to hang your track by clicking here.
Ceiling or end-fixing positions are more of a personal choice but get in touch with us if you need some guidance with this decision.
There you have it. That’s pretty much all the information you need to know about rods and tracks.
If you’re feeling confident that you know which style you like to get a quote for, that’s great! Click here to fill out an online quote request form, and one of the team will get back to you ASAP.
If you’re still unsure or have any questions, though, don’t worry. You can give us a call on 09 523 3655, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop into the store and one of our friendly team will be sure to offer some guidance.