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Opinions Please. Shower curtain or shower door???

10 years ago

Our master bath is very small. The shower is 32 x 48. Many years ago we tore down the leaky tile and put in a fiberglass surround with glass doors. They are the kind with a track at the bottom and never look clean no matter how hard I try.
I am thinking of replacing the whole shower, but also of not putting in shower doors. I know there are now trackless ones, but I still think it would be easier to wash a shower curtain and liner than clean the doors.
The shower cannot even be seen from the bedroom. Walking in, the toilet is straight aheadon the back wall. (yuck). Opposite the toilet is the shower and in front of the shower is the vanity. So the vanity and shower are on the same side but there is a full wall between them. My husband and I are the only ones to use this shower. I would hope he could be trusted to pull the curtain properly if we go that route.
Your opinions would be appreciated. Thank you.

Comments (43)

  • 10 years ago

    Is it possible with your shower to have the frameless shower door? There is absolutely no easier way to keep a shower opening clean, IMHO.

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  • 10 years ago

    When we redo our baths I plan to use curtains. As an age in place, this lets a "helper" access the bather.

    Also will let me spend the $$$ (or even $$$$) that the shower doors cost on something else.

  • 10 years ago

    I have a frameless shower door. I squeege the inside of the door each time I shower (DH does not). It stays pretty soap scum free. Once a week I spray the inside of the door with lysol bathroom foam cleaner or an alcohol water mix. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth and you are done. No scrubbing needed.

    My door is clear. I wanted a heavy textured one for privacy. So glad I didn't do that. I get so much more light and it feels so much bigger with a clear door that fogs up right away giving you any privacy you may need.

    If you do get a curtain get a washable one.

  • 10 years ago

    I've have /had both and I hate the way the curtain liner always gets gross, even if it can be tossed in the wash, and found taking them off and putting them on to be a pain because I am short. We had a frameless door put in our MB when we remodeled and I prefer it...10 seconds to squeegee after showering and it seems to have a special coating that helps with any spotting. The only difficult part to clean is the plastic strip on the bottom of the door. And I like that the glass visually expands the room where a curtain cuts it off.

  • 10 years ago

    I vote for shower curtains over shower doors. Shower curtains are easier to clean, replace and update.

  • 10 years ago

    frameless door ... i hate scummy curtains and the way they always attack you when you're showering.

  • 10 years ago

    For years I used both a shower curtain with a door so that I didn't have to clean the door of soap scum or the track of crud.
    Recently, in our basement bath we removed the doors and put in a curved shower rod. Only regret is that I didn't put it ceiling height for more of a drama look. In our master bath we were able to enlarge the shower so that we could go doorless. Definitely would go without a door- use a curtain if necessary.

  • 10 years ago

    Unless you want to spend lots of time wiping down the glass after every shower, I would go with the curtain. I have had both and believe me a curtain is the way to go.

  • 10 years ago

    curtain...and not the plastic kind.

  • 10 years ago

    FWIW, cleaning the bathroom is probably my least favorite chores. I would never, ever want to mess with cleaning a shower door. It sounds terrible. Shower curtain all the way. They can be throw in the wash and if they get too bad, are inexpensive to replace. Plus, the fabric adds texture and is another decorative element to play with for the room.

    We have a heavy vinyl liner behind the fabric curtain. If you pick a plastic/vinyl liner that's heavy enough any cling issues should be very minimal if you have them at all. Ours is also weighted at the bottom. You could also install a curved shower curtain rod. I don't have one, but I always hear how much roomier it is in the shower from people who do. There would be no cling issues then.

  • 10 years ago

    My best friend chose a clear plastic shower curtain for her large remodeled shower. It's very unobtrusive. Also, the previous point made regarding allowing room for a helper in the future for aging in place is a good one. I may go with the doorless shower when mine is remodeled as have plenty of depth.

  • 10 years ago

    We just redid our bathroom, and at the moment we have a nice curtain with a fabric liner - we'll eventually decide whether to put in a frameless door, which is what we had originally planned to do. The shower curtain looks nice and works great, and I find that newer curtains and liners don't blow around and "attack" (as Annie put it) like the old ones did - it must be the weights at the bottom. I should add that we had a frameless door in our previous home, and we never squeegeed. Once a week, the cleaning person cleaned the door (like some people don't do windows, I don't do bathrooms....truth to tell, actually, I don't do much cleaning at all, so I have to have "easy".

  • 10 years ago

    Just as an aside, we have opaque wavy patterned shower doors (I know clear is more beautiful, but I'd be too self conscious and the opaque and wave hides soap scum better) and they come beautifully clean with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I used to periodically scrub and scrub and make myself miserable trying to get the soap scum off, and then one day, I looked at the Magic Eraser and thought - why not? It was so effortless I felt like I was cheating somehow. The first time, I did about 1/4 of a door and then left it for a couple of hours just to make sure that it didn't just look clean because it was wet. Nope - it was really clean. It's actually faster to clean the glass doors with a magic eraser than it is to take the shower curtain off the rings and put them back on after washing in the machine (hall bath has tub/shower combo with curtain/liner). I just don't know if it would lightly scratch a clear door.

  • 10 years ago

    Thank you for all of your opinions. I have decided to take the doors down and get a rod and a shower curtain. Perhaps when the gross door is down, I can better clean the whole shower. Maybe it won't need replaced after all. I can then see of the curtain idea works for us and then get a really good one. I don't think I will mind washing it. If that doesn't satisfy us, I then know that a trackless is the way to go. Thanks again for sharing with me what has worked for you!!

  • 10 years ago

    Consider a hotel shower curtain. BBB has them. They do not cling and stay clean for quite a while. I have had mine for 7 years and it still looks new. It is doubled with a fabric curtain on the outside. The only bear to deal with is shower rods which tend to get dirty much quicker than the curtain.

  • 10 years ago

    That is what I was thinking of, Techicolor. Thanks for pointing me directly to BB&B. I want the outer curtain as well, even though it probably can't be seen unless I am looking at the shower head-on - perhaps something to match the new window treatment I will put in.

  • 10 years ago

    May be a dumb question --- but then do I need two rods?? one for the liner, one for the curtain???

  • 10 years ago

    I use a double sided shower ring. That allows me to easily remove the shower liner for washing.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Shower ring

  • 10 years ago

    Thanks, Dee. Good to know. I may do a stationery panel on the outside - still thinking - maybe a tie-back, then I might need another rod. BB&B usually has a good selection of a lot of options.
    Stay warm!! I am in Ohio too --- supposed to get a bit better soon!

  • 10 years ago

    I use the same rings as Dee. I saw someone in the bath forums post that they were one of the favorite parts of her remodel, so off I went to BB&B. I like the clear liners because they allow more light in. Mine even has suction cups on the edges to keep it tight to the wall, also purchased at BB&B.

  • 10 years ago

    We took out our kids shower doors and replaced them with a curved rod and hookless shower curtain with a built-in replaceable liner. The bathroom looks so much nicer and the curved rod allows so much more room when you're in the shower. It's a fantastic set-up and I'm SO glad that we did it!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Hookless shower curtain on Amazon

  • 10 years ago

    I had the trackless shower door put into our former house and it was reasonably maintenance free, no complaints from me at least. Another household where I would squeegee, DH did not.

    This house had crisp white shower curtains in two of the bathrooms and those have been fine too, I haven't changed them. Some kind of poly blend but cotton look fabric, no liners. Machine wash and dry, couldn't be easier. Vintage tiled baths and I think I can see in one at least where it did have a door at one time that someone had removed. I've found the curtains to be fresh and nearly carefree.

  • 10 years ago

    Do you bathe children in your tub/shower? Then you want a curtain. Shower doors allow you to only use half the tub and are hard to get in and out of. I have glass doors...thought it would make my small bathroom more roomy looking. I do not have small children, however.

  • 10 years ago

    There's a squeegee in all three bathrooms since all three have doors. I have no problem asking guests to please use it, and explain 'I don't want to have to replace when/if I sell.' Asking a guest to remove their shoes is even more obtrusive(and don't do it)so asking someone to squeegee isn't a big deal(to me).

    Shower curtains breed bacteria unless they are sprayed down with a bleach product at least once a week.

  • 10 years ago

    Shower curtains breed bacteria unless they are sprayed down with a bleach product at least once a week.

    I'm neither sick nor dead, so I personally doubt this is a serious problem. Some people are more germophobic than others, and I'm one of those who is not.

  • 10 years ago

    No I do not need this shower for children. I will probably take down the doors in the other bathroom with the tub. They were great when my boys used that bathroom, now they are a pain when trying to bathe grandkids. I am aware of a bacteria build-up possibility, but know I would wash the curtain regularly. I am going to give it a try. I can always add doors later if this doesn't work.

    .

  • 10 years ago

    I don't know why anyone would think it is hard to "wipe down" a shower door after a shower. First take your hand held shower head and rinse down the walls and door (10 seconds at most) Take a squeegee and start at the top and run it quickly down to the bottom, walls and door. It takes me less than 30 seconds to do my shower. No need to actually wipe.

  • 10 years ago

    We have a curtain with fabric liner in the guest bath that has a tub/shower with tiled surround and a curved rod is better if you have a regular width tub. I think for a tub, I prefer that because the glass door reduces the access too much. I've used plastic liners in the past, but this fabric one I have now (maybe nylon or polyester) is much better about not mildewing etc. The fabric liner dries extremely quickly and has magnets at the bottom outer edges.

    Even if you don't have double sided rings, if you put the liner on the ring after the outer curtain, it's simple to just take off the liner to wash it--although it does require me using either a step stool or standing on the edge of the tub to reach the rings--a process that definitely takes longer than squeegeeing the shower door.

    For our MB shower, we have a large clear frameless door (doesn't even have strip at the bottom to hassle with cleaning) and since our shower is large, we also have a glass wall. Last one to take a shower squeegees, and I think it takes 10 seconds to do both door and wall. It makes the bathroom seem much larger, and the door stays clean with occasional touchups.

    As someone else pointed out above, for those who are shy about clear doors, they fog up and become somewhat opaque while showering.

  • 10 years ago

    I'm only using one rod and single rings. Wash both at the same time. Although the outside curtain is also white in a decor style. It does surprise me that those taking showers never seem to pull the outside one inside. Guess dirt doesn't affect brains. The hotel curtains are opaque which may not be what you want. Been a while, maybe new and different now.

    I was thinking of using white drapes on each end of bath/shower. Haven't seen this done. Have them, just haven't gotten to it yet. My bath is casual with beadboard, staying with the decor and white helps the room look larger.

  • 10 years ago

    We recently took down our glass doors, refinished the shower with a company called Miracle Method... they filled the screw holes and refinished the entire shower to make it look like new (not cheap, but cheaper than replacing the shower) and we bought a shower curtain and liner. Much easier to care for IMO.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Miracle Method

  • 10 years ago

    debra, while I am in theoretical agreement, I can tell you it just isn't going to ever happen in my house.

    The chore of the cleaning to me seems to ruin the spell of relaxation created by taking the shower.

  • 10 years ago

    It's good to know that both "door" and "doorless" have worked. My plan is to take down the doors and clean, clean and re-caulk the part where the walls meet the shower bottom. As I said in my original post, this shower cannot even be seen unless you are either in it - or sitting on the toilet. So I am reluctant to spend the $$$ to replace it if that is not even necessary. I have read a lot about fiberglass and how it almost needs to be "fed". One of my sons has a boat - and cleans and waxes the fiberglass on that. I am going to get some of his products to try. My husband and I figure it is worth a shot to see what happens. We can always put up a door if we decide we want one. I am off today to look at curtains. I do remember many years ago buying them for the tub before we put doors there (which will also be removed). They were the junky plastic kind that got all yucky and couldn't be thrown in the washer and dryer. I am certainly expecting a large selection today when I hit BB&B. Thanks again for all of your ideas.

  • 10 years ago

    mamattorney, thanks so much for the tip about Magic Erasers! I have clear glass frameless by-pass doors in my shower, and, although I sqeegee them religiously, there's still buildup here and there. The Magic Eraser cleans it like nothing else I've tried for the amount of effort involved. (I have gotten amazing results with an Oxy-Clean/water soup, but the ordeal of cleaning up afterwards almost negates the results.) My doors are 9 years old so I'm not too concerned about potential damage from the Magic Eraser.

    Something I did notice today, finding tiny little spots on the *outside* of the doors. My bathroom is small, so there is obviously some drift from pump hair products. I think these are tiny etches since I can't scrape them off with my fingernail. Just something to be careful of.

  • 10 years ago

    A question for those who use the hotel shower curtains: Do they stain with hair dye? I have contemplated getting one but I color at home and do not want to find out the hard way.

    I can say, doors would never happen here with our hard water. Keeping them looking nice would be too much of a chore.

  • 10 years ago

    My son is an auto mechanic. He stayed with me for a while and the black grease left on the hotel curtain was awful. It amazed me that one laundry wash and it looked like new. I have no clue what they are made of, but stains are just not an issue, nor is their lasting life span. Wash it with the whites and daily detergent.

    Has anyone tried RainX on glass shower doors?

  • 10 years ago

    technicolor, I tried RainX once on my glass shower doors. It was a mess. Maybe I did it wrong, but never again.

    I have hard water and clear glass and if you squeegee EVERY time, the glass really does stay nice.

    Having said that, when I redo my shower over tub, I will get rid of the glass and go with a curtain.

  • 10 years ago

    I'd go with frameless, too. And I second the magic eraser bathroom sponge. They are phenomenal for cleaning the glass. Also apply rain-x if you don't get the coating on the glass (showerguard, etc.). With that sort of maintenance and a squeegee, you'll be fine.

  • 10 years ago

    Tish, I just bought one. It is 100% polyester and the directions say not to bleach. But if Technicolor got grease out! --- don't know about hair dye - but it was $20 at BB&B - and with a coupon $16 - so hardly an investment and worth a try.
    We took the shower doors off on Sunday. We have spent a lot of time cleaning the fiberglass surround and the shower basin. We bought new faucets. The difference is amazing. Even though I clean and clean that shower, it was still gross once we really got in there. I was planning on replacing the whole thing - but it has been restored! Quite the savings. I am just going to use a curtain - I can always put doors up later if I want them. Thanks again for all of your opinions.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is a no-brainer for me - - SHOWER CURTAIN!!!! I LOVE the look of a traditional tie back fabric curtain on the outside of my walk-in shower with a mold and mildew resistant plastic shower curtain (NOT A LINER) inside. The fabric curtain stays beautiful and only gets washed once in a blue moon. The plastic (non PVC) curtains which I buy in Walmart for $8 get tossed out every 6 months. That beats the extra $1,000 for installing doors. I never have a problem with water getting on the floor. I simply have to make sure the plastic inner curtain is inside the base of the shower plate----just as I would have to make sure the shower doors were closed if I had doors.

    I can't stand shower doors. Mold builds up in the tracks or collects along the bottom even with frameless doors. Who wants to squeegee the glass doors and wipe them down on a regular basis? Not me-I often take 2 showers a day, especially in the summer.

  • 7 years ago

    I use a white poly curtain from BBB called a Hotel Fabric shower curtain. (maybe technically a liner ?). I throw it in the wash with the whites and bleach it, no problem. It looks brand new every time it goes back up and I LOVE not having to clean glass or tracks. Thought I wanted glass on my new shower, but decided against it and am happy I did.

  • 7 years ago

    Another vote for the curtain. I carefully contemplated the same thing in my small bathroom reno last year. I found a beautiful, simple fabric curtain that can be thrown in the wash. It saved us space on not wasting space for the shower door swing and saved us $$$. Also, with three young kids, I refused to be a slave to the squeegee!!

  • 7 years ago

    For our boys bathroom, we installed a shower door over the summer. We were getting water stains on our LR ceiling (directly below their bath) and even though they were careful with the shower curtain and tried not to get water outside the tub, it was seemingly impossible to prevent. After two time repainting the ceiling, I was done.

    I like the door, it's by Kohler and has a modern feel to it - but I do agree that it is quite a challenge to keep clean.

    But they like it better - as the shower curtain liner annoyed them.

    It's a tradeoff, I guess.