Shower Curtain Buying Guide: Size, Material, Type

Shower curtains are, as their name suggests, used in the shower to give us privacy and enhance a certain theme or mood. There are various issues to consider depending on what you intend to achieve in your bathroom. Of importance is to know the style, fabric and dimensions of the curtain you want. Below are some of the areas you need to consider in choosing your shower curtains.

To buy a shower curtain, consider the costs, measurements, colors, materials, attachments, liners, drapery, ease of cleaning and lighting in your shower. You’ll need to measure the size of your shower to find a curtain that fits and doesn’t allow the spillage of water outside the shower stall.

With shower curtains exposed to moisture and splashes of water, you need to clean them each time you clean your shower stall. This should be done at least once a month to prevent the accumulation of dirt and the growth of mold and mildew.

Shower Curtain Buying Guide

What is the Standard Shower Curtain Size?

The standard shower sizes are as follows:

Curtain dimensionsSize in inches
Standard size72 x 72
Standard height72
Standard width72
Stall curtains54 x 74
Extra wide curtains108 x 72
Extra-long curtains72 x 84 or 72 x 96

Standard shower curtain size

The standard shower curtain size is 72 x 72 inches (72” x 72”). The length should be long enough to cover the bathtub and extend to the floor. It’s necessary to measure your bathroom before you buy your shower curtains. This is because the standard measurements might not be the same as your bathroom measurements. Also, note to add about three additional inches of length to the standard measurements so that the shower curtain can fit well into your bathroom.

Ensure that your shower curtain extends more than 12 inches beyond the width of your shower to prevent water from escaping into adjacent areas to your bathroom. Shower curtains measuring 70’’x72’’, 70’’x70’’ are mostly referred to as normal curtains.

Standard shower curtain height

72’’ is the standard shower curtain height. When buying your shower curtain, take measurements of your bathroom to be sure it actually fits in your shower.

Standard shower curtain width

The standard shower curtain width is 72’’.  However, there are also stall curtains measuring (54” x 74”) and extra wide curtains (108” x 72”) and extra-long curtains (72” x 84” and 72” x 96”). The latter are all special curtain sizes. 

Steps to Choosing the Right Shower Curtain

The factors to consider when choosing a shower curtain include the following:

1. Consider the costs

Vinyl shower curtains are cheaper than fabric ones in purchase and maintenance costs. It is advisable to settle on a shower curtain that is within your means. The difference in the prices is brought about by the type of fabric that you settle on.

2. Pick the measurements

Measure the size of your bathroom with a tape measure and match that to the standard measurements. There are special shower curtain sizes best for custom-made showers. Under the special size curtains, we have 54’’x78’’ which is a stall curtain. There is one extra-long measuring 72’’x84’’ or the 72’’x96’’ or the extra wide one at 108’’x72’’. 

3. Choose solid colors or patterns

This depends on your preference and how you want your shower curtains to achieve a certain theme. At times, you might need the curtains to camouflage into your already existing theme in the house or need them to stand out on their own.

4. Choose fabric or vinyl

This largely depends on how easy the cleaning of the curtains is achieved. Fabric shower curtains such as (cotton, polyester, microfiber, or a blended material) are machine-washable, unlike vinyl ones. Even with the fabric ones, there are some which can only be dry-cleaned. Fabric shower curtains are also more versatile in terms of color and styles. Adding a water-resistant liner to the fabric curtains makes them more durable and mold resistant. 

Vinyl shower curtains don’t absorb moisture and stay clean for a considerably long time. They’re also more affordable and easier to maintain than fabric curtains. With vinyl curtains, mold and mildew are less of an issue although they last less than fabric curtains. You can even throw away vinyl curtains without guilty as they’re quite affordable. 

5. Choose the attachments and hardware (top treatment)

Shower curtains have various patterns and the choice depends on whether your bathroom already has the provision for hooks or you need a whole set with your own hooks. There are colored hooks, plain ones, metallic and plastic rings. 

There are also hookless shower curtains that you simply slide onto the curtains rod with holes reinforced by grommets. Still, there are shower curtains with magnets or suction cups at the bottom to help the curtain stay in place. 

6. Choose the liners

It is recommendable that you buy shower curtain liners as they add class to your curtains. They are only required for the fabric curtains and are easily available, affordable, and easy to handle. Some curtain liners are even machine-washable though at a lower machine speed and temperature than fabric curtains. 

Shower curtain liners are water-resistant materials which makes it hard for mold and mildew to grow on the curtains. Vinyl and polypropylene are among the materials used to make liners for curtains in the shower. 

Curtain liners are an important component of your shower curtain and are sold in clear colors. They are exposed to large amounts of water since they water-repellant. They mostly come in PVC vinyl materials. They do not absorb water or moisture and thus are good for they prevent the growth of mold. They are equally easy to clean when they become dirty.

PVC isn’t biodegradable and thus EVA PEVA and polypropylene curtains are preferred. There are fabric lines that are more prone to absorbing water, harboring good grounds for the growth of mold and mildew.

7. Consider the cleaning 

You need to settle on a shower curtain that is easy to clean. You can use bath/shower spray that cleans tiles and spray it on your curtains at the time you are cleaning your bathroom. 

Vinyl shower curtains are easy to clean since they only require wiping them down after each use. Fabric curtains, on the other hand, will require either hand washing or machine washing at least once a month. Some fabric curtains are dry-cleaned only. 

The best way to keep shower curtains clean is to have at least two sets of them. That way, you clean one set while the other is in use at least once a month. Clean mold and mildew on shower curtains by spraying the curtain with a mold remover, waiting for 30 minutes then rinsing and drying it up. You can also use white vinegar to clean mold in various parts of the shower such as shower drains and bathroom sealant.

8. Consider the drapery 

This is the effect that an object does on where it is put. The effect is to make the place appear much larger than its actual size. Drapery shower curtains are ideal for small-sized bathrooms.

9. Consider the lighting

It is recommendable that you have a shower curtain that permits good lighting into the shower area. Consider the fact that the curtain liner will also be included with the curtain thus adding to the thickness of the shower curtains. 

Once you have these aspects in place, you can be sure of getting the right shower curtain for your bathroom. 

Types of Shower Curtains

There are several types of curtains depending mainly on the type of decoration, the material of the curtain, and the color as follows:

Cotton curtains

Cotton is a very common fiber and a classic choice. Shower curtains are available in different colors and you should settle on your preference. There are also decorating styles which include casual, modern, classic, or retro.

Decorative curtains

This depends on the theme that you intend to achieve. The decorations appear in different types of colors and designs. There are designer curtain showers which are quite expensive made of high-quality fabrics.

You need to add a water-resistant shower liner to your fabric so as to maintain them in their good design and texture.

Vinyl curtains

Vinyl material is readily available and quite affordable. It also has several colors, prints, patterns, and styles. The material is water-repellant, a factor that inhibits the growth of mold. They are also easy to clean and hence a convenient and affordable type.

Hookless Curtains

Hookless curtains are suitable for in-built grommets and are slipped into the shower curtain rods. They are convenient for contemporary homeowners for they can easily be removed from the shower rods.

Microfiber curtains

They keep away moisture and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Microfiber curtains are also ultrathin and soft but heavy, which prevents water from spilling through them.

Special curtains

Special curtains are those which don’t measure 72″ x 72. They are very convenient for odd-shaped showers or bathtubs. In this category there are:

Oversize (108” x 72”) to contain the overflow of the water onto your floor or mats.

Stall curtains (54″ x 74″) for stalls.

Extra-long curtains (72″ x 84″) and (72″ x 96″) for large showers.

The size and shape of your shower stall will determine the type of shower you pick.

Shower Curtain Care

Cleaning your shower curtain makes it have a longer lifespan. When it comes to a plastic shower curtain, do not wash it in hot water or dry it in high heat. Most of the fabric curtains are machine washable and it is advisable to wash your shower curtains once every month.

Your shower curtains shouldn’t touch the floor. This will prevent direct contact with water spills and prevent the rapid growth of mold and mildew.

To clean your shower curtains, put them in the washing machine, add a detergent then a cup of white vinegar then start the machine on a gentle setting with warm water. Air-dry the shower curtain then put it back on the shower rod.

Importance of Shower Curtains

Shower curtains have the following benefits:

  • They give you privacy while in the bathroom. A lot of people value their privacy while in the shower, this is provided by your shower curtains. 
  • They prevent water from spreading out of the shower area. With the right shower curtain, you will not have the menace of water spreading into adjacent areas to your shower area.
  • Shower curtains also add color to your house, they enhance your preferred theme and add life to your house if you settle on a good pattern and fabric. 

Shower curtains are very important and knowing how to choose the right ones helps maximize their use. You can compare shower curtains with shower doors to find what best fits your needs.

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