Whether you are hanging cafe curtains in your kitchen or need to put up a shower curtain, a tension rod allows you to put up a curtain rod with no construction. A tension rod, or spring rod, works much like a toilet paper holder. The rod in held in place by a large spring that pushes outward to secure it, and the spring can be compressed or let out by twisting the rod to make it longer or shorter. Since tension rods are fairly cheap and simple to install, you can adjust them easily without any experience.
Attach the curtain or valance to your tension rod by running the rod through the pocket or tab tops at the top of the curtain or valance. For a shower curtain, simply attach the rings to the rod.
Hold the rod to the window, doorway or shower where you will be hanging the curtain. Twist one side of the rod to adjust it to the width of the opening where you plan to put it. Make sure the curtain or valance is still hanging from the tension rod.
Place one end of the rod where you would like for it to rest, and push the other end into place. Squeeze the rod together gently, and you'll feel it shorten somewhat as the spring gives. When you place the rod where it belongs, there should be enough resistance from the rod to hold it in place, but you shouldn't have to force it.
Twist one end of the rod again, a quarter to a half turn, to make it slightly longer and secure it in place. Spread your curtain or valance evenly along the rod.
Buy the appropriate size rod for your space. Most rods are sold within ranges for length, such as 42 to 60 inches. If the rod is too long or too short, you have the wrong size rod for the job, and no amount of adjusting it will help.