Shower Curtain Rod Options and Types

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Curved Shower Curtain Rod

If you don't have a shower door or an open-style shower, chances are you'll need a shower curtain rod to help keep the water where it belongs. What you might not realize is that shower curtain rods come in a variety of different styles and finishes to complement any bathroom decor.

Types of Shower Rods

When you begin shopping for shower rods you'll soon discover there are quite a few things to consider, such as the shape and size of the rod. Most rods come in a kit that includes the screws and the flanges, which are the end supports you will need to attach the rod to the wall.

Straight and Double-Straight Shower Rods

Straight and double-straight rods are one of the most common types of rod. They consist of one or two solid rods that attach to the wall at either end of the shower or tub. The escutcheon on either end of your rod should ideally match the style of your other bathroom accessories, such as the towel rods.

Straight shower rod and curtain

Companies that make straight shower rods include:

  • Ginger makes accessories for the entire bathroom, including the shower rod. They have finishes and styles to complement a wide range of bathroom styles from traditional to contemporary.
  • Signature Hardware makes several different sizes of both straight and double-straight shower rods. All options are available in at least three finishes to complement a number of styles.

Curved and Double-Curved Shower Rods

This type of shower curtain is great if you want to expand the elbow room in your shower. Your shower curtain will still hang correctly so that the water doesn't splash or drip onto your bathroom floor. Curved rods are also ideal for curved bathtubs; the shape of the rod follows the shape of the tub.

Moen Curved Shower Rod
Moen Curved Shower Rod

The double-curved shower rod is a great way to make your showering experience versatile. Just like the double straight rod, the curved rods can be used for hanging up damp towels or to support a shower curtain liner. This versatility gives you the option of using various fabrics for your shower curtain since the liner can be used separately. The rod design freedom is desirable when you want to give the bathroom décor a special look.

You can purchase curved and double-curved shower rods from:

  • Faucet Manufacturer Moen also makes curved and double-curved shower rods that match the escutcheon styles and finishes of their bathroom faucets to give your bathroom a cohesive look.
  • WingIts shower curtain rods are used in hotels around the world for their style and durability. Their rods come in three finishes and several sizes.

Track Shower Curtain Rods

Track rods are hook-free shower rods that are often used for a clawfoot tub and shower combination, or other rod configurations such as L-shaped, D-shaped, U-shaped, carousel and other shapes. With a track rod, you simply attach your curtain to the rod gliders instead of using shower rings or hooks. The rod gliders extend down from within the rod, ensuring the curtain doesn't slip off the rod.

Purchase track shower curtain rods from:

  • Trax are track rods that mount directly to your ceiling, rather than to the walls on either side. They come in L, D, U and circular configurations.
  • Curtain-Tracks also makes several different styles of ceiling-mounted track rods. The advantage of these rods is their flexibility; bend them into any configuration before installing.

L -Shaped Corner Rods

You may decide that an L-shaped shower rod is best for your corner tub. Choose one that can be cut to proper length for the best fit. The rod is literally L-shaped and both ends are attached to the walls. The turn in the rod is supported by a ceiling rod in longer configurations.

Purchase L-shaped corner rods from:

  • Cheviot is a producer of authentic cast-iron clawfoot tubs and the accessories to match. They produce an L-shaped corner rod for use with vintage-style products. All rods are chrome, and can be cut on site to accommodate different sized tubs.
  • Wayfair makes L-shaped corner rods in numerous sizes and finishes, including difficult to find finishes like Pewter and Antique Gold.

D-Shaped Rods

A D-shaped rod is actually comprised of a U-rod and a straight rod. One of the long sides of this D-shaped rod is attached to the wall with flanges. This creates an enclosure for your tub and shower combination. In addition, a ceiling rod supports the other long rod that is facing the outer side of the tub and shower area.

Purchase D-shaped rods from:

  • Shower Rods Etc makes D-shaped rods in three different finishes and escutcheon style.

Circular or Carousel Shower Rod

Elizabethan Classics Shower Curtain Rod
Elizabethan Classics Shower Curtain Rod

This style of rod is most often used for a stand-alone clawfoot or slipper tub with a shower combination. It can also be used for outdoor showers that you might find at a beach house or rustic cabin retreat. This type of rod is often supported by one or two ceiling rods that are angled perpendicular to the shower rod, and the shape of the rod may be rectangular or oval depending on the style and manufacturer.

Find carousel shower rods at:

  • The Tub Connection produces numerous clawfoot and slipper-style tubs, as well as the accessories to match. They carry several sizes and shapes of carousel-style shower curtain rods.
  • Sunrise Specialty is another purveyor of vintage style tubs and accessories. They carry several sizes of oval, rectangular and circular curtain rods.

Adjustable Shower Curtain Tension Rod

One of the easiest and most popular shower rods is the adjustable tension rod that is held in place by a spring suspension. This type of rod is ideal if you aren't sure if you want a rod in this area permanently, or if you are renting the home.

Find tension rods at:

  • Home Depot carries multiple styles, lengths and finishes of tension rods, both straight and curved styles.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond carries tension rods in various styles and finishes.

Custom Length Shower Rods

There are many online shops and even local stores that can cut your curtain rod for a custom length. There is typically an additional charge for this service, but if you have a non-traditional size shower or tub, it's a great way to get the perfect fit for a rod. Not all rods are eligible for this special cut, so make sure you understand which ones are.

Just be certain you take accurate measurements before ordering, since most website and local shops don't allow changes once the order is placed. If you have any questions concerning your custom cut rod, most websites offer a toll-free number for you to call to discuss your order with one of their customer service representatives. Custom orders typically take longer to fulfill; this information should be available on the website or at the time you place your order.

Vendors that will customize a rod for you include:

  • Signature Hardware will extend the length of a rod up to 12-inches. They will also cut any shower rod down to size as well.
  • Trax will customize the shape and size of any of their ceiling-mounted shower rods to fit your space.

Enlarger Rods

If your tub or shower is too small or narrow for you to comfortably stand in without bumping into the wet shower curtain, consider using an enlarger rod. Made by Cellini, enlarger rods bend in the middle to push the rod away from you, giving you more room to stand.

You can purchase Cellini rods at:

  • Plumbing Supply carries two sizes and finishes of enlarger rods.
  • Bellacor carries 60 and 72-inch enlarger rods in polished chrome.

Protect Your Bathroom

A good shower rod blends so seamlessly into your bathroom's design that you shouldn't even know it's there. Choose a shower rod that matches your bathroom's style and protects your bathroom from spraying water from the shower.

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Shower Curtain Rod Options and Types