How to Perfectly Hang Curtains in Your Apartment
  • July 1, 2024
  • decoreloquent
  • 0

Want to make your apartment feel more homey? Trying to block annoying light or prying neighbors? Hanging curtains in an apartment seems easy, but do it wrong and you’ll end up with sagging drapes or damaged walls. Follow this comprehensive guide on how to hang curtains in an apartment properly for flawless results.

How to Perfectly Hang Curtains in Your Apartment

Types of Curtains Well-Suited for Apartments

When picking apartment curtains, prioritize function, ease of installation, and cost. Popular options include:

  • Blackout curtains – Best at blocking light in bedrooms and home theaters
  • Room darkening curtains – Soften light but don’t fully black out
  • Thermal curtains – Insulate against cold/heat near windows
  • Curtain panels – Simple, versatile for any room
  • Valances – Decorative topper for camouflaging rods

Focus on quality materials and blackout capabilities if sleep disturbances or privacy are your main issues.

“As a night shift nurse, blackout curtains are essential for me to sleep during the day in my downtown apartment. They make my bedroom cave-dark which allows me to get enough rest.” – Amanda, RN

Before You Hang – Planning

Proper planning and measurement ensures your curtains will hang beautifully. Rushing this step usually leads to headaches down the road.

Selecting Curtain Rod or Track

The rod/track type dictates your entire installation approach. Common apartment-friendly options include:

Tension rodNo drilling, adjustable sizingCan sag over time, not as secure, limited width capacity
Spring rodAlso adjustable, decent securityBulkier look, possible need for securing hooks
Permanent rodVery secure, clean lookRequires drilling holes

Assess your window type, security needs, and landlord rules on drilling before deciding.

“I always opt for spring rod sets with strong anchoring hardware since it avoids damage from drilling but keeps my long curtains securely up.”– Lucas, DIY Blogger

Measuring Windows Properly

Sloppy measurements lead to curtains that are too long/short or don’t fully cover the window. To measure correctly:

Tools Needed:

  • Metal measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Laser level (optional)


  • Width – Wall to wall across the exact area you’ll cover
  • Height – Top to bottom of area to be covered
  • Depth – Front to back of window frame

Account for window hardware like handles jutting out. Calculate added length for the overlap look.

Doubling the depth gives you full overlap. For a 4 inch deep frame, buy curtains 8 inches wider than your width measurement.

Selecting Mounting Method

Determine optimal curtain height based on your needs and style preferences. Consider:

  • Inside vs outside mount – Inside gives a built-in look, outside allows covering more of the wall
  • Ceiling vs wall mount – Ceiling leaves windows fully clear, wall mounts at varying height

Ensure you have clearance – don’t block vents, light switches or frames!

Hanging Methods by Rod/Track

You’ll follow distinct steps for each rod type during installation. Refer to your specific set’s instructions too.

Tension Rod Install

No tools needed for this quick and easy tension rod setup:

  1. Disassemble all pieces
  2. Extend rod fully, adjust knobs evenly to fit inside frame
  3. Contract rod slightly less than opening
  4. Insert into window frame opening
  5. Carefully retract adjustment knobs to press against walls
  6. Test security on rod and end caps

Regular checking prevents sagging issues. Re-tighten knobs or move up/down in window as needed.

Spring Rod Install

Anchor-equipped spring rods securely fasten within frames without drilling.

Follow manufacturer instructions, but basic steps are:

  1. Fully expand rod
  2. Hook anchor hardware over top of frame
  3. Compress rod slightly to fit inside frame
  4. Carefully retract so spring tension presses anchors vertically into top frame surface
  5. Test security before hanging curtains

Adjust springs as needed to re-tighten. Leave equal intervals when spacing out multiple spring rods.

Permanent Rod Installation

Installing a secured bracketed rod takes more effort but delivers a flawless custom look:

  1. Determine ideal height and mark drill locations
  2. Drill guide holes with drill bit slightly smaller than brackets
  3. Secure bracket hardware into wall studs or anchors
  4. Slide rod through brackets, test for level
  5. Use drywall anchors if needed for more stability

Dealing with Obstacles

  • Uneven walls – shim anchors to adjust angle
  • Tiled walls – use tungsten drill bit before anchors
  • Metal studs – use self-tapping metal screws

Sample Drilling Reference

SurfaceDrill BitDrywall AnchorScrew
Drywall1/8-inchYes1-1/4 inches
Concrete3/16-masonry bitXTapcon screw
Wood studMatch bracketX2-3 inches

Hanging the Curtains

  1. Attach chosen tops to curtains per package instructions
  2. Hook curtain tops evenly onto rings/grommets spaced across rod
  3. Adjust spacing and overlap for best visual drape

Leave extra length touching floor for a richer look. Add tiebacks to keep curtains open when desired.

Additional Tips

  • Odd windows – Combine a tension rod with a decorative valance for tricky spaces
  • Light gaps – Layer two curtain panels for extra blockage
  • Sag prevention – Sew small hem weights into bottom corners

Common Apartment Curtain Issues

Sagging rodRe-tighten tension or move closer to frame center
Uneven lengthReposition rings evenly to align bottoms
Light seeping inLayer thicker curtains or overlap more

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to use drywall anchors even if installing into wall studs?

If your brackets align securely into the wall studs, anchors are not required as the wood provides plenty of stability. But if brackets end up between studs, use hollow drywall anchors ensure the rod doesn’t pull out over time.

How can I hang curtains if there is no molding or way to install a tension rod?

Adhesive foam or velcro can securely attach spring rod brackets without needing to drill into the ceiling or walls. This allows installing curtains in cement apartments or when landlords prohibit drilling.

What’s the standard apartment ceiling height I should assume?

On average, apartment ceilings are between 7.5 to 9 foot high. Measure your actual ceiling height to determine the optimal curtain length for your windows.

Is it alright if my curtains are slightly longer than the floor?

Having curtains puddle a bit on the floor can create a luxurious, dressed up effect. But too much excess length gathers dust and dirt over time. Keeping them less than 6 inches longer than the floor is ideal.

How wide should curtain panels be for large apartment windows?

For big apartment picture windows wider than 60 inches, use either extra wide curtain panels or hang two regular panels together. This ensures full coverage without any light gaps in the middle.

You may also read:

How to Hang Curtains on a Bay Window: A Complete Guide

How To Block Light From Top Of Curtains


Properly measuring and assessing your apartment windows takes a little extra effort but ensures your curtains will impress. Follow the recommendations in this guide for flawless drapes!

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