A shower curtain isn't just about adding a touch of color and style to the bathroom, and it's more than just keeping the floor dry. They protect your bathroom from water damage and mildew. Shower curtain dimensions are important because you need minimal coverage to avert water issues, but going bigger than that can be fine too. So, what are the standard shower curtain sizes?
Different Showers, Different Curtains
Shower curtains can be used in a variety of settings: around a freestanding tub, along the exposed side of a traditional bath/shower combo and along one or two sides of a shower stall. When trying to find the right shower curtain to do the job, it's all about the measurements and whether you have the right shower rod to accommodate the curtain. Presuming you do indeed have the right shower rod, then you need to decide whether you want a shower curtain, just the liner or a combination of the two.
Shower liners can come in a variety of materials like plastic or polyester, and it's perfectly fine to use a liner on its own. The liner is what's water resistant, keeping moisture on the right side of the curtain. Plastic can be cheap and easy but also needs frequent replacing every six months or so, and environmentally considerate choices like polyester are increasingly popular for their long use and machine-washable nature.
Standard Shower Curtain Dimensions
While it's OK for a shower curtain to be wider than what is needed, it should not be long enough to pool on the floor. This may look luxurious with drapes in the living room, but in the bathroom, it causes moisture and mildew to gather in the folds below.
The recommended width of a shower curtain is the width of your shower plus 12 inches. In theory, most shower stall curtains are about 54 inches wide, and they are around 72 inches wide for typical bathtubs. The standard shower curtain height is around 72 inches. However, like most theories, don't trust those figures blindly because designer curtains can be up to 86 inches wide and 108 inches long.
Instead, measure your shower feature. Where's the rod? How long is the shower? Now the formula is simple: You want it to hang so it's 2 inches off the floor and 12 inches longer than the tub.
Let the Rod Decide
A shower rod bolted to the wall solves how high your shower curtain needs to be. Grab a measuring tape. As mentioned, the curtain should be 2 inches off the floor, and there are hooks for hanging, so that's another 2 inches. If you need to install a telescoping shower rod, then the standard for installing the rod is around 75 to 77 inches off the floor.
Of course, there are odd-height showers, particularly if you're in a small apartment or a character home that might be from a bygone era. In these instances, you may need to go much shorter than the average shower curtain. Don't fret, because many plastic or PVC shower liners can be easily cut to size if everything's a little too big for your pint-size fixture.
Simply make sure you've got great scissors with sharp, firm blades. Measure how long the curtain needs to be to hang off the floor in your spot, and if you need to draw a line, make sure it's a little below where you intend to cut so the line is gone when you're done. Cut carefully, and now you have a custom-made shower curtain that is perfect for your space.
Steffani Cameron is the daughter of a realtor and interior decorator mother and a home contractor father. Steffani is a professional writer with over five years' experience writing about the home for BuildDirect and Bob Vila. Raised with a mad love for decorating, Steffani gave up her Art Deco apartment to travel and work remotely for five years. She's in love with experiencing traditional decor around the world, including stays in Thai teak plantations on the Mekong River and cave homes in Turkey.