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ontheDB 09-14-2009 05:10 PM

Help - hanging curtain rods in drywall

New to this forum, and this seems like a basic question.

I am trying to hang up curtain rods against an outside wall which appears to be dry wall over concrete. The curtain rods are actually two rods supported by three supports: one on each end, and one in the middle. The rods are hollow metal ones. It is approx. 80" wide. In the area we wish to install the supports, there is about 3/4 " of drywall, then a metal plate.

The options that I see are to:

a) use shorter screws to secure the supports. However, I am unaware if this would be strong enough. I also assume I do not use anchors.

b) buy an expensive stud-finder that can read metal and find a better location for the supports. However, I've drilled around the area, and it seems not to be a better location.

My question is: will it be enough to just use shorter screws ? and if so, would I need to use anchors ?

Thanks in advance!

PaliBob 09-15-2009 03:30 AM

DB, Welcome to the Forum

…….appears to be dry wall over concrete………..

there is about 3/4" of drywall, then a metal plate…..
Your description of a a layer of drywall over a ‘metal’ plate, butted to a concrete wall is hard to imagine.

Normally drywall is installed against a concrete wall using furring wood or ‘Hi-Hat’ metal channel. This doesn’t seem to apply in your case because you said you’ve “drilled around the area” without reporting any voids that would occur due to furring strips or metal channels.

Drywall glued directly to the wall is also a possibility, but then this is very unusual and it doesn’t explain the ‘metal’ plate.

I suggest that your initial assumption may be wrong if that instead of drywall, you have plaster over wire mesh in which case you could just use 2-1/4” Tapcon screw anchors.

How to tell whether or not your wall is drywall:
A push pin or ice pick can be easily pushed into drywall

ontheDB 09-15-2009 07:12 AM

Thanks for the reply!

When I said I drilled around the area, it was about a 4 inch radius. But inside that circle is where I'd like to put my support. It may be metal studs. To test around the area, I hammer in a thin 1" nail. It goes in easily until about 3/4 of the way and just stops dead; even if i hammer it harder. From this, I would guess it is not mesh.

From the sound it makes, I am guessing it is metal. My second guess would be concrete.

I think I will buy a stud dectector that can detect metal, concrete, wood.... Are there any that people would recommend or not recommend ?


PaliBob 09-15-2009 10:53 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by ontheDB (Post 327970)
I think I will buy a stud dectector that can detect metal, concrete, wood.....

No need for a 'stud detector' to tell whether or not it is metal. Get a small pocket pick-up magnet or use the tip of a magnetized screwdriver.

Don't be concerned with making the small 1/4" hole in the 'drywall'. that will be easy to patch.

Have you determined if it is drywall?

mradam 09-18-2009 10:27 PM

Yep, if it ends up being concrete use a Tap-con or Wedge Bolt (Tap-cons are simpler to use). If metal stud or whatever go with a self-tapping screw and you're good to go.

JRiegler 10-09-2009 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by mradam (Post 329516)
Yep, if it ends up being concrete use a Tap-con or Wedge Bolt (Tap-cons are simpler to use). If metal stud or whatever go with a self-tapping screw and you're good to go.

I'm in nearly the same boat, as a new house that I have purchased has three sliding glass doors. The walls are concrete block, with 3/4" furring strips and then 1/2" drywall.

I need to install curtain rods over all three, each with a length of 88". The center support should be fine, as there is a 4" piece of furring directly over the door (I went in and took pictures during framing). However, each end is going to be over the drywall. I can certainly try to hit the furring strip, drill through that into the concrete with a tapcon. However, I can't be certain that they are centered correctly on each side of the opening. If not, will the 3/4" gap between the drywall and the concrete be any cause for concern since there is no support? I dont want to crank down on the tapcon and cave in the drywall.

I hope that makes sense.

I feel a tapcon will offer the best stregnth, but I'm not sure how to move forward with no support behind the drywall.

mradam 10-09-2009 04:37 PM

I would look into getting something to sleeve the tapcon with. Drill your hole, get a good measurement of the distance from the concrete to the OUTSIDE of your drywall. The sleeve can be anything that is round and hollow and that the tapcon with just slide through. When you slide the sleeve into the hole you drilled in the drywall the sleeve will stop at the concrete wall and be flush with the drywall. This will keep you from being able to crush your drywall no matter how hard you tighten the tapcon.

Don't know if this makes sense how i'm explaining it.

Hope this helps...

JRiegler 10-09-2009 06:47 PM

That makes perfect sense, I assume as long as I can get a sleeve that is a lesser diameter than the head of the screw. Otherewise, the screw head won't sandwich the drywall.

mradam 10-10-2009 09:54 AM

Correct, but you can remedy that by finding the right size washer. You may even have to double up on washers, but it should work.

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