How To's

How to Install a Shower Curtain Rod

Functional and decorative, the shower curtain rod is an integral part to the common bathroom. When installing a new rod, you’ll have to decide on which type is best for your situation, and then take the necessary steps to install it properly. Here’s how to choose the right shower rod and how to hang it:

Shower Curtain Rod | YLighting
Shower Curtain Rod Options

When choosing the right shower curtain rod for your space, there are 3 main ones to consider: tension rods, fixed rods, and custom rods.


Tension rods are ideal for those that need a quick fix or are renting, as there isn’t any hardware involved since tension rods are wedged in place between two walls. While they’re an easy solution to a shower curtain-less shower, they aren’t secure and can fall out of place if tugged on. Tension rods can also damage drywall if they’re wedged too tightly without any stud support. To avoid this, it’s best to locate the studs to help brace the rod.


Fixed rods are traditional shower curtain rods. They come in an array of styles and designs, and are relatively easy to install. They can be straight or curved, and they mount onto the wall using hardware, making them a more secure option.


Custom Rods are square, rectangular, oval, or d-type rods that are attached to the ceiling and encircle the tub space or attach to the walls for corner showers.

Shower Curtain Rod | YLighting

Installing a Shower Curtain Rod

Depending on which shower rod you choose, your installation will be different. But generally for this project, you’ll need the following:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • Shower curtain and rings
  • Tension rod or fixed rod and hardware
  • Drill and bits
  • Drywall anchors
  • Screwdriver

Installing a Tension Rod

Step 1

Start by measuring between the two walls with the tape measure. You need to purchase a tension rod that’s a couple inches longer than the actual length between the two walls.

Step 2

Start by opening or extending the rod by turning each of the ends in the opposite direction. Do this until the tension rod is 1-2 inches longer than the distance between the two walls and set aside.

Step 3

To measure the height for installation, take your shower curtain and hold it against one of the walls above the apron of the tub. Adjust the height of the curtain until its hem is sitting 6 inches below the edge of the tub. Use your pencil to mark the height of the curtain on the wall. Measure the height of the pencil mark and duplicate it on the opposite side of the shower.

Step 4

Slip the shower curtain rings onto the tension rod before installing.

Step 5

Wedge the tension rod into place, making sure to hold one end over the mark on one side of the shower while compressing the rod onto the other mark on the opposite side. Once the rod is in place, adjust it accordingly.

Shower Curtain Rod  | Ylighting

Installing a Fixed Shower Curtain Rod

Step 1

Mark the location for your curtain rod on either side of the shower walls.

Step 2

Using a stud finder, slowly slide it over your marked areas to see if there are studs behind the drywall. The device should beep or light up to indicate the presence of a stud behind each mark. If no stud is present, you’ll want to add support, so pre-drill holes for some drywall anchors before hanging the rod. If you’re working with a tiled wall, be sure that you pre-drill holes and insert wall anchor as well.

Step 3

Screw your drywall anchors into the pre-drilled holes and then secure the mounting hardware with screws into the wall anchors.

Step 4

Slide your shower curtain rings onto the curtain rod before you install your rod.

Step 5

Mount the shower rod into the rod holes and hang your curtain.

Now you’re one step closer to your dream bathroom. Next you’ll want to ensure your bathroom lighting is up to date. Find more bathroom lighting ideas here, and shop for modern bathroom lighting via the button below.


For bathroom lighting ideas, follow our favorites on Pinterest:


Team Y

Team Y

Each YLighting article is backed by the authority of the highest rated service team in the industry. Our design experts are ALA-certified (American Lighting Association) and have an average of 10+ years in the interior design, architectural lighting and home renovation industry. Chat on-line or give us a call toll-free.

Use #YintheWild to show us your modern space. VIEW GALLERY