Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We have a loft conversion with a dormer and a window in the wall of the dormer. I'd like to put up some curtains, but I'm not sure how to attach the curtain rail. The dormer walls are described as:

  • 12.5mm foil-backed plasterboard
  • 35mm Gyproc Thermaline Plus finish to internal surfaces
  • 50x100mm studwork to cheeks at 600mm c/c
  • 100mm Kingspan Thermawall TW55 between studs
  • breather membrane
  • 18mm WBP plywood
  • 25x38mm treated battens on BS747 1F reinforced felt
  • tile hanging

Can anyone tell me how to attach my curtain rail? If I'm screwing into wood, how do I know where the wooden struts are?

window layout

share|improve this question
A photo would be extremely helpful. – wallyk Aug 20 '13 at 18:59
Thanks for taking an interest; here's a photo: imgur.com/Z0hwhwh – Chris Aug 20 '13 at 20:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Windows need framing around them, to support the hole-in-the-wall the window represents. This means that support framing (IF you have wooden framing) will be immediately to the left, right and above the window, within the first several inches.

Small test nailings can be done in the area in question, just deep enough to prove wood-or-not. Drillings with small bits can accomplish the same thing, as well as making a pilot hole for a screw.

Failing-finding-wood, anchors of various configurations will support the screw(s) in drywall (also known as plasterboard, wallboard, gypsum board, or gyprock), such as: enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Thanks @HerrBag - is there any way to tell from the specifications what the spacing of the upright wooden struts is? My curtain rail is longer than the window is wide and I'd like to attach to the "next strut out" - is this what a "stud finder" does? – Chris Aug 21 '13 at 7:34
If you can borrow a stud finder, do that. I've purchased 8 over my lifetime, with varying degrees of success. A knuckle rap test (slowly (1 per second) knock on the wall in a line perpendicular to the structure placement, you should hear a pitch change to the knock over the structure) seems to work at least 75% of the time. – HerrBag Aug 21 '13 at 12:52
Unless the curtains are very lightweight, I would try to avoid screw in or plastic anchor type fasteners. If a non-stud solution is unavoidable, I would recommend toggle type anchors, especially the newer captive ones like this one:homedepot.com/p/… – bib Aug 21 '13 at 13:24
Thank you - now all I have to do is explain to my wife why I was looking up "stud finder" on the internet... – Chris Aug 21 '13 at 16:45
You were looking for pointers, to be a better husband... ;-) – HerrBag Aug 21 '13 at 16:53

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.