Best Shower Curtain Rod Guideline from Types, Materials, Shapes, Installation and Use

Installing a shower curtain can not only spruce up your bathroom but also keep the water splashing inside the shower area. Shower curtain rods are essential supports for shower curtains. There are many types of shower curtain rods available in the market, but the right one for you is the one that fixes the wall perfectly and holds the curtain firmly in place. Also, it will not sag and the curtain will slide effortlessly on it. Lastly, it will complement the bathroom interior. If you are installing a new shower curtain rod, this guide will give an overview of different shower curtain rods styles and make the right choice.

2 Shower Curtain Rod Types

There are two kinds of shower curtain rods: Spring Tension or Fixed.

Tension rods or adjustable rods mean that their length is adjustable between the production length and the extended length. The strong spring inside can support the tension. You can twist the length to fit the different distances. There is no need to drill holes on the wall and they will not fall down in different weather. Before purchasing a tension shower curtain rod, all you need to do is to measure the approximate distance between the two walls and choose the right size. Tension shower curtain rods are versatile for different walls, especially perform well on tiled walls.

internal spring in adjustable shower curtain rod

Source: Amazon Amazer

Fixed shower curtain rods are not adjustable. Before placing an order, you have to take a precise measurement of the shower area, regardless if you have a standard tub. If not, you may have trouble installation. And, they may require drilling holes on the wall. It is a must to mark the position of holes when you are measuring the distance.

6 Shower Curtain Rod Shapes

In addition to the above types, shower curtain rods mainly have six shapes: Straight, Curved, U-shaped, L-Shaped, Hoop, Double straight/ curved. The shape of the shower curtain rod depends on the type of your shower and bathtub.


If you want the shower curtain to drape beautifully without sticking to your body when there is wind in the shower, you may need a curved shower curtain rod. It can provide an extra few inches of elbow space, making your shower feel larger and nicer to use. You can also choose fixed or adjustable curved rods according to your needs.

curved shower curtain rod

Source: Amazon PrettyHome


A straight rod can be used not only as a shower curtain rod in the bathroom, but also as a sturdy hanging rack to hang clothes and towels, and even as a curtain rod on a doorframe or window. The straight design only takes up the least space. Straight shower curtain rods are available in fixed and adjustable types. The tension-type straight rod allows you to install it effortlessly without cutting it short.

straight shower curtain rod

Source: Amazon LOVETEX

L shaped

If you have a corner shower area with or without a bathtub, then an L-shaped shower curtain rod can create a rectangle shower space for you. It is also available in fixed and adjustable versions. For an L-shaped rod, only its two ends bear the weight of the entire rod and the shower curtain, the fixed version will be stronger than the adjustable one. To prevent it from falling off after a period of use, a ceiling support bracket at the L corner can make it have a longer service life.

L shaped shower curtain rod

Source: Amazon Hudson Brass Works

U Shaped

The U-shaped shower curtain rod allows you to set up a private shower space on only one wall. It comes with 2 types: fixed (need drilling) and adjustable (no drilling required). The U-shaped rod has higher requirements for the quality of the material and the base because the two bases need to bear the whole weight of shower curtain, rods, and accessories without being deformed, broken, or falling off.

U shape shower curtain rod

Source: Amazon Sikaiqi


There are rectangular, square, and oval hoop shower curtain rods. They are uncommon unless used for a custom tub or shower area. It usually comes with a shower rod and 1 or 2 ceiling support rods. Some even come with specific faucets, holders, and connections. Because it is not common, hoop shower rods are usually a bit expensive. Compared to U-shape and L-shape, the hoop/rectangle style will provide higher stability for the tub next to the wall.

hoop shower curtain rod

Source: Amazon PrettyHome

Double Straight or Curved

Dual rod design allows you to separate hanging the shower liner and shower curtain. Since the two shower curtain rods are placed next to each other, you can take the advantage of hanging towels inside the shower curtain without the need to buy a new towel rack.

You can choose from straight or curved rods. They are also available in fixed or adjustable versions. Double shower curtain rods are great options for a small bathroom with limited wall space for towel racks.

double straight shower curtain rod

Source: Amazon Zenna Home

Shower Curtain Rod Material

As the load-bearing rod in the shower area of humidity and heat, the shower curtain rod must be rust-proof. Some popular materials are Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Alloy steel, Nickel, Plastic, Plated steel, etc.

There are a variety of modern surface treatments and coatings to match any type of bathroom decoration, such as chrome, matte, vintage, etc.

When choosing a shower rod that has good quality and matches your bathroom decor, there are some guidelines to follow.
For example, natural steel with high gloss finishes and aluminum with matte surfaces are best for minimalist bathrooms. If you are looking for vintage, rustic and eclectic bathrooms decor, then matte finishes, copper & brass materials or finishes will perfectly add the vintage touch.

The most important thing is to distinguish the real material from what you are paying for. After all, there may be a huge price difference between them.

For example, how to distinguish the rod is made of real brass or metal with brass finishes?
Actually, a magnet can help you identify if it is brass or metal. When you hold a magnet around a real brass rod, the magnet doesn’t attract. But if the magnet is next to the brass-plated metal, you can feel a pulling force. Because the underlying metal, iron or steel, is magnetic.

What surface is suitable for installing a shower curtain rod?

Most smooth or rough surfaces are suitable for installing a shower curtain rod. Adjustable rods work well on smooth tiled walls and wooden frames because they usually come with suction pads. Fixed curtain rods can be installed on the wallpaper, paint walls, tile walls, wooden frames, etc. Because you need to drill holes for them.

What height should you install the shower curtain rod?

In most cases, it is 75-80 inches from the floor.

A good shower curtain installation height can prevent water from splashing out of the shower area, and protect the shower curtain from floor dirt and bacteria, and make the shower area a good match in the bathroom.

However, it is very flexible, because it depends on your preferences, hook size, water threshold height, and shower curtain size. It is best to take these factors into account before deciding where to install the shower curtain rod.

Water threshold height is usually 1.2-2inch (3-5 cm).

The hook length is usually 2-3inch (5-8cm). Don’t forget that the hook will go through the grommet holes.

The standard height of most shower curtains is usually 70-72inch (1.78-1.83m).

How much weight can a shower curtain rod hold?

Most shower curtain rods can hold a maximum load of 20-30 pounds. It depends on the thickness and density of the pipe, and if the rod has a good installation on the wall.

How to prevent your shower curtain rod from falling off?

Due to water in the suction cup or long-term load-bearing, shower curtain rods are likely to fall after a long time of use. This is really annoying. Besides purchasing a new shower curtain rod, there are several tips to prevent your shower rod from falling off.

1. For tension rods with a spring inside the pipe, the actual installed length should be a few inches longer than the distance between the two installation positions. Fix one end to its position, and then hang the other end at an angle a few inches higher than the actual position. Slowly slide the end down until it is straight and firm enough. If it can move up and down easily, adjust the length longer and try again.

2. Another way to firmly fix the tension rod on the wall is to add a felt furniture pad at each end. As the felt pad is a sponge and has an adhesive side, the expansion force can compress the pad and increase its resistance to smooth walls.

3. Reduce taking off the rods from the wall. Because every time you install and remove the curtain, dirt or water may enter the suction cup. And you can not ensure every installation is flawless.

4. Using clips to hang the shower curtain is more convenient than hooks. You don’t have to take off the shower curtain bar every time you wash or replace the shower curtain.

5. Hang less. The maximum load of the shower curtain rod is usually 20-30 pounds. This means that to prevent the rod from falling off, the weight it can hold from the shower curtain, liner, towels, or clothes should be less than 20 pounds. Long-term overload or maximum load will cause it to fall off, deform and even break.

Tags: bathroom

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