Unlike curtain rods, curtain rails are often installed directly to window frames, an arrangement that can hinder the opening of the curtain and thus reduce the amount of light that can enter the room. An alternative is to mount the track outside the window recess (as shown below), allowing you to draw the curtains well back from the recess and thus admit the maximum amount of light. To provide secure bracket points, mount the track on a wooden furring strip.

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Step 1

Install a Furring Strip

Furring strip mounting is a good idea if the wall surface is difficult to work with (e.g., an old lath-and-plaster wall). Use a level to position the furring strip horizontally above the recess, then draw a guide line with a pencil (Image 1).

Drill pilot holes and use the appropriate screws or nails to secure the furring strip to the wall surface. Use the guide line to ensure that it is horizontal (Image 2).

Draw a further guide line along the center of the furring strip (Image 3).

Step 2

Fit the Curtain Rail

Position screws for rail brackets at regular intervals along the line (Image 1).

Position brackets on the screws (Image 2). It may be necessary to adjust the screw depth to create a tight fit.

Position the required number of gliders on the rail and attach the end support on the rail to prevent the gliders from slipping off (Image 3).

Positioning the end support will vary according to rail design. In this case, make sure you position a final glider at the same time as the support (Image 4).

A screw is normally used to secure the support in place (Image 5).

Step 3

Attach the Rail

Clip the rail onto the brackets (Image 1).

Most rails will have a clip on the brackets that needs to be closed off to secure the rail in place (Image 2).

With the rail in position, space out the gliders to check that you have the required number. Most rails allow you to add further gliders without having to take down the rail and remove the end supports (Image 3).