Custom Shower Curtain Buying Guide

Shower curtains are highly customizable to the needs of various applications, and buyers should understand these requirements before making a purchase. We have prepared this shower curtain buying guide to help you make the most informed decision for your facility. You’ll learn how to select the right  shower curtains for hospitals, correctional facilities, gyms, and educational institutions. We will also compare different shower curtain materials to help you choose the best one for your application.

Evaluate Your Application Needs

Commercial shower curtains are manufactured to meet the specific needs of the different facilities.
Learn more about each type of shower curtain and facility here.

Commercial Shower Curtains for Institutions

Curtains for hospitals, mental health facilities, and prisons must have safety features to protect users and those around them. For example, hospitals have high levels of germs and disease-causing microbes, so hospital shower curtains must resist bacteria and be easy to disinfect. In mental health facilities, patients may be a risk to themselves, so administrators should opt for anti-ligature or breakaway shower curtains. Similarly, prisons may require Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)-approved shower curtains with see-thru panels or mesh tops to facilitate easier inmate monitoring.

The main features to consider when choosing institutional shower curtains prioritize safety and visibility:

● See-thru panels. See-thru panels on the top and/or bottom of the curtain allow supervisors to monitor patients or inmates while still providin some level of privacy.
● Mesh tops. Mesh panels at the top of the curtain are useful in extra-tall stalls for monitoring inmates and reducing steam.
● Clear top or bottom windows. A clear vinyl top or bottom can be added under the mesh top for added visibility.
● Breakaway mechanism. Breakaway shower curtains release under excessive weight to protect users from hanging risk.
● Antimicrobial/antibacterial materials. These materials are appropriate for hospitals and other germ-prone facilities to improve hygiene. Curtains are usually attached with #2 brass/nickel-plated or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) grommets for maximum sanitation and safety.
● NFPA-701 standards for fire resistance. In the event of a fire, curtain materials should not keep burning when the fire source is removed. Thus, curtains should be NFPA-compliant.
● Velcro. In addition to breakaway construction, curtains can also be equipped with Velcro adhesives that can pull apart and be repositioned with ease. This design promotes suicide prevention by ensuring that the curtain does not support the weight of a patient.
● Snap fasteners. Hookless shower curtains are fastened with snap buttons and also support suicide prevention.
● Rod pockets. Shower curtains can also be secured through rod pockets, which come with a built-in pocket for the curtain rod.
● Fold-over designs. These customizable, versatile designs are easy to install by simply folding and fastening them over the curtain rod with snaps or Velcro adhesives.

Commercial Shower Curtains for Other Organizations

Facilities like commercial gyms, hotels, resorts, schools, and cruise ships are also concerned with user safety, but they prioritize durability, cost, and aesthetics. Take the following features into consideration when selecting shower curtains for your facility:

● Opacity/Transparency. The curtain’s level of opacity or transparency should suit the specific application and its privacy requirements.
● Magnets/Weights/Suction Cups. To prevent the curtain from blowing in during showers, curtains can be equipped with magnets, weights, or suction cups.
● NFPA-701 compliance. Check whether your business requires fire-resistant curtains.
● ADA compliance. Check whether the curtain needs to be Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliant.
● Eco-friendly. There also may be regulations dictating how eco-friendly the shower curtain needs to be.
● Antimicrobial. The curtain material should inhibit the growth of microbes.

Shower Curtain Material Options

Curtain material is another important aspect to consider according to your specific facility. Some materials are fit for medical facilities, while others are fit for general commercial facilities. Due to the high level of health and safety required in health facilities, polyester, and vinyl are usually the preferred materials. Hotels and resorts, on the other hand, might require more aesthetically appealing materials. This table compares different materials and their characteristics to help you make the right choice for your facility.

Material Machine Wash Safe? Pros Cons
Sure-Chek Linen Yes Appealing (variety of colors and designs), durable, softer than synthetics Wrinkles easily, water repellent but not waterproof. May harbor mold and mildew, can take long to dry
Cotton Yes Same as linen Same as linen
Vinyl No Water repellent, easy to clean, antibacterial, antimicrobial, semitransparent, fire retardant, REACH & Prop 65 compliant Heavier than nylon
Polyester Yes Antimicrobial, dirt resistant, fire retardant, mildew resistant, stain and odor resistant, water repellent Synthetic feel, heavy when wet
Nylon Yes Water repellent, flexible, durable, cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing Not eco-friendly

Space Measurements & Custom Sizing

Shower curtains come in many standard sizes. Gary Manufacturing can produce standard sizes starting from 36” X 72”, or we can make custom-sized curtains tailored to specific applications. To determine the right size for your facility, measure the shower stall’s width from wall to wall and the height from the rod or hanging location to the floor. Deduct 1.5” from the height to accommodate the shower rings.

Shower Curtain Solutions from Gary Manufacturing

At Gary Manufacturing, we supply a wide range of vinyl and fabric shower curtains to hospitals, prison facilities, educational institutions, hotels, gyms, and cruise ships. You can choose the material, color, size, and style of the shower curtains, as well as special features like mesh tops, see-thru panels, grommets, Velcro, snap fasteners. We also have ADA-compliant curtains available. Contact us or request a quote today to get started on your custom solution.