I'm hoping to mount two curtain rods to span a distance of about 14' so I can partition a portion of my finished basement and make it easier to heat. There is a single wooden support beam running the length of the intended partition. It's 6x8 and probably as old as the house, built in 1926.

Because of a dropped ceiling, only the bottom half of the support beam is exposed. If I were to mount the curtain rod hardware on the side of the beam, at least one screw per mount would be within the bottom third, which I understand is where the beam is in tension.

Is it safe for me to do this because the beam is so thick and the screws are small (1/8th wide, 2" long)? Or is it still a total no-no because I'm putting holes in the beam's bottom third?

Thank you kindly for any imparted wisdom.

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    – HoneyDo
    Mar 16, 2021 at 1:45
  • As @HoneyDo says they should be fine. In the construction code in australia you are allowed to make penetrations thru structural members up to a certain size (and it's way bigger than a screw) before the beam is no longer providing it's rated strength. Think of it another way (other than damage to the surface of the beam) the load of your rail is almost certainly much less than the load of the ceiling, rafters, and whatever structure is above the beam. Now if it has a big sag in it already - sort that disaster waiting to happen first ..
    – Mr R
    Mar 16, 2021 at 2:39
  • putting holes in a beam is about using drill bits, not screws. Screws don't make "holes" as far as code is concerned. Unless they're like 1" diameter lag bolts, but then that's you predrilling a 3/4" hole.
    – Mazura
    Sep 29, 2023 at 4:51

1 Answer 1


It's always smart to ask when dealing with support structures in a building. I'm not an engineer but based on my long experience in dealing with various structural issues attaching screws of that size to the bottom of a 6x8 beam to hang a curtain is not an issue. The assumption, Of course, is that this is a standard curtain and not made of chain mail.

  • 1
    I wish plumbers worried about drilling holes for their pipes as much as you worried about a few screws. I think you’ll be fine installing the screws.
    – Lee Sam
    Mar 16, 2021 at 5:48
  • Thanks for the answer! I stopped myself at the last minute from just going ahead with doing it, and so I only had just learned of the problems that can come from putting holes in structural supports (a real duh moment for me). Lol, it's definitely not chainmail curtains, but my main concern was never the weight so much as whether the drill holes themselves would cause the beam to be weakened. But with your answer and the other comments I feel much more confident it'll be ok. Thanks again! Mar 16, 2021 at 19:44
  • You're welcome. BTW - The best way to thank someone here at SE is an upvote and/or an accepted answer check.
    – HoneyDo
    Mar 17, 2021 at 0:06
  • Can't put 'holes' in an I-beam, otherwise go nuts, +1.
    – Mazura
    Sep 29, 2023 at 4:52

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