One of the most frustrating feelings is when you are showering and all of a sudden you are getting an interruption and you feel exposed and like you have nothing to cover yourself with.
Another common shower problem is when you find the job of cleaning the shower a lot more troublesome than you expected.
This can be because of all the excess soap scum and mildew which can build up and be a pain to clean.
But one thing which can aid this is having a walk in shower with a curtain instead of using a standard door.
This can solve a lot of issues, but using a curtain also raises its own concerns as well.
Because of this, we have dedicated this article to exploring the benefits and the drawbacks of using a shower curtain or a door for a walk in shower.
We are also going to provide you with some good buying advice for if you choose to replace your door with a curtain.
This guide will help you in working out if you are better suited to a shower curtain or a door for your shower, and different people will suit different styles, so make sure to read our guide closely!
Which Is Better – Curtain Or Door?
As we referenced in the introduction, the answer of whether a curtain or a door will be better for you depends on what you are looking for.
For example, using a shower curtain will be a perfect option if you have a tighter budget and you want something that will be a lot easier to look after and maintain.
It is also worth considering that a curtain is a lot more practical if you have a smaller bathroom and you are prioritizing saving space.
However, if you want to save having water splashes everywhere, then you will get better help with this from a shower door.
These will provide your bathroom with a more put together and luxurious feel which is what a lot of people are looking for.
However, they are not perfect. They tend to be a lot more expensive than a shower curtain, and in spite of their price, they are actually a lot harder to look after and upkeep.
On top of this they take up more space in your bathroom.
So, if you have a smaller space and a tighter budget, then getting a shower door might not be the recommended choice.
We have given a brief summary here, but there are plenty of unique pros and cons that come with both shower curtains and shower doors.
Because of this we have dedicated the next section into displaying what these pros and cons are so you are properly informed when it comes to the drawbacks you are likely to run into, as well as the benefits.
Curtain And Door Advantages And Disadvantages Overview
In this section we will cover the advantages and the disadvantages of both shower curtains and shower doors.
As we have mentioned, neither of these are perfect, and both have clear drawbacks.
However, both have traits where they stand above the other, and this is what you should be looking out for.
So, let’s have a quick overview of the main advantages and disadvantages of shower curtains and then shower doors. Firstly, the advantages of shower curtains.
These are perfect for tucking easily to the side, and this is part of the reason why shower curtains are great for bathrooms with less space.
On top of this shower curtains are easier to clean, and they also give you more privacy if someone enters the bathroom when it is occupied.
Installing a shower curtain is also a lot more simple than installing a shower door, and they are also just as easy to disassemble as well. However, what are the drawbacks of shower curtains?
Depending on the shower curtain brand, some of these can release toxins over time, this is if they are made with a PVC material.
Shower curtains are also a lot less effective when it comes to preventing water from spilling out because of how they are designed.
Using a shower curtain for a certain amount of time can lead to it growing mold and mildew which can be very difficult to clean.
For a lot of shower curtains, these can start to billow in when showering and stick to the skin which is uncomfortable.
Shower curtains are also a lot more susceptible to getting damaged as well, and because of this will usually need to be replaced quicker.
Now what about shower doors? Let’s start with the advantages.
Firstly, a shower door will remove the cool draft you can get from using a shower curtain, on top of this, a shower door tends to just give your space a more luxurious feel, but this can depend on brand.
Using a shower door is also a lot more hygienic since they are much less likely to develop mold and mildew like a shower curtain.
Because of their design they are also much more effective when it comes to stopping water from escaping which is the goal for these devices.
Finally, if the glass is frameless, it can be quite easy to clean. However, shower doors are not perfect. For example, shower doors tend to be noticeably more expensive than shower curtains.
On top of this, they require more maintenance with certain shower door designs being tricky to clean.
Because of how shower doors are designed, they are also heavier and more difficult when installing. On top of this if the shower door swings open this can cause issues.
Shower doors are also not a great idea if they are used in a smaller bathroom.
Now you know the main advantages and disadvantages of using a shower curtain and a shower door, let’s look at these pros and cons in more detail.
Shower Curtain Advantages
One of the first advantages we mentioned when it comes to using a shower curtain is how they can be tucked into the side.
By draping your shower curtain this can create the illusion that there is a lot more space than there actually is.
If you tuck your shower curtain into the side of your tub, this is taking a lot less space visually, and this can aid in making a smaller bathroom appear to be a bit bigger.
Using shower curtains can also improve the look of your bathroom by making it look a bit softer, and this can make it more inviting and calming.
We also mentioned how shower curtains will provide you with more privacy.
If you have a shower door, then if anyone walks into the bathroom there is a good chance that they will be able to see you mostly exposed.
But if you are suing a shower curtain, you have a lot more privacy, and this can help with making you feel more safe and relaxed when you are showering.
We also love how shower curtains tend to be much cheaper than shower doors.
This save in money can be useful if you are decorating with a budget, and you are much more likely to find a better quality shower curtain for cheap compared to a shower door.
We also mentioned how we love how shower curtains are easy to install as well as disassemble if you need to.
This means that if you are moving, or simply redecorating, then working with a shower curtain will be a lot more simple than a shower door.
Taking apart a shower door can take a lot of effort, and you often need to get it professionally installed.
This is not the case when you are working with a shower curtain. You will also find that using a shower curtain will increase the space you have in a smaller bathroom as well.
Because of their flexibility they simply do not need as much room as a shower door which stops you space from feeling cramped. We also love how shower curtains are so easy to clean.
With most when you need to wash them they will be able to work in a standard washing machine, but always make sure to check the packaging or label first.
Compared to shower doors, shower curtains also tend to be a lot more easy to access with them being stocked in most brick and mortar stores you would expect them in, while you might need to go to a specialty store for a shower door.
Shower Curtain Disadvantages
One of the disadvantages which we listed about shower curtains which might have alarmed you is how they can release harmful toxins into the air.
There was a study that was done by the Virginia based Center for Health, Environment and Justice, and they proved that a lot of PVC shower curtains which were being sold in major retailers were releasing organotins.
If you have not heard of these, they are harmful chemicals that can lead to adverse effects on your health.
However, if this is something you want to avoid, then you can look for shower curtains that are made using different materials.
This could include organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp. Another issue which we mentioned, that a lot of people run into is how often shower curtains can rip or tear.
If you are using a shower curtain which is made from a more delicate fabric like linen or lace, then these are much more likely to get damaged.
Because of this you want to avoid scrubbing the fabric of your shower curtains too roughly, and you also want to ensure that you are not pulling the fabric too hard when you are choosing to open or close the curtain for your shower.
However, if you are not sure if you will be able to maintain this level of control, then maybe look for a shower curtain that is made using a more durable material.
Another issue we mentioned that causes a lot of issues with shower curtains is how prone they are to developing mildew or old.
The bottom edge of your shower curtain is especially more likely be vulnerable to the growth of mildew or mold, and this is because it tends to be exposed to moisture pretty constantly.
You will want to ensure that you are washing your shower curtain regularly, and when your shower curtain is not being used you want to ensure that it can properly air dry between uses.
Some people go an extra step and use a mold resistant liner for the shower curtain, and this will help protect against mildew or mold growing.
Something which can put people off ever using a shower curtain is how it can sometimes cling to your skin.
It feels like the shower curtain is seeking you out, especially when you are wet, and if you have a small bathroom this can get in the way.
If you are having trouble with this, but you still want to keep using a shower curtain, then try using a different fabric for your shower curtain.
A lot of people prefer vinyl since this is a lot less likely to cling onto wet skin.
Shower Door Advantages
One of the main things which we love about shower doors is how they will remove the cool draft which can be annoying in a bathroom.
They are much better at stopping any cool air from entering your shower area, and are good at keeping all the warm air inside.
This can make showering a lot more comfortable, as well as aiding in reducing potential energy costs as well.
Because the glass on a shower door reflects light, these can make it so your bathroom looks like it has a lot more natural light, and this can make the bathroom look a lot more open.
We also mentioned some possible hygiene concerns when talking about the shower curtains, but this is very rarely an issue with shower doors which tend to be a lot more hygienic.
This is because mold and mildew will have a lot harder time when it comes to growing on a smooth glass surface when compared to fabric.
One thing which you want from a shower door or a shower curtain is the ability to control the water leaks, and this is something that shower doors do a lot more effectively.
This is because they will stop the water seeping out.
This stops water getting onto your floors where it can develop into mold or mildew.
Having a shower door in your bathroom also tends to be a lot more impressive, so if you are looking to sell your home, then a small difference like a clean shower curtain can do a lot to make it look better.
Shower Door Disadvantages
One of the main drawbacks to relying on a shower door is that they tend to be a lot more expensive than a shower curtain.
You can find that shower doors will sometimes cost even double or triple the cost of a good quality shower curtain.
However, it is worth mentioning that shower doors do tend to last a lot longer than a shower curtain.
In spite of shower doors being a lot more durable than a shower curtain, if you want them to stay looking good they will need a lot more maintenance.
This is because they need to be cleaned quite regularly if you want to stop soap scum from building up.
You also want to be wiping down your shower door after every use to ensure that water spots do not form. It is also pretty tricky to set up a shower door.
This is because they are heavier. If you are working with a frameless shower door, these can be even more tricky since they are essentially just a sheet of glass with no framing.
It is likely that most people will need professional help when it comes to setting up a shower door, especially if you want to avoid accidents and ensure that the job is done properly.
While shower doors are more effective at stopping spills than a standard shower door, they can still have gaps, especially if they are frameless.
This means that if you want to avoid water leaking out, you will have to either aim the water away from the door or ensure the door is properly installed.
Having your shower door swing out can also be an issue, especially if you are working with a smaller bathroom since this can leave you little room to get in and out.
When To Choose Shower Curtains
So, now we have gone over the reasons why shower curtains and shower doors are a good and a bad choice. But, when is the best time to invest in a shower curtain.
We would recommend going with a shower curtain if you are on a more tight budget.
This is because they are significantly cheaper than a glass door and they will still be an effective solution.
If you are also staying in a rental property, this means that you are not able to make permanent changes to the property like a shower door, because of this you will likely prefer using a shower curtain, and then you can take it when you move out to a different home.
If you are also living in a place which has a smaller bathroom, then you will save a lot of space by using a shower curtain instead of a shower door.
This is because shower doors need more space to be set up, and they will also need space to swing open as well which needs even more room.
On the other hand a shower curtain can be kept pulled back to give the look of more space.
However, you want to ensure that you are letting your shower curtain dry properly between uses.
Also, if you have younger and more playful kids, then using a shower curtain can be safer since they are quite likely to run into the glass when they are younger.
Another thing we love about shower curtains is that they are a lot less high maintenance than a shower door.
With a shower door you will need to wipe this down after every use, and every now and then it will need a deeper clean.
With a shower curtain, all you need to do is throw it in the washing machine every time you feel it needs a deeper clean.
The final reason why we think a shower curtain can be preferable over a shower door is if you are living with other people who might accidentally end up in the bathroom while you are showering, then you will get a lot more privacy when using a shower curtain than you would a shower door.
How To Choose Shower Curtains
So, if you have decided to invest in a shower curtain, then there are plenty of different factors you will need to consider to ensure that you get the best shower curtain for your needs and specifications.
Because of this we have put this section together to ensure you have all the information you need in one place on buying shower curtains.
One of the most important points to keep in mind is the size of the shower curtain. When it comes to shower curtains the normal size will be about 70 to 72 inches tall.
But if you want to be as accurate as possible, then measure the distance between the rod and your floor, and then take away a couple of inches to ensure that the curtain will not be dragging on the floor collecting moisture.
When it comes to more aesthetic considerations, you also want to consider the color scheme of your shower curtain as well.
For a smaller bathroom you will want a shower curtain which is more neutral or a lighter color to give the illusion of more space and to make the curtain feel less oppressive.
You also might want a clear curtain, however, these of course sacrifice some privacy.
You could use a more bold or dark color, but these will only work very well in a bigger bathroom since otherwise they will feel more oppressive, especially if you already have darker details.
Also, just keep in mind that you do not want your shower curtain to clash with the other aesthetics of your bathroom. The pattern, if the curtain has one, should also be a consideration.
You do not want the curtain to be too busy, so you might want to go for something more subtle to ensure the room does not feel overwhelming.
Also, an important consideration to make is the material.
The best option is cotton since this will absorb moisture more quickly, however, there are also synthetic materials that will also work well like vinyl and PEVA.
You will also want to avoid buying plastic curtains since over time these will start to crack and feel more brittle.
Our Favorite Shower Curtains
Now, if you have decided you want to buy a shower curtain, then you might be thinking what the best shower curtains available are.
This is why we have put this section together to recommend to you some of our top choices when it comes to shower curtains.
These are curtains that will fit most shower stalls, are designed to resist mildew and mold, and will also not stick to you when you are wet.
We have also focused on more durable designs which have metal grommets that are rustproof and will not feel cluttered.
These are also shower curtains which are easy to clean too!.
Now, if you are looking for a clear shower curtain liner which is perfect for more wet conditions, while also resisting mildew and mold, then going with this liner.
This is a great choice even if you have a bathroom with less than ideal ventilation. This means that the mildew will clean off quickly when using the liner and it will not develop again.
This liner is made using a more heavy duty vinyl which will drape a lot more naturally.
In spite of the natural draping it will still stay in place without having any unpleasant stickiness which can often develop.
The grommets are metal and it uses a nylon mesh header to ensure that it does not tear. We also love how easy this is to clean as well!
This is a great shower curtain for repelling water. This means that the water beads up and will roll off and will not be absorbed by the fabric which can then lead to mildew developing.
This is made using a premium EVA material which is great for resisting mildew and water which saves time cleaning and lets you enjoy your shower.
The grommets are also rust proof and it can also accommodate more decorative shower hooks as well.
It also uses heavy clear stone to ensure that the curtain stays in place and does not stick to you.
If you want to make your bathroom feel more luxurious, then we recommend this long stall shower curtain.
It is made using thick cotton and it is great for absorbing moisture. It is still water repellent and resists mildew.
Hopefully this guide has given you the information you need to decide if a shower curtain or a shower door is a better choice for you!
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