Have you heard all the racket about brackets? For such a minor component in the overall scheme of a window treatment, there sure are a lot of decisions to make when specifying hardware.
The first question to be answered is "How many brackets are needed?". Quite often the answer to this question will point you towards a specific hardware vendor. The general rule is brackets should be spaced 4 feet apart. If you are dealing with single windows, almost any bracket style and/or line of hardware will work. If you are dealing with wider windows, such as sliding glass doors or picture windows, a center bracket (or brackets) may be required. Nothing ruins a beautiful custom window treatment like a cheap looking bracket taking center stage on a long span of rodding.
One option for dealing with the wide span is to choose a larger diameter rod. Although 4 ft. bracket spacing is the rule of thumb, as the diameter of the rod increases so does the minimum spacing required between brackets. Helser Brothers offers 2" round metal rods with a 140" bracket to bracket minimum -- that's almost 12 feet between brackets! I used Helser Brothers 1-1/4" diameter rods for these operable grommet panels so that I would only need 1 center bracket on this 15 foot span. Remember, grommets and drapery rings can't pass through brackets.
Another option for dealing with a wide span is to choose a line of hardware that offers decorative brackets. If you must have a center bracket, why not choose one you want to look at? Here are two examples: The first is hardware from House Parts' Bamboo Collection and the second is Helser Brothers' 1-1/4" twisted iron rope rod with Artigiani brackets.
A third option for dealing with a wide span is to choose a bracket style that visually disappears. Most brackets have a vertical mount plate. But some hardware lines offer brackets with a horizontal mount plate. The horizontal plate is hidden behind the rod itself. Can you find the three center brackets on this Orion Iron Art hardware?
If your head is spinning with bracket racket on your next project, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help you work through the options and find the perfect bracket solution.