A Guide to Curtain Rod Brackets

When it comes to window curtains, curtain rod brackets are an essential component. But what exactly are they and how do you choose the right pair for your curtain rods? There are so many options for curtain rod brackets on the market and we understand that it can easily become overwhelming. To further the frustration, depending on the type of curtain rod you want, you may have to purchase a very specific type of bracket.

What is a Curtain Rod Bracket?

Brackets, also called supports, are the hardware pieces that hold the rod. Curtain rods are always attached to the wall or ceiling using brackets. Depending on the rod you select, they can vary in style, size, and shape. Some brackets are strictly utilitarian and are hardly visible when the rod and draperies are installed. Other brackets are decorative and designed to be a visible part of your curtain rods.

You will run across some new terminology when you are shopping for brackets. The “return” is the distance between where the draperies hang and the wall. The “clearance” is the distance from the back of the rod to the wall. The “projection” is the distance from the wall to the farthest point of the bracket. Now that you know the basics of curtain rod brackets, it’s time to look at the different styles they come in.  

What Are the Different Styles of Decorative Curtain Rod Brackets?

Decorative brackets are an integral part of your drapery installation that can be seen. It’s vital that you select drapery rod brackets to match and work with the rest of your decorative drapery hardware. Each bracket works best when they are from the same collection so that they can work together to hold the rod the same way—mixing brackets from different collections or manufacturers will give you headaches, as they are not guaranteed to work together. Also, you also should order all the components you need at the same time so that they will match in color and or finish. To ensure that all your components fit together and match, you can shop for drapery hardware sets or simply choose the same size and color for all drapery hardware pieces.

Brackets or curtain holders can hold one or two rods, be mounted on the wall or ceiling, and be either fixed or adjustable. Additionally, inside mount sockets are brackets that can be mounted on two opposite walls to hold the rod between them for a wall-to-wall installation. Here’s some more information to help you choose between the different curtain rod brackets we offer:

Wooden Curtain Rod Brackets

Wood brackets for curtain rods are designed to work with matching wooden rods. The bracket size must correspond with the size (diameter) rod you are using. For example, a 2” bracket is designed for a 2” diameter rod and will be too large for a 1 3/8” rod. Wood brackets do not adjust and are offered in different returns. The standard in most cases, which you will use most of the time, is the 3 ½” return. If you need to clear something that is already on the wall, such as a sheer drapery or a blind that projects into the room, you may need a deeper return, so you would select the 6” return brackets. Ceiling brackets can be put anywhere on the ceiling. You can find wooden ceiling mount brackets are available in the Wood Trends collection. Kirsch also offers a 4 ¼” bracket in the 1 3/8” Wood Trends collection.

Designer Metals Curtain Rod Brackets

Kirsch Designer Metals drapery rod brackets or curtain holders are adjustable, which means you have some flexibility in the return and clearance of these brackets. They come in two styles: standard, which looks more utilitarian, and decorative, which is a more refined style, and usually more expensive. It’s largely a matter of taste—which brackets do you prefer? This collection offers many options—wall mount, ceiling mount, double brackets, and bypass center brackets, which are designed for specially-made rings to pass over them so that the rod can be properly supported yet still allow draperies to close.

This collection even offers inside-mount sockets for a wall-to-wall installation and double-ceiling bypass brackets!

Wrought Iron Curtain Rod Brackets

These Wrought iron brackets with a diameter of 1 inch are meant to be used specifically with the 1-inch Wrought Iron Collection. Double brackets allow two wrought iron rods to be mounted one in front of the other for a sheer or curtain under another drapery or a valance. There is also a bypass center support option for a single rod to be mounted with a 3.5” clearance to allow bypass c-rings to glide past the bracket for wide or one-way draperies. You can also opt for two deeper brackets to get draperies or valances over an existing drapery or blind, and there is an iInside-mMount socket option as well. Wrought iron brackets are not adjustable.

What should I know about curtain rod brackets?

There are a few different types of curtain rod holders that serve specific purposes.

Double drapery rod brackets are for when we need to put up two sets of curtains, or one set of curtains and a valance. Adjustable curtain rod brackets are exactly what the name suggests, they can be adjusted to keep curtains closer or farther from the wall. Heavy-duty curtain rod brackets come in handy when you need extra strongholds, such as when you’re using very heavy curtains or rods. These are just a few of the different types of brackets available, be sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Double Curtain Rod Brackets

Double rod brackets are available in all Decorative Drapery Rod collections and for Superfine Traverse Rods. If you want a double traverse system, you can purchase two superfine rods and an additional set of double brackets, plus double rod supports to create the functionality you need. You simply swap out the single brackets that come with the rods and use the double brackets instead.

The Kirsch Wood Trends collection offers two different sizes of finished wood double brackets. Both sizes are available in your choice of eight different colors. The Kirsch 1 ⅜ inch wood trends double bracket is perfect for a simple window look using two different curtains. This bracket supports two 1 ⅜ inch curtain rods. The Kirsch 2-inch wood trends double bracket creates a more extravagant setup with a larger rod in the front. The back slot is meant for a 1 ⅜ inch rod while the front one holds a 2-inch rod. Both brackets elegantly support your curtain rod assembly and give a classy, finished look to your windows.

Adjustable Brackets for Curtain Rods

While many people believe adjustable brackets for curtain rods, sometimes referred to as curtain holders, are flexible so that they can fit different windows, these brackets actually change in reach, or how far or close the curtain rod will be held to the wall. For example, if you have a small window, you may want your bracket to hold the rod closer to the wall so that it doesn't stick out too far and look strange. No matter what your preference is, adjustable brackets give you the ability to customize the look of your window treatments to perfectly suit your space.

Heavy Duty Curtain Rod Brackets

Heavy-duty brackets for drapes are designed to provide additional support for heavier curtains. Typically, these brackets are made of metal or another strong material.  With proper installation, heavy-duty brackets can provide a stylish and functional way to hang heavier curtains and drapes. At Drapery Rods Direct, we have a large selection of strong brackets that are decorative.

Tips for Installing Curtain Rod Brackets

Proper bracket installation is crucial for any drapery rod. Your installation is only as good as your wall, and the brackets attach to the wall, so they must be installed securely and correctly.

Do some research based on your wall composition. For drywall, you may need wall anchors if you are not able to screw a drapery rod support into wood or a stud. Plaster walls, steel framing, or masonry walls also pose special circumstances, so it’s important to do your research so that you can get the right anchors for your wall!

A level is absolutely crucial for bracket installation, because ceilings, floors, and windows may not be even. Draperies need a perfectly level rod to function properly and look good. You probably won’t need any fancy or unusual tools—just a punch awl, screwdriver, and possibly a drill.

Follow the instructions for your particular brackets’ installation. Sometimes creating a template for your brackets can be helpful. It can be extremely frustrating to have to drill multiple holes for a bracket just a quarter-inch apart! Remember—measure twice, drill once!

Ensure that the screws you are using are the proper size, shape, and depth for your particular installation. This may require using screws other than the ones provided with your brackets. Again, do some research. Taking the time to properly and securely install your drapery rod brackets will give you years of worry-free drapery operation.

Where Should Drapery Rod Brackets Be Placed?

Curtain rod bracket placement is based on aesthetics as well as structural considerations. Brackets should be mounted on the window frame only as a last resort. If at all possible, the top of the drapery should be at least four inches above the frame. However, with transom windows, crown molding, and other unusual window configurations, this may not always be possible. Measure the space you have between the window frame and the molding or window above. Your drapery rod bracket’s footprint cannot exceed this measurement.

Generally, the higher you hang the draperies, the more lush and beautiful the look. As long as you can get the brackets on the wall, you can hang the draperies anywhere you like.

Where should the brackets go on the ends of the rod? It depends on whether the draperies are stationary or functioning, and how much of the glass portion of the window you want to show when the curtains are open. Generally, you will leave only enough room for one ring or tab to hang between the outside of the bracket and the finial on decorative rods, so when you pull the drapery closed, the whole thing does not fly across the rod. When the rods extend too far outside the bracket and draperies, they look awkward, like a hat that’s too big for its head.

When you are hanging multiple layers of draperies, each layer is generally a couple of inches outside of the last one, and often above the layer underneath, so you need to take that into consideration when placing your brackets.  

How Many Curtain Rod Brackets Do I Need?

The number of brackets you need varies based on the weight of the draperies and the width of the rod. Traverse drapery rods need a support every 36-48 inches or so. Wrought iron and 2” diameter wood rods need a support every 96 inches at the most, and 1 3/8” drapery rods in both metal and wood need a support every 60 inches.

How does a ring move past a bracket? Well, in most cases, it cannot. However, in the designer metals and wrought iron collections, there are bypass center brackets and C-rings that work in tandem to get your draperies where you want them. (Keep in mind that grommet curtains or tab draperies cannot move past brackets at all.)

How Do I Find the Right Drapery Rod Brackets for My Existing Rod?

Drapery rod brackets are sold based on the diameter of the curtain rod. You should measure across the end of the rod as though it were a clock showing 6:00. Then buy the bracket closest to that measurement. A 1 7/8” rod would use a 2” bracket, for example. Your best bet is to purchase all the components at once so that you can ensure the color and fit match.

Curtain Rod Brackets by Color

If you know exactly what color brackets you are looking for but are not sure what kind of material, you can browse decorative brackets and hardware by color. Our drapery rod sets are designed so that every piece matches, creating a consistent look for the room. Below we list the different brackets you can find in each collection by color, size, and return.

Black Curtain Rod Brackets

You can never go wrong with black brackets and hardware. This color coordinates with nearly everything, so if you choose new curtains or draperies at a later date, you can still use your black curtain rods for years to come, or perhaps switch out just the finials for a fresh look.

For traditional black brackets, we suggest the Kirsch Wood Trends Collections. If your home has 8-foot ceilings, the 1 ⅜ inch collection will work perfectly, while the 2-inch collection is better for homes with higher ceilings or large rooms with wide windows. Both the 1 ⅜ inch and 2-inch Wood Trends collections offer black brackets in 3 ½ inch and 6-inch returns, and ceiling mounts. Remember, the return is the distance from the wall to the center of the scoop on the bracket. Choose the deeper returns if you have blinds or shades that need to be cleared under the draperies.

For an old-world, farmhouse, or rustic look, try black wrought iron rod brackets, available in 3 ½, 5 ⅜, and 7 ½ inch returns. For more modern or unique window applications, the Kirsch Designer Metals Collection works best, featuring an array of black decorative ceiling, double, and bypass curtain rod brackets. Designer Metals brackets are fully adjustable, so you can get the return size you need for your specific window applications.

Bronze Curtain Rod Brackets

If you’re looking for bronze-colored brackets, you can find options in the Kirsch Designer Metals Collection, with oil-rubbed bronze decorative brackets and accessories designed to complement the black rods. Oil-rubbed bronze components are black with a coppery rub-off, similar to other vendors’ oil-rubbed bronze doorknobs and cabinet hardware.

Brushed Nickel Curtain Rod Brackets

The Kirsch Designer Metals collection offers beautiful finishes in Antique Silver (a darker, deeper silver/gray finish), Satin Nickel (similar to stainless steel appliances), and Polished Nickel (shiny, like chrome). Polished Nickel has a high sheen, while Satin Nickel and Antique Silver have a lower luster finish. Standard brackets are not available in Polished Nickel.

Gold Curtain Rod Brackets

Gold curtain rods have made a comeback. These pieces are great for making your windows the focal point of your room. If you are looking for gold-colored brackets, shop the Designer Metals collection, where you’ll find two beautiful glossy and elegant color options: Brushed Bronze (lighter gold color) and Gilded Bronze (resembling antique brass).

The Kirsch Wrought Iron Collection also offers Iron Gold, a more rustic, mainly black, finish with gold flecking.

White Curtain Rod Brackets

If light and airy is your style, white curtain rods, and hardware are made just for you. White wood curtain rods are always in style and make a lasting impression on your home. White drapery hardware is perfect for creating a beachy or farmhouse look.

If stark white isn’t quite what you want, Marble (ivory; just barely off-white) is another finish color available in the Kirsch 1 ⅜ inch and 2-inch Wood Trends Collections in 3 ½ inch and 6-inch returns. The Kirsch 1 ⅜ inch Wood Trends Collection works well for standard 8-foot ceilings and additionally offers a 4 ¼ inch return bracket.

Curtain Rod Brackets by Application:

Maybe you’re not browsing by style or color but by application. If you have heavy draperies, bay windows, or other distinctive windows in your home, follow our tips below.

Curtain Rod Brackets for Heavy Curtains

Depending on the style and weight of your drapery fabric, you may need a heavy-duty curtain rod application. While all Kirsch decorative drapery hardware collections are strong and durable, Kirsch Architrac is the top choice for heavy-duty curtain rods. Whether in a commercial or residential setting, Architrac rods provide reliable and exceptional performance.

Kirsch Architrac rods are available in cord-draw and baton-draw applications and white, anodized aluminum, bronze, and black colors. 

Curtain Rod Brackets for Corners

Kirsch swivel sockets allow you to connect two curtain rods together at whatever angle is necessary for your corner or bay windows. All Kirsch Decorative Hardware Collections offer swivel sockets to match whatever finish you choose. Swivel sockets are easy to install, fully adjustable, and rotate from straight to ninety degrees. They are installed with the brackets that go with each particular collection.

Have More Questions About Brackets for Curtain Rods?

Give the expert Customer Service representatives at Drapery Rods Direct a call. They can help you create a look you’ll love, tailored exactly to your particular needs. Or, send an email to: customerservice@draperyrodsdirect.com

Frequently Asked Questions About Curtain Rod Brackets

Where should curtain rod brackets be placed?

For best results, position the brackets for your window treatment 4 to 6 inches above the window. However, if there is a distance of 6 to 12 inches between the ceiling and the window frame, position the brackets at a height midway between the ceiling and the top of the frame. At a minimum, make sure the brackets are positioned 2 inches above the window.

How far apart should curtain rod brackets be?

Typically curtain rods need support brackets for every 30 to 36 inches. However if the window is longer than 60 inches, you'll want to have two center support brackets. These center support brackets are designed to help hold up longer rods that may need extra support.

Can I use metal brackets for wood rods?

If an industrial/modern look is what you are going for, sure! Mixing Kirsch Satin Nickel or Antique Silver Designer Metals 1 3/8” brackets and end caps with a Kirsch Black 1 3/8” Wood Trends rod gives a cool, modern vibe, or try Kirsch Gilded Bronze Designer Metals 1 3/8” Brackets with Kirsch 1 3/8” Wood Trends rods in Mahogany or Coffee for a warm, rich look. For a mixed-finish Biedermeier feel, try Black Designer Metals Brackets with Kirsch Estate Oak 1 3/8” rods.

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