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How to Measure for curtain poles and curtain tracks

When measuring for curtain poles you will need to consider the following:

Stack back? - Stack back is the area where the curtains hang against the wall when they are pulled open. By covering the wall and not the glass, during the day, it allows most light into the room.

Corded or uncorded? - Corded tracks or poles require more wall allowance than uncorded. The curtains can only stack back on the track or pole between the cord housing and the overlap arm.

Fitting? - Sometimes there maybe limited space to fit the pole due to cupboards either side of the window for example. This would limit the width of the pole accordingly.

Height above the window? - Poles have the advantage that they can be fixed at window level if there is no available space above. They can even be ceiling fixed if necessary. Ideally the top of the pole should be 10-20cm (4-8in) above the window. Poles can be fitted into the ceiling joist, with brackets that have a top fitting. The pole is then slotted through the bracket.

Measuring window for curtain poles

Once you have considered the points outlined above, you can begin to measure your window.

Measuring an Existing Pole or Track

If you have an existing curtain track or curtain pole measure the total length, excluding the finials (this will give you the total length you require.

Measuring for New Tracks & Poles

Using a steel ruler follow the steps outlined below and measure to the nearest centimetre (or convert from inches by multiplying by 2.54). The pole should go at least 15cm (6") over each side of the window, excluding the finials.

On larger windows you aim to go 20cm-25cm (8"-10") over each side, depending on the space available, and the size of the room. The larger the curtains are, the more they will stack.

  1. 1) Measuring the recess width of the window, shown as (A) and note this measurement down.
  2. 2) Now measure each side of the window recess (B) this measurement is usually 15cm to 25cm on either side to allow for the stackback of the curtains, again note these measurements down.
  3. 3) Add these three measurements together and this will give you the pole or track length you require.
    A+B+B = Pole length required excluding the finials.
    A+B+B+C+C = Total pole length including the finials.

If you are still unsure, you can contact us on 01249 750391 or send an email to

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