THIS POST HAS AN UPDATE!!! CLICK THIS LINK FOR THE UPDATED VERSION, & ENJOY!
I have loved acrylic curtain rods for years (name is interchangeable with lucite drapery rods). They add a bit of sparkle to a room, and I think they are so simple and beautiful. An elegance is effortlessly ushered into a room with their presence. Take a look at these inspiration photos. Love the square rod! And the brass hardware? Swoon.
[caption id="attachment_669" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Gretchen Everett Hardware & Home[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_670" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Mary Anne Smiley Interiors[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_671" align="aligncenter" width="267"] Sarah 101, "Contemporary Living"[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_672" align="aligncenter" width="263"] Sarah 101, "Contemporary Living"[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_675" align="aligncenter" width="661"] DHome[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_676" align="aligncenter" width="400"] http://stitchdrapery.blogspot.com[/caption]
However, they have always been something I put out of my mind because of budget. A quick visit to this site, and your mind reels at the cost: 8 foot 2" acrylic rod $550 + pair of endcaps $195 = $745 FOR ONE ROD!! Eek.
Well, I dismissed the idea until I had an epiphany one day...why not find out if there is a plastic company that will supply the rods for me? Maybe I could save money by not going through a fancy curtain rod company? After calling around for pricing, I finally landed on Nationwide Plastics based in Dallas, Texas. I have to give credit to their A+ employee, Kip, who sat with me on the phone a long time and answered my questions. He taught me quite a lot about acrylic, valuable information I can now share with you! Side Note: Not in the DFW area? No problem, Kip will ship to you!
Basically, there are two different types of acrylic: cellcast and extruded. Extruded acrylic is the lower end type - it is more like plastic, may have imperfections, yellows over time, and scratches easily. It is much cheaper than cellcast if you just want the look and are willing to take the chance it may not look great very long. Extruded acrylic is not as strong either so you might need a center support if you use this as your rod. Per Nationwide Plastics pricing for one six foot rod length, see table below for cost of rods by thickness.
Extruded Acrylic Rod (six foot length)
1 ½ inches
Cellcast acrylic rods come in eight foot lengths. Compared to extruded acrylic, it is much much stronger, more clear, is similar to glass in weight and feel, does not yellow over time, and gives off more sparkle. In my opinion, it is a superior product for this type of application, and therefore, what I chose for my home. See table below for pricing by thickness.
Cellcast Acrylic Rod (eight foot length)
1 ½ inches
Now, you may be wondering...what if I want cellcast acrylic, but I need it to be five and a half feet wide? No problem, says Kip, he will cut it to the length you need for free, but you have to purchase by the rod. You will still be buying the rods in eight feet lengths for cellcast, and six feet lengths in the extruded. If you need two four foot lengths of cellcast, you are good because you just have to purchase one rod. But if you require two five foot rods, you will have to buy two lengths. Side note on curtain rods: I always make sure my curtain rods extend six to ten inches past my frame to give more width to my windows, and to ensure the drapes will frame the windows nicely.
I also thought you should know that 1/2 inch is tiny for a curtain rod thickness, but I thought some of you may desire that if you have a light project so I am including it. However, for regular drapes, I would recommend at least a 1" thickness. As for me and my house? 1 1/2" rods.