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Shower Curtain Vs Liner

Shower curtains and liners are becoming more and more popular among different bathroom styles. While the old-fashioned concept of shower curtains has changed over time, the primary purpose of a shower curtain or liner is the same – to keep water inside the shower area.

Liners can be made from a variety of different materials and are often used to either add a splash of color to your bathroom or to add some privacy. Curtains, on the other hand, are meant for preventing water from escaping out of the shower cubicle, and of course, delivering a finished look to a bathroom. But does that mean you should only choose one for the best results?

In this article, we’ll explain the difference between shower curtains and liners and the reasons why you might want to choose one or the other.

Shower Curtain Vs Liner: Overview

Shower Liners Explained

Liners are generally cheaper than shower curtains, though some people prefer them over curtains because they hang to the inside of the tub rather than surrounding it. They’re meant to prevent water from splashing out of the tub and getting the surrounding area wet. The cheapest liners are plain and thin, like the N&Y HOME Fabric shower curtain liner.

Though plastic-made, these types of liners may not be as mildew resistant as shower curtains so you may have to be diligent about cleaning them if you choose one. More expensive liners are often made out of materials that are mildew-resistant instead so they don’t need as much upkeep as their lesser-priced counterparts. These liners can be made from vinyl or fabric; it’s a matter of personal preference for your taste and budget!

Liners are commonly found in hotels and public bathrooms. They tend to have magnets or weights sewn into the bottom. These will stick to the inside of the tub, keeping water from escaping when you take a shower. Since they keep water contained without needing a curtain, shower liners can stand on their own without a shower curtain. However, they may not be as aesthetically pleasing as curtains, which are designed specifically to improve the décor of your bathroom.

Advantages of Liners

  • Can be used on its own without a shower curtain
  • Prevents water from escaping the shower
  • Magnets hold the liner to the inside of the tub
  • Affordable


  • Not as aesthetically as shower curtains

Shower Curtains

Unlike shower liners (which are meant to be hung inside of your tub so that water cannot escape), shower curtains are meant to hang on the outside of your tub to prevent it from getting wet while preventing people from being able to see what’s going on inside.

Whereas a shower liner is often made with thin materials, a shower curtain is something that’s thicker and typically made from fabric. Some curtains can even come with designs printed or sewn onto them. Such curtains aren’t only meant to keep water out of your bathroom; they’re also decorative and help turn your room into an oasis, so you can enjoy adding elements of color, design, and aesthetics.

Of course, it’s important to remember that there are no rules concerning shower curtains – it’s good to understand that there’re many different types available today that can fit any theme or decor you might be pursuing.

If you’d like simplicity in your bathroom, you can find beautiful shower curtains in a wide range of colors to choose from depending on what color scheme perfectly complements the rest of the design in both your bathroom and home.

While braided or ornate shower curtains are generally works of art, they can be used to create a story and even add a spice. As mentioned above, there is no need to have a separate liner.

Advantages of Shower Curtains

  • Provides privacy while you shower
  • A decorative and essential part of a bathroom


  • A bit expensive than liners
  • Doesn’t stop water completely from splashing out

So, Which One Should You Buy?

On their own, shower curtains and liners are made to serve the same purpose – protecting you from water spills in the bathroom. But does that mean you should only choose one for the best design? Well, of course not. And that’s good news because it means you’ve got more room on your shower rod for decoration.

While shower curtains are great for hiding stains caused by soaps, flannels, or bottles and keeping water from spilling during those quick morning rinses or luxurious evening baths, adding a liner to your shopping list is a great idea as well.

A liner will not only make sure the water will stay inside the tub-shower area but can also reduce the surface tension of water droplets as they are released into the air. This means less moisture is absorbed by your flooring.

In case you feel that you still want more privacy after installing a liner, then a curtain can be used. Likewise, if you feel the liner is way too plain and you want to spice up the look of your bathroom, a shower curtain is a great way to achieve that.

The Bottom Line

Shower curtains and liners may sound similar but they are fairly different when it comes to installation and hence performance. The liner is installed on the inside of a shower, tub, or any other bathing area to protect your floor from water damage – something which can otherwise lead to mildew or mold.

A curtain, on the other hand, will do the opposite since it hangs on the outside of a bathtub and is designed to keep your bathroom private. While it doesn’t offer protection for floors like its lining counterpart, it does help hide you as you prepare for a bath or shower in privacy so that everyone else doesn’t see.

You can use a shower liner without a shower curtain, but for the best looks and performance, you will probably go well with both. You will just need to ensure the curtain you choose matches the other colors present in your bathroom.