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Do Shower Curtains Go Inside Or Outside Of The Tub? – 5 Reasons + FAQ

Do shower curtains go inside or outside of the tub? The answer to this question has been hotly debated over the years. While some people argue that the shower curtain should go inside the tub, others claim that it should hang outside.

I personally believe that the answer to this depends on your understanding of the purpose of the shower curtain and the shower curtain liner.

Ideally, the shower curtain liner is designed to go inside the tub while the shower curtain goes outside. However, if you do not have a shower curtain liner, then you may have to use your shower curtain inside the tub. But is that a good option? Let’s look at some of the reasons why it’s not ideal to use the shower curtain inside the tub.

Do Shower Curtains Go Inside Or Outside Of The Tub?

Shower curtains go outside the tub, mainly if you use a shower curtain liner and a shower curtain together. The shower curtain should go outside the tub because it allows the curtain to dry quickly, preventing mold from forming. It is also more hygienic for the curtain to go outside the tub because you will not rub against it when bathing.

Now, let’s understand the difference between a shower curtain and a curtain liner and their respective functions.

1. Shower Curtain vs Shower Liner; What Is The Difference?

Do shower curtains go inside or outside of the tub
Shower curtain liner

A shower curtain liner is a simple vinyl or plastic curtain that goes inside the tub to prevent water from splashing all over the floor.

It is usually transparent and thin so one can easily see through it from outside the tub.

A shower curtain, on the other hand, hangs outside of the tub. It is used alongside the curtain liner to make it opaque for privacy reasons.

It is also used for decorative purposes. People go to great lengths to choose a curtain that matches the rest of their bathroom or shower décor so as to make it more attractive and stylish.

2. So, Do You Need A Shower Curtain And Liner?

Of course, you do need to have a shower curtain and a liner.

For starters, if you fail to use a shower liner and opt to have the curtain inside the tub, you will have to deal with mold.

do you need a shower curtain and liner?
Image Credits – Infinite Sushi

Once inside the tub, the curtain may soak in moisture, soap residue, and mineral build-up after frequent use. This results in the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Apart from your curtain looking gross, the mold can become a health risk to you and your family.

A curtain liner, on the other hand, does not soak in moisture especially when it is treated to be mildew resistant.

Furthermore, if mold grows on your liner, it is easy to toss it away and purchase another one since most liners are not expensive. This is something you may find hard to do especially if you spent several bucks on the curtain.

It is also important to point out that mold is not easy to get rid of from any fabric. So once your curtain molds, you may have no choice but to throw it away and get another one, which is costly.

Therefore, you need a shower liner to protect your shower curtain from any damage that may be caused by moisture.

See also: Perfect clawfoot tub shower curtains 

3. Can I Just Use A Shower Curtain Liner Only?

Yes. You can actually use the shower liner without the shower curtain.

However, you may need to find a liner that is opaque for privacy if you leave with other people such as family members, friends, or roommates.

Can I just use a shower curtain liner only?
Image Credits – Maid Share

It should also be heavy enough so that it can stay down and prevent the billowing effect that makes it stick to you as you shower.

In addition, if you want it to complement the rest of your bathroom décor, like tiles and walls, you can go for liners that come in different colors and patterns to suit your needs.

4. Should The Shower Curtain Touch The Floor?

Should The Shower Curtain Touch The Floor?
Image Credit – Home Bliss HQ

Should the shower curtain touch the floor? This is an age-old question. Is it hygienic? What about usefulness?

Several individuals have their own way of doing and approaching things, but in an attempt to implement this issue to end for good, we need to look at what certain experts advise.

Although there are numerous other sorts of curtains with various methods of installation, shower curtains are typically 72×72 inches in size.

Extra-wide curtains are available for more extensive showers and bathtubs, floor-to-ceiling curtains are available for persons who like to be entirely covered in their shower, and wrap-around curtains are available to cover both ends of the tub or shower.

Your bathroom’s shower and decor will determine exactly what sort of shower curtain you require.

The question of whether or not you should allow your shower curtain to reach the floor is one that generates a fair amount of discussion.

Some individuals argue that touching your pristine shower curtain with the germ-filled bathroom floor is unsanitary.

However, a lot of individuals disagree, saying that it really doesn’t matter because the bacteria from your restroom would already be on your curtain.

Your curtain’s length should be determined more by its aesthetic and practicality than by sanitary concerns.

As long as your inner liner extends at least 6 inches inside your tub to avoid any potential water leaks, you are free to retain your curtain as long as it reaches the floor if you so like.

In fact, many individuals like drapes that extend all the way to the floor!

To make the most of your curtain’s ability to retain water inside the shower and maintain a tidy appearance, it is advised that it be raised at least 2 to 5 inches from the ground.

5. Where Do You Hang A Shower Curtain?

Where Do You Hang A Shower Curtain?

Every day you should splash water about while having a bath. However, repeated water splashes can harm other bathroom tiles.

Your shower curtain must hang properly and leave 2 inches between the floor and it if you need the floors of your bathroom tile to be secure.

Your curtain should dangle at least 5 inches underneath the border of your bathtub to prevent water from flowing outdoors and damaging your outdoor bathroom tiles.

The four steps for correctly hanging a shower curtain are listed below.

1. Measure The Area, Then Mark It

It is advisable to measure your shower curtain before hanging it. Despite the fact that shower sizes vary, most shower curtains are 72 inches long and 72 inches broad.

It is crucial to measure and note the placement of your curtain rod prior to hanging it if you choose a curtain that is too long or short for your shower or bathtub.

2. Install The Curtain Rod

You may now hang your curtain rod by using the markings you made.

If your rod is screw-mounted, you may set the mounting brackets so that they are equally spaced from the corners of your shower wall and the bottom of your tub. It should also be parallel to the base of your shower.

3. Make The Curtain Rings Loop

Shower curtain liners should be placed behind shower curtains with their outward-facing sides facing up.

Next, align the openings at the head of the shower curtain and curtain lining, then loop it through each hole using one shower ring.

4. Hang The Curtain And The Liner 

Carefully lift the curtain and lining to allow each shower ring to pass over the rod. Then, hook each one securely into place.

If you’ve already finished installing your shower curtain, you can now begin furnishing your bathroom with extras like robes, shampoos, towels, and other toiletry items.

See also: How to convert tub to shower 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How To Know Which Side Faces Out?

Most shower liners have a  smooth and a rough side. The smooth side must be within the tub to provide the most advantageous water deflection.

The side with labels or stitched edges will be the rough side. Which side appears to be the most organized should be apparent. It will be rounded and smooth.

This side ought to be towards the tub.

2. Is A Fabric Or Plastic Shower Liner Better?

Plastic shower liners are less expensive and effective. They cost a few dollars and are available at most grocery and home furnishing stores.

They are less prone to mold and mildew than cloth liners, but they will likely need to be replaced more frequently. Fabric liners, on the other hand, fabric liners are more aesthetically pleasing than plastic liners but require a little more upkeep.

They need regular cleaning since they are more prone to mold and mildew. Fabric liners may be cleaned far more easily than plastic liners, though.

3. How Often Should You Replace Your Shower Curtain Liner?

If you’d like a timetable, six months to a year is a decent range to use. Every six to twelve months, you should change the lining of your shower curtain.

This does not, however, imply that you can put it off for this long. Every month, you should clean the shower curtain.

4. How Far Into The Tub Should A Shower Curtain Hang?

A shower curtain and lining that drapes about 6″ down the interior of a shower tub will provide the most water protection.

Calculate and note this height from the top of the bathtub on either side of the wall, then deduct it from the length of the curtain.


Now that you have seen that shower curtains do not go inside the tub, you may need to get yourself a shower liner. The liner will prevent water from splashing on the floor as well as protect your beautiful curtain liner from mildew.

However, it is not a written rule that you must use both the shower liner and the curtain. If having two layers of curtains do not appeal to you, a single curtain liner can work perfectly without a shower curtain.

1 thought on “Do Shower Curtains Go Inside Or Outside Of The Tub? – 5 Reasons + FAQ”

  1. Hi,
    I wish your article discussed the environmental implications of buying cheap liners & throwing them away once moldy. I wish you would discuss options or recommendations for cleaning/avoiding mold (hanging the liner over the rod) or other environmentally safe ideas rather than the consumer driven “just throw away & buy new!”

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