If you are looking for a shower curtain alternative, it means you are sick and tired of the flimsy plastic that so quickly gets slimy and yucky and can never get completely clean. It is almost impossible to make plastic shower curtains look fitting in a modern luxurious bathroom.
So, what are other options? What can you use to prevent shower water from splashing all over your bathroom? Actually, there are plenty of options. Some are more sustainable, all are more beautiful and at least one of them will be just what you are looking for in order to replace plastic curtains. Here are some ideas and you can probably come up with a few more once your imagination fires up.
Shower curtain alternative | Soft Options
Some of the alternatives to the plastic shower curtains are pretty similar to what you used all your life but are made of more sustainable material. They are also easier to clean and by far more beautiful than plastic.
Hemp is a beautiful, light natural fabric made of the outer layer of the stalks of the cannabis Sativa plant. The plant is fast-growing and almost all parts are used for various purposes, making it very sustainable and economical.
Shower curtains made of hemp are very easy to machine-wash in cold water and are resistant to mould. If you dry them completely after every shower, they will be resistant to mildew as well. There is no need to use a liner with hemp curtains.
Fabric made of hemp is light and permits plenty of light to pass through, making it suitable even for the bathroom without natural light. Its natural colour is tan, beige and slate grey. Hemp curtains work best in the bathrooms in neutral tones and are made of natural materials such as wood and natural stones. They would work best in simple, minimalist design, rustic or Zen or very modern, in brown, tan and green tones.
Cotton shower curtains
Another natural material that offers an attractive shower curtain alternative to traditional plastic. Cotton is soft but durable, easy to clean and comes in a range of thickness, texture, weight and colour.
Shower curtains made of cotton are machine-washable and should be washed in cold water so that they do not shrink. Many models of cotton shower curtains are made of a cotton-polyester blend, which makes them easier to wash and dry and retain their original shape.
For heavier cotton shower curtains, you should use a plastic liner to avoid making them too wet, but that defies the purpose of staying away from the plastic shower curtains.
Cotton shower curtains are available in many colours and patterns and you can easily find one that fits the design style and colour scheme of your bathroom.
Natural Linen Curtains
Linen is a wonderful natural fabric that makes a great alternative to plastic shower curtains. It is sustainable and is available in a range of textures and thicknesses and in any colour or pattern you can think of.
Linen looks luxurious and upscale and would look great in an opulent, luxury bathroom of any style. Even in a simple bathroom a linen shower curtain can add a feel of luxury. You can use the same linen curtains for your bathroom windows.
Keep in mind that good quality linen is not cheap. The best linen fabric is light and almost sheer and it dries quickly, allowing you to use them without a plastic liner.
DIY Macramé shower curtains
Macramé is coming back. For a time, it was a decorative element in a hippy or shabby chick style décor. It is coming back in a more stylish version, as a hand-made touch to a simple décor where you want just a bit of a bohemian feel. It can be introduced in any room of the house and it would make a wonderful touch as part of a cotton or hemp shower curtain.
Macramé is made by hand-knotting various types of ropes, usually cotton. If it is knotted in a dense pattern, it can create a total privacy screen. Usually, the knots are lighter and more spaced so a macramé panel or hanging can be used as a part of a curtain, together with linen, cotton or hemp.
It is not difficult to learn to make macramé and making your own shower curtain alternative can be very satisfying.
Rope used for macramé can be combined with beads, seashells and even LED tiny lights. Only your imagination is the limit. It can be a great shower curtain in a very simple, natural bathroom, or in a luxury bathroom where it can act as a piece of art.
If made of cotton rope, the macramé shower curtain can be machine-washed, preferably in cold water.
Just like with macramé, a beaded shower curtain can be a piece of art you can add to your bathroom décor. If you use plastic beads, your curtain will also be water-proof and easy to maintain.
While you can buy beaded curtains, it is great fun to make them yourself. You can create patterns, colours and designs you like that work best for your bathroom style and colour scheme.
A beaded shower curtain would work best in a rustic or bohemian-style bathroom and would look out of place in more modern environment.
Solid shower curtain alternative
If you prefer to avoid soft shower curtains altogether, you might prefer a solid alternative. There are a few different ways to go about it. They can be built-in walls and doors made of glass or other materials or screens made of panels of different materials.
Wood is a great material for the shower enclosure, whether you want to make it a permanent built-in feature or make wooden panels filled with some other material.
The best wood to use in any bathroom is the kind that is water and humidity-resistant such as cedar or beech. You can make a wooden frame for glass panels or make panes of some other material.
Making a bathroom screen of wooden panels offers you endless options for materials and colours. Depending on what material you use, your bathroom screen will be more or less waterproof.
The design totally depends on the style of your bathroom. It can be simple and with clear lines or you can use intricately carved antique wood panels and make them waterproof with a good quality water sealant.
You can also make a completely solid wood shower enclosure just like you would have for a sauna. That would work for much larger shower enclosures.
Using salvaged wood for such a project would be very environmentally friendly and also very trendy.
Blinds as a shower curtain alternative
Using window blinds as a shower curtain is a pretty logical and practical use of these ubiquitous window coverings. They are easy to maintain, cheap and convenient. They exist in any size you require, in different colours and even different materials. Most are made of plastic but there are also blinds made of wood and metal.
You can hang a shower blind at just the lower part of the shower enclosure to avoid splashing water around the bathroom and to provide sufficient privacy, or hang them all the way from the ceiling.
A great feature of shower blinds is that they can be rolled up out of the way when not in use. This is particularly convenient if you are using them around your bathtub.
Glass shower enclosures
Glass shower walls and doors are a modern alternative to the traditional shower curtains and are used these days in most modern bathrooms. They come in a few alternatives:
They can have a sliding shower door that opens by sliding aside, like panel doors. It is a great alternative in small spaces where there is not much space for the door to open.
A sliding door is usually installed on walk-in showers but it can be easily installed for the shower and tub combinations.
A sliding glass door looks modern and stylish and can work for any style of bathroom It is easy to clean but it should be cleaned regularly to avoid the accumulation of calcium if you have hard water.
Sliding glass shower doors do not offer much privacy but the glass can be frosted if privacy is important.
If you have enough space, a pivot shower door that opens like a regular door is the more economical version of the sliding door.
This type of shower door is usually used for walk-in showers.
While using glass for pivot shower doors is the most common, glass can be replaced with plastic glass.
Glass shower enclosures with sliding or pivot glass shower doors are a very stylish and modern alternative to shower curtains and are almost a standard in modern bathrooms.
Glass enclosures can have wooden or metal frames or be installed without frames for an even more sleek design. They provide the feel of open space and allow your beautiful shower tiles to shine.
Half screen glass shower doors
A half screen or partial glass shower door is a built-in shower door that covers only half of the shower enclosure. It does its job-it prevents the shower from splashing the floor and furniture and at the same time it makes it easy to get in and out of the shower without having to open and close the door.
Partial shower doors are more popular in Europe than in the States and are most commonly installed around the combined shower/bathtub than around the full shower. They partially block the water from the shower, giving you at the same time the way to get in and out of your bathroom with ease.
Partial shower doors are usually made of glass, but can also be made of aluminium, wood, or steel.
Mirror shower curtain alternative
Replacing one or more glass panels in your shower enclosure with a mirror works best for very small bathrooms you would like to make look bigger. A mirror does the same job as glass by keeping the water from splashing your bathroom. At the same time, it looks really elegant and modern and provides enough privacy.
Glass tiles or glass blocks were all the rage in interior design for a while and are coming back as a way to enclose your shower. They work best for the corner shower enclosures. You can make one full wall made of glass tiles or just a half of it and leave one open.
Glass tiles come in a different coloured glass but look best if just simple and clear. They are transparent and allow full light to come in but are sufficiently opaque to provide privacy.
Glass tiles are as simple to clean as glass shower doors. They are extremely durable and attractive. The question is only how long will they stay trendy and when you will be convinced to replace them with something more trendy.
Glass Panel Decals
If you think of decals as something too tacky for a stylish bathroom, you have not seen the decals that are available today. A decal that looks like Italian stained glass would add drama to your glass shower enclosure, and at the same time give it more privacy.
There are many designs of decals available. Consider them for kids’ bathrooms where you can let their imagination make the design.
Alternative to the alternative | Some quirky solutions
Shower curtains made of hanging plants
Some plants thrive in the humid atmosphere of bathrooms. Imagine hanging a line of hanging vines from the hooks in the ceiling all around one wall of your shower enclosure. As vines grow, they would provide curtains of greenery that would keep water from splashing and at the same time give green leaves all the water they need.
Instead of vines, you can use a network of small pots filled with various plants that like humidity. Just hang them at a different height to provide a sufficient barrier for the shower water.
You can use a whole range of different plants for this project as long as they like humidity and you can provide them with sufficient natural or artificial light.
This solution is perfect for outdoor showers, so popular for warmer climate locations.
You can also use plastic vines if you do not have a green thumb and are afraid of not being able to keep real plants alive. Plastic vines are easy to maintain and clean and if they are of good quality can look really attractive.
Another interesting add-on to contemplate is adding waterproof fairy lights or tiny LED lights. Let strings of them hang together with green vines for a spectacular effect.
Bamboo shower wall
The bathroom is one of the rooms in the house where we fantasize about living the life of our dreams. Like living in the tropics. So why not turn your bathroom into a tropical oasis, starting with a bamboo shower enclosure?
Bamboo sticks are available for sale in all larger hardware stores. If you live in a tropical region, you can find bamboo growing everywhere and just cut a few pieces.
You can make a wall of bamboo sticks put together, or stuck in long shallow flower pots filled with gravel. Cut them any size good enough to provide you privacy while you are showering and you got yourself an exotic shower enclosure. Leave one side open for getting in and out of the shower.
Bamboo is a perfect material for bathrooms because it is durable, waterproof, easy to clean and very environmentally friendly.
Fill the bathroom with green lush plants to complete the tropical look.
Mobile screens instead of shower curtains
If you have a combination tub and shower, you do not need a shower curtain or alternative all the time, only when you are showering. So, a screen that you can move away when you do not need it is a perfect solution for you.
Three-panel screens have been in use forever to provide privacy in a particular part of the house. So, why not in the bathroom? All you have to do is make sure that it is made of material that does not mind humidity and is waterproof.
The best screens are made of hardwood. What you use to cover the panels is up to you and it depends on the style of your bathroom.
Screens usually have three panels in each part. You can cover each panel with some beautiful colourful fabric, with woven reeds, with macramé, with old lace, with wire mesh, with glass, plastic, just about anything. As long as it is waterproof or made waterproof, you can use it for your shower screen. Go crazy!
Do you really need a shower curtain or shower curtain alternative? Not always. If you are redoing your bathroom, it is time to really think about this.
You know that the purpose of a shower curtain alternative is to keep water splashing all over your bathroom and for ensuring privacy. But there are times when this is not an issue.
- Your shower enclosure is very large. In this case, you simply never splash water far enough to make your bathroom wet.
- Your shower is in the corner and there is nothing around it to get wet.
- Your shower is in the bathroom, you close the door when you are having a shower so privacy is ensured without the shower curtain alternative.
Similar to this type of shower, without any shower wall or door or shower enclosure, is very popular in Asia and is called ‘wet rooms.’
Usually, the entire bathroom floor is made of the same surface – a concrete, vinyl or non-slip tiles and you just wash them all at the same time. Water drains in the centre of the bathroom.
Wet bathrooms are lately becoming very popular in modern homes, especially when designed for older or disabled folks where mobility is limited and any shower enclosure is difficult to access.
Making sure you use non-slip material for the floor is crucial so that the floor does not become slippery when wet.
Replacing a traditional plastic shower curtain is easy if all you want is a more sustainable, nicer and easier to clean alternative.
If you are remodelling your bathroom, look out of the box for a solution that is not traditional but would really reflect your style and your personality. Make a wall of plants, or a bamboo wall, or forget the shower curtain altogether. Hopefully, we offered you enough ideas to get your imagination brewing.