Hanging a closet rod is simple and easy. You just need to make sure you position the rod at the best height and distance from the wall. Hangers should swing freely without blocking the doorway. Clothes must be easily reachable within the closet. Follow these tips on how to hang a closet rod for quick results you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Closet Rods

There are different types of closet rods and different types of closets. The procedure for installing rods in each is slightly different. However, the optimal height of closet rod installation is roughly the same no matter which type you use. It is determined by the type/length of clothes the rods will hold.

  • For closet sections designed to hold long garments (e.g. trench coats, gowns), position the rod at 64.5-inches with a shelf above at 66-inches from the floor.
  • For closet sections that will hang medium length garments (e.g. suits, short dresses, long skirts), you can position the rod at 52.5-inches from the floor so that you can get more shelves above. The bottom shelf should be 1.5-inches above the rod. Most people have a very limited number of garments that are truly long-hang. Measure your clothing and use medium-hang whenever possible in order to include more shelves in the closet. You can never have too many shelves.
  • Closet sections designed to hang shirts and other short garments can have two rods positioned one over the other for maximum storage area. This is known as a double-hang section. Position the bottom rod at 40.5-inches and the upper rod at 79-inches. If you are installing for a small child, lower the bottom rod to 30-inches from the floor. This will make it easier for the child to access while opening up space for a third rod in the middle of this hanging section. You can include a shelf 1.5-inches above each rod.

Preferred heights may vary for very tall or very short users. Remember, it’s your closet so put the rod at a height that is convenient for you.

Closet Rod Installation Guidelines

  1. How to Hang Traditional Wood Closet Rods

    Traditional wood closet rod installation
    Traditional wood closet rod installation with single wood shelf above.
    Traditional wood rods hang from the shelf support with a rod cup holder at each end. This means you must include a shelf directly above all rods. Otherwise, there won’t be any support in the middle. Clothes can be very heavy. Make sure there is a shelf support for every 36-inches of rod length. This will prevent the rod from sagging. The supports should be installed on a cleat anchored to the home’s studs. If you need to use a shelf support where there are no studs, make sure to use a toggle bolt. Unless you have custom hangers, the rod end cups used with wooden closet poles should be installed 10-inches from the back wall. This will allow a hanger to swing freely and will line up with the shelf supports. Again, use a cleat anchored to the sidewall studs when installing the end cups.
  2. Wire Closet Rods

    Wire rod and shelf for closet
    One-piece wire closet rod and shelf section.
    Wire closets usually include rod brackets as an integrated part of a shelf. That is why you must also replace/add a shelf if you want to add a rod to a wire closet system. Make sure to use all the supplied drywall anchors that come with your wire shelves. Lack of proper support will ensure collapse once all the heavy clothes are hung up. Secure the shelves to the studs when possible for added strength. For wire closets, measure and position the top of the shelf at 66-inches. The rod will automatically be 1.5-inches below.
  3. Rod Installation for Custom Closet Systems

    Custom closet organizer systems are adjustable offer the most flexibility when hanging a closet rod. Every rod comes with two cup holders for each end. You merely insert your rod cupholders into any of the pre-drilled holes in the closet panels. The rods then slip into place. Center supports are rarely needed. Use center rod supports only if your hanging sections are more than 36-inches wide between vertical panels. The procedure for mounting the cup holders varies slightly for different style rods. Be sure to read your closet installation instructions completely. Rods are one of the last items to install.
    • How to Hang Simple Oval Rods

      Install oval rod cups
      Install oval rod cups in vertical panels to hang a closet rod.
      Oval closet rods are the easiest to install. Put them in after you install the shelves. When installing directly under a closet shelf, leave one empty hole showing between the rod cup and the shelf above. The cups are simply pressed into the pre-drilled panel holes. Once the end cups are installed, the rod simply drops into place.
    • How to Hang Round Closet Rods Using 2-Piece Rod Cups

      mount round rod cup base before round closet rod
      Install the mounting base of the two-piece round rod cups by pressing it into the closet panel. Then place the round cups on each end of the round closet rod and drop over the base.
      If you selected round rods for your closet, they install using the two-piece round rod cups provided. To use these cups, first, mount the bases into the system holes at the desired height. Then place the cups over the ends of the closet pole/rod. Attach the rod next. Just drop the pole with cups attached onto the mounting base and you’re good to go.
      Round closet pole for hanging clothes
      A round closet rod installed in a closet organizer system.
  4. Closet Rods for Slanted Ceilings and Walls

    Attic closet rod installed on a slanted wall
    Attic closet rod installed on a slanted wall that follows the pitch of the roof. See more examples of attic closets on our parent website, ClosetWorks.com
    What do you do if your closet wall isn’t perpendicular to the floor? Closet rods installed on steeply sloped attic walls and ceilings require special hardware. You must use rod brackets specifically designed for this use. The bracket is basically a type of O-ring suspended from a stem with an integrated mounting plate that attaches to the ceiling or wall. These brackets must be installed every 30-inches in order to support the closet rod in this situation. The height at which you place the rod and brackets will depend on the pitch of your wall/roof. Furthermore, the rod brackets must be attached to a cleat that is secured to rafters or studs for proper support. Without the cleat, you risk collapse. However, it is easy to slide the rod through the brackets once they are mounted correctly. Just be sure to use the correct bracket for your style of rod. You want a snug fit that doesn’t twist or bend out of shape.
    Brackets for installing closet rods on a slanted wall
    Rod brackets for a steeply sloped ceiling.

Confident that you know how to hang a closet rod?

suspended custom closet system
Rendering of a suspended closet system for a reach-in bedroom closet.

Rods are among the last items to install on a custom closet system. But without them, your closet isn’t much good for storing clothes. They are one of those “last but not least” items. Choose the type of rod that works best for you. Then, install it following these tips. You’re bound to get many years of performance from your properly installed closet rods.

And remember, if you need any assistance designing a new custom closet for your home, closets.com can help.

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