How To Compare A Bath Tub Shower Door, Bath Screen Or Shower Curtain

If you’re struggling to figure out an attractive, cost effective and functional way to enclose and keep water inside a tub shower space you’re not alone. This article will outline the advantages and disadvantages of 3 options – (1) a bath tub shower door, (2) a bath screen (also called a tub shield) pivoting door and (3) a shower curtain.


Option 1 Bathtub Shower Door – These doors are made in many finishes in framed and frameless designs and slide inside tracks which sit on the tub rail.


-Since the bypass bathtub doors overlap they do a good job keeping the water in

-Are safer because they provide greater structural stability than shower curtains

-Easy to clean

-Provide more light into the tub area than a fabric or vinyl curtain system


-Bottom rails of the tub doors can collect mold and soap scum and are hard to clean

-Can create a closed in feeling not the best for someone who suffers with claustrophobia

-Ability to get in and accessibility are low since tub doors only provide 50% opening space

-More expensive than shower curtains


Option 2 Bath screen pivoting door – These doors (which are also called tub shields) swing into the tub space to create a walk in type design and are available in frameless and semi-frameless type designs.


-Have a more open feel than a typical sliding shower door with a larger opening for improved accessibility.

-Easy to clean because there is no bottom track to collect mold or soap scum

-Doors swing 90 degrees to the inside to minimize water getting out

-Clean, contemporary European design

-Are a safe option since they provide the maximum light into the tub/shower area

-Long lasting


-More expensive than shower curtains

-Leaves an open space at the end of the tub (although the swinging doors keep water into the space)


Option 3 Shower curtains Curtains are available in many colors, styles and textures in both straight and curved designs.


-Least expensive option to keep water inside a tub/shower area.

-Curtains provide the widest possible opening to get into the tub.

-Very easy to replace vs. shower doors and tub shields.

-Can be purchased with a curved shower rod which increases the space inside the bathtub.


-Provides no structure to grab onto in the case of a fall.

-Maintenance can be difficult and mold and mildew can grow pretty easily.

-Flimsy nature of the material can cause a good amount of water to get out of the tub and -damage the surrounding bathroom floor and trim.

-Vinyl curtains can be a health problem and cause headaches from the release of volatile organic compounds