What is a Shower Curtain?

wiseGEEK Writer

A shower curtain is a useful device for showers or tubs that do not have shower doors. When water sprays from the shower, it’s easy for it to quickly leave the tub without some kind of protection. Repeatedly showering without a curtain of some sort can damage floors and end up costing a lot in expensive bathroom repairs.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

There are many types of shower curtains, most differing by material and designs used. Some tubs do have special shower curtain needs. While most curtains are a length of material that will fit from one end of the shower to the other on the exposed side, some tubs are exposed on all sides. These may require a round or oval shaped curtain instead to totally protect the floor.

Most types of shower curtains stay in place by attaching to a shower curtain rod. There are different types of attachments like rings and clips that help keep the curtain in place. Rings or other clips need to be able to slide along the curtain rod so that it’s easy to open and close the shower curtain as needed.

In addition to providing protection against water damage, curtains may serve a highly decorative purpose. The many types available can be coordinated with other bathroom décor for a beautiful themed look. Many of the fancier curtains are made of fabrics that might require special care, and really aren’t supposed to get extremely wet. More delicate materials in a shower curtain generally mean that a shower curtain liner is required too. Liners are usually simple opaque vinyl shower curtains placed on the inside of more delicate curtains.

When people would like to skip having two curtains, this is easily accomplished by buying thick vinyl curtains. These may be clear or opaque and come in numerous pretty designs that can still dress up a bathroom. Patterns on curtains of this type can range from polka dots or stripes to jungle scenes or aquatic views. Many Internet sites and bed and bath stores and departments have plenty of variety from which to choose.

Those who’d like curtains that are more environmentally friendly might want to consider curtains made from hemp. These can be washed and dried and don’t usually need the protection of a shower curtain liner. Hemp may be a little harder to find in local stores, but can be purchased online.

Plenty of people want to save money when they purchase a shower curtain. This can be easily accomplished. Instead of spending money on thick vinyl, various fabrics or hemp, people can simply buy a vinyl liner. These provide great water protection, come in a variety of colors and are usually far less expensive than other types of shower curtains. They’re perfect choices for budget shoppers.

Discussion Comments


If you like to change your decorating ideas every so often, buying a new shower curtain is an inexpensive way to change to look of your whole bathroom. You can change your shower curtain without having to buy all new towels and rugs if you stay close to the same color.

Whenever I buy a new shower curtain, I also like to buy matching shower curtain hooks that don't cost too much either. This is the simplest and cheapest way I know to give my bathroom a new look without spending a lot of money.


I like to change the decor in my house along with the different seasons. Winter is one of my favorite seasons to decorate for and this includes a snowman theme in my guest bathroom.

I found a snowman shower curtain with matching accessories online and look forward to getting these out every year. There are curtain hooks in the shape of snowmen, along with a matching rug that helps complete the look.


I have two types of curtains hanging across my shower stall. The outside one is a decorative one that matches the decor and color of my bathroom. The inside is one that keeps the water from splashing on the floor and has no pattern on it.

I have used the cheaper plastic ones in the past, but once I began using inside fabric shower curtains, I have never gone back. They cost a little bit more, but are easy to remove to wash and keep clean.

Both of these curtains hang on the same hook so you only have one shower curtain rod installed.

Post your comments
Forgot password?