Shower Curtains

How to Choose Shower Curtains

Would you like to find the best shower curtains for your bathroom but you don’t know where to start? Here’s our easy guide to choosing the best shower curtains.

1. Price

The prices of shower curtains vary a lot depending on the materials chosen – take a look online at the various prices being charged for quality curtains and make your mind up how upmarket you want to go. Cheap shower curtains will probably do the job of keeping water in the bath and off the floor but they won’t do much for your bathroom design.

2. Materials

Shower curtains have to be waterproof in some way to do the practical job they are designed to do and if you want a cheap solution then choose a design you like in a waterproof fabric such as plastic, PVC, Vinyl or Polypropylene PEVA or EVA. If you want something classier for a special bathroom then choose a fabric shower curtain such as linen, hemp, silk or cotton with an additional waterproof liner or inner shower curtain. This increases the costs but gives you a lot more options in the type of look you can achieve. It also means you can replace the liner without changing the whole curtain at a future date.

contemporary shower curtain fabric

contemporary shower curtain fabric
(Image by Elvis Santana)

3. Design

Think about the overall design of your bathroom and choose something on the same theme. If your bathroom is sleek and modern – a shower curtain in plain white or black or black on white might be appropriate. If you favor a fun look (or the bathroom is for kids) choose a shower curtain with a fun design such as ducks or raindrops or cartoon characters (or a million other things you can buy online). If you bathroom is retro, buy a shower curtain in the same theme.

4. Quality

If your curtain has to stand up to daily use be sure to choose a quality product. How do you tell with a shower curtain? Look for

  • high quality (sometimes double) stitching so that the curtain won’t fray at the seams
  • good quality grommets (used to reinforce the holes for the hooks usually made of plastic or metal) – they prevent the curtain tearing as it is pulled open and closed and are the place where the hooks are attached
  • heavy gauge liners (10 gauge or higher) where curtains are in two parts – no point having an expensive shower curtain and a cheap and nasty liner.
  • Liners or curtains with magnets in the hem which prevent the fabric sticking to you when you take a shower.

5. Shower Curtain Rings

Don’t spoil a good shower curtain with cheap shower curtain rings. You can get away with them but great shower curtain rings set off your curtain nicely. As usual in interior design the devil is in the details. Choose rings which blend with the color and thickness of the fabric of your chosen shower curtains and with the rod or rail materials. Match a metal rod with metal rings, and a plastic rod with good quality plastic rings.

How to Buy Shower Curtains Online

When you decide to buy shower curtains online, you are making a very sensible decision. Although you will find shower curtains in local soft furnishings and bathroom stores, discount stores  and department stores there is usual a limited selection available on the shelves.

Once you start browsing online you will be amazed at how many designs are available for every type of décor – you’ll find novelty shower curtains, kids shower curtains, sophisticated designer shower curtains, plain shower curtains, patterned shower curtains … well, you get the idea.

Also you will find a range of materials available (natural materials such as cotton and hemp as well as waterproof vinyl and PVC or EVA  shower curtains) and they come in every color of the rainbow and many designs so that you can make the right choice for your bathroom.

If you’re not sure about which type of shower curtain to choose then see our section on How to Choose Shower Curtains before going any further and then then follow this guide.

1. Set a Budget

Browse a few sites to get an idea of the selection available and the shower curtain prices in the type of thing you were looking for and  then once you have a measure of the amount that seems reasonable to spend set a budget.

funky striped natural fabric shower curtain

funky striped natural fabric shower curtain

2. Book mark a Short List of Shower Curtains

As you browse bookmark the curtains you like (add them to your favorites)

3. See how they measure up against each other by running them by this check list

  • How does the design and fabric fit in with your idea of a dream bathroom (for your, for your guests, for your kids? Or whoever the bathroom is for)?
  • Are the prices reasonable and within budget? Remember to include sales tax (if any) and delivery charges
  • Are the curtains the right size? Do you need more than one for a circular shower rail? How does this affect your budget?
  • Are the hooks included? If not can the company offer these and how much do they cost?
  • Are the shower curtains easy to clean (washable in the washing machine – some cheaper makes are not) ?
  • Are the items in stock and can the company deliver as quickly as you need?
  • What about returns if you don’t like the product?
  • Is ordering secure – do they have the little padlock shown when you get to the payment page? Most companies are secure these days but you want to be happy!
  • Is the shower curtain a known quality brand? This doesn’t always matter but if you know of the brand then this is great.
  • Does the company have a good reputation for customer service if you have heard of them before?

4. Make Your Decision from the Options You have Bookmarked

Decide on your favorite and order your choice of shower curtains. Then sit back and wait for your goods to arrive!

How to Decorate With Shower Curtains

You don’t get much chance to ring the changes in a bathroom once the bath tub, shower, toilet, sink and tiles are installed – at least not without a great deal of expense. However new shower curtains are one way to change the look of your bathroom especially if you have wisely chosen a plain white bathroom suite and neutral tiles.(If you are planning a new bathroom it’s worth thinking about designing in the ability to change your décor easily in future)

Shower curtains can change the whole mood of your bathroom. From dull and boring it can receive a magic touch of designer luxury, of color, of boldness or of fun and frivolity. You get to choose!

1. Keep the décor neutral

The more neutral the items already in the bathroom the easier it is to change your room scheme with a change of shower curtain. If walls are painted you may want to give them a lick of paint in white or cream so you are not distracted by the color that is already there when designing your new scheme. Pack away any colored items that can be removed too. Tiles however are not so easy to change so you will need to consider them in your new scheme unless you are prepared to go to the expense of re-tiling.

Blue Shower Curtain in Modern design

Blue Shower Curtain in Modern design

2. Choose a Look

Think about the type of look you want to go for. Would you like a bright and cheerful kids bathroom? Do you want an exotic designer look? Do you want something contemporary, funky and modern? Let your imagination run riot. Check out a few shower curtain sites and bathroom interiors magazines for inspiration too.

3. Select Your Shower Curtains

Choose a shower curtain to be the starting point for your bathroom décor. This will be a balancing act between getting something you like at a price you can afford and something which fits in with the elements you can’t change in your bathroom. Be a little bold in your choice if you want a distinctive bathroom. If you can’t find the exact product you are looking for in a shower curtain buy a good quality liner instead and make an outer curtain in a fabric of your choice to use with the liner.

4. Change Your Bathroom Accessories

Choose new towels and other bathroom accessories to coordinate with your new shower curtain (and don’t forget the rings and hooks which need to tie in to your design too). This will pull the look together and make your bathroom more of a pleasure to use. You may want to check out available accessories when choosing shower curtains to make sure you’ll be able to buy the coordinating items.

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