If you’re looking to remodel your bathroom and want an open, airy feel, a walk-in shower with a curtain instead of a door may be the perfect option. Walk-in showers create a spa-like experience at home while taking up less space than traditional tub/shower combos.
But is a shower curtain really a good alternative to a glass door? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about designing a stylish, functional walk-in shower with a curtain.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Walk-in showers with curtains can absolutely work well if designed properly. Use a curved rod, water-repellent liner, weighted curtain bottom, and leave enough space from the shower head to contain water splashes.
But glass doors tend to look more high-end and contain water better.
Benefits of Walk-In Showers
More Open, Spacious Feel
One of the main benefits of walk-in showers with curtains is the open and spacious feel they provide. Without the obstruction of a traditional shower enclosure, walk-in showers create an illusion of more space in the bathroom.
This can be particularly beneficial for smaller bathrooms, as it helps to make the room appear larger and more inviting. The lack of a bulky shower door allows for a seamless transition from the rest of the bathroom, creating a visually appealing and modern look.
Walk-in showers with curtains offer better accessibility compared to traditional shower enclosures. With no step or threshold to navigate, they are much easier to enter and exit, making them ideal for individuals with mobility issues or those who use a wheelchair.
The absence of a shower door also eliminates the need for maneuvering around a narrow opening, providing a more convenient and hassle-free showering experience.
Easier to Clean
Another advantage of walk-in showers with curtains is that they are easier to clean compared to glass doors. Glass doors can be prone to water stains, soap scum, and fingerprints, requiring regular maintenance and cleaning.
On the other hand, shower curtains can be easily removed and washed, making it simpler to keep them clean and hygienic. This not only saves time but also helps to maintain a fresh and inviting bathroom environment.
Less Expensive Than Glass Doors
Walk-in showers with curtains are generally a more cost-effective option compared to glass doors. Glass doors can be quite expensive, especially if they are custom-made or have special features. On the other hand, shower curtains are more affordable and easily replaceable.
They come in a wide range of styles and designs, allowing homeowners to change the look of their bathroom without breaking the bank. Additionally, the installation of walk-in showers with curtains is often simpler and less time-consuming, further reducing overall costs.
Considerations for Curtain vs. Glass Door
Appearance and Style
When it comes to the appearance and style of your walk-in shower, both curtains and glass doors offer different aesthetics. Glass doors provide a sleek and modern look, adding a touch of elegance to your bathroom.
On the other hand, curtains can be customized with various colors, patterns, and designs, allowing you to personalize the look of your shower space. Whether you prefer a minimalist and contemporary feel or a more vibrant and eclectic style, the choice between a curtain and a glass door will depend on your personal taste and the overall design of your bathroom.
One of the primary concerns when choosing between a curtain and a glass door for your walk-in shower is water containment. Glass doors are known for their superior ability to keep water within the shower area, minimizing the risk of water splashing onto the bathroom floor.
Curtains, on the other hand, may not provide the same level of water containment. However, by using a high-quality, properly installed shower curtain and a shower liner, you can effectively prevent water from escaping the shower area.
It is important to ensure that the curtain is long enough and properly secured to prevent any water leakage.
Durability and Longevity
When it comes to durability and longevity, glass doors tend to have an edge over curtains. Glass doors are typically made from tempered glass, which is highly resistant to cracks and breakage. They are also easier to clean and maintain, as they do not require regular replacement or washing.
On the other hand, shower curtains may need to be replaced periodically due to wear and tear or mold and mildew buildup. However, with proper care and regular cleaning, curtains can still last for a significant amount of time.
Privacy is another factor to consider when choosing between a curtain and a glass door for your walk-in shower. Glass doors, especially those with frosted or textured glass, provide a certain level of privacy while still allowing natural light to filter through.
Shower curtains, on the other hand, offer more privacy as they completely conceal the shower area from outside view. If privacy is a top priority for you, then a curtain may be the better choice.
The cost difference between a curtain and a glass door for your walk-in shower can vary significantly. Generally, curtains are more affordable compared to glass doors. The cost of a curtain and its accessories, such as curtain rods and liners, is typically lower than the cost of a glass door installation.
However, it is important to consider the long-term costs as well. Glass doors may require less maintenance and replacement over time, potentially offsetting the initial cost difference. Ultimately, your budget and priorities will play a significant role in determining which option is more suitable for you.
Design Tips for Walk-In Showers
Choose the Right Shower Curtain
When it comes to walk-in showers with curtains, selecting the right shower curtain is crucial. Opt for a curtain made of waterproof material that is easy to clean and maintain. Look for curtains that have reinforced grommets and strong hooks to ensure durability.
Additionally, choose a curtain that complements the overall design and color scheme of your bathroom.
Allow Enough Space From the Shower Head
One important design consideration for walk-in showers with curtains is to ensure that there is enough space between the shower head and the curtain. This will prevent the water from splashing out of the shower area and onto your bathroom floor.
Make sure to measure the distance between the shower head and the curtain rod before installing the curtain.
Use a Curved Shower Rod
A curved shower rod is a great addition to walk-in showers with curtains as it provides more space and prevents the curtain from sticking to your body while showering. The curved design also adds a touch of elegance to the overall look of the shower.
Install the curved shower rod slightly higher than the standard height to create the illusion of a larger shower space.
Slope the Floor Toward the Drain
Proper drainage is essential in walk-in showers to prevent water accumulation and potential water damage. Ensure that the floor of your shower is sloped towards the drain to allow water to flow easily. This will help in keeping your shower area clean and dry.
Include Shelving for Toiletries
To maximize the functionality of your walk-in shower, consider adding shelving for toiletries. This will not only provide a convenient storage solution but also help keep your shower area organized and clutter-free. Choose shelving options that are waterproof and easy to clean.
Choose Slip-Resistant Surfaces
Safety should be a top priority when designing a walk-in shower with curtains. Opt for slip-resistant surfaces for the shower floor to minimize the risk of accidents. There are various options available, such as textured tiles or shower mats, that provide better traction and stability.
Provide Good Ventilation
Proper ventilation is essential in walk-in showers to prevent the buildup of moisture and the growth of mold and mildew. Install a ventilation fan or make sure there is a window in the bathroom to allow air circulation. This will help in maintaining a clean and fresh environment in your shower area.
Shower Curtain Options
When it comes to walk-in showers with curtains, you have a range of options to choose from. The type of shower curtain you select can make a significant impact on the overall look and functionality of your bathroom. Here are some popular choices:
Vinyl shower curtains are a common choice due to their durability and affordability. They are resistant to water and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge. Vinyl curtains also come in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to personalize your bathroom decor.
Fabric shower curtains add a touch of elegance to any bathroom. They are available in a wide range of materials, including cotton, polyester, and nylon. Fabric curtains often feature intricate designs and patterns, making them a great option for those looking to create a stylish and sophisticated look.
If you’re looking for a shower curtain that is easy to clean and maintain, plastic curtains are a great choice. They are waterproof, making them ideal for preventing water from splashing onto the bathroom floor.
Plastic curtains are available in various colors and designs, allowing you to find one that complements your bathroom decor.
For those who prefer an eco-friendly option, bamboo shower curtains are a fantastic choice. Bamboo is a sustainable material that adds a natural and calming element to your bathroom. These curtains are moisture-resistant and can withstand the humid environment of a shower.
It’s important to consider the specific needs and style preferences of your bathroom when choosing a shower curtain. Whether you opt for vinyl, fabric, plastic, or bamboo, each option has its own unique benefits.
Take the time to explore different materials and designs to find the perfect shower curtain for your walk-in shower.
How do I keep the shower curtain from blowing in?
One common issue with walk-in showers with curtains is that the curtain tends to blow inwards, sticking to your body while you shower. This can be quite annoying and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a few simple solutions to prevent this from happening.
One option is to use a weighted shower curtain liner. These liners have magnets or weights at the bottom, which help to keep the curtain in place. Another option is to attach suction cups to the bottom of the curtain and stick them to the shower floor.
This will provide some stability and prevent the curtain from blowing in. Additionally, you can try using a fan or opening a window to create a gentle breeze that will push the curtain away from your body. Experiment with these different methods to find the one that works best for you.
What’s the standard width for a walk-in shower?
The standard width for a walk-in shower can vary depending on the size of your bathroom and personal preferences. However, a common recommendation is to have a minimum width of 36 inches (91 cm) for a comfortable showering experience.
This allows enough space for you to move around freely without feeling cramped. Keep in mind that if you want to install a bench or additional features in your walk-in shower, you may need to consider a wider width.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional or refer to building codes in your area to ensure that you meet the necessary requirements for your shower’s width.
Should the shower curtain be inside or outside the tub?
When it comes to placing the shower curtain, there is some debate about whether it should be inside or outside the tub. The general consensus is that the shower curtain should be placed inside the tub when you are taking a shower.
This helps to keep water from splashing out onto the bathroom floor and creating a mess. However, when you’re not using the shower, it’s recommended to leave the shower curtain outside the tub. This allows the curtain to dry properly and prevents the growth of mold and mildew.
Remember to pull the shower curtain closed when you’re not using the shower to ensure that it stays dry and clean.
How do I keep shower curtain bottoms from mildewing?
Mildew can be a common problem in bathrooms, especially in areas where moisture tends to accumulate, such as the bottom of shower curtains. To prevent your shower curtain from mildewing, there are a few steps you can take. First, make sure that your bathroom is well-ventilated.
This can be done by opening a window or using an exhaust fan to remove excess moisture from the air. Additionally, after each use, it’s important to spread out the shower curtain to allow it to dry completely. This will prevent moisture from getting trapped and creating a breeding ground for mildew.
If you notice any signs of mildew, you can clean the curtain using a mixture of vinegar and water or a mildew-removing cleaner. Regular maintenance and proper ventilation are key to keeping your shower curtain free from mildew.
Walk-in showers with curtains can be a stylish, practical option for your bathroom remodel if done right. With careful planning and design considerations like a curved rod, weighted curtain, and enough space from the shower head, you can contain splashes and water.
Though glass doors offer a more polished look, shower curtains provide a lighter, airier feel at a fraction of the cost. Follow the tips above, and you’ll be able to enjoy the spa-like experience of a walk-in shower with the simplicity and affordability of a curtain.