Shower Curtains vs Shower Screens: Which Is Better for Aussie Homeowners?

Shower Curtains vs Shower Screens: Which Is Better for Aussie Homeowners?

Compare the pros and cons of shower curtains vs shower screens for Australian bathrooms regarding cost, durability, aesthetics, water containment and more to decide the best option.
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For Australian homeowners, one of the most important bathroom decisions is whether to install a shower curtain or a shower screen.

Both options have pros and cons regarding factors like cost, maintenance, aesthetics, and effectiveness. In this blog post, we'll compare shower curtains and shower screens to help you decide which is better for your bathroom.

Cost Comparison

One of the biggest considerations for most homeowners is cost. Shower curtains are generally the more affordable option. You can find basic vinyl or fabric shower curtains for $10-30 at most home goods stores. On the other hand, glass shower screens range from $300 for basic models up to $1000 or more for frameless glass screens with high-end features.

Installing a shower screen also tends to cost more in labor compared to just hanging up a shower curtain. So, if you're looking for the most budget-friendly option, shower curtains are the clear winner when it comes to upfront costs. But shower screens may pay for themselves over time by containing water and preventing leaks.

Shower Enclosures

Maintenance and Durability

In terms of durability, shower screens are the definite winner. High-quality glass shower screens can last for decades with proper care. Shower curtains, on the other hand, need to be replaced every 1-2 years on average as they degrade from moisture, mildew, and use.

Shower screens also require less regular maintenance. An occasional squeegee cleaning after showering and a deep cleaning of the tracks every so often are all they need. Shower curtains need more frequent washing, mildew treatment, and replacement when they start to look worn.

So if you want to avoid constantly replacing shower curtains, the durability of a shower screen is worth the higher initial investment. Their longevity also makes them a better value in the long run.


Many homeowners prefer the sleek, modern look of a frameless glass shower screen over a vinyl curtain. Shower screens create a spa-like vibe in your bathroom and make it look brighter and more open.

Shower curtains come in a wider range of colors, patterns, and materials, offering more options for complementing your bathroom's decor. But overall, shower screens have a more high-end, contemporary aesthetic. If visual appeal is important, shower screens are typically the more stylish choice.

Shower Doors

Water Containment

The whole point of a shower barrier is containing water, so this is an important comparison. In general, shower screens do a noticeably better job of keeping water in the shower area. Their rigid structure and tight seal leave minimal gaps for water to escape.

Shower curtains often have gaps at the edges and bottom where water leaks out. They can also billow in while showering, allowing spray and splashes to get past the curtain. If puddles, leaks, and mildew around the shower are problems you want to avoid, a shower screen is your best bet.

Accessibility and Space

One advantage of shower curtains is that they take up less space and allow easier access compared to shower screens. Shower curtains don't require any permanent mounting hardware or tracks; hang them from a simple tension rod. They also fold up out of the way when entering or exiting the shower.

Shower screens take up more space, and while frameless designs have minimal visual barriers, you do need to maneuver around them physically. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, a shower curtain may be the more practical, accessible choice. However, shower screens come in a variety of opening styles to work in different spaces.

Walk In Shower Screens

Condensation Control

In cooler climates, condensation on the shower barrier can be annoying. Shower curtains often end up covered in moisture droplets after showering. Their lighter fabric also does little to prevent mirror fogging.

Shower screens made of tempered glass help minimize condensation buildup. The glass prevents temperature fluctuations that lead to excess moisture on the screen surface. Shower screens also reduce mirror fog for a clearer view while you get ready after a steamy shower.

Safety and Privacy

Shower screens provide more security and privacy than shower curtains. Their hard, transparent surface gives an unobstructed view of the shower interior while also blocking more sound. Shower curtains are less opaque, allow peeking in from the sides, and muffle less ambient noise.

Shower screens also act as a safer barrier for homes with children or mobility concerns. They reduce the risk of falling against or walking through the screen compared to a curtain. Choosing a screen with safety laminated glass provides added security as well.

Over Bath Screens

The Verdict?

Ultimately, shower screens beat shower curtains in terms of durability, aesthetics, water containment, condensation resistance, and safety. The upfront cost is higher for shower screens, but they're a worthy investment for long-term use. If budget is your top concern, a basic shower curtain still gets the job done at a fraction of the price.

For renovated bathrooms where you want a luxurious, spa-like vibe, frameless glass shower screens are the best option. They give a modern, sleek look while also providing the most effective water barrier. If you have issues with leaks or mildew or want your bathroom to feel high-end, a glass shower screen is undoubtedly worth considering. A steam shower might seem like a luxury reserved for posh hotels, but it's an attainable addition to your home. Check out Elegant Showers' three essential steps to installing a steam shower, and start planning your bathroom oasis today.

So evaluate your priorities, bathroom space, and budget when deciding between a shower curtain or screen. Either option can work great in Australian homes. But analyze the pros and cons to make sure you choose the best solution for your needs. With the right shower barrier choice, you'll have a bathroom that both looks amazing and functions efficiently.

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