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Do Shower Curtains Go Inside Or Outside? – (Quick Answer!)

The debate over whether shower curtains should be placed inside or outside the tub has puzzled many for years. At first glance, it might seem like a matter of personal preference or mere aesthetic choice. However, the positioning of shower curtains involves practical considerations that affect not just the cleanliness and dryness of your bathroom but also safety aspects. This introductory exploration aims to shed light on the functionalities and implications of both positions, providing a foundational understanding before we dive deeper into the specifics.

Shower Curtain Vs. Shower Liners

Before delving into the intricacies of shower curtains’ positioning, it is essential to differentiate between a shower curtain and a shower liner. A shower curtain is the fabric panel that hangs outside the tub and encircles your bathtub or shower stall, preventing water from splashing onto the bathroom floor. On the other hand, a shower liner serves as an additional layer of waterproofing inside the tub, acting as a barrier between your shower curtain and the running water.

Inside The Tub

Placing a shower curtain inside the tub is common practice in many households. One of the primary reasons for this is to prevent water from seeping through and creating a mess on your bathroom floor. Shower liners are typically shorter than shower curtains, making them ideal for use inside the tub as they allow water to flow down into the tub without spilling over onto the floor.

Outside The Tub

While it may seem counterintuitive, placing a shower curtain outside of the tub has its advantages. One of the main reasons for this is that it provides better visibility and easier access when entering and exiting the tub or shower stall. This positioning also allows for the shower curtain to dry more quickly, reducing the risk of mold and mildew buildup.

Consider Your Bathroom Setup

The decision between placing a shower curtain inside or outside the tub may also depend on your bathroom setup. For instance, if you have limited space in your bathroom, an outward-facing shower curtain can help create the illusion of a larger space by not obstructing the view. On the other hand, if your tub or shower stall is situated near a wall or another fixed object, an inward-facing shower curtain may be more practical.

Do You Need Both Shower Curtains And Showers Liners?

The question of whether you need both shower curtains and shower liners is one that can be answered based on functionality and aesthetic preferences. Fundamentally, shower liners and shower curtains serve different purposes. The liner, typically made from a waterproof material such as vinyl or polyester, is essential for preventing water from escaping the tub and damaging the bathroom floor and lower walls. It’s a valuable tool for maintaining hygiene and minimizing mold and mildew growth due to dampness. 

On the other hand, shower curtains often serve a more decorative role, adding style and personality to a bathroom. They come in various materials, including fabrics that may not be waterproof but offer a more sophisticated appearance than most liners. 

That said, in some cases, a combination of both can offer the best of both worlds — functionality and style. Using a liner inside the tub and a decorative curtain outside can protect your bathroom from water while also complementing its design. However, it’s worth noting that there are also shower curtains available with built-in liners, providing a two-in-one solution for those looking to streamline their bathroom accessories. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your bathroom setup.

A) Shower Liners Only


  • Allows you to keep a watch of the outside because they are transparent.
  • You can quickly tell when it becomes dirty.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Cheaper than shower curtains hence are easy to replace.


  • No privacy because they are transparent.
  • Not decorative.

B) Shower Curtains Only


  • Offers privacy because they are opaque.
  • Appealing to the eye because they come in a variety of colors and patterns.


  • They are easily damaged by water.
  • Are not easy to clean.
  • Expensive to replace.

C) Both Shower Curtains And Shower Liners


  • The shower curtain lasts longer because the liner protects it from water damage.
  • Offers privacy.
  • Decorates the bathroom depending on your theme and style.


  • Double maintenance because you have to clean both the curtain and liner.

After looking at the pros and cons of the three shower curtain options, it seems like option three, where you use the shower curtain with a shower liner is the best option.

Which Side Of The Shower Curtain Goes Inside?

Addressing the question of which side of the shower curtain should face inside the tub requires understanding the design and functionality of both shower curtains and liners. Traditional shower curtains are designed with an aesthetic outer side that complements your bathroom’s decor, and a more functional, often plainer, inner side that faces the water and tub. This design is intentional, aiming to offer visual appeal when viewed from the bathroom while also serving the practical purpose of containing water spray within the tub or shower enclosure.

The inner side of the shower curtain, which is less decorative and faces the shower or tub, is generally more water-resistant or waterproof, depending on the material. It’s designed to handle direct contact with water, reducing the likelihood of mold and mildew growth. Some shower curtains have a clear indication of the side that should face inward, but if they don’t, a good rule of thumb is the more decorative side is intended to face outward, enhancing the bathroom’s appearance.

In the case of shower curtains that come with built-in liners, the liner part is unmistakably designed to face inside the tub, being the barrier between the water and the decorative curtain part. This functionality ensures that the decorative side remains dry and is showcased to anyone in the bathroom, maintaining both the aesthetic appeal and the practical uses of a shower curtain.

Shower Curtain Etiquette

Shower curtain etiquette might not be commonly discussed, but it plays an essential role in both maintaining a clean and functional bathroom and respecting shared living spaces. Firstly, always ensure that the shower curtain or liner is drawn closed after use. This helps it dry more efficiently, preventing the buildup of mold and mildew. In a household with multiple individuals sharing a bathroom, it’s courteous to ensure the curtain is left in a state that’s ready for the next person to use, minimizing water spillage.

Additionally, if you are a guest in someone’s home, pay attention to how the hosts have arranged their shower curtain and liner, and try to leave it in the same manner. This shows respect for their space and preferences. Lastly, regular cleaning of the shower curtain and liner is crucial, not just for hygiene and aesthetics but also for functionality, ensuring they continue to serve their purpose effectively. Adopting these simple etiquette guidelines can contribute to a cleaner, more pleasant bathroom experience for everyone.


Can I use a shower liner without a curtain?

Yes, you can use a shower liner on its own, especially if it’s primarily for functional purposes, such as preventing water from escaping the shower area. This is a practical option for minimalist bathrooms or for those prioritizing function over aesthetics.

How often should I replace my shower curtain and liner?

It’s recommended to replace your shower curtain and liner when they start showing signs of wear, such as tearing, or when mold and mildew become visible and difficult to clean. On average, replacing them every 6 to 12 months can help maintain your bathroom’s cleanliness and appearance.

Can I wash my shower curtain and liner in the washing machine?

Most plastic or vinyl shower liners can be cleaned in the washing machine on a gentle cycle using warm water and a small amount of detergent. Fabric shower curtains can usually be washed in the same manner, but always check the care instructions first. Adding a couple of bath towels can help prevent wrinkling and sticking.

How can I prevent mold and mildew on my shower curtain and liner?

To prevent mold and mildew, ensure that your bathroom is well-ventilated during and after showers. Additionally, regularly cleaning your shower curtain and liner and allowing them to dry fully can significantly reduce mold and mildew growth.


Choosing the right combination of shower curtains and liners can significantly enhance your bathroom’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. Whether you opt for a liner, a curtain, or both, depends on your personal preferences and your bathroom’s specific needs. Remembering shower curtain etiquette and regularly cleaning your bathroom accessories can extend their life and keep your bathroom looking fresh and inviting. With the variety of options available, you can easily find a solution that balances style with practicality, creating a bathroom environment that complements your home and lifestyle.

Kelvin Dahl
Kelvin Dahl

I'm Kelvin Dahl, your friendly expert at I believe that the right tools can transform a house into a home. With years of experience in choosing the best home tools and accessories, I’m here to share my practical tips to make your home improvement projects as simple as possible. Whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned pro at DIY, I'm dedicated to helping you find the easiest and best ways to upgrade and maintain your space. Let's get those home projects done together.

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