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Choosing A Shower Enclosure: Curtains Vs. Glass Doors

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There is one question you will eventually have to ask yourself when you update your bathroom – glass shower door or curtain. The answer depends partially upon your budget, but there are a few other things to take into consideration before making a final decision.


When it comes to appearance, glass shower doors are usually the easy winner. They provide clean lines and a more upscale look to any bathroom. Glass also helps open up the space visually, a boon in a smaller bathroom. Glass doors also aren't prone to mildew like shower curtains, although soap scum can still pose an issue.

Shower curtains may not have the same luxury built-in look as a glass door, but they can still be an attractive choice. They are better suited to larger bathrooms where the illusion of space isn't necessary. If you select fabric with rich color and textures, they can add visual interest to an otherwise plainly decorated room.

Enclosure Concerns

The type of enclosure should also inform your final choice. Generally, you want to skip the curtains for shower-only enclosures. Curtains can make a small shower enclosure feel cramped, and water leaks during showering are more common.

Curtains are better suited for combination tub and shower enclosures, although glass is still an option. The curtain tucks into the tub when the shower is in use, preventing leaks. When it's not in use, the curtain camouflages the raised tub walls to provide a more seamless appearance on the enclosure.


In homes with small children or with disabled persons, a curtain can be the better choice. It's easier to access the tub for bathing children or getting into the shower when there are mobility issues. If you still prefer glass, you may need to opt for swing out doors as opposed to sliding doors to ensure full accessibility.

Space can also be a concern. Sliding glass doors and shower curtains take up little space when you are opening and closing them, but a swinging glass door is only suitable for larger bathrooms.


Glass is easier to maintain than a curtain. Drying the glass after each use prevents haze and scum buildup, especially when combined with a thorough weekly cleaning with a glass shower spray. Curtains are difficult to dry after each use, so they are prone to mold and mildew. Using a liner, which you can replace when it becomes stains, prolongs the life of the decorative outer curtains. You will also need to take the curtains down regularly for a thorough wash and dry.

Privacy isn't a concern with either glass or curtains. Curtains naturally provide privacy within the enclosure, but you can also achieve a private shower experience by choosing textured or translucent glass. To learn more, contact a company like Glass-Pros with any questions you have.