Ceiling curtain track

aliris19May 12, 2014

Hi all -- you've been really helpful in suggesting that an alternative to glass or the saggy elbow-bend shower curtains I know of, is a ceiling-mounted curtain track. This is a great idea! I really appreciate the steering in this direction.

I wonder who might have personal experience with these systems? I am leery of one that might not glide freely. We had an IKEA ceiling mounted curtain delineating a kids' play space for a few years and it never worked well, always catching on the joins. Perhaps we didn't install it well?

So that's my first question: has anyone personal experience with ceiling mounted tracks and their gliding capacity? Do you have a system that works well? Doesn't work smoothly?

I will be installing a ceiling mounted, not recessed-mounted system.

The second question involves the gliders. There are several different manufacturers making various different kinds of glides, some with ball bearings, some with wheels, some with a friction carrier, some with a block carrier ... anyone have any wisdom to impart regarding one over another? Here's a page listing several available carriers. To house all these various carriers there are grooved tracks and I-tracks etc. Any preferences or wisdom regarding the quality of track type to choose please? (That would be the third question...)

Many thanks!!!

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Babka NorCal 9b

With all the moisture in shower, I suggest you only use parts that will not rust/corrode.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 4:20PM
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I got mine from here, but it's not installed yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trax ceiling shower rod

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:08PM
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Hi all -- I wanted to follow up on this thread about shower curtain ceiling tracks. I don't think there's enough information on this forum about them!

We did finally decide on and install a single ceiling track. It is not recessed as some suggested. Our ceiling drywall was already in so we couldn't easily recess things. And it really didn't have to happen.

I looked at the trax product suggested here and decided against it because it came as two pieces and I really wanted not to be bothered by the glides getting hung up when pieces come apart. As we are installing there is a sub-standard installation potential at work here -- ;) -- plus this is EQ country, and as well our second floor was not actually constructed very well; for a variety of reasons things are shifting too much and I was worried about having pieces that needed to be fit together.

So we wound up with hardware from this company. I recommend them. They were very nice and helpful during business hours and have a call center for accepting orders much extended past these hours too. I found both opportunities helpful. Good advice, very accommodating when I messed up and needed more hardware, etc.

We used the 6100 flexible curtain track. It arrives rolled and needs unrolling for 24 hours or so. What arrived looked *way* too small by eye but wound up being just right. It turns out two lengths of a curtain are not very long!

I ordered the medium weight track because I was not clear on how much weight would be needed. I am sure the lightweight track would have been fine weight-wise. But the saleslady explained (after the fact when I was annoyed I had "overbought") that the medium weight track may have been a good choice from a quiet-ness POV. She said the medium-weight glides better and more quietly than the regular weight. I haven't seen them to compare. My point is, shower curtains are lighter weight than you think!

What we wound up with works incredibly well; I love it. For our purposes it is perfect. I was concerned feeling too closed in and also too dark in the tub. I started out really wanting a half glass door, but was led to believe that would be too cold. I think that is right. I then looked at enclosing the thing all in glass: waaay too expensive! $1K or more. Yuck. But I hate curtain rods that get dirty up top and the sag in the elbow of a two-sided space to cover is such a drag. I've btdt for so so many years, I wanted a solution that worked better.

This sure does! It's quiet, it rolls incredibly smoothly, and it allows me to afix a clear curtain on one end to allow lightening inside the tub, you can place the track wherever you like on the ceiling so an inch of two out from the tub's perimeter gives you that extra feeling of space inside the tub; I don't ever feel squished in there at all. In the attached photos you can see I've added two curtains to the long side, one of plastic for inside that has my dh's beloved map on it -- so we didn't have to sacrifice that content! While on the outside is an attempt at being more "grown up" with an actual patterned, fabricy curtain. I've actually kinda gotten over that need and would be fine with the dorm room map now, but at least we got to try this. ;)

Mostly, as hoped the track glides effortlessly and the curtains stay closed and zero water spills out, everyone's warm, it cost *way* less than a grand, and this has been a very, very good solution that I think more people should consider!

Note to the wise: it is in fact very easy to install the track, but we made some mistakes. First, dh was concerned the tighter curve couldn't be made, but I'd seen videos of people gently bending the track to a very tight angle; I knew it could be done. After he'd installed the cartridges to the ceiling in a too-shallow curve I made the guy take them down for a tighter curve. He grumbled and we have some holes to patch, but it was worth it, the tight curve looks way better and there are no problems with gliding or catching or anything.

Another really dumb mistake we made (there are no instructions!) is not attaching the first cartridge pretty close to the wall -- not all the way to the wall, and the track needs to have a space left close to the wall in order to fit an endcap over the track -- don't forget that either! But if you're spacing the cartridges at, say, 10" intervals, don't start your first one 10" from the wall ... .duh! I ended up sending for a couple extra cartridges to cover for this dumb mistake. But the lady was very nice and sent them by return mail; very little delay, just sheepishness all around here.

For some reason this company does not sell stainless steel curvy hooks. I ended up ordering these from a separate company and also ordering a whole spool of stainless steel ball chain. I decided it was cheaper this way (it was) than ordering the prepackaged set height extensions they sell, and better quality. It's very easy to snip the ball chain with just a scissors, even -- special tool isn't required.

You can hang the curtain from the ball chain in a criss-crossy pattern to enable the curtain to fold up more tightly if you wish -- that's what I've done on the short end. And Where the short end curtain meets the double long end one, I've offset the long end fabric curtain with its plastic curtain behind, so the plastic meets thus creating a good seal but the fabric still wraps around ... I think this is hard to explain with words! It's possible you can see it in the pictures. But it winds up getting a good seal. You can buy glides with magnet snaps to them but this was not necessary; this fiddling with placing of hooks does the trick just great.

Here are some pictures:

For context, this vanity is across the floor from the bathtub. The knobs are odd and not 100% successful -- some of the ring pulls from this second hand chest of drawers were broken or missing so I stuck some fossilized sanddollars we had hanging around onto knob backings. Turns out the fossilization isn't rock hard so while the glue sticks to the surface of the underbelly of the sand dollar, the actual fossil sometimes sheers from the center -- they're not, obviously, therefore really strong and I wouldn't necessarily recommend this! As well, they look kinda odd, so definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Cheap though ;)

Thanks, as always, for everyone's help! I am hoping this is useful as a future reference.

BTW, I tried to clean up a bit for the pictures but as usual, haven't done a perfect job. I've really been criticized in the past here for pictures that show a sloppy kid-infused household. I'm sorry about this, and I don't intend to offend anyone. Please accept my apologies in advance but also, please don't flame me if I've fallen short on this here. I want this information to be useful to someone in the future, but I don't want to feel rotten about our taste which isn't always completely GW-approved...

Here is a link that might be useful: Start of my pondering how to finish the shower

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 4:07PM
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