Bay Window Curtain Tracks: Made to Measure vs. Off the Shelf

Bay windows can be a fantastic focal point for your house, both inside and out. All that natural light does wonders for your mood and the bay is a great place to put dressing tables, office desks and window seats. The only downside is that you have some tough decisions to make about your curtains. Should you go for a bespoke curtain pole, or get something from a store for some DIY installation?

 

Off the Shelf

 

Light through Curtains

At first glance, getting a good curtain pole seems simple: you go down to your local DIY store, buy a cheap pole or rail and put it up yourself. While this may save you some money in the short term, this is actually a recipe for disaster.

 

The main problem is the shape of the bay window, which could be curved or have lots of angles. The only way to deal with shapes like these is to buy lots of short poles (which look rather ugly) or to try to bend a curtain rail yourself to fit the gap. What most people don’t consider is that bending a rail properly is difficult and involves an element of maths to get the angles right. It’s very unlikely you’d get it right yourself first time.

 Quality

 

Another problem is that your average DIYer doesn’t have the tools needed to bend a bay window curtain rail. That means the tracks sold at DIY stores are of lower quality to allow them to be bent without those tools. They’re designed to be flimsy, so fixing heavy curtains is virtually impossible. The cords also need to be thinner in this sort of design too, so they break or come loose. A plastic track might be another option, but these can become brittle over time.

 

Bespoke is Best

 

Getting a curtain pole or rail specially made to fit your bay window might sound more expensive, but in the long term it’s the most cost effective option. Made to measure tracks are bent to the exact shape of your window by professionals with years of experience. That means your track will already fit when it arrives and you can put it up quickly and easily.

You also get a better quality product that will last a long time. Our tracks come with a 5 year guarantee and are heavy duty so you can hang weighty or very long curtains, and they even have separate channels for the cords so they never fall out. Plus we have a wide range of styles, designs, brackets and accessories so you can get the look you want, not just what the shop happens to have in stock.

 

For made to measure bay window curtain tracks and poles, have a look at the website. We’ve got all the latest designs from top brands like Silent Gliss.

 
 Image courtesy of Naama (Flickr)
 
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Corded Curtain Tracks are Better than Uncorded Curtain Tracks

Made to measure corded curtain tracks are a very underrated and under used product.  I have had many discussions with people looking to replace a corded curtain track with a hand drawn curtain track because they complained that their existing one never worked properly.  The problem in all these instances was not that the original curtain rail was corded it was because they were sold one that was not of a good enough quality for their purpose in other words it was a miss sold product.

 

At Tracks-Direct.com we have corded curtain tracks suitable for every shape, size and situation.  Light weight domestic curtains may only need a 3000 corded curtain track.  Heavy weight domestic curtains may need a 3900 corded curtain track.  Bay windows and long curtains may need to have a pulley each side to split the weight of the curtains.  We even have corded curtain tracks such as the 6370 corded curtain track and 6200 corded curtain track suitable for stage and hall curtains which can carry over 60kg of heavy weight stage curtains with chain weighting.

 

Basically if you buy a corded curtain track that is made to measure bespoke product from a quality company who know about the products and know what they are selling and why there is no reason why you should select a hand drawn curtain track over a corded curtain track.

 

The benefits of corded curtain tracks are numerous.  They range from protecting the curtains from constant handling which can soil them to preventing them from damage such as tearing.  Corded curtain tracks also provide ease of use for windows that have obstructions.  Some bay windows have shelves, sofas or TV’s in the way to prevent someone being able to hand draw a curtain track from one side to the other.  With a corded curtain track this is never an issue.

 

The corded curtain tracks also offer the same benefit over curtain rods and curtain poles.

 

Don’t be miss sold a corded curtain track make sure that the company you buy it from are willing to guarantee the product.  At tracks-Direct all our products come with a 5 year guarantee, and all our sales staff are not just trained in product knowledge but also trained in how to assemble, cord and bend the product so that they have full technical, practical and full working knowledge of all our products.

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Electric curtain tracks and automation for those with limited mobility

 

If you or a loved one is finding it difficult to get around, don’t lose heart. There are lots of automated technologies and nifty gadgets that can help you stay independent, whether you’re feeling the effects of age, suffer from a disability or want to make things easier for Mum and Dad.

 

Adjustable beds

 

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to make your daily activities seem easier, but if you’re in pain overnight that’s not likely to happen. An electric bed can be a big help as you can lift the head or bottom to help you sit up or find a more comfortable position in which to sleep. Reading and watching TV is made easier, and the beds are especially good if you have a bad back. You can even get versions with massage functions built-in.

 

Electric curtain rails

 

Reaching up to draw the curtains can be a problem if you have mobility issues, but closing them is really important. Not only do curtains help retain heat in the winter, keeping heating bills down, they increase security by letting burglars know someone is home. Electric curtain tracks open and close the curtains for you. The simplest of these systems work by remote control, but you can also get timers and light sensors so you don’t need to remember to do anything. Whatever system you use, the rails will save you getting up or pulling the curtains from the bottom, which can damage both the curtains and the pole.

 

Riser chairs

 

It’s a good idea to remain as mobile as possible if you want to stay independent, so you want to be able to get up easily. Riser chairs look like a standard reclining chair with a high back for comfort, but at the push of a button the seat lifts and tilts to help you get back on your feet; perfect if you have aching joints or arthritis.

 

A stairlift - just one electric technology to help mobility

 

Stair lifts

 

Stair lifts are getting really clever nowadays, and are safe and effective. Climbing the stairs is one of the biggest challenges if you’re having trouble getting around, so a chair lift is a big help. Modern versions can be fitted to almost any staircase, even if it has curves and angles in it.

 

The Aging Population

 

As there are now more people in the UK who are over 60 than under 18, preparing our homes to help the elderly is becoming increasingly important. People are living longer, but they also want to stay active and independent. Recent research from Age UK shows that people are increasingly improving their homes rather than moving, and using automated technology can make a huge difference in improving quality of life.

There are often grants and loans available from your local authority to help with home improvements, and as specialists in curtain tracks and poles, we can give you advice on our range of electric curtains. The Silent Gliss 5090 comes with a number of different accessories so you can easily fit a timer or light sensor.

 

Image courtesy of Stannah Stairlift (Wikimedia commons)
 
 
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Spotlight on the Silent Gliss 6130 Metropolitan 30mm curtain pole

 

Uncorded pole for bay windows

The 6130 Metropolitan curtain pole.

The Silent Gliss 6130 Metropolitan pole is the best curtain pole for bay windows.  The reason for is that the Metropole works by using gliders in a channel under the pole rather than a ring around a pole.  This opens up a lot of possibilities and makes the working of the curtain pole much more effective.

 

The fact that the Metropolitan curtain pole uses gliders rather than rings means that the curtains run smoothly past the brackets.  We are able to bend the 6130 Metropolitan pole for bay windows using a radius of 300mm, whilst the gliders run smoothly around the bends.  Another benefit is that because the brackets are fitted to the top of the pole and the gliders hang from underneath the pole the Metropole can be fixed flush to the ceiling which is great for windows that go all the way up to the ceiling such as Dormer windows or drop ceiling in bays.  All poles with rings require the pole to be dropped down from the ceiling by about 60mm which creates a gap which is both unsightly and also lets light come through.

 

Below are a few points why the Metropolitan pole is the best pole for long windows or bay windows.

 

  • The Metropolitan pole uses gliders rather than rings.  Rings often get caught on the brackets as they slide past.  The gliders in the Metropole makes the system run much smoother.
  • The Metropolitan curtain pole can be fitted flush to the ceiling.
  • The Metropolitan curtain pole can be bent to suit most bay windows.
  • The Metropolitan curtain pole has a coice of 13 different finishes – cream, bronze, gunmetal, black, steel grey, white, diva gold, classic gold, chrome effect, anodised silver and wood effects; mahogany, oak and beech.
  • Metropole is also available with a range of finials and midials offering a contemporary or traditional finish so the curtain pole can be customised to suit most rooms.
  • The Metropolitan curtain pole can carry up to 20kg of weight using the standard gliders.  For heavier curtains an option for roller gliders is available allowing the Metropolitan curtain pole to take up to 35kg of weight.
  • The Metropolitan curtain pole is easy to fit to wall or ceiling with a choice of brackets.

 

The Silent Gliss Metropolitan curtain pole is offered on our website with a discount of 15%.  We also make a price match and guarantee on this product giving you piece of mind that this exceptional product is also sold at an exceptional price.

 

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Curtain Cord Safety – Make It Safe Campaign

You may have recently seen in the press the dangers posed to young children by the risk of becoming entangled on looped cords on curtain tracks and blinds.

Last year 6 children died after getting entangled on blind cords alone.  The children at most risk are those between 16 months to 36 months old and most of the accidents happen in the bedroom.  The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in 2004 called upon the blind industry to voluntarily start providing devices and making changes to reduce and ultimately eliminate these accidents entirely.  Curtain tracks and poles had not been included in the initial campaign but they are no less responsible and can be just as dangerous.

Tracks-Direct Part of the make it safe campaign

We at Tracks-Direct are an active partner in the “make it Safe” campaign.  In an effort to eliminate these accidents entirely we supply a cord safety device free with all purchases and we will also supply additional cord safety devices free to any of our customers upon request.

If you are thinking about purchasing a curtain track, pole or blind we have put together some points to consider before purchasing, ensuring that your curtain tracks and poles can be made as safe as possible.  We have also added other potential hazards that can possibly cause accidents to children.

  • Install curtain tracks and poles that do not have a cord or an especially in a child’s bedroom.  When fitting electrical tracks make sure wires are either tacked to the wall or concealed within the wall or trunking
  • Avoid placing a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window
  • Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and out of reach of children
  • Use a cleat, cord tidy, tension pulley or safety device to secure curtain or blind cords to the wall
  • Do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed
  • Don’t hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring.

Curtain track, pole and blind Cords should never be cut even as a short term solution.  Cutting the cord in the wrong place can make the curtain track, pole or blind inoperable.  It will also lead to one cord becoming much longer than the other which increases the risk of a child becoming

entangled. The cut cords can also become entangled and resulting in the reformation of a loop defying the very purpose of cutting them.

We have many products that can eliminate the need for cords such as hand drawn products that can be operated with draw rods to avoid fouling the curtains, or electrical tracks that can be operated using switches, timers and remotes.  These options can eliminate the potential for danger to toddlers and an option is available for any budget.

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Home automation trends

One of the latest interior design trends is a move towards cleverer houses with technology integrated into the very fabric of the building. This technology could be heating, lighting, a sound system, security or electric curtains, built in and operated from a single point in the house, or even functioning on its own.

Lighting

Anyone who’s seen Grand Designs recently will have seen the elaborate lighting systems being installed in new builds. At the touch of a button the lights can be set to suit different moods and times of day. For an intimate dinner you could just have the table dimly illuminated, while coloured lights can be turned on for a party. Light sensors mean the brightness can be set to change automatically, or you could have a switch by the front door so you can turn every light off on your way out. These clever ideas can make things more intimate, more exciting or more practical.

Music

Music systems spanning the whole house are also popular. Audio can be set to play in every room at once, a single room or even outside. Gone are the days when you had to listen to music in the room the hifi was in: you can listen to anything, anywhere. And as the speakers and cables are hidden in the walls, the house has a cleaner, more minimal look.

Electric curtains

Electric curtain rails are among the most useful home automation products available. While fancy lighting schemes and music players are a luxury, motorised curtains are a virtual necessity for people with mobility problems, and are particularly useful for delicate curtains that don’t like being handled. Washing silk drapes is difficult, so keeping grubby fingers away from them is a definite plus.

Electric curtains are motorised so the nylon gliders move along the track on their own, eliminating the need to use a cord or pull them by hand. The mechanism can be operated by remote control, timer or light sensor. Sensors allow the curtains to close at night or in strong sunlight, keeping the house warm in winter and protecting books and artwork from damaging UV rays.

Security

Alarms, video cameras and intercoms can all be linked to a home automation system. These are controlled from a central point, and gates can be opened remotely so visitors don’t have access to the property without your say so. Lights and electric curtains also have a security function, as thieves often target properties they think are empty. If lights turn on and off and the curtains open and close on their own, potential burglars will think someone is in the house, even if you’re on holiday.

Although a complete lighting, entertainment and security system can be difficult to install, electric curtain tracks are easily fitted to any window, without fuss. Our specialists will help make sure you get a rail that fits, even if you have an awkwardly shaped, square or curved bay window, and our packages include light sensors and timers if required. Visit the electric curtain tracks page for more information.

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Spotlight on the Silent Gliss 3900 Corded Curtain Track

The Silent Gliss 3900 corded curtain track is an exceptional curtain track.  It is operated by pulling a looped draw strings that can be located at either end and can pull up to 25kg of curtain weight.  For heavy curtains an intermediate pulley can be added to the track so that the track is corded at both sides splitting the weight of the curtains between the two pulls, the left hand to operate the left curtain and the right to operate the right curtain.

 

What makes the 3900 curtain track so special is its internal mechanism.  Most tracks that operate with draw strings need the cords tensioned; this is to avoid the cords coming out ofCross Section of 3900 track the track.  The Silent Gliss 3900 curtain track has separate internal cording channels that the cords slide through; these channels contain and regulate the cords keeping all the cording exactly where it should be.  This also allows the track to be reverse bent so that it can be bent backwards to come outside of bay windows and into the room if required.  This combined with the wheeled roller gliders make the Silent Gliss 3900 the most suitable corded curtain track for bay windows and the heaviest duty domestic track on the market.

 

The Silent Gliss 3900 is offered on our website with a discount of 15%.  We also make a price match and guarantee on this product giving you piece of mind that this exceptional product is also sold at an exceptional price.

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Dress your bay windows with style

Bay windows are beautiful additions to any home. For those lucky enough to have them, they create secluded nooks and useful spaces for furniture, as well as flooding the room with light. Some people find them difficult to dress, though, or are unsure how to make the most of them as a feature. Fortunately, there are a number of simple techniques which can accentuate the space, control the amount of light and make use of any quirky shapes.

Curtains with blinds

Combining curtains and blinds may seem mad, but it was actually quite common in Regency England, when they sometimes had two sets of curtains with blinds. Today, it can be an incredibly practical and elegant solution for those who want to keep out strong sunlight, have more privacy or keep in the warmth. The blinds can either cover the entire window or just the bottom half, for a balance between privacy and light. Contrasting colours and patterns can create a really dramatic effect.

Curtain tracks

Elegant office with bay window and curtain trackA common problem with bay windows is that people find it difficult to find curtain poles which really fit. It can also be difficult to open and close the curtains because of the awkward shape or height of the space, or a piece of furniture may be in the way. Corded curtain tracks can be a good solution, as you only need to be able to reach the cord, not the curtain itself. A bespoke pole can be bent to fit, preventing the need for lots of short poles.

A track also allows delicate and expensive fabrics to be used without the worry of them getting dirtied or damage. A romantic effect can be created using light, floaty material, or silk can be used for pure glamour.

Multiple curtains

Another attractive look can be created by using more than one set of curtains. If the bay has three windows, a pair of curtains in the middle can be flanked by an extra one either side. Tie-backs can then be added so that the windows are framed even when the curtains are drawn. Although it would be possible to achieve this look with multiple curtain poles, having a continuous track or pole gives more flexibility and looks less cluttered.

Plants

As bay windows let in so much light, they can be the perfect place for pot plants. Many house plants are originally from sub-tropical and tropical environments, and like as much light and warmth as possible. Be careful not to let the plants dry out, though, and make sure they are light-loving varieties. They can be placed on the sill if there is space, or in a larger pot on a stand.

Add a valance

To link the separate windows together, it can be useful to have a draped valance that circles the entire wall of the bay. Valances are available in many different styles, from elaborately ruched to plain and simple. While these are usually chosen to match the colour of the main curtains, it is perfectly possible to have a valance on its own.

For more information on curtain tracks and poles for bay windows, feel free to contact Tracks Direct. Our experts have years of experience and will be happy to talk through your requirements.

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Electric Curtain Tracks: The Future for Curtain and Blind Operation

Electric curtain operation is the latest technology for the curtain and blind market.  Specialist electric curtain tracks are ideal for large, hard to reach windows which are becoming more and more popular in modern houses and office blocks.

Here at Tracks Direct we supply made-to-measure electric curtain tracks which are excellent for adding security and a touch of luxury to your home. Timer and light activated systems make these tracks ideal for the regular traveller as they can be set to open and close at certain times.  Electric tracks are also perfect for the less able bodied, as they come complete with an easy to use remote or switch.

Silent Gliss 5090TC Autoglide electric curtain track with remote control, timer and light sensor

Heavy and hard to reach curtains can ruin traditional curtain tracks, so why not modernise your home and treat yourself to a custom made electric curtain track? Our range consists of tracks designed by Silent Gliss, the leading international supplier of electric curtains and blinds. We manufacture advanced electric curtain track systems such as the 5400 and 5200 systems which can be wired into either a lighting or home entertainment system. These heavy duty tracks are perfect for curtains ranging up to 40kg in weight and can be customised to fit multiple bend bay windows.  Suitable for integration with Lutron and RAKO electrical systems.  The 5400 and 5200 advance motors are also available with an integrated radio receiver which can link into most radio controlled systems.  The 5400 and 5200 systems make home automation simple and efficient.

Electric curtain and blind tracks are often used in conference rooms and home cinemas. Use the handy remote system to draw your curtains halfway, creating the ideal ambience in your room. Conservatories and sun rooms often need a high quality blind system to keep them cool. Make life easier and purchase a specialist electric curtain track.

Designs such as the Silent Gliss 5090 Autoglide electric track feature a handy switch for opening and closing your curtains. Alternatively, why not alter the ambience in your home from the comfort of your armchair with the Autoglide 5090IR, which comes with a compact remote control? Click here for more information.

Add security and luxury and modernise your home with convenient electric curtain tracks.

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How to cord a Silent Gliss 3000 curtain track

We have been asked once or twice how to record a Silent Gliss 3000 curtain track and how to adjust the cord on a 3000 curtain track.  So we decided to video our technician cording a Silent Gliss curtain track and post it here to assist anyone who may need it.

If you have an existing track or are taking down, re-sizing and re-fitting a Silent Gliss 3000 curtain track, this video should be of assistance to you.

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