Use curtain panels instead of a shower curtain when you have a window in a tub

pink bathroom with maroon trimHere’s an idea that I love: When you have a window in a bathtub or shower, and the window is your main source of natural light in the bathroom, consider using curtain panels that hang to the right and left instead of a shower curtain that when open hangs to just one side. This idea came to me from Clive — who did this in his bathroom. It looks so good in this room — the classic 5′ x 8′-ish bathroom with the tub at the end.

As you can see, splitting the panels allows for more of the window to show and to let natural light in. I’m guessing his “shower curtain” panels are made from barkcloth. These look so nice framing that tub and that window. And in the case of this bathroom and its layout, when you need to keep the curtain open to see the window, the symmetry is so much more pleasing than having a single panel pushed against the wall one side or another. Pinch pleat them or french pleat them at the top maybe even?

A universe of fabric choices if you split your shower curtain into two panels

Using this idea of two panels opens up an enormous world of fabric choices, as well. Easy to purchase fabric  does not come in the 72″ width necessary to make a single shower curtain panel sans inside seams. But, you can get 45″ fabric and 54″ fabric — easy to make two coordinating shower curtain panels with these. I guess you’d need to “worry” about moisture — but you’re not going to tuck these inside the shower. I guess I’d just clean them as required when necessary.

One “new” requirement to this idea, though: I’m guessing there is a second rod that holds a single fabric liner panel, which you would need to tuck inside the tub when you take a shower.

Keeping tile clean

One final note: My tile installer told me to always leave my shower curtain open after I shower, to let the tile dry well. I am still doing the research, but ever since I discovered ROG1 and ROG3, I am more interested in the chemistry of how dirt sticks to tile. Because I was told that these two cleaning products (the ROGs) feature a “calcium reducer”… and triangulating to what my tile installer told me… and also remembering companies also tell you to “wipe dry” your fixtures and tile after using the shower or bath as part of the maintenance routine: I am surmising that the reason that tile gets so “dirty” isn’t fundamentally because of the dirt, it’s because of the water trapping the dirt and calcifying it into place.

I think we will have more photos coming of Clive’s house, we’re chasing after him for the story. He initially wrote:

Dear Pam,

Here are some pics of my home built in 1952 Hollywood, Fl
I have all the original tiles in bathrooms and pink terrazzo floors.
I also have original frosted and clear jalousie windows. The house has a sloped angled roof with exposed wood beam ceilings, with clear story frosted jalousie windows.

Thanks for your site,

Thank YOU, Clive — what a terrific idea and what a lovely bathroom!

  1. Peggi says:

    I’ve been doing this for years – recently – changed to using a double hook curtain hook with one liner – prisim clear to allow light but privacy if someone accidently walks in and the short panels at either end with the clearish showing thru in the middle to allow light. I still get the light but I also can close the curtain for drying AND cover a dirty tub if need be – best of all worlds 🙂

  2. MB from CT says:

    It never occurred to me to try two curtain panels in a bathtub and I think it is a great idea, whether you have a window or not. Clive, the panels you have were a great choice. And I love the contrast of the pink and maroon tiles.

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