Shower Curtains

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How to Pick The Perfect Shower Curtain

Shower curtains provide privacy and keep water contained in your shower while sudsing up, but they also accessorize and are an important factor in creating your own bathroom oasis. Whether you want a luxury feel complete with a satin shower curtain and plush rugs or are more focused on budget-friendly-yet still high-quality-options, we’ve got you covered with this shower curtain guide.

freestanding bathtub with white shower curtain

Choose the Right Shower Curtain Material

white fabric shower curtain

Shower curtains are available in various materials, and each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most common materials include cotton, polyester, canvas, nylon, plastic, and linen. Fabric liners like cotton and linen create a cozy and inviting feeling in the bathroom, but need a bit more protection from water splashes and sprays to avoid immediate or future damage. Sturdier options like canvas or polyester require a little less attention, but can be slightly less charming in some instances, and plastic curtains don’t last as long as the other options but are water resistant and don’t even require a liner.

No matter what material you choose, regular cleaning and maintenance will help keep it like-new and reduce your chances of mold or mildew appearing. The nice thing is that most shower curtains can be thrown in the washing machine (with a few towels for a more thorough clean) and hung back up to dry for an easy and quick process. How often should you clean your curtain? Once a month is a good rule of thumb, with additional spot cleaning if necessary.

Shower Liners Protect Your Curtain

white shower liner

While your shower curtain may be the perfect design addition to your bathroom, some materials (like the fabric options mentioned above or even more luxurious options like satin or silk) are not as suited to handle contact with water as others. This is where the shower liner comes in. A shower liner is placed behind your shower curtain to repel water and keep your curtain from becoming wet and damaged. These liners are often made of vinyl or plastic, but also can be made of cotton, hemp, or other fabric materials finished with water-resistant treatments for a PVC-free option.

Shower liners generally don’t last as long as shower curtains because of their regular exposure to water and humidity. This means that they should be replaced more often and cleaned regularly to prevent mold or mildew growth. If a mildew problem does arise but you’re not ready to replace your curtain quite yet, tea tree oil and vinegar are both great options for creating your own products to clean and fend off any future growth.

Shower Rods Come in a Variety of Styles and Materials

set of three brown and silver shower rods

Shower rods can be permanent or temporary bathroom additions, depending on what type you choose to use. Wall-mounted rods secure into the wall with screws or other hardware, whereas expandable options like tension rods can be hung simply by expanding the rod with each end pressed against the opposing walls. This option is popular for temporary setups such as apartments or bathrooms under renovation due to their ease of installation and removal. Metals or plastics are most commonly used for these rods due to their water resistant qualities, but treated wood can also be used for added mid-century modern charm and character. Be sure to pay attention to the length of your tub and the shape when buying a new rod. If your tub is curved, for example, a straight rod should be avoided.

Shower Hooks Add Detail and Function

rose gold shower curtain hooks holding stripped shower curtain

Shower hooks hang your liner and/or curtain on your shower rod. These hooks are generally easy to hang and remove, and are available in a variety of styles and materials. Decorative shower curtain hooks can add a touch of character or pull together the look of a bathroom-sometimes even the smallest elements can have large impacts. A simple design in an eyecatching material, such as a rose-gold metal hook, can add a simple, gorgeous touch as well. If aesthetics aren’t your primary goal, a plastic ring works just as well for holding your shower curtain up.

Hookless Shower Curtains Are Also an Option

white hookless shower curtain with blue pattern

Hookless shower curtains eliminate the need for hooks altogether and create a seamless visual. These curtains have cutouts in them to hang directly on the rod. While not always necessary, choosing a shower curtain with a mesh detail at the top or a fun colorblock can add a slight break in a hookless shower curtain to keep it from seeming overbearing in your space.

Shower Curtain Sets Provide Everything You Need

white and tan chevron patterned shower curtain

By the time it’s all said and done, a shower setup has more components than some people expect. It’s also fun to coordinate different elements of the bathroom like the shower curtain and the bath mat or rugs to create a cohesive design throughout the room. You can pick each element out separately, or go with a pre-designed shower curtain set. These sets can be as basic as a curtain and hook combo, and can go all the way to full bathtub or bathroom sets with everything from the shower rods to rugs to toothbrush holders to towels.