Many of our customers want a valance with a clean return on each side, but when it comes to measuring and choosing a rod, it can get very confusing.

We get it, it’s hard for some people to order a size that’s much larger than their window, but that’s what you have to do with any valance that is mounted on a continental rod.

So what is a continental rod? A continental rod is a flat, white metal curtain rod. It’s usually 2-1/2 inches long, although some are also 3-1/2 inches long to accommodate wide pocket curtains. Continental rods have brackets that wrap around each side, which can create a 4- to 6-inch projection. Some even come with 8-inch projections!


Projection Or Return?

The most important feature of a continental rod is its projection. Some people use the terms projection and return interchangeably, but it’s usually the same thing.

A projection tells you how far the rod is from the wall, and a return tells you how far a curtain or valance is from the wall. If you want a valance with a 4-inch return, you’ll buy a continental rod with a 4-inch projection as well to accommodate it.



What Rod Pocket Size Do I Need?

Many people erroneously think that a rod pocket on a window treatment is the same as the curtain rod size. In other words, if the continental rod is 2-1/2-inches, then the rod pocket on a valance cannot be 2-1/2 inches as well. The rule of thumb is to always get a rod pocket that is 1 inch larger than a rod. So with a 2-1-2-inch long continental rod, your valance or curtain needs a rod pocket that is 3-1/2 inches or more.


Why Continental Rods Are Better

Although decorative rods and their elaborate finials give a room an extra decor piece, they aren’t that great when viewed from the side. Brackets can be bulky, and screws are visible too. The nice thing about a contineal rod is that it allows a curtain to wrap around its sides, essentially covering the whole curtain rod and making is nearly invisble. No brackets or screws to look at!

They’re also quite sturdy thanks to their 2-1/2-inch length and large brackets.


Butterfly Valance on Continental Rod

A London valance mounted on a continental rod.


Shaped valances with 4-inch returns mounted on continental rods look neat and clean when viewed from the side.



Continental rods are flat metal rods with a deep projection. They allow a curtain or valance to wrap around its sides, making them look great when viewed from the side.


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