Friday, September 2, 2011

Shower Curtain Ring & Shower Curtain Rod Roundup

Today, we discuss shower curtain rings and shower curtain rods. We tend to use "rod" and "ring" interchangeably but there is a subtle difference between a shower curtain ring and a shower curtain rod. We'll get into that soon but whether it is a ring or a rod, its purpose is the same; to hang a shower curtain.

Shower Curtain Rods

Shower curtain rods have an open ended bar. At each end of the bar is a bracket that attaches to an adjacent wall. Shower curtain rods are typically used with built-in tubs and shower stalls that are enclosed by one or more walls. In older homes, the enclosing wall is usually lined with tile or marble. Tile and marble are still used today but cultured marble, acrylic, fiberglass, and other water resistant materials are also common in contemporary showers. Choosing the correct shower curtain rod will depend on the bathtub or shower pan installation and the number of enclosing walls.

Straight Shower Curtain Rods - Straight shower curtain rods are most common. The ends of the straight bar mount to parallel walls. Straight shower curtain rods are used with built-in alcove tubs and shower stalls that are enclosed on three sides. The shower curtain rod is used on the open side of the tub.

L-Shaped Shower Curtain Rods - L-shaped shower curtain rods take a straight bar and add a 90 degree elbow. They are often used with built-in corner tubs and shower stalls that are enclosed on two perpendicular sides.

Neo-Angle Shower Curtain Rods - Neo-angle shower curtain rods are similar to L-shaped shower curtain rods but rather than a sharp 90 degree angle, the neo-angle shower curtain rod has two 45 degree elbows separated by a length of straight bar. The middle section of straight shower rod softens the outside corner. Neo-angle shower curtain rods are used with triangle corner tubs and neo-angle shower receptors that are enclosed by two perpendicular walls.

C-Shaped Shower Curtain Rods - C-shaped shower curtain rods have two 90 degree elbows. C-shaped shower curtain rods are typically used with drop-in tubs that have only one adjacent tiled wall.

D-Shaped Shower Curtain Rods - Like a C-shaped shower curtain rod, a D-shaped shower curtain rod has two 90 degree elbows. A D-shaped shower curtain rod adds a straight rod across the back to close the loop created by the C-shaped rod. The extra straight rod allows for a shower curtain to wrap the entire shower area. D-shaped shower curtain rods are typically used with drop-in tubs that lack an enclosing wall that is tiled or otherwise lined for water resistance. The extra shower rod along the wall allows D-shaped shower curtain rods to also be used with freestanding clawfoot tubs that are place against a wall.

Shower Rod Couplers - If these shower curtain rod options weren't enough, Strom Plumbing offers shower rod couplers that can be used like Tinkertoys to connect straight bars into any number of configurations. Straight couplers can be used to connect two straight bars end to end. Ninety and 45 degree elbow couplers can be used to create corners.

Shower Curtain Rings

Shower curtain rings are close ended. The ring has no ends and, therefore, has no brackets on the ring itself. Instead, shower curtain rings have braces that clamp on to the ring or thread into tees along the ring to provide support. Shower curtain rings provide a self enclosing 360 degree rod. Shower curtain rings are used with clawfoot tubs and freestanding drop-in tubs and shower pans. These tubs and showers have no enclosing walls so a shower curtain hangs on a 360 degree shower rod that envelopes the shower to keep water in the tub or shower receptor. Shower curtain rings are also sometimes called shower enclosures, shower surrounds, or shower curtain frames. Shower curtain rings are available in three common geometric shapes.

Rectangle Shower Curtain Rings - Rectangle-shaped shower curtain rings are frequently used with traditional clawfoot tubs or drop-in tubs when the faucet and exposed shower riser are installed at one end of the tub.

Oval Shower Curtain Rings - Oval-shaped shower curtain rings are most often used with double-ended clawfoot tubs and pedestal tubs. The faucet and exposed shower riser are centered on the side of double-ended tubs.

Round Shower Curtain Rings - Round shower curtain rings are used with shower pans and small clawfoot tubs.

Armed with this roundup of shower curtain rings and shower curtain rods, you are now ready to plan your shower project. Save some of your hard-earned cash this Labor Day with a shower curtain ring or shower curtain rod from Shop 4 Classics.

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