Buying Guide to Shower Curtains

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6 Things to Know Before You Buy

Switching out your current shower curtain for a brand new one is the quickest and easiest way to brighten up your bathroom. But hit the store without a solid plan and all you'll leave with is a major headache.

Our handy list of the top six things you need to know before you buy a shower curtain will save you from heading home with the wrong curtain or (gulp!) empty handed.

Fact #1: Measure

Before you buy, determine what length and width works best in your bathroom: Do you want a floor-length curtain? Or love the look of a curtain that just covers the lip of the tub?

A standard shower curtain runs 72" x 72".

If you have a custom-made shower or bath you may need to purchase a stall curtain (54" x 78"), an extra-long curtain (72" x 84" or 72" x 96") or extra wide (108" x 72") which are considered special sizes.

Fact #2: Fabric vs.Vinyl

This age old debate isn't just a matter of looks, it's also a matter of care. Fabric shower curtains --which typically come in polyester, cotton, or a blend - are normally machine washable.

Keep in mind that there are some dry-clean only shower curtains due to their fabrications

Fact #3: Solid Color vs. Pattern

Before you pick a color or pattern (and there are literally thousands to choose from) decide whether you want the curtain to be the focus of the room, or a subtle touch that ties together already established decor.

Fact #4: Rings

There are almost as many options for rings as there are actual shower curtains. If you don't have any desire to go down the rabbit hole, purchase The Hookless® Shower Curtain. They have large grommets that slide directly over the rod.

If you do decide to invest in rings, figure out whether you want plastic or metal rings, decorative or solid colored.

Fact #5: Liners

To liner or not to liner? We don't think it's a debate -- buy a liner. They're inexpensive, easy to replace and prolong the life expectancy of your shower curtain. Liners are not required for vinyl shower curtains.

Fact #6: Extras

Many curtains come with little extras that make life easier. Consider these options before shopping:

  • Mildew Resistant: If you live in a hot, humid part of the country or happen to have a bathroom that's a breeding ground for mold (translation: it has little ventilation), choose a shower curtain liner that's mildew resistant.
  • Magnets: Shower curtain liners weighted with magnets are more likely to stay firmly in place. They're a must-have addition to any kid's bathroom.