What size is a standard shower curtain? This should be answered with a question: is your shower a standard size? You are obviously in the market for a new shower curtain and aren’t quite sure how to proceed. You’ll want to get the size right for your shower space.
Just about everyone has a shower in their bathroom, and more often than not, a shower curtain is needed for that shower making it a bathroom essential. While its primary purpose is functional, it will also play a decorative role in brightening up your bathroom.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of types of shower curtains available on the market, so selecting one can be a bit complicated if not confusing. Purchasing a new shower curtain is the fastest method for redecorating your bathroom, and they come in a multitude of colors, designs, and materials.
So, if you’ve decided to replace that old, dated shower curtain, or are decorating a new apartment or home, begin with the correct dimensions.
A Standard Shower Curtain Size
The standard size for shower curtains is 72 x 72 inches. They are designed with a 60-inch bathtub in mind, affording you a foot of extra material for complete coverage. With the standard size, the shower curtain should extend all the way to the floor and cover the bathtub length. You will, however, usually find three “standard size ” options when shopping:
- 72 x 72 inches which is the average shower curtain size
- 70 x 72 inches
- 70 x 70 inches
There are also specialty sizes in production:
- 70 x 84 inches or 72 x 84 inches for a very tall shower
- 72 x 144 inches for a wider shower, often for designer bathtubs.
- 54 x 78 inches specifically for shower stalls which tend to be skinnier and taller in design.
If you happen to have installed a custom shower, the standard size may not be the correct fit. Even if you have a few extra inches, no problem. The important thing when considering shower curtain lengths is that your shower curtain should not drag along the floor.
Measuring the Width and Height of Shower Curtain
Using a tape measure, check the size of your shower or bathtub/shower combo in inches.
Width measuring: measure wall to wall, the curtain should be a bit wider so that it has soft folds when it is hung. A foot wider is ideal to give you that nice full, soft look. Also, the width of the shower curtain should extend approximately one foot beyond your shower’s width so that water isn’t leaking from the edges.
Shower Curtain Height
Where does the rod go? If your shower curtain rod is not pre-installed, you must decide where to mount it and whether you want it mounted on the inside or on the outside of your shower.
An inside mount will fit perfectly from wall to wall. If you prefer an outside mount, you will have a bit more flexibility and should be able to extend the rod past the actual shower opening if you wish.
If the rod needs to be permanently mounted onto your walls, make sure you purchase your shower curtain before you mount the rod, in case you need to make any height adjustments.
A good option before you do a permanent mount is to use a spring rod mount, even temporarily to get the perfect length. Once you have established the exact position, you can install a permanently mounted rod.
Height measuring. When measuring, forget the ceiling. Measure from the curtain rod position to your floor. Now subtract about 9 inches from your height measurement in consideration of curtain rings and a desired floor gap, unless you use a curtain that does not use rings.
Keep in mind if your shower rod is adjustable and can be raised or lowered as needed. This will help when dealing with standard sizes and most specifically lengths.
A Curved Curtain Rod
You may have a curved curtain rod especially if you have a free-standing tub perhaps even with feet. You will need to measure the entire length of the rod, curves, and all. Normally, a curved rod will measure approximately six inches longer than a straight curtain rod.
This means you can still use the standard 72 -inch curtain but will have less extra material. Your extra material will be only six inches as opposed to a foot. If you want to ensure that extra coverage, consider a shower curtain that is “oversized”.
Shower Curtain Materials
Shower curtains produced in a fabric will usually be made of a blend of cotton, microfiber, or polyester. The material chosen will affect the look of your bathroom. The most common shower curtains will be manufactured in cotton or vinyl.
If you are interested in the decorative aspect, a cotton shower curtain will gift you a soft decor option. They are also incredibly functional when paired with a vinyl lining. With a pairing of this type, you get the best in decorating possibilities.
The vinyl lining protects from water leakage, while the cotton shower curtain can be regularly taken down and laundered. This option will also allow you to select a fancier shower curtain fabric if you prefer an elegant bathroom. This is a terrific option when decorating a guest bathroom and shower.
The other very popular option is a vinyl shower curtain. This is a less expensive option if you want to stay on a budget, and it is very easy to keep up. Vinyl shower curtains are water repellent making mildew or mold less problematic. They are budget-friendly and easy to maintain, Both of these options are available in solids and prints, depending on your personal taste.
The top of shower curtains is usually made with a kind of buttonhole for shower curtain rings to enable you to hang your curtain. There is a type of curtain made without these buttonholes, but with grommet holes meaning you can slide the curtain right onto the shower curtain rod.
This type of shower curtain is easier to assemble for hanging. Many hookless shower curtains will also feature built-in liners to prevent mold.
Considerations when Selecting a Shower Curtain
Once you have established the correct size for your shower curtain, keep these other aspects in mind when choosing:
Lighting. Does your bathroom have a light, or do you depend on a window for natural light? If the bathroom is not well lit, you may want to select a sheer, clear, or light-colored curtain.
Mold. Mold is the number one problem for showers. Select a vinyl curtain especially if you don’t have great ventilation or choose a curtain with a good liner.
Style. This will depend on your personal taste however you don’t want your curtain clashing with the bathroom’s overall decor. Keep in mind the style of the bathroom when selecting both material and color.
While your shower curtain can add to your living décor, its most important purposes lie in protecting your flooring from damage due to water, as well as protecting yourself and those who use the showers from slips and falls.
Select the correct size. If the curtain is too small, you’ll be constantly adjusting it in the hopes of not getting your floor wet. If it is too big, you’ll have too much extra material to deal with and run the risk of mold developing in folds and bunches.
Take your time to measure correctly and get the correct size. It will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.