Why Shower Curtains Are So Much Better Than Shower Doors

Why Shower Curtains Are So Much Better Than Shower Doors

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Nancy Mitchell
Jan 14, 2018
(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

I'm old enough to remember a time when sliding shower doors were considered very innovative, and the height of bathroom fashion. When my family moved to Houston, in 1994, our new house had one, and to me that was a very big deal. Fast-forward about 20 years and the shower door in my parents' house just seems a little moldy and gross. Collectively, I think we're having a bit of a reckoning about them, as a whole generation of people realizes that the sliding tub-top shower door can look very sleek, but may not be a great long-term solution. Here are six reasons to consider swapping your shower door for a humble shower curtain.

#1: A curtain is much easier to clean

A shower curtain can be popped in the wash. A sliding glass door, on the other hand, needs to be cleaned on both the outside and the inside — the latter from inside the tub — and that's not to mention all the gunk and mildew that collects in the tracks. If you have a sliding glass door, chances are good that, no matter how diligently you clean, those tracks are just gross.

#2: Having a curtain makes the tub itself easier to clean

How do you clean a bathtub with one of those sliding doors? Do you lean, uncomfortably, over the metal rail and scrub? Do you scrub from inside the tub itself? It's a mystery to me. I should ask my mother.

#3: Curtains are easier to swap out

If you decide you don't like the style of your glass shower door, changing it out is going to be a real pain (and cost a lot of money, too). Swapping out a shower curtain, on the other hand, is a very easy and relatively budget-friendly way to make a big impact on the look of your bathroom.

#4: It's much easier to bathe kids (and pets, too)

I've never tried to bathe a child inside a tub with one of those sliding doors, but I imagine it is a pain, since the track means that you can't sit on the edge of the tub and instead have to sit on — the floor? a stool? Ditto for bathing dogs (and cats, I guess, although I'm of the opinion that you don't really have any business bathing a cat).

#5: It makes the room look bigger

Especially in a smaller bathroom, the space occupied by the tub is a significant part of the footprint of the room. With a shower curtain, you have the option of drawing the curtain back, which unites the tub area with the rest of the room and makes the space look bigger.

#6: You don't feel like you're taking a bath inside a weird glass box

For some of you, this may not be a big deal, but it is for me. I love taking baths, and whenever I take one at my parents' house I can't help feeling a little like I'm trapped inside a weird glass box. It's not terrible, but it is unusual, and for you, it might be one more reason to set your shower free.

What do you think? Have you replaced an old shower door? Do you feel happy with the decision?

If I've convinced you to remove your shower door, check out our easy instructions:

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