Quality of shower curtain rods?

flseadogJanuary 7, 2009

Is there any quality differences in shower curtain rods that would justify the wide price variations? On the FaucetDirect website they have a Creative Specialties curved 5' stainless rod with chrome finish for $37 and an Alno rod for around $180 that wasn't even curved.

I'd like to get a good quality rod that won't rust out quickly but I don't know how to judge what is quality and what is just pricey. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good brand name or a website that has information of this sort? Thanks.

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I bought 2 3/4 floor flanges and a 5' peice of galvinized pipe 3/4"
had them chrome plated
bolted them to the wall, i can do pullups on it
it was 60 dollars total, never again will a rod fall in my house

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 1:39PM
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I'd like to hear an answer to the OP, too. We're ready to buy a curved shower rod and aren't sure which one to buy.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 7:57PM
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Anna Vegia

I have the exact same question, as I'm currently searching for a straight, brushed-nickel rod. I just want something well-made that won't rust, but $180 seems pretty steep, and I don't think that includes the mounting brackets.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 11:27PM
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I think I saw the curved in Bed Bath & Beyond. Target sells some nice shower rods. I think they look expensive but were only about $20.00. I use the tension rods so I can easily clean them and replace.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 12:40AM
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We had the curved rod (stainless steel) for several years in our previous home. Works great. Never had any problem with it. Also, it does add some room so it definitely feels better than a straight one. I bought it on Ebay for about $50 (the lowest price at that time).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Top quality shower rods are made of solid brass, heavily plated with whatever finish you choose. Brass rods won't rust, but they are expensive.

If you're wondering why some rods are so expensive, check to see what they're made from. The cheap ones are probably rolled steel (which will rust), the expensive ones are probably brass. You usually get what you pay for.

I recommend shower rods from Ginger. They're made from heavy brass, which is why they're expensive. Unfortunately, I don't think they make a curved rod.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ginger Shower Rods

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 11:12AM
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Holiday Inn Express sells their curved rod for $62 plus $9 S/H online. Here's a picture...

Here's the text from their advertising.
The brushed chrome curved rod adds up to 25% more space in the shower. The rod kit, only available through Smart MART, SM includes the "Wing-Its" installation system and securely mounts to any wall. Fits most common 60" tub enclosures.

I've spent the last 500 nights in Holiday Inn Express hotels and have enjoyed these curved shapes. The room I'm in now has a flat aluminum "rod." It is very sturdy.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 11:41AM
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Thank you everyone. There are so many details to think about when building a house. Here are a few more questions that have never occurred to me before.

1. I'm assuming the builder will drill into the tile to install the shower curtain rod. If I buy an inexpensive rod now will I be able to replace it with an upgraded one later? In other words, are all mounting brackets created equal and easily interchangeable? I'd hate to have to re-drill into my nice new tile if I wanted to change something. Should just get the good curtain rod now and be done with it? I could consider it an investment that will pay off better than the 40lK has lately.

2. All of our faucets, etc. are polished chrome but I have notice a lot of the inexpensive curtain rods (and grab bars which we will need also) come in polished stainless but not polished chrome. Will this make a noticeable difference? I've never given shower curtain rods a thought before and now I feel like I'm getting totally obsessed. Please help.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 8:30AM
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There are hundreds of important decisions to make when building a home. For me, this is not one of them. As long as it can hold the weight of a shower curtain and liner (no, I don't need it for me to do pullups) and look reasonably presentable (I think 99% of them look presentable), then I'm okay with it. Polished chrome or polished stainless? Doesn't matter to me. What does matter to me is that it doesn't rust.

Now the curved rods used to intrigue me, until we stayed in some motels that had them. My reaction was: what's the big deal? I realize we must spend x percent of our lives in the shower, but at least 50% of my total time is spent with my eyes closed to keep soap and shampoo out of them. And I would think most people do not need the 25% extra room that the curved rod creates. Besides, the sides of the bathtub stays the same, so this extra room is basically "overhang space". So to me, this is more about looks and feel and less about function.

My recommendation is to go with a basic rod for now. Looks like you can upgrade or change to a curved rod later rather easily, but double-check with your builder first.

One disclaimer to my comments above. The use of "I/me" and not "we" is intentional. DW probably has a totally different view! :)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 11:33AM
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It's probably not a safe bet that mounting brackets will be interchangeable. Perhaps if you buy a rod later from the same manufacturer, this would work, but even that's not a safe bet. Different manufacturers rely on different systems for mounting hardware.

I suppose one possibility might be to go for now with an inexpensive rod that is held in place by friction. These types of rods don't require any holes to be drilled at all. At a later date, when you decide to upgrade, you would then drill whatever holes are required for your permanent shower rod.

As for matching polished stainless steel with chrome plating, the looks are similar, but not quite the same. You would probably find the difference noticeable.

Here again, I'd recommend Ginger brand bathroom accessories (see the link in my posting above). They make a full line of accessories, including grab bars, that can be purchased with matching finishes, escutcheons and trims.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 1:11PM
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I forgot to mention, if you find something you like in the Ginger line of accessories, don't be put off by the prices posted in the Ginger on-line catalog. Those are the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

Shop around. There are many sources on line where you'll find significantly better pricing.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 1:19PM
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I use tension rods that are made of metal which is covered in colored plastic. They're pretty cheap and the plastic protects against rusting. IMHO, the fewer holes in new tile, the better. Also, I personally find the screeching sound the curtain rings make against metal rods irritating.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Thank you everyone. I've heard the saying that, "the devil is in the details." I've also heard, "God is in the details." Right now I feel like I have one sitting on my shoulder saying to ahead spend more money and one is sitting on my other shoulder saying it will be just as nice without the expense. My real problem now is figuring out which is the devil and is which is God. LOL

Wa8b, the Ginger products are beautiful and would be my choice if I could justify spending that much money. Another brand I've come across is Gatco and some websites also say that these products are solid brass but they aren't as expensive as the Ginger. They also are more limited in design. I'm going to do another post with brands in the title and see what I can come up with. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 5:33PM
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