Friday, May 18, 2012

How to Make Your Shower Seem Bigger!

If you've moved from a more recently built home to an older one, you may have noticed that the bath tub is usually a bit smaller in older homes. Since the shower curtain hangs at the edge of the bath tub, this can make the shower feel cramped too. So, although I'm not (yet?) up to replacing a bath tub, and not sure where I'd get the space to put a bigger one even if I were up to the task, I decided that it would be fun to try putting in one of those fancy curved shower curtains that they have at hotels, to make the shower feel a bit more spacious.

I picked up a curved curtain rod at my local hardware store for about $25 (which seemed a bit pricey to me, but I'm tired of feeling cramped in the shower). Here is a picture of our old, straight curtain rod.

Taking the old rod down was no trouble. I just unscrewed the screws that were holding the mounting brackets to the wall, and they came right off the pole. Here is one of them, next to a lovely glass of our home-bottled red wine that I was enjoying while I worked on this project.

As I worked on putting up the new rod, I discovered a few things. First, the order that you assemble the parts in is very important. The new pole came with both mounting brackets (black plastic) and fancy chrome covers for the mounting brackets. First, put the mounting bracket cover on the pole, chrome sides facing away from the wall. Then, put the black plastic mounting bracket on the pole.

Once these two pieces are already on the rod, you can take the pin that comes with the kit, and put it through the hole at the end of the rod. (Can you tell that I didn't do these things in the right order the first time around?) The pin will fit into a slot on the wall side of the mounting bracket, and this is what prevents the pole from spinning, and keeps it curving out away from the shower stall.
Here is the pin, in place through the holes in the end of the rod.

Once you have all these pieces in place, you can attach the rod to the wall. My old rod was screwed through the tile grout, and anchored with those little plastic wall anchors. Since the screw holes for the new rod were closer together than for the old one (why are they never the same distance apart?!?), I decided to re-use the bottom anchor, and make a new hole for the top screw. Since the rod seemed fairly stable after putting in the bottom screws on both ends, and I don't plan on hanging anything heavy from the shower curtain rod, I decided not to bother with plastic anchors for the top screw.

And voila, here is our fancy new curtain rod, and very spacious shower!

I'm still working on finding a creative new use for the old pole and mounting brackets, so let me know if you have any brilliant suggestions! 

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