Toiletsguide is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more


Do Shower Curtains Need Liners? – A Deeper Look!

Do Shower Curtains Need Liners
Written by David Stern
Last Update: August 10, 2023

When shopping for shower accessories, one of the biggest questions is the difference between a shower curtain and a shower liner? Should you use only one, or do you need both?

It is best to use both in the shower. The shower liner will keep everything nice and dry, and the shower curtain hides the plain liner and gives the shower area a finished look.

Whether you use the shower liner, the shower curtain, or both, remember to keep the liner in the tub and shower curtain outside the tub, ensuring the shower curtain will stay dry.

The Differences: Shower Liner vs Shower Curtain

Shower Curtains

  • Curtains made of fabrics
  • Should not get wet
  • Stay on the outside of the tub
  • Cover the liner and make the bathroom more appealing

Shower Liners

  • Are made of waterproof material
  • Liners made to get wet
  • Stay on the inside of the tub
  • They keep the water inside the tub/keep the floor dry

The Pros and Cons of Shower Curtains and Shower Liners

Shower Curtain Pros

  • Variety
  • Decoration
  • Some come with a water-resistant liner

Shower Liner Pros

  • Variety
  • Keep the shower curtain dry
  • Privacy

Shower Curtain Cons

  • They get wet, causing mildew
  • Expense

Shower Liner Cons

  • Liners tear easily
  • Need to clean to prevent mildew

Shower Curtain and Liner Together


  • Gives the bathroom eye appeal
  • Keeps the shower curtain dry
  • Shower curtain will last longer


  • Expense

Do Shower Curtains Need Liners?

Shower Curtain and Liner Together

Shower Curtains

Shower curtains are for decoration; they make the bathroom look nice and add a pop of color. The shower curtain hangs in front of the shower liner and hangs outside of the tub.

They are made of fabric and get wet easily. They come in all different colors and styles. You can get one for $5, or you can spend $50. They can create a dramatic effect if you are looking for a fancier bathroom.

You can purchase a shower curtain that has a water-resistant lining. These hang in the tub, so the water stays in the shower as if it has a liner. They can be expensive.

Shower Liners

Shower liners are plain in color and frequently clear. Liners give you privacy, keep the water in your shower, and stop it from going on the floor. In addition, shower liners keep your shower curtain from getting wet.

Liners are meant to hang in the tub. Some have weights in their seams to ensure they hang straight. If your tub’s base is metal, it will stick to the tub’s wall holding it in place. Some of them are mold and mildew-resistant.

Using the Shower Curtain with the Liner

Using both versus just using a shower curtain or just a shower liner cost-wise could be more expensive. Look for a kit that has both the curtain and liner in it for the same price as buying them individually.

Before You Make a Choice

Some things to consider before choosing both a shower curtain and a shower liner is:

  • Color
  • Mild and mildew resistance
  • Fabric

Shower liners

Liners come in vinyl, PVC, plastic, hemp, and PEVA (Poly-Ethylene vinyl acetate). Stay away from PVC; it has toxins you don’t want to be exposed to. If your shower liner is too flimsy, a good pull could tear it.

  • Plastic

Plastic is usually flimsier than both vinyl and PEVA. These are inexpensive. They come in clear or white; sometimes, you can find one that is a solid color. They can cost anywhere from $1 – $3.

  • Vinyl

A bit more expensive (about $4-6), they are thicker and come in a variety of colors. They are much stronger than vinyl; a good tug will not tear them. Picking a colored one will give you more privacy!

  • PEVA

These are the thickest ones they make; they are eco-friendly and toxin-free. They tend to be the thickest liners and can be found with some patterns or in a solid color.

  • Hemp

It is also eco-friendly. It is the most expensive liner, but it will last longer if you take care of it. There is no choice of color or pattern; they are made of hemp, so they come in hemp brown or a shade or two lighter.

Shower Curtains

Just like liners, they come in a variety of fabrics. You can find some that are water-resistant for a few bucks more.

  • Cotton is the most common and easiest to maintain. Cotton washes up nicely and tends to be wrinkle-free when hanging, and it is inexpensive as well.
  • Linen is more expensive than cotton and wrinkles easily. Linen has to be hand-washed. It will also need to be ironed every time you wash it. On the other hand, linen looks nicer than cotton.
  • Silk/Satin wrinkles and has to be hand-washed, and if it gets wet, it will leave watermarks. It is the most expensive shower curtain made.
  • Polyester blend is just what it says it is, polyester blended with another fabric, usually cotton. It is easy to wash, doesn’t wrinkle, and is moderately priced.

Picking Out the Accessories


When choosing the curtain and liner, you’ll need to look at the grommet holes (the holes you put the hooks in to hang it on the rod). They come reinforced with thicker material than they are made of or with a metal grommet (metal around the holes in the curtains, these are really strong). Less expensive ones do not have a reinforced grommet, which is why they tear more easily.

Shower curtain hooks come in a package of 12 to match the twelve holes on both the liner and shower curtain. The hooks themselves come in plastic or metal. There are also ones with balls on them to help the curtain slide along the rod.

Shower Rods

You will have a choice of a single rod or the double rod.

A tension rod is a single rod with a  spring in the middle of it. This holds both ends to the wall, letting the curtain hang. Rods come spring-loaded or ones that you mount on the wall.

The rod you mount to the wall should come with everything you need to secure it. If you choose a single rod, you will have to put both curtains on the same rod.

The double rod is two rods attached together so that each curtain has its own rod. This rod is a great idea and works great. These are a bit pricier than the single rods.

Hanging the Curtain Up

Once you have both curtains, your hooks, and the rod, you will need to hang your rod before the curtains go on.

Attach your shower hooks to the liner and shower curtain. If you have a single rod, you can put both curtains on one rod or do separate hooks for each curtain.

If you use a single rod, you should put the hooks on alternating the liner then the curtain (a liner hook, a shower curtain hook, a liner hook…and repeat till they are all on the rod).

Once you hand the shower liner and shower curtain, you are ready to enjoy a shower!

Cleaning the Shower Liner

Shower liners need to clean it a couple of times a week.

There are spray cleaners on the market that you can spray on the curtain and do not have to rinse off.

These cleaners keep the soap grime and mildew from staying on the shower liner.

About the author

David Stern

Despite a humble beginning at a childcare facility, David sored to success due to his inextinguishable desire for learning and a rare self-motivational disposition. The day he received his appointment letter from LANE ENGINEERING CONSULTING, P.C. was the happiest day of his life. He was trained in plumbing and fire protection systems. The firm taught him the fundamentals of waterproofing, facade restoration, mechanical and structural plumbing. His profound and innovative plumbing knowledge sets our research guidelines. He’s currently working on his new book titled “Plumbing Essentials.”

Leave a Comment