Curtains have been part of the system of homes since the start of time. They bring out a stylish interior, while also creating a barrier to protect you from too much light from coming in, much more their capability to maintain a decent temperature inside homes. When installing curtains, we always end up placing them over framed windows. Yet, aside from purposely attaching frames to them, we can still hang curtains on internal windows too.
Instead of making such frames just to place your curtains, Plasterboard and Drywall are also a way to put your curtains into place. They may be lightweight and hollow, but can still definitely do the job of framed window panels.
What are Plasterboard and Drywall?
Plasterboard (Australian) and Drywall (American) are some of the oldest techniques of masonry. They can be also called a gyp board, wallboard, or sheetrock. Australian homes can have a Plasterboard or Drywall for their walls, and they can also be used for ceilings too. Yet, you may be puzzled how they are different from one another. The main answer is that they are just basically the same but with different terms per geographical location.
Plasterboard and Drywall are made from a white material that hardens while drying and serves as a cover for ceilings and walls. They are traditionally made from gypsum, a sandy white mineral that is often used to create drywall boards, lawn fertilizers, and sidewalk chalks. Nevertheless, they have high water content, which makes them fire-resistant and efficient to be used for homes. Moreover, they are also very easy to install, being the lightweight that they are, and do not require so much time and manpower as having frames for your windows.
Despite the frequent use of Plasterboard or Drywalls in most homes and offices, very few know how it is made and how useful the material is, albeit the knowledge where it comes from.
How to attach curtain rail to the wall
Given the fact that the Plasterboard is lightweight, you need to ensure that it can hold up the weight of your curtain rod/rail together with the weight of your curtain fabric. Hence, it is best to use a stud detector to be able to know that there will be a secure hold on the part that you want to drill into, as it serves as a foundation to hold your curtain rod in place while preventing tearing the board off due to weight. Usually, curtain rods are held by brackets which are installed into walls with nails or screws. Yet, when you have a lightweight wall, it is recommended to use longer screws so when your curtain pole and fabrics are added, the weight would be distributed evenly. It’s a lot sturdier than traditional window installation, as the studs and screws work together to hold the pole/rails into place.
Still, it might be possible that the number of mounted screws is not proportionate to the number of studs behind the walls. As studs can usually be found 40-60 cm, some screws will not be secure enough to hold your poles and curtains. When this usually occurs, wall anchors are there to give you a rescue.
When buying your anchors, be sure to choose wall anchors instead of ceiling anchors. Then, when fixing the curtain rail to the plasterboard, ensure that the anchors are aligned together with one another; realigning them twice creates a bigger hole to your plasterboard, thus lesser strength and loose fit to hold your poles/rails.
Once the anchors and screws are in place, it is also necessary to put additional brackets between where your poles will be placed. Brackets are there to support more of your pole, so it will prevent the rail from sagging when the curtain is too heavy. Nevertheless, keep in mind that curtain poles require an additional bracket for every 70-90cm. Therefore, when you have a pole that’s 2 meters long, then a pair or three brackets would make the hold firmer and more level for your curtain poles.
Then it’s time to place your poles or rails and hang your curtains as beautiful as they should be. No need to worry about your Plasterboard being destroyed; the studs, anchors, and brackets have got you covered.
Preventing curtain rods from sagging in the middle
If you have heavy curtains, the pole is not enough to keep them intact and straightened all the time. Having such a scenario at home, you should make time to place additional brackets in the middle of the poles. A curtain rod without centre support can bend the pole, making your poles and curtains look sagged and untidy. Consequently, always remember that the brackets must be firmly placed to prevent unwanted sagging as the poles may support a lot of weight.
It’s always the 70-90cm rule, pal!
How to drill into Plasterboard
Drilling into plasterboard might be easy to think about. However, when doing it carelessly, you’ll end up cracking a huge hole or worse, crack the Plasterboard and it might need replacement later on.
To do the drilling with caution, you need to secure where to drill first before you finally make a hole. In doing this, mark the spot with a pencil, and make sure to use a screw slightly smaller than the ones to be used to put the curtain rods in place. When the marks are already decided, place tape on them; tapes are the easiest remedy to avoid cracking the plasterboard while drilling as they can prevent the plasterboard from such damage. Once the tapes are secured, drill the Plasterboard with caution and remove the tape when done.
Also remember that drilling should only be done once, as doing it all over again makes a bigger hole; hence, your screws might go a little loose.
How much weight can a Plasterboard hold?
As versatile and lightweight as they are, Plasterboards often tend to brittle and crack when you put a lot of weight on them. But don’t fret. Aiming for the right section can do the trick, and you will be surprised how much weight your Plasterboard can hold.
It is recommended to always drill your screws and anchors where there are studs to help the Plasterboard have a stronger foundation and avoid cracking. An 1 1/2-inch (4d) nail driven in at a 45-degree upward angle can hold as much as 20 pounds. Nonetheless, screws give you even greater holding power, and several #4 or larger and longer screws can hold as much as 100 pounds if driven into a wall stud. The studs and the screws/nails alone can hold your curtain rods without trouble, giving more grip and putting them into place perfectly.
Even so, make sure to limit your nails/screws with the numbers of the studs behind your plasterboards (too much of them can leave your Plasterboards to untimely cracking and damage).
Best wall anchor for curtain rods
The most appropriate wall anchor should be the ones with a low profile head. They are able to fasten your curtain rods perfectly because they can avoid making a huge hole which tends to crack the Plasterboard and getting a loose hole to them.
The Ramset 24mm Hollow Wall Carded Fastens Anchor is one of the best you can put for your curtain rods. Aside from the small profile head, the large flange can prevent the head from pulling the anchor from the substrate. It also has anti rotation barbs, associated in the flange, to lessen the probability of the anchor from spinning in the hole.
Moreover, you might want to try the Ramset M6 x 13mm Hollow Wall Anchor which allows low profile fixing and collapsing legs. They usually are great to be used for curtain rods, providing high strength and allowing the screw to be removed without loosing the anchor inside the cavity.
If not into steel anchors, you can also opt for Ramset Nylon WallMate Plasterboard Anchor. They are made from plastic, with an effective drill point for easy penetration of plasterboard. It also has a break away drill point to accommodate long screws.
Set aside window frames. Your Plasterboard and Drywall paired with your studs, anchors, and screws can go a long way!