Shower curtains can be utilitarian, used simply to prevent water from leaking onto the bathroom floor. These curtains can also be decorative, however, and add to the beauty and charm of the space. How high you place your shower rod can alter both the look and usefulness of this versatile curtain. Consider all the design elements of the bathroom, the curtain and the rod style before choosing the perfect height for your space.

Part 1


Distance From Floor

Hang the shower curtain so that the bottom hem is at least 1 to 2 inches from the floor. If the curtain touches the tile, it will collect dust and dirt. It may also hold in moisture and encourage mildew in the crease between the floor and tub. Shower curtains dragging on the floor present a tripping hazard, and get in the way of using a vacuum or mop to clean the floor.


Tub Style

Decide whether you want to highlight or hide your tub enclosure. Hang the curtain higher on the wall and use tie-backs to frame a tiled-in whirlpool tub. Choose a straight curtain that sits 1 to 2 inches above the floor to cover a plain or worn tub, or to hide unattractive glass shower doors.

Avoid hanging a rod that visually cuts across a window in the shower wall. Keep the rod high enough so that the curtain either hides the window completely from view, or can be tied-back to frame the window.

If you choose to hang the curtain higher to highlight attractive bath elements, keep the hem of the curtain at least 2 inches below the rim of the tub. This is necessary to keep the curtain or liner inside the tub when showering, and prevent water leaking onto the floor.


Wall Elements

The Knobs, Hinges, and More Store recommends using a tension rod on tile or fiberglass shower enclosures. Drilling into tile can cause it to loosen or crack, while holes in the fiberglass can lead to water damage to the wall behind the enclosure. If the tile or fiberglass reaches the ceiling, you can adjust the tension rod to any height you desire. For tile that stops 2 to 3 feet from the ceiling, place the tension rod near the top of the tile enclosure, or just above it. This will keep the visual lines uniform and appealing.

Permanent brackets can be installed into the wallboard above or in front of the tile or fiberglass surround. Look for an extra long shower curtain if you're installing brackets above the tile, but still want to cover the tub below.


Curtain Style

Shower curtains can be decorative with a liner, or multipurpose. For multipurpose curtains that hang inside the tub when in use, the hem must be 1-2 inches from the floor of the tub. Curtains hung too low can get stepped on, causing rips in the curtain, stress on the rod, and potential slip and fall hazards. The hem will also collect more water, which can lead to mildew.

Shower curtains that are swept to the side using tie-backs will appear shorter when the material is gathered up. Hang the rod 1 to 2 inches lower, if necessary, to keep the draped curtain outside the rim of the tub.


Additional Considerations

Shower curtains vary in length, so always measure the curtain before deciding where to drill holes for brackets. Shower hooks also create distance between the rod and the top of the curtain, adding to the overall length of your curtain. When installing permanent brackets, consider using a tension rod first to find the perfect height. The tension rod can be easily adjusted multiple times. Once you've found the precise height, you can mark the wall and install the brackets in the perfect location without having to re-drill.

Apartment Therapy also reminds homeowners using the arched style of curtain rod to consider how much it encroaches on the bathroom space. Hang the curtain higher in smaller baths so bathroom users don't hit their head on the bar.

Taller homeowners may choose to install the shower head higher on the wall for comfort. Choose an extra long curtain and hang the rod higher to prevent water from splashing over the top.


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