At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is a Tension Rod?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A tension rod is a type of adjustable rod made with springs on the inside and generally a plastic or metal circular bar on the outside. It is used both as a curtain rod and as a shower curtain rod. This type of rod does not require any hardware to install, is generally adjustable within a small margin, depending on the size of the bar, and does not cause any damage to the wall or window frame when it is installed. A tension rod is easy for almost anyone to install and use, without needing to have any building or installation know-how.

Generally, a tension rod features a long bar in the middle with two flat rubber ends. The rubber ends are designed to be non-slip, to prevent the bar from sliding off the wall or window. These rods typically have a weight limit, and are not designed to hold heavy weights; however, for shower curtains, window curtains, or drapes, they work quite well and are usually fairly inexpensive. These rods may be purchased at most home improvement stores, and more sizes can generally be ordered online.

A tension rod is typically used as a curtain rod.
A tension rod is typically used as a curtain rod.

To install a tension rod, simply place it between two walls and expand the rod until it fits between the two surfaces. The sides of the rod may need to be twisted in opposite directions in order to tighten it; once it is tight, it should not move at all. To loosen the rod to remove it, simply twist the ends of the rod in the other direction. The springs will then loosen, and the rod will slightly decrease in length, allowing it to be removed without causing any damage to the wall. These rods are superb choices for older homes and buildings, where door frames or windows may be uneven in size.

Tension rods are often used by people who are renting apartments and cannot screw a shower curtain rod or curtain mounting hardware into the wall. They may be purchased in many different sizes depending on one's needs. Some people also use them to create room dividers or to hang curtains between door frames if a physical door does not exist. It is important never to hang on the tension rod, or add any additional weight to it more than a fabric curtain, because it could bend or potentially pull off the wall, which might cause damage to the paint or sheetrock.

Discussion Comments


I have always used a shower tension rod for my shower curtain. It is so easy to put the rod through the curtain and hang in your shower.

This also makes it handy when you want to remove the shower curtain for cleaning or replace with a new one. There is quite a bit of suction at the ends of the rod, and I have always had good results using them.


We had a window in the front door of our camper that I wanted to have some kind of privacy for. Using a spring tension rod was the perfect solution.

I found a nylon flag that had an outdoor print and an area all across the top where I could slide the rod through. Then all I had to do was place the rod across the frame of the doorway and had the look and privacy I wanted. They only cost a few dollars, so this is an inexpensive way to create a window treatment.


There have been several times I have used a tension rod to hang a curtain or valance. The best part about them is that you don't have to worry about screwing in hardware parts.

I have a window area right above my kitchen sink that I like to change around depending on the season of the year. In the fall I will put up a tension curtain rod and decorate it with colorful cloth napkins that have a fall pattern on them.

This is a quick and easy way to change the look of the room without a lot of hassle. The tension rod extends to the width I need it and I have never had a problem with it falling down.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A tension rod is typically used as a curtain rod.
      By: belikov
      A tension rod is typically used as a curtain rod.