Does Shower Curtain Go Inside or Outside Tub

Shower curtains provide privacy, prevent water from flooding the floor, and beautify your bathroom space. But after finding the right style and design to match your bathroom aesthetics, it’s equally important to know how to use a shower curtain properly. One of the common debates is, “Does shower curtain go inside or outside tub?”

There are different answers to this question depending on the purpose of the shower curtain, the material, and the type of curtain. Ideally, you want to place your shower curtain inside the tub so you don’t get water splashing all over the space. But if your shower curtain comes with a liner, the latter can perform that function while you let your expensive shower curtain hang outside of the tub.

Below we take a more in-depth look at the proper way to use a shower curtain, so it maintains its functionality and durability.

When Should You Hang the Shower Curtain Inside the Bathtub

As mentioned earlier, one of the roles of a shower curtain is to prevent water from spilling onto the bathroom floor and making it rot over time. For this reason, it should hang inside the tab. This is particularly true for vinyl or polyester shower curtains since they are water-resistant and dry quickly.

On the other hand, hanging inside the tub may not be ideal for fabric shower curtains. The curtain will soak up water, soap, water minerals, and dirt, leaving it damp and dirty. This makes it an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, germs, mold, and mildew, which can harm your health.

Note that mold is pretty hard to get rid of from cloth. If your shower curtain grows mold, the only option you might have is to get rid of it and get a new one. And we all know how expensive the best shower curtains can be.

Can You Hang Shower Curtains Outside?

If you have a shower curtain just for privacy and to decorate your bathroom, you can hang it outside the tub. There are also instances when hanging outside may be important. If you have a curved shower rod, hanging the shower curtain outside is best to free up more space.

Secondly, fabric shower curtains are better suited to hang outside because they don’t dry quickly enough when in the tub. And that dampness can be a breeding ground for mold.

Lastly, some people don’t like placing the shower curtain inside the tub because it ends up sticking to the body while showering. So, they prefer to place it outside to allow for a more open and comfortable showering experience.

The downside to hanging shower curtains outside the tub is it increases the chances of water spilling on the bathroom floor. This could result in slips and falls and even damage the bathroom floors over time.

Do You Need a Shower Curtain and Liner?

Placing your shower curtain inside or outside the tub can have various consequences. But what if there was a way to avoid those consequences? The answer is in getting a shower curtain and a shower liner. While they can be used interchangeably, curtains and liners are different.

Shower curtains are typically made of cotton, linen, vinyl, and polyester. On the other hand, shower liners are only made from water-resistant materials like polyester and vinyl. Also, shower curtains are typically opaque, thus offering privacy, while liners are usually thin and transparent and ideally meant to prevent water from splashing into other parts of the bathroom.

Using a shower curtain with liners is the ideal solution. That way, you can put the shower liner inside the tub to prevent water from splashing while keeping the shower curtain outside for decorative and privacy purposes.

What Is the Proper Way to Use a Shower Curtain?

Shower curtains should be used in a particular way if you want them to serve their purpose. Applying these shower curtains etiquettes will ensure a clean and safe bathroom while maximizing the lifespan of your curtain. Without further ado, here are the rules for using a shower curtain:

  • Put the shower liner inside and the shower curtain outside the bathtub
  • Keep wet shower curtains inside the tub to avoid wetting the floor
  • Keep dry curtains outside the tub
  • Always open the curtain and liner gently to avoid ripping the delicate material
  • Keep the curtains closed when you leave the bathroom
  • Don’t let the shower curtains or liners touch the floor. They should sit slightly above the floor, where they can cover the tub without touching the water on the floor.

How to Secure Shower Curtain and Liners in Place

Shower curtains and liners can blow around or even on you while you shower, which can feel uncomfortable. Luckily, you can secure them in place to fix this problem. Here’s how:

1. Use Shower Curtain Magnets or Suction Cups

Some curtains and liners come with magnets or suction cups attached to the bottom part to stick to the tub, thus keeping the curtain in place. But you can also buy curtain magnets or suction cups in stores to place them at the bottom of your curtain or liner.

Remember that magnets will only work if your tub has metal in it. Magnetic shower curtains won’t work for tubs made of plastic or fiberglass. If you’re using suction cups, be sure to press them strongly against the tub’s side. You can detach the cups once you’re done bathing.

2. Get a Weighted Curtain

Some shower curtains come with weights at the bottom to help keep them in place even when swayed. You can also buy weights for your curtains or liners. Another solution is to upgrade to a thicker and heavier shower curtain or liner. These are less likely to be blown around compared to their lightweight counterparts.

3. Install Curved Curtain Rods

Replace your standard curtain rod with a curved one. This will keep the shower curtain away so it’s less likely to be drawn in and stick on you.

4. Wet the Shower Curtain

Are you on a budget? Don’t worry; you can solve this problem by wetting the curtain’s bottom part. The water will weigh it down and stop the curtain from blowing in. But this solution comes with other problems. Wetting shower curtains will leave them damp, making them a good breeding ground for bacteria.


There’s a lot more to learn about how to use shower curtains properly, than we can fit in one article. So, let’s finish with a few common questions about this topic:

How Far Into the Tub Should a Shower Curtain Hang?

When hanging a shower curtain, let it hang about 1-2 inches inside the tub. This will allow the curtain to effectively contain the water, thus keeping the surrounding floor dry.

Hanging the shower curtain too far outside may lead to water spraying onto the bathroom floor, while hanging it too far inside may result in water escaping around the edges.

Be sure to adjust the position of the curtain slightly depending on the specific shower setup and personal preference to help achieve optimal water containment.

Should the Shower Curtain Touch the Floor?

Shower curtains come in different lengths, although most are about 72 inches long. Whether or not your shower curtains touch the floor is a personal choice, but ideally, it shouldn’t. Allowing a small gap between the bottom of the curtain and the floor is good for a couple of reasons:

  • To prevent water absorption: Most shower curtains’ materials are not waterproof. So, by letting the bottom touch the floor, the curtain will absorb water, which can lead to mold or mildew growth over time. On the other hand, keeping the curtain off the floor promotes better ventilation and drying.
  • To avoid tripping hazards: If the curtain drapes onto the floor, it can create a tripping hazard, especially when the floor is wet. Keeping the curtain a few inches above the floor helps prevent such accidents.
  • Hygiene: If your shower curtain is touching the floor of the bathroom, it can pick up dirt, moisture, and potentially mold or mildew. Leaving a gap will help minimize the chances of it getting dirty or retaining moisture.

So,Does Shower Curtain Go Inside or Outside Tub

Regarding whether shower curtains should go inside or outside the tub, it’s clear that both sides have pros and cons. Ultimately, it comes down to your preference and type of shower curtain – do you have a shower curtain only or a shower curtain and shower liner? Other factors like functionality, safety, and style will also guide you in making the best decision for your bathroom needs.

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