Types of Shower Rods: Different Shapes & Configurations


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Every bathroom that does not have a shower door, or if you don’t like an open style in the shower, you probably need a shower curtain. While we have talked about shower curtains in the past (as well as shower curtain hooks), now is time to take a look at shower curtain rods. 

Today, there are many types of shower rods to choose from. There are different colors, designs, and styles available. But beyond this, there are also various functional varieties that you can pick from. Let’s see your options.

Different Rod Shapes

Before we go into the types of shower rods functionality-wise, let’s peek at various shapes that you can go with. This is more than just personal preference. You’ll also need to consider your bathroom’s layout when picking a certain configuration. The basic rods come in D, L, and U shapes.

L-Shaped rods, which we’ll cover later, are often used in corner showers. D-shaped ones have a U-shaped rod connected to another straight rod, which acts as the enclosure for the tub on all sides. This has proven to be more convenient versus using a rectangular rod, because of the seamless way you can slide the curtain to open and close as you please – all in one smooth move.

Types of Shower Rods

Now, let’s take a look at the various types of shower rods based on their design and configuration. While your personal preference will play a big part in choosing one, be sure to also consider the type of shower that you have in the bathroom, and if the rod will be compatible with it.

Straight Shower Rods

Straight rods have one or two rods that connect to either end of the wall. To match your bathroom’s decor, you can have the escutcheon on both sides of the wall. Straight rods often come in different finishes, so you can find one that matches your current theme. From classic pieces to modern designs, there’s one for every type of bathroom.

Curved Shower Rods

Curved rods are great for expanding the shower’s elbow room. They’re practical, too. By using curved rods, you can hang shower curtains in a way where water does not splash on the floor. These are also great options if you’re using a curved bathtub, so that it naturally follows the shape of the tub. And if you hate damp towels, the rod is a great place to hang them without dripping water all over the floor.

Track Shower Curtain Rods

Track rods are hook-free rods. These are used together with other types of rods, such as D, L-, or U-shaped rods or with claw foot. These aren’t like other shower rods because you will be attaching the curtain to the gliders on the rod, instead of using the typical rings or hooks. The gliders will extend down the track while still connected to the rod, making sure that the curtain does not get off.

Adjustable Shower Tension Rods

This type of rod is kept in place using a spring suspension. This is quite common in households and apartments, especially for those who are living in a property on a temporary basis. It doesn’t require drilling or any kind of permanent installation, and you can remove it at anytime without difficulty. 

Homebasix Tension Curtain Rod, 41"-76", Venetian Bronze

Carousel or Circular Shower Rods

Carousel rods are usually found in claw foot or slipper tub and shower combinations. You can also see these in beach houses and cabin retreats. Attached to the ceiling support are one or two rods at a 90 degree angle from the rod. You can choose from oval and rectangle shapes, too.

L -Shaped Corner Rods

As mentioned earlier, L-shaped rods are great for corner tubs. Make sure to choose one that can be cut to the right length to get a perfect, custom fit. As the name implies, the rod has the literal shape of the letter L. Both ends are connected to the wall. For longer rod configurations, additional support is provided by a ceiling rod.

Utopia Alley Rustproof L-Shaped Corner Shower Curtain Rod, Bronze

D-Shaped Rods

D-shaped rods are made of one straight rod and one U-shaped rod. The long side of the rod is connected to the wall using flanges. The end result is a shower or tub enclosure. To add support, a ceiling rod is used, so that the other long rod faces the exterior side of the shower and tub area.

Enlarger Rods

If you have a shower or tub that’s too narrow or small that you find it uncomfortable when standing up, an enlarger rod might help you out. These types of rods are bendable in the middle part, so that the rod can be pushed away from you. This prevents bumping your head on the shower curtain every time you get up from the tub.

Barclay 4120 Cellini Shower Enlarger,
Barclay 4120 Cellini Shower Enlarger (Image: Amazon)

Custom Length Shower Rods

Local stores can cater to custom length requirements. Although you can get charged for an additional fee, it can be beneficial especially if you have a tub or shower that doesn’t fit the standard sizes. Ask around about what types of rods can be custom-cut, because not all rods are eligible for this service.

Before finalizing an order, it is important to make sure that you are 100% sure about the measurements, whether ordering from a shop or online. If you don’t know how to measure your rod requirements, it’s best to ask for expert help at this point, because you cannot change the measurements once your order has been placed. Be sure to manage expectations as well, as these custom length rods will take longer to fulfill compared to off-the-rack variations.

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