My bathroom renovation: Shower enclosure solutions

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Last week I wrote about my research into freestanding tubs with showers over them. Ever since we installed our new bathroom, I’ve been itching to use the shower, but finding the right kind of curtain rail has proved rather difficult. Now we finally have a solution..!When I chose a freestanding bath at the very start of our bathroom renovation, I didn’t really give the shower a second thought. The design we chose was a back-to-wall tub with taps in the middle, so installing the shower at the end would be tricky as the tub slopes up at both ends. But that didn’t stop me – I just imagined that it would be fine to add the shower over the centre of the tub. Sadly, I was wrong! The water went everywhere and there was no chance of installing the kind of glass screens we’ve had in the past because the tub doesn’t touch the walls. Nope, we needed another solution for the shower enclosure.Considering that I’d previously planned to have a walk-in shower (and no bath at all, that’s how much I love showers!) I was disappointed that I couldn’t work out a way to enclose my newly fitted over-bath shower. Even adding a shower curtain would be tricky. A straight pole from wall-to-wall would stop splashes out of the front of the bath, but what about the ends? I looked for curved shower curtain rails and, although I found many that could be bent and manipulated to any shape, I just couldn’t find one that would be long enough and round enough to cover all the edges of the tub.Okay, that’s not strictly true; I did find oval shower curtain rails that would enclose our shower on all sides. But they cost more than the entire bathroom suite put together! I simply couldn’t justify spending that amount of money so we didn’t get a shower curtain rail, and for a year I didn’t use the rainfall shower head at all. It was so sad to see it there and know that I couldn’t enjoy my lovely spa-like shower!So this year, I’ve kept a keen eye on the sales and have hunted high and low for an oval shower curtain rail to fit our bathroom. There are lower priced rails on Ebay that are a smaller oval at around 100/120cm long, but I wanted a rail that was the same shape and size as our tub. The closest measurement I could find was 150cm long and the same width, and inevitably, these cost more than £300+.I even considered getting a welder to make a shower curtain rail to fit the tub. The quotes I got were less than the large pre-made oval rails but wouldn’t come with any fixings. When I looked at the cost of brackets etc, it wouldn’t have been much of a saving. So, I waited. And puzzled my way around the problem. Then I did some more research. And waited some more.In the end, after a full year of not using my lovely rainfall shower head, I decided to go for it and just buy an off-the-peg shower rail. I did a whole lot of searching online and eventually found one the right size annnnd it was half the price I was expecting hurrah! It came from Victorian Plumbing and was just right for our modern freestanding bath. I had to buy the ball-bearing curtain rings separately from Amazon (where they too were half the price!) but in the end I had the same effect as the £300+ shower enclosure but for around £160 instead. Okay, that’s still not as thrifty as I’d like it to be but considering that my shower couldn’t be used without it (and therefore the cost of the shower unit was being wasted!) I thought it was worth the investment. And when I think about the savings that I’ll make on my water bill by having quick showers rather than full baths, I guess it’s a good investment.I cut-costs by getting my shower curtains from George at Asda. These two curtains were £6 each. Now isn’t that a bargain price? I’ve seen some quality shower curtains go for 4-6 times as much as that. I love the metallic gold geometric pattern and they’re washable, too. I actually spotted this curtain design a few months ago before we’d even sorted out the curtain rail situation so I was really happy to find that the shower curtains were still in stock when I went back for them this week. I had already included a splash of gold in my upcycled patterned bathroom cabinet project (below) with these curtains in mind so they really help to tie the bathroom decor together. I love gold and I think I’ve got a touch of this metallic hue in every room of the house now.What do you think of the whole set-up? I’m pleased to report that we’ve had no more soggy puddles down the ends of the bath so it’s working well! The shower feels really spacious when you’re inside it because the curtains hug the edges of the bath, which creates a two-person sized shower enclosure. I’m pleased that I held out for a large oval rail rather than a smaller circular rail because I can push the curtains back behind the bath when they’re not in use and the room still looks airy and the blue wall is still the feature of the room.


This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

4 Responses

  1. Hi Alessandro, it’s a back-to-wall freestanding bath, so it has a flat edge across the back, which is fixed to the tiles. The oval shower curtain rail means that you can pull both of the curtains all the way round the inside of the bathtub when you’re showering, which also helps 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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