Many people who understand conventional adjustable curtain rods have difficulty determining what should be used when it comes to heavy-duty or commercial curtain track. One main difference between them, other than cost, is that commercial curtain or drapery track is typically aluminum rather than steel. The thickness of the aluminum track makes it heavier duty without increasing the weight of the rod itself. To help determine which style of track should be used in various applications, the categories can be broken down into three basic types: corded track, baton or hand draw track, and cubicle track.
Corded commercial curtain track can be used in the place of adjustable steel residential rods for draperies in commercial or residential settings. Draperies often tend to be heavier today because of the use of blackout linings and heavy interlinings. While adding desirable benefits, such as blocking light and energy efficiency, the weight of these linings can put a lot of stress on typical drapery rods. A heavy-duty aluminum track can provide the same benefit of cord operation with more traversing ease and less strain on the user. The addition of ball bearing carriers with quality master carriers and end pulleys can make all the difference in a drapery’s functionality.
The second common aluminum track is a single channel track that is operated by hand or a baton that is attached to the master carrier. This track is simple in design, without the need for a separate channel for pull cords. They are often used in hotels with ball bearing carriers for ease of maintenance and simple baton traversing of heavy blackout draperies. Wall mount or ceiling mount options are available. Different style headings for draperies, such as pinch pleated, ripplefold, or accordiafold can be accommodated by these tracks as well as by corded curtain tracks.
The final style of track is often referred to as a cubicle track. Even though other drapery headings can be used, a grommet curtain is most often used with this curtain track, often with a mesh top. While the other tracks can also be angular bent and circular curved, the cubicle curtain track will most often use these capabilities. The most common use would be as a separation for beds or work stations in hospitals and dental offices. Other possible applications are dressing areas and privacy curtains. These tracks are typically operated by pulling the curtain by hand and most often ceiling mounted.
When making a curtain track selection, keep the following in mind: the style and weight of the drapery, the type of operation, and mounting method. By breaking down the options into the three categories mentioned, the selection process need not be as difficult as it might seem. The distributor or retailer should be able to guide you in your choice for years of trouble free operation.