Putting up a curtain pole is often the finishing touch to a newly decorated room – but even the simplest slip can ruin the overall look you have worked so hard to create, and leave you with a feeling something is not quite right. So how can you fit a pole like a professional?


Ed Cullen, from the technical department at swish, shares the questions he often gets asked and offers his advice on curtain fitting do’s and don’ts: 

  • Work with Uneven Walls

Working with uneven walls can add a number of pitfalls into the mix, not least trying to fit a straight curtain pole to a wall that doesn’t follow the same line. Here, extendable brackets are a perfect solution.

When putting a pole up, the natural assumption is to extend each bracket to the same projection. However, if the wall is not level this may cause the pole to bend slightly. To overcome this, only tighten the projection screws after putting the pole into the brackets so you can accommodate any imperfections.

  • Overcoming Awkward or Bay Windows

Being faced with a bay window no longer needs to restrict your style. Depending on where the window is in the room and how you would like the finished look there are now a number of options that will allow you to create a chic display using curtains.

Swish, for example, has two metal bay pole solutions; one from its Elements range (available in 4m length) and another in its ‘mix and match’ Design Studio range which has 3m and 5m options and can be returned back against the wall. Which one works for you will depend on the size of your window and the finish you are looking for.

Both ranges have passing brackets and passing rings which are lined to make them easy to manage when being moved around the bay. Avoid eyelet curtains with a bay pole though as these won’t pass over the brackets.

  • Get the Support Right

It sounds like an obvious one but always ensures that your brackets are fitted securely to the wall, using the most appropriate wall plugs for your wall type.

These may not necessarily be the wall plugs that are supplied with your product so, if in doubt seek advice from your local DIY merchant or builder. We would recommend fitting to a wooden batten where possible.

  • Measure Up or Down?

Make sure you measure out or up from the wall surrounding the window not down from the ceiling. Many ceilings are not level all the way across, especially in older properties, so you run the risk of echoing the fault when you put up the pole.  Always use a spirit level to ensure you have all brackets level.

  • The Right Joint to Fit a Wider Window

For a wider window, poles or tracks may need to be added together. This is easily done but be sure to position the join at the centre of the installation and support it with a bracket – otherwise, you may find the pole sagging or even breaking when you close the curtains!

Longer metal poles often come with a pole joiner to help support the pole once in place. The temptation can be to fit it to the outside of the pole, however, it should always be slotted inside the pole so it can’t be seen and will not hinder you when you try to completely close the curtains together.

  • How Many Curtain Rings?

There is no hard or fast rule here but to show off your curtains at their best, gather the fabric to suit the width of your window and use at least one curtain pole ring for every 10cm. Additional curtain ring packs are often available to match here so there is no need to compromise.

Where tracks are concerned, I’d reduce this further and go for at least 1 glider for every 8cm of the track.

  • Choosing Corded Poles and Tracks

Corded tracks can make life easy especially when you have a wider window to contend with. When choosing this type of track or pole though, always make sure it comes complete with a tension device.

Children can so easily get tangled in the loop so it is vitally important that this is fitted when you put the pole up and that it is fixed in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions to avoid preventable accidents.

With extendable corded tracks, always ensure that the master slides are ‘centred’ and fitted in line with the instructions so that curtains can open and close smoothly and correctly.

  • How to Solve a Sticking Curtain Track

Over time, plastic curtain tracks may start to stick. A simple spray of furniture polish can certainly help here and may even prolong the life of your track. The easiest way to tackle this job is to spray the polish on to a clean cloth and wipe across the track to avoid staining your curtain fabric.


Swish products are available in department, DIY, independent and online retailers across the country. For further information visit www.swish.co.uk or call 01543 271421 to find your nearest stockist.