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french door curtain rods

The Ultimate Guide to Installing French Door Curtain Rods

French doors are doors with glass nearly from top to bottom. They are made in pairs and open in the center to welcome in light, fresh air, outdoor views, and provide access to decks, lawns, porches--you name it. Garden doors have a similar look, but usually only one of the doors opens. You can treat them exactly the same way you treat traditional French doors.

Regardless of your configuration, these doors can present a challenge when you want privacy. The doors must be able to operate without the draperies getting in the way. So, how do you get privacy when you want it and a great sense of openness when you want that?

What are French Door Curtain Rods?

First, consider how you want to cover the doors. Do you want just the glass portion to be covered by French door curtains and hardware? Or do you want to cover the entire expanse of the doors with draperies or curtains? You can even do both!

Flat Sash Curtain Rods

If you are looking for complete privacy all the time, you can use a rod at the top and at the bottom of the glass, with rod-pocket curtains shirred on rods at both the top and bottom. Sometimes, these window coverings can be tied in the center to present an hourglass shape. In this case, you can use flat sash rods. Drapery Rods Direct offers flat sash rods in five sizes to cover any width of French door windows. The smaller sizes come in pairs, but the larger sizes are sold individually.

Lockseam Curtain Rods

Suppose, though, that you just want a valance at the top of the door lights to cover blinds or shades. In that case, you can use a Kirsch Lockseam rod deep enough to clear the cassette at the top of the blind or shade. Of course, you can purchase two Kirsch Lockseam rods to install rod-pocket top and bottom curtains, as well. The 1 ¼” clearance Lockseam rods work well.

Spring Pressure Curtain Rods

Kirsch Spring Pressure rods can make your life easier, especially if you want to completely remove the window coverings during some seasons and replace them during others. Spring pressure rods rely on tension to hold the rod between the molding around the panes of glass, and allow for rod-pocket curtains to stay snugly in place when you want privacy or light control. You don’t have to attach brackets to the door to use these rods, so there is no damage to the door or unsightly holes to repair when you want to change up your look. Again, several sizes are available, with smaller sizes sold in pairs.

Decorative French Door Curtain Rods

French door curtains and rods can also be installed on the wall above the French doors, just as if you were covering a large window. You can use a decorative single curtain rod with rings or a traversing rod to achieve this look, but you need to ensure that you have enough width in your curtains and French door rods to stack completely off the doors when the draperies are open. Generally, that means about a foot extra on each side of the door--though the weight and style of the draperies will also affect the stack back. Adding a holdback or tieback midway down each side also allows the draperies to be swept back from the doors and held out of the way of stray breezes.

How To Install French Door Curtain Rods

Your French door rods should be just about as wide, or just slightly wider, than the width of the window opening. Rod-pocket French door curtains should measure double the width of the glass for a rich, shirred look--three times fullness for sheers. For rods at the top and bottom of the glass, the curtain needs to be several inches longer to allow for the thickness of the rod and to go over any molding that might be around the glass.

Installing Flat Sash Curtain Rods

Installing French door curtain rods with a flat-sash style is easy: you attach the brackets above and below the outside corners of each section of glass, shirr the fabric onto the rods, and the open ends of the rods snap onto the brackets. Evenly arrange the fullness of your French door window coverings, and you’re done!

Installing Spring Pressure Curtain Rods

You can also use Kirsch Spring Pressure or Tension rods to hang French door curtains. In that case, measure the width of the space between the molding around the glass, and purchase the rod that will give you that measurement. You will adjust the rod, which has a spring inside to apply the tension, to achieve the width you want.

Installing Lockseam Curtain Rods

Kirsch Lockseam rods can also be used for French doors. Select the 1 ¼” return rods, as when you are covering the glass on French doors, you want the curtain fabric to be close to the door.

Basic Curtain Rods for French Doors

Learn more about our french door curtain rod items:

Decorative Curtain Rods for French Doors

You may want to combine the above looks with full draperies mounted on the wall above the French door. They can be either stationary or functioning, but you want to make sure that they do not impede the opening of the doors. Draperies on decorative rods with rings create a sumptuous, elegant look with any style of decor. Consider adding matching drapery holdbacks to keep the draperies out of the way when the doors are open.

Shop decorative drapery hardware for your french doors today:

elemental collection

Whatever your style or needs for your French doors, the friendly staff at Drapery Rods Direct can help you find beautiful, functional solutions. Call us at (800) 251-5009 five days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern.