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Do shower curtains go inside or outside of the tub?


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?

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

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.

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 

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.

See also: How to convert tub to shower 


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 comment

  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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