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by Christina Wright
After towels, shower curtains are an essential bathroom accessory. Shower curtains serve several purposes. The right shower curtain will not only maintain your privacy and keep your floor dry, but it will also improve the overall look of your bathroom. There are several things to note when shopping for a shower curtain. This shower curtain buying guide will help you pick a shower curtain that will keep water off the bathroom floor while contributing to the decor of your bathroom.
Synthetic shower curtains: The large majority of shower curtains sold are created using synthetic materials, such as vinyl, nylon and polyester. Shower curtains produced from man-made materials are often the most affordable. These shower curtains are also extremely low maintenance, as they repel water, which helps them avoid stinky mildew. One criticism against shower curtains made of synthetic materials is their look. Such shower curtains are often not as aesthetically pleasing as more expensive curtains made from other materials. However, vinyl, polyester and nylon shower curtains are now manufactured in uncountable numbers of colors and designs, meaning you can still find something perfect for a bathroom on a budget.
Cotton and linen shower curtains: If you aren't worried about cost, fabric shower curtains made from cotton or linen are a deluxe option. These fabric shower curtains offer a plush touch to a bathroom and can often be found with matching bath towel sets. The downfall of fabric shower curtains is their lack of defense against fungi and stains. Because cotton and linen absorb water instead of repelling it, they are likely to stay wet enough to become incubators for odor-causing mold and bacteria. Because of this, you'll want to look for fabric shower curtains with an extra sealed layer and buy an extra plastic shower-curtain liner. Liners can help you avoid fungi and stains, but plan to wash this type of shower curtain frequently.
Hemp shower curtains: A unique option for shower curtains is hemp. Because these curtains are made from plant fibers in the same vein as cotton, they maintain a high-class look. The advantage they have over cloth shower curtains is hemp's natural ability to resist bacteria and fungi. Hemp shower curtains can be slightly pricier than traditional fabric shower curtains, but their ability to stay fresh and clean over long periods of time is something worth considering.
Shower curtain rod shapes: The shape of your shower curtain rod will ultimately depend on what sort of shower and space you are dealing with. Make sure to take measurements before purchasing a rod.
Straight: Straight shower curtain rods are easily the most popular variety. This shape of shower curtain rod will fit a wide array of showers.
Curved: Curved shower curtain rods are another popular style. These will match a variety of built-in tub and shower combinations.
L-shaped: L-shaped shower curtain rods are essential for showers not entirely surrounded by walls. Ceiling supports are recommended for this type of rod.
Circular and oval: For free-standing bath-and-shower hybrids, such as classic claw-foot tubs, you'll want to purchase a circular or oval shower rod. This sort of shower curtain rod requires ceiling support.
Shower curtain rod materials: The majority of shower curtain rods are produced using sturdy enough metals to hold up your shower curtains and whatever bath towels you choose to throw over them. As long as your shower curtain rods are secured tightly, the only thing you'll need to worry about is their aesthetic value. For example, a chrome shower curtain rod will bring a retro cool to your bath, while a bronze rod will provide a classic, timeless touch.
Whether you're thinking about buying cloth shower curtains or shower curtains made from synthetic materials, it's always a good idea to double up. By having a shower curtain on both the interior and exterior of your shower or by using a plastic liner, you'll keep your floor drier and your bath looking cleaner. With the excellent deals you'll find on Overstock.com, buying two won't cost you a fortune.