How To Determine If A Shower Door Or Curtain Is Best For Your Bathroom

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How To Determine If A Shower Door Or Curtain Is Best For Your Bathroom

How To Determine If A Shower Door Or Curtain Is Best For Your Bathroom

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If your bathroom looks slightly outdated, you might consider remodeling a few things—like the shower area—to give it a modern touch. While a mid-range bath remodel will help you recoup almost 67% of the invested capital (via Remodeling by JLC), the eternal shower door vs. curtain debate may confuse you. So, how do you choose between a shower door and a curtain? By determining which shower fixture suits your bathroom the best. The most important thing to consider is the level of water management offered by these options.

An enclosed glass door offers the maximum protection and often helps contain errant sprays well, leaving your bathroom dry and clean. It also prevents heat from escaping and cold drafts from making their way in while you shower. Curtains contain water, too, but not as well as the door, given the gaps along the edges. However, they’re a better option if you need to bathe toddlers or pets, as you can set down a stool and go about your business. When choosing between the two, it’s important to remember that they have their pros and cons, and there’s no clear winner.

Design choice and maintenance requirements

Shower curtain with designs

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Your personal preferences and design choices are important considerations, too. For instance, if you’re a fan of the bold and beautiful, curtains offer more design, pattern, and texture options. Simply put, they let you put your unique stamp on the bathroom, complete with character and drama. But if you tirelessly incorporate the latest trends in your home, a glass door might be more your style. Plus, it’ll fit right in if the overall design scheme screams contemporary elegance. You can choose frameless, semi-frameless, tinted, rain glass, or sliding doors at your convenience. However, if you straddle the line between the two camps, a colored glass shower door will add a unique pop of color to your bathroom without being too loud.

Another thing to consider is the cleaning and maintenance requirements of the two shower options. To illustrate, cleaning a glass shower door is extremely simple and requires a few seconds at best with a squeegee, especially frameless ones (if you maintain it religiously). On the other hand, you’ll have to take down the shower curtain (and liner, if you have it) every time you want to clean it. Since the fabric remains wet for a while, it usually allows the bacteria to linger and settle in. In extreme cases, mold and mildew take hold, too. The good news is you can dump the unclean curtain in the washing machine (if it’s machine washable) and put it up again after it’s dry.

Budget and space constraints

Installing glass shower door

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The biggest pro in the shower curtain column is their budget-friendliness. You can get a curtain from your nearest hardware store for about $20 or less. You can even order a custom design online. Plus, you won’t have to hire contractors to install the fabric if you’re good with DIY projects. Even if you do hire a professional, the charges shouldn’t be too taxing. However, given the propensity of shower curtains for mold and mildew, you’ll have to replace them often. So, the costs will add up in the long term.

Conversely, shower doors come with a hefty price tag. Moreover, you’ll have to hire experts to install them, as these fixtures aren’t DIY-friendly. However, they’ll last a long time (up to 30 years), ensuring a high ROI (return on investment). Coming to the space requirements of these fixtures, glass doors can fit anywhere, from tiny bathrooms to trendy bathing areas or awkward spaces. As a bonus, they open up your bathing room, giving it an airy and bright feel. This property visually enlarges the space, making it an ideal choice for small areas. On the contrary, curtains don’t work in rooms with limited space and could make your already compact bathroom feel claustrophobic.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.