How to Install a Shower Curtain Rod

A shower curtain rod might not be one of the design decisions at the forefront of your mind when you're decorating a bathroom, but it's worth your consideration.

There are many shower curtain rod styles available that can give your bathroom a fresh new look. The material, color, and shape of your shower curtain rod can have a significant impact on your bathroom's aesthetic. For example, choosing a curved shower rod over a straight one can make your shower space feel larger. For ideas on selecting a shower curtain rod for your home, visit

When it comes to installing a shower rod, you'll want to make sure it's done correctly to avoid it crashing down while you're in the middle of a relaxing shower. Follow these simple tips to have your shower rod up in no time.

Modern Bathroom Design
Modern Bathroom Design

Tools For Installation

Before you begin, assemble all the necessary materials for a successful installation. These may vary depending on the type of rod you've selected. But for most installations, the basics remain the same.

  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Level Meter
  • Shower Curtain
  • Shower Curtain Rings
  • Tension Rod or Fixed Rod with Hardware (including two brackets and at least eight screws)
  • Drywall Anchors
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
Traditional Bathroom
Traditional Bathroom

Fixed Shower Curtain Rod Installation

A fixed shower curtain rod is the most common style that needs installation, and it requires several tools and a bit of time to do this properly. 

Step 1

Bring the shower curtain up to the appropriate height and mark this location on the wall with a pencil. You need to install the rod roughly 6" higher than the length of the shower curtain.

This allows for 2" between the floor and the bottom of the curtain to prevent the curtain from collecting excess moisture and dirt.

If you have a shower over your bathtub, the shower curtain should hang approximately 5" below the edge of the tub.

Step 2

Use the stud finder to determine if there are studs behind the area you marked on the wall. If there is no stud in that location, you'll have to add the additional support yourself.

Step 3

Hold the rod up to the points you've marked and place a level on top of it. Ensure that the rod will be level if you install drywall anchors or secure the rod at these points.

If the points are not level, adjust accordingly, and create new markings on the wall.

Step 4 (If no stud was present)

Pre-drill holes for drywall anchors.

Step 5

Screw drywall anchors into the holes and fasten the mounting hardware into the wall anchors with screws.  If you are installing a mounted shower curtain rod, you should have two brackets and at least eight screws available to secure the brackets to the wall.

Step 6

Place the shower rings onto the rod. Most standard shower curtains come with twelve rings that are available in ring or hook form.

If you've chosen rings or hooks with a unique size or style, ensure they will fit the shower curtain and rod you've selected before installation.

Step 7

Insert the rod into the holes and attach your curtain to the rings. Ensure that the curtain's wet side faces in, and the decorative side is facing out.

Traditional Bathroom Design
Curved Fixed Shower Curtain Rod
Curved Shower Curtain Rod

Installing a Tension Shower Curtain Rod

If you're renting an apartment and arrive to find there's no shower curtain rod in your bathroom, a tension rod is the best choice.

This type of rod requires zero hardware and makes for a quick and easy installation. A tension rod is adjustable and is simply wedged between the two walls using pressure to hold the rod in place. While this is a hassle-free solution in a pinch, it's not as stable as other rods and can fall if you put too much pressure on the shower curtain. Ensure your model features padded, or rubber ends to minimize damage to wall paint and provide shock absorption.

When deciding where to place a tension rod, consider locating the studs in the wall and positioning either end against a stud. This avoids damaging the drywall if the rod puts too much pressure on an unsupported wall section.

Step 1

Measure the distance of the opening that the rod needs to fill. Your tension rod must be a 3"-4" longer than this so that you can adjust it to fit snuggly.

Step 2

Hold up your shower curtain at the appropriate height and use a pencil to mark its ideal location on both walls. Just like with a fixed rod, you want to make sure the curtain will hang 5" below the edge of the tub but 2" above the ground to prevent mold or dirt from collecting at the bottom.

Step 3

Put the shower curtain rings onto the rod before installation.

Step 4

Bring the tension rod with the rings on it up to the height you marked on the wall and place the first side in the correct position. Adjust the length of the rod accordingly before wedging the other side into place. Test the tension of the rod by pulling down on it to ensure it is secure. If it cannot withstand any pressure, you likely require a longer rod.

Step 5

Attach your curtain. Give it a gentle tug to ensure the rod is secure and won't come down when you go in for a shower.

Traditional Design
Chrome Shower Curtain Rod
Adjustable Shower Curtain Rod

Keep It Simple

Shower curtain rod installation can seem like an overwhelming process if it's your first time. It always helps to have a second set of hands to hold up the rod while you check that it's level or make the markings on the wall.

Permanent mounted shower curtain rods are an ideal choice to style your bathroom and keep water in the tub, but if you don't have the power tools available or rent your home, a tension rod is an excellent option.

Foter is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.


Related content

Our Editors