What are the Pros and Cons of a Tension Curtain Rod?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

The pros and cons of a tension rod are directly related to the manner in which the item is installed and the amount of weight or pressure it can withstand. Installing tension curtain rods does not require tools and does not damage walls, which means that these kinds of curtain rods are fast and easy to install. One of the drawbacks of a tension curtain rod is that it is often less stable than a curtain rod that is more permanently affixed. This means that a tension curtain rod is more likely to fall or be pulled out of place than a traditional curtain rod, which may pose a danger to households with small children.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

In addition to tension curtain rods that are used to hang window dressings, tension curtain rods also are used to hang shower curtains. One of the benefits to this kind of tension curtain rod is that it keeps the person installing the rod from drilling through materials such as slate and tile that are common in bathrooms. Walls in other rooms are often made out of material such as drywall, which can be drilled into with ease. Slate and tile, however, are likely to crack and become damaged if they are bored into with nails or drills. When using a tension curtain rod in a bathroom, one must be gentle when opening and closing the curtain to make sure that the entire contraption doesn't slip out of place and fall.

Some people find it convenient to use a tension curtain rod temporarily while they are making large scale decorating or remodeling plans. A tension curtain rod also is useful for people living in a space temporarily. For example, a person who plans to live in an apartment for a matter of months might use a tension curtain rod. Not only would this save him the trouble of mounting a traditional curtain rod, but it would also save him the trouble of managing the repair. This is especially true as most landlords require tenants to either fill in holes that they leave in apartment walls or pay to have a contractor fix them.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


I have found that tension curtain rods are great for basement windows. Usually, these small windows can be adequately covered with lightweight window treatments. Tension curtain rods are ideal for these small spaces and lightweight materials.

Another good thing about using tension curtain rods in the basement is that they are very inexpensive. Most people don't want to spend a lot of money to put up window treatments in their basements; they simply want to cover the windows. For this important reason, inexpensive tension curtain rods are perfect for basement windows.


@rundocuri- Thanks for sharing your experience. I also don't use tension curtain rods for curtains that I move frequently, but I do like them for putting up decorative window treatments.

For example, if you have a window that you want to decorate with a valance that will not require being moved once it is up, using a tension curtain rod is an inexpensive and easy way to put it into place.

One tip that you must follow though is to only use lightweight window treatments on tension curtain rods. Just like the article warns, placing any type of heavy material on a tension curtain rod will make it fall down.


I learned the hard way that you can't use a tension curtain rod for a window that you plan to frequently open and close the curtains. I have done this before, and I was constantly picking the rod and curtains up off the floor. This type of curtain rod just can't take the pressure of constantly moving the curtains on it back and forth.

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