Shower Doors vs Shower Curtains

As you’re searching for the perfect way to complete your new shower or upgrade an existing feature in your bathroom, you’re bound to eventually come up against a difficult question: Should you use a shower curtain to keep water off the floor of your bathroom, or should you install an attractive glass shower door? To make the right decision, you’ll need to have all the facts, and this basic guide to shower doors and shower curtains should help you make a choice that will keep you satisfied for years to come.

Benefits of Shower Doors

It’s undeniable that shower doors are superior to shower curtains in a number of ways. First of all, these shower openings are more aesthetically pleasing than shower curtains; they make your bathroom look like it is more spacious, and they also impart a sleek and modern appearance.

There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to shower door styles, which means that you can pick a door that perfectly fits in with the decor of your bathroom. Shower doors are also easy to clean, and unlike shower curtains, they don’t become unusable over time due to buildups of mold or mildew.

Best of all, shower doors reduce or entirely eliminate the water that is splashed onto the floor of your bathroom while you shower, which reduces cleanup time. Best of all, glass shower doors prevent cold drafts from ruining your daily shower, and they help keep steam in the shower where it belongs and off of your mirrors and other bathroom surfaces.

Shower Doors vs Shower Curtains

Benefits of Shower Curtains

There are also a number of benefits of choosing a shower curtain for your bathroom. The main reason why most homeowners might choose a shower curtain over a shower door is the reduced cost of this type of shower opening; the initial cost of a shower curtain may be $50 or less, which is less than a tenth of what most shower doors cost.

You may also find a shower curtain to be more aesthetically appealing than a shower door. It’s true that these shower openings are available in tons of different colors, and you can even find novelty shower curtains that display your love for your favorite band or book series.

Lastly, shower curtains can soften up the masculine decor that is often used in bathrooms. While you might like the stark lines and muted colors that are common in most bathrooms, some consumers might prefer their bathroom decor to be on the feminine side, and a bright or frilly shower curtain can achieve the desired effect.

Shower Doors vs Shower Curtains

Issues with Shower Doors

There’s no denying that shower doors are quite expensive. It’s pretty much impossible to purchase a shower door for less than $500, and these types of shower openings can easily be as much as $1,000 if you go for a frameless option. Plus, if your bathroom is in a uniquely shaped space, you’ll have to pay more to have a shower door made that fits.

Shower doors also aren’t usually the right choice for smaller bathrooms since most shower door styles require significant space for opening and closing. However, you can opt for a sliding shower door if space is an issue.

Plus, if you don’t take time to clean off your glass shower door every day, grime will rapidly accumulate that ruins the clear and spacious appearance of this type of shower opening. Your soap and shampoo will also be on display whenever a guest uses your bathroom, which you might not find to be too appealing.

While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever encounter this situation, shower doors have been known to explode. It’s unclear what causes these explosions to take place, but there’s a minute chance that you might wake up in the middle of the night to a loud bang and glass all over your bathroom floor if you install a shower door.

Issues with Shower Curtains

The problems associated with shower curtains practically outweigh their benefits. Unless you’re very careful about drying off your shower curtain every time that you get it wet, you’ll need to replace your inner shower curtain every couple of months. These types of shower openings get water all over the floor, and unless you use magnets or suction cups to stick the edges of your shower curtain to the side of your shower, a chilly draft is inevitable.


Worst of all, most shower curtains are made with PVC, which is a toxic substance that can cause headaches, respiratory issues, and even cancer. Even if you pick a non-PVC option, you still might be plagued with the “shower curtain effect,” which is when your shower curtain blows in and sticks to your wet body while you’re showering.

The Bottom Line

In the end, your choice between a shower curtain and a shower door will be decided by two factors: price and aesthetics. There’s no getting around the fact that shower doors are expensive; you’ll have to think carefully before making this investment in your bathroom.

On the other hand, shower curtains can become significantly expensive over time. If you replace your shower curtain every three months, for instance, and you choose a relatively decent type of shower curtain that costs about $10, you’ll be spending $40 per year. If you use shower curtains for 10 years, you’ll end up spending $400, which is close to the cost of an inexpensive shower door.

From the perspective of aesthetics, plenty of consumers appreciate the clean lines and minimalist appeal of glass shower doors, and frameless shower doors are currently all the rage. If you want to keep your bathroom on the cute side, however, the only way to festoon the area surrounding your shower with pictures of kittens or flowers is to install a shower curtain.


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