Creating Extra Long Curtain Rods
Using ¾" Standard Curtain Rods or 2½ & 4½ Dauphine Wide-Pocket Rods
On occasion, a window application may require a curtain rod of a longer length than is offered as a stock item or even as a special order item in stores. The basic 3/4" curtain rod is available in a straight 12 foot length.
Simply attach the short return pieces to the end and the job is done. However, this may be cost prohibitive since anything over 8 foot in length must be shipped by motor freight. This will cost a minimum of $125 just for the freight. In addition, a packaging fee will be added since the rods will require additional packaging to keep them from getting bent in transit. This is not a very cost effective method unless several windows are involved distributing the cost out per rod. The remedy is quite simple requiring a little bit of work and a few items to complete (duct tape, hacksaw, pliers, file). The following outlines a solution I have used more than a few times.
Purchasing the Supplies
The basic 3/4" standard curtain rod, 2½ or 4½" wide-pocket curtain rod can be extended beyond the longest offered sizes of 120" to 156". First, buy the longest rod available making sure to select the return projection needed. The return is the distance that the rod projects out from the wall. Several different projections are available on the 3/4" rod: 1½", 2½", 3½" and 5½". On the wider flat 2½" and 4½" Dauphine rods the return projection should not be a problem as these rods include adjustable brackets allowing the return depth to be set as necessary. Second, after determining the longest rod available for the application, calculate how much more extra rod length needed and purchase ANOTHER curtain rod several feet or more longer than the length needed. A curtain rod extender is another option allowing extensions in lengths of 24" each.
Completing the Project
For the 3/4" Standard Curtan Rod
When all the supplies and rods are ready, begin by cutting off the return end of the extra rod with a hacksaw. After cutting the 3/4" rod, it may require filing to smooth any rough edges to help it slide into the adjoining rod and prevent your curtain fabric from snagging. Pliers may be needed to make one end larger or smaller to accommodate the adjoining rod. Next, insert the cut piece into the main rod using as much length as possible. This will improve the strength of the rod and help prevent it from sagging. Before sliding the rod into the curtain or valance rod pocket, lay the rod on the floor, measure the exact length needed and secure the rod with Duct Tape so it does not telescope together when threading the curtain rod pocket. If the curtain rod may show, consider using white Duct Tape which is available in most large retailers.
For the Dauphine or Wide-Pocket Rods
Snap off the return bracket on both ends of the extra rod. Pliers may be needed to make one end larger or smaller to accommodate the adjoining rod. Before sliding the rod into the curtain or valance rod pocket, lay the rod on the floor, measure the exact length needed and secure the rod with duct tape so it does not telescope together when threading the curtain rod pocket. Another option is to use several very short sheet metal screws to hold the rods together.
When installing remember to use additional center support brackets to hold the longer rod securely in place and to prevent it from bending. Make sure to have a helper to hang the rod since it is very easy to bend such a long and skinny rod especially with all the additional weight on it. While this method is great for curtain rods, it does not work for traverse/drapery rods. The duct tape or screws would get in the way and the slightest deflection in the rod will keep the carriers from sliding properly.
Interior Mall also has several curtain rods available in extra long lengths. Click here to see all the options.