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What Type of Curtains Can Be Used on Tension Rods?

Tension rods mount inside a window frame or between two walls without the use of mounting hardware. Their secret is a spring and threaded screw concealed inside the hollow rod. Tension rods can be used for many different types of curtains, as long as certain considerations are met.

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You can use tension rods across any window or space that is deep enough for the end caps. If the end caps on the rods are 1/4 inch in diameter, the window frame must be at least 1/4 inch deep for the tension rods to hold securely.

Sash Curtains

Many people use tension rods to hang lightweight sheer curtains, also called sash curtains, beneath drapes, eliminating the need for double-hung curtain rods. Sash curtains may also be hung alone.

Door Lights

A pair of tension rods, one at the top and one at the bottom of the window, will hold curtains for door sidelights as long as the curtains have rod pockets at the top and the bottom.

Bay Window Curtains

A tension rod hung across a bay window opening can accomodate a valance, rod pocket curtains, window scarves or tab top curtains, as well as any curtain that can be hung using curtain rings.

Shower Curtains

If you have an enclosed tub, you can use a tension rod to hang your shower curtain across the opening.


Tension rods may not be able to support the weight of heavy draperies. They may also be inappropriate for pleated or gathered draperies because they don't usually provide the depth needed for the drapery folds.

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About the Author

Deb Powers is an avid urban gardener who works with a community collective to promote sustainable urban agriculture and build partnerships between local business owners and community organizations. Powers serves as a social media and marketing consultant for local non-profits and businesses, and is collaborating with a coffee roaster to publish a cookbook highlighting coffee as a culinary ingredient.

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