Bathroom Ideas: Shower Curtain or Shower Doors?

Article by: Lara Sargent [Houzz]

If you don’t have the space (or budget) for a separate shower enclosure and bath, you’ve probably decided on a combined shower-bath. But should you go with a shower curtain or glass shower doors to enclose it? Some of us might gravitate toward the softer look of a colorful piece of waterproof fabric that can be changed at will, while others might love the no-nonsense efficiency of a sheer pane of glass. To help point you in the right direction, here are five benefits each of shower curtains and glass doors.

Shower Curtains

They soften surfaces. 

Great swaths of fabric (waterproofed or backed with a water-resistant liner) can temper the overall aesthetic of a bathroom that’s in danger of becoming too harsh or sterile. This classic, serene design, with a harmonious blend of marble, tiles and dove-gray paint, is softer and less clinical thanks to the beautiful floor-length shower curtain that runs the length of the bath.

Make sure your curtain — or at least the outer fabric section — can be washed at home, so any hint of mildew or staining can be nipped in the bud.

They add personality. 

Simply put, shower curtains can instantly inject a blast of color, print and personality with the minimum of fuss, expense and effort. And even better, when you’re tired of the look, the curtain can be replaced with one in an altogether different style.

Be bold with color in the bathroom and remember, you don’t have to stick with top-to-bottom white for a fresh feel.

They change a tub into a shower-tub.

Claw-foot tubs baths with a shower above can be difficult to pull off — particularly when it comes to dealing with water spills and splashes. Glass panels are generally a no-no where curves and awkwardly shaped tubs are concerned, unless you go for something custom, so your best bet is to install a robust ceiling-mounted rail and finish with a heavy-duty, waterproof shower curtain that can be swept all the way around the inside the tub.

They prettify the room.

If I had my way, I’d make over every room with as much flounce and fuss as possible — and that includes the bathroom. So my No. 1 reason for choosing a shower curtain is simple: to prettify the room with a frilly little number that might make you want to stay there all day. 

They can make a design modern.

Hands up if you think shower curtains are a thumbs down for the modern bathroom. A quick glance at this neutral bathroom with a graphic striped curtain might change your mind

Glass Doors and Panels

They give you full enclosure.

There’s no fear of water escaping from this bath, as the sliding doors fully enclose the tub. Sliding panels of glass are also a good option where space is at a premium, as they don’t need to hinge or pivot outward.

They help you utilize tricky spaces.

A bath can be slotted rather neatly into an unused alcove or nook in a converted attic, but how to cope with the sloping ceilings if you fancy a shower, too? 

One option is a custom shower panel, which can accommodate tricky recesses and angles as well as nonstandard heights. You might pay extra for this item, but for a neat, splash-proof solution, it’s worth considering.

They expand the space. 

A fixed panel of frameless glass looks the part in any style of bathroom, not least in an all-white, compact scheme, where fuss-free lines and classic materials win out. This is the best option if your bathroom is compact and a curtain or glass doors with hardware would break up the space and visually shrink your room.

They Keep it simple. 

If you have a lot going on in terms of decor in the rest of the bathroom — think colored and graphic tiles, paneled furniture and fancy sink fixtures — then perhaps plain no-frills glass is the best solution.

Look for glass that has been finished with a special coating so dirt and limescale won’t accumulate and make it hard to keep clean. It might bump up the overall price of the screen, but it will save you cleaning time.

They give you options. 

With a shower curtain, you have one style of entry — you pull the curtain to one side to step in and then pull it closed. With glass enclosures, you have a choice of several types of entry. Besides a fixed panel of glass with an opening on one side, you can choose among various door types — sliding, hinged and folding.