plasterboard wall and curtain rails

21 Oct 2007
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United Kingdom
Unfortunately I have a very similar problem. I have tried drilling everywhere above the window but with the same result, I can push a screwdriver through the plaster and then hit metal or ? which I cannot penetrate and the hole is not deep enough to put a rawl plug in. In some parts of the wall I can drill deep enough for a rawl plug but these will simply not hold anything and three times the poles has collapsed. I have tried an adhesive but that also did not work. I am not too happy with the idea of glueing a batten on to the wall and then the pole onto that and then hanging the curtains. Is there no other alternative at all?
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jangor - what you are describing is a common problem, you're hitting the lintel which supporting the wall above the window. Made from concrete (with steeel reinforcing bars in them) or from steel, you need to penetrate these to get a decent fix. Sounds like your plaster covering is plasterboard fixed to the wall using dabs of adhesive (that might explains the very small gap).

You need a decent hammer action electric drill, with masonary bit, to drill into the concrete lintel, then insert the plugs for the screws. Problem then is how to stop the plasterboard from collapsing ('cos of the gap) when you tighten the fixing screws for the curtain rail - solution use these spacer fittings:

Same solution if the lintel is made from steel but use a metal cutting twist drill.

How do you know what type of lintel? Try with a masonary drill first - you'll make some progress if it's concrete and none at all if it's steel.

Avoid using toggle cavity anchors or plasterboard plugs, apart from a last resort if the above methods don't work, as the strength of the installation is dependant on the strength of the plasterboard.
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You could cut away a plasterboard strip about 100mm wide and slightly longer than any fitting to be installed and replace this with a piece of ply or similar to the existing depth [should give you at least 20mm of timber in depth]this can be screwed and glued to external wall and should be deep enough to extend above window lintil, which is enough to fix most curtain fixing on.You will need to make good and decorate but the timber will then match the wall and not be visable.

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