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How To
DIY - Curtains and Curtain Track
Chinese fittings around your home may give you problems, especially in older apartments. The two most common problems are broken wardrobe hinges, and broken curtain rail supports.

These are jobs you should probably consider rectifying yourself, as they are quite simple to repair and basically require only a suitable screwdriver.

Replacing Chinese curtain rail supports.

Curtain Rails

It is likely your apartment has curtain rails that are supported at both ends by low quality anchors, and a 'chrome plated' rod fitting between them. From this the sliders are added, from which you hang the curtains.
There are two common problems:
1. The 'anchors' break.
2. The 'anchors' come out of the wall.
+ A mixture of both is pretty common.

Theoretically, replacement is pretty simple - just so long as you get the size and quality of the replacement parts right. There are commonly 3 sizes or diameters of rods, with only two of these being supported by the majority of hardware stores. Most replacement fittings are not worth buying, being very light and prone to breaking at the base as soon as any pressure is applied (Tightening a fixing screw). Medium quality ones are available, and are substantially heavier.
Image: Standard Chinese curtain track - Click to Enlarge

You are doubtless replacing these because you can't hang any curtains. Reasonable quality replacements may have different screw hole settings, so you will probably need to look at drilling new holes into the wall. These may be compromised by existing holes, so plan ahead.

You can buy power drills in China at any decent outlet, and know cordless versions by Bosch and Makita are available for very reasonable money. I brought out my 'professional' De Walt 18 Volt from UK - although Customs at UK airports made a great palaver about it - so best inform them in advance and be prepared for extra x-ray's, etc.

Most Chinese drill bits are very cheap and worthless after a single use - unless drilling children's Plasticine or making holes in Apples. By contrast, most Chinese walls are pretty hard. Therefore pay premium for Bosch drill bits, which are sized in millimeters as in the west. For curtain track you need 6.5mm masonry drills (Y30 +) and the shop that sells these will also sell appropriate and quality rawl plugs and screws.

Once you have all the required parts in place, set about replacing the broken track supports. You should first fit the new support by drilling all holes, adding rawl plugs, and putting the screws most of the way in. Toggle the new fitting so you can fit the curtain rod, support and tighten. Ensure the rod cannot come out of the fittings. We are working on the premise that one support is still functional, so if this is the case, be careful when fitting the new support, as any lateral pressure can break the 'cup' of the existing one at the other end.

Stand back and admire your work, and repeat the fitting process once you realise you have not put the curtain support rings on the track.

Treat all old fittings as if they are made of 'eggshells' - and I am not joking!
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.
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