Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, or you’ve decided to give your bathroom an upgrade, getting a new shower curtain is a task that’s often overlooked. As simple as it sounds, you may find yourself asking, what size shower curtain do I need?
Standard Shower Curtain Sizes
There are 3 standard shower curtain sizes:
- 70 x 70 inches
- 70 x 72 inches
- 72 x 72 inches
One of these 3 sizes will work for the showers found in most homes. However, there are exceptions, and you may need a different size if you have an oversized shower, stall shower, or a curved curtain rod.
Sound confusing? Don’t get nervous, we’re here to help. This post will guide you through 4 easy steps for choosing the perfect size shower curtain for your bathroom. You’ll be singing in the shower in no time!
1. Measure the Width
First, measure the width of your shower curtain in inches. Simply take a tape measure and measure the entire length of the shower space from wall to wall. Then, add 12 inches to ensure the curtain will be able to move freely and still reach both walls to provide ample coverage.
Choose a curtain that fits the opening correctly. As we mentioned above, a standard shower curtain comes in 1 of 3 sizes:
- 70 x 70 inches
- 70 x 72 inches
- 72 x 72 inches
If you don’t have a standard-sized shower, don’t worry. In step 4 below, we cover special shower curtain sizes.
2. Determine Where the Rod Will Go
If you don’t already have the shower curtain rod installed, then you’ll need to decide exactly how you will mount it. As part of this, you’ll need to decide if you want your rod to mount on the outside or the inside of your shower.
Inside mounts fit between the opening exactly, and extend from wall to wall. Outside mounts have a bit more flexibility and can extend outside the actual opening.
If you are using a rod that mounts permanently to the wall, always buy your shower curtain before mounting your rod, in case any adjustments need to be made to your measurements.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to use a spring-rod temporarily, to hold the place of the actual curtain rod, just so you are able to measure correctly. Once you have the details for the rod worked out, you’ll need to get the curtain height.
3. Measure the Height
Next, determine how high off the floor you would like your curtain to hang. Ideally, you will want to hang your shower curtain so the bottom is just 1 to 2 inches off the floor.
While there is no actual rule, hanging your curtain too high will allow water to escape and pool on the floor and hanging it too low will cause it to bunch on the floor and create mold or mildew, or worse you could trip over it while getting in or out of the shower.
Using the tape measure, measure the distance from where the rod will go, to the floor. Subtract an inch or so for the hooks and 1-2 inches for the space between the curtain and the floor.
4. Special Shower Curtain Sizes
Now you have all the measurements. Keep in mind that a standard shower curtain measures roughly 72 x 72 give or take an inch or two. They are designed to fit a 60 inch tub with 12 inches of extra fabric to guarantee total coverage.
If your shower and rod are standard size then you are good to go. However, not all showers are created equally. Here are a few examples that require special attention.
Although most houses and apartments have standard size showers and tubs, they do come in a variety of sizes. The good news is, if your shower is larger than the typical 60 inch tub, you can buy some designer shower curtains with a width of up to 108 inches.
Another option would be to buy two shower curtains and hang them together. Depending on the actual size of the shower, you would have to be careful with this option because you may have over 12 inches of curtain left over. In this case, sometimes tie backs are a good idea.
If you happen to have a stall shower instead of a full size tub, the standard measurements and way of measuring are going to be a bit different. Stall showers are taller and skinnier than standard showers.
Stall shower curtains are typically shorter in width but longer in length than a standard shower curtain. They are available in a standard size of 50 x 78 and 54 x78. Measuring the width of the stall is the same as measuring a standard tub. Using the measuring tape, measure from one side to the other and add the additional 12 inches to allow for curtain movement.
For the height, remember to make sure the curtain falls long enough to prevent water from spilling out onto the floor but not too long that it is dragging. It should only reach to the curb of the shower, allowing it to direct the water inside, but not posing a hazard.
Curved Curtain Rods
If this is the style rod that you have, measure the entire shape of the rod. Generally, these will measure about 6 inches longer than a standard shower curtain rod. While you can still use the standard 72 inch curtain, you will only have about six inches of free moving fabric.
Although this will still provide adequate coverage, your best bet in this situation is look for an oversized shower curtain. You may have to order one, but it will be worth the wait, rather than sacrificing the extra inches.
Why That Curtain is So Important
The most important thing to remember is although your bathroom is most likely the smallest room in the house, it’s likely that it serves the biggest purpose. Your shower curtain is not just a small side show added to the decoration of your bathroom, it is pretty much the main attraction.
Not only does the shower curtain serve as an important element of design, it also serves a practical purpose, protecting your floors from water damage and you and your guests from slips and falls.
When choosing what size shower curtain you need, it is very important that you choose the perfect size for your shower. A curtain that is too small will leave you constantly adjusting, and probably freezing most of the time.
A curtain that is too big will have you constantly fighting the extra length from things like bunching and getting wet, and probably cause a serious mold and mildew issue.
That being said, it is imperative that you take the time to measure your space correctly to ensure that you buy a curtain that fits just right rather than just guessing what size you will need. In the long run, it will save you a lot of time energy and money. Now, go hang that curtain.
Should Shower Curtain and Liner be the Same Size?
The average shower curtain liner measures 70 inches wide and 72 inches long, which is basically the same size as most shower curtains. Ideally, your shower curtain liner should hang approximately 5 to 6 inches longer than the top of your tub. Shower curtain liners are also available in special sizes. For example, a stall shower liner measures 54 x 78.
Does the Shower Curtain Go Inside the Tub?
The shower curtain liner should always go inside the tub or shower base. Shower curtain liners are usually made of vinyl or plastic and are designed to prevent the water from leaking out of the shower. The liner is used primarily for practical purposes whereas the curtain is usually used for decoration and privacy.
How to Hang a Shower Curtain Rod?
The simplest way to secure a shower curtain rod is to purchase a tension rod. Put the rod through the curtain holes first, then make sure the rod is straight against both sides of the wall. Twist it firmly into place and use the locking mechanism to hold it there. You can also use adhesive mounts or, with some expertise, drill mounts into the wall.