It’s Just a Shower Curtain! How Hard Can It Be?! (Part 1)

G. K. Chesterton once said “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” My first home improvement project is the perfect example of this truth.

In my first post, I mentioned that the master bath in our house doesn’t have a shower curtain rod. Of course, putting up a shower curtain rod should be pretty simple–just get a tension rod and stick it up between the faucet wall and the back wall of the shower. Voilà! You may now hang up your shower curtain. Unfortunately, this plan doesn’t work if the back wall on your shower is only a knee wall.

Note the knee wall at the back of the tub

Note the knee wall at the back of the tub

Okay, plan B: build a glass block wall on top of the knee wall, so you then have a back wall on your shower. The thinking went something like this: glass block is translucent, so there will still be lots of light in the shower. Glass block is supposed to be pretty easy to install, so we can do it ourselves. Glass block is fairly inexpensive, so we don’t have to spend a lot of money. Glass block is dated and may not actually be up to code for bathrooms… oh.

On to plan C: install an L-shaped rod in the shower. This seemed like an easier option than plan B, but apparently custom shower curtain rods can be pretty expensive. I found some L-shaped rods online, though, and since our tub is a standard size, I figured we could find one that would fit without having to have one custom made. The curtain rods I was looking at were between $100 and $130, which seemed kind of expensive, but probably cheaper (and definitely less hassle) than building a glass block wall. I talked with Zach, and we decided to go with this, and if at some point we decided to remodel the bathroom, we could revisit the idea of building a full wall at the back of the shower.

All of these ideas were generated before we moved in to the house. Since the guest bath has a shower (and since we were really anxious to get out of our apartment), we figured we could move in and resolve the issue with the master shower as we had time. However, the day we moved in (which was a Saturday, naturally), I noticed a lot of water damage around the base of the shower in the guest bath. There was obviously a problem, and I didn’t want to make it any worse by using that shower.

Baseboard heater water damage

There’s definitely some leakage going on there!

Wooden baseboard water damage

There’s water damage on the other side, too!

Sunday morning Zach and I got up to go to church, but without a curtain in the master bath and with the leak in the guest bath, we didn’t have a good way to shower. Zach opted for a sponge bath, while I decided to try a modified version of showering in the master bath, which involved kneeling down and using the handheld showerhead with the hope of not getting water everywhere. While I was taking my kneeling shower, I realized that the pretty little lacy curtain over the window was really in the way. This curtain was made out of regular cotton fabric, so I was already planning on replacing it with leftovers from Liz’s shower curtain project, but I realized that I also needed to replace the curtain rod with something that wouldn’t stick out so far from the wall.

Isn't this a pretty curtain taking up all that space in my shower? Too bad it isn't actually a shower curtain.

Isn’t this a pretty curtain taking up all that space in my shower? Too bad it isn’t actually a shower curtain.

Anyway, I managed to get clean without any major disasters–just some small splatters of water on the floor–and soon Zach and I were on our way to church.

After church we went to lunch with Caleb and Liz and Kristina, and then Liz wanted pick something up at Menards. Since we were at Menards, I figured we might as well see if they had a shower curtain rod that would work for us. We weren’t very optimistic, but decided it was worth it to look, at least. If we did find something, we wouldn’t have to wait for it to ship, like we would if we bought something online.

Lo and behold, we found a shower curtain rod! It was hoop-shaped, not L-shaped, but it would work. And better yet, it was under $30.

Hoop-shaped shower curtain rod

My amazing Menards find

We made sure we got drill bits, too, and even got special bits for drilling through the ceramic tile in the shower. I couldn’t stop smiling in the checkout lane because I was so excited about the possibility of installing the rod that day and taking a real shower the next morning.

Dun dun dun!

Come back next week for Part 2 of “It’s Just a Shower Curtain! How Hard Can It Be?!”


4 thoughts on “It’s Just a Shower Curtain! How Hard Can It Be?! (Part 1)

  1. We had a similar problem with a window in our shower when we first moved in (only ours looked outside) and I didn’t want a curtain taking up space either so I used a window film that still lets in light but you can’t see through. It’s hard to describe so here’s a link to what I’m talking about:
    You can get all sorts of colors and prints and I’ve been very happy with our choice. Good luck with all the home improvements; I know from experience it is a lot of work but can be very rewarding when you’re done. 🙂

    • Thanks for the suggestion! We actually have a solution, which will come out when I have time to finish the story. The fixing up does get kind of overwhelming, but I’m excited!

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