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On the right track: a look at curtain tracking

You might think that buying curtains online will make the purchasing process a lot easier than buying them through a traditional retailer, and in many respect this is true; if you buy curtains on the web, there’s a strong chance they’ll be less expensive than shop-bought products due to the reduced overheads of e-tailers. And of course, the fact that you can make your acquisition from the comfort of your home is also a plus.

However, when you buy curtains online you do need to do some serious research before purchasing, in order to avoid ending up with ill-fitting or inappropriate window coverings and the hassle of returning products that aren’t quite right. Things to think about include the style of curtain you want, including fabric and hang; for example full length sheers or window length blackouts.

curtain tracking

A key consideration will be your curtain tracking systems. The right track, correctly fitted, will have a significant effect on the hang of your curtains and the look of your interiors. You will also want to think about whether you want cord drawn curtain tracks or hand drawn ones. Cord drawn curtain tracks are threaded with cord that connects to a system of gliders and pulleys. You open and close the curtains with a pull-cord without having to touch the curtain, making this system useful for delicate fabrics or particularly heavy curtains or large windows.

You’ll also have a choice of materials for your tracking. PVC is low cost, flexible and suitable for light or medium weight curtains, while aluminium is more expensive but stronger and more robust, as well as being easy to bend and shape. It also works well for light and medium weight fabric and gives a smooth drawing action. Steel, available from some suppliers, is suitable for heavy weight curtains.

Finally, if you’ve purchased curtains online it’s likely that you’ll be installing your own curtain tracking systems. The task may seem daunting but in fact it’s surprisingly simple as long as you keep a few key pointers in mind.

If you’re planning to go the DIY route, you’ll need screws, a drill, screw driver, laser or spirit level and saw. Wider windows, which are becoming increasingly popular in the Australian market, usually require that tracks be mounted end to end. You can either use hardware that connects the track sections, or simply align them during installation using a laser or spirit level.

Tracks and brackets should be attached to ceiling joists and wall studs, while you may need to use anchors if attaching your tracking to plasterboard. Most curtain tracking systems do not feature pre-drilled mounting holes so you will need to use a drill for this, having marked the track with the right positions. Using a small bit, drill pilot holes centred in the slot through the top of the track. Remember to take care not to damage the slot of the curtain track when drilling or mounting the track.

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