Hanging curtain wire between old walls
September 21, 2011 11:54 AM   Subscribe

I hung up curtains last week using IKEA's Dignitet curtain wire system. Last night the steel cable yanked one of the mounts out of the brick wall it was attached to. What do I do now?

I mounted the Dignitet mounts on opposing walls (IKEA picture is on single wall) and tensioned the steel wire just enough to hang straight; also, curtains were very light. The brick walls are old and known to be in not too great shape, but did I do something wrong? Did I use the wrong plugs? how should I go about rehanging the Dignitet mount in the same spot? I imagine I'd have to fill up the holes again somehow, but with what? And how do I make sure the plug have enough grip in the wall for the mount to stay put?

My local DIY store isn't very good at dispensing advice, so please hope me.
posted by ar0n to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
You could use some JB Weld. It's very easy to mix some up, fill the hole part of the way with it, and then insert your mount into that. It'll hold, if you let it cure without weight on the wire.
posted by joedanger at 11:56 AM on September 21, 2011

From the Ikea picture it looks like those mounts were designed to hold with pressure going perpendicular to the mount, and not with pressure pulling directly straight out. You may have to find a different type of mounting to accomplish what you're looking to do here.
posted by Grither at 12:06 PM on September 21, 2011

That type of wall anchor blows. Also what Grither says.

You can still use that mount but get some longer screws - the green or beige galvanized type they sell for putting decks together. I'd go for 2-1/2" long. Also buy or scrounge a foot or so of common romex wire (the type that got a plastic outer jacket with 3 wires inside it)

Deepen the holes enough for the new screws. Then take the wire out of the romex and cut it into lengths just less than 2-1/2" (but keep the plastic coating on the wires themselves). Jam one or two of these wires pieces fill each hole. Remount your hardware with the new screws and it'll hold amazingly well.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:09 PM on September 21, 2011

Those plastic expanding screw things are not for mounting in masonry. They're designed for mounting in sheetrock where they expand into an open space behind the wall.

When you mounted them in the brick space they were able to expand, but only a little squeezing against the hard brick. This reduced their holding power.

What you need are mounting options that are specifically for masonry/concrete applications.
posted by odinsdream at 12:10 PM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

You can see the effect best on the right-most anchor in your photo. See how it's squeezed against the screw threads?
posted by odinsdream at 12:13 PM on September 21, 2011

What Grither and Odinsdream said.

Use Tapcon screws. It's easier to do if you drill a pilot hole w/ a masonry bit first.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:20 PM on September 21, 2011

Since you can rotate that piece into which the wire is inserted outward, perpendicular to the wall, most of the loading is coming straight out of the wall, moreso than if both ends were mounted on a single wall and pulling on it from the "side." I have that curtain wire mounted on a wall in my house and those plastic plugs don't work very well with the Dignitet even when it's being mounted on a single wall. Maybe you could try those blue Tapcon screws straight into the brick (avoid the mortar). They tend to be pretty tough and I think you should be able to find them at a DIY store.
posted by jroybal at 12:20 PM on September 21, 2011

I happen to have that same curtain system, but haven't installed it yet. I just took a look at the directions that came with it.

There's a drawing of it in the opposite walls configuration, and some text to the effect of using appropriate mounting hardware for your wall type.

The Tapcon screws might not work as well in brick, depending on what type you have. There are some types of brick that are hollow, or it might be a more crumbly grade of brick. I'd go ahead and give it a try though.

If nothing else works, you can mount the curtain hardware to a larger piece of wood that you attach to the wall.
posted by yohko at 3:39 PM on September 21, 2011

I would use lead anchors, but here are some other options.

posted by mearls at 8:20 PM on September 21, 2011

I found that using the system as provide, on a single sheet-rock wall per the Ikea image, still resulted in pulled out mounts. My curtains are not particularly heavy.
posted by _paegan_ at 10:11 PM on September 21, 2011

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