How to Keep a Shower Curtain's Tension Rod in Place

Stephanie Rempe

If you are looking for a temporary shower curtain rod, or you simply don’t want the hassle of mounting a rod inside your shower walls, a tension rod is the answer. Tension rods generally come in two pieces, with one rod that fits inside the other rod and rubber pieces on each of the ends.

Tension rods come in rounded shapes for contemporary bathrooms.

There is a spring inside the larger of the two rods that provides the tension between the two rods. The procedure to hang these types of rods makes hanging shower curtains, or even window curtains, a breeze.

  1. Measure the space between the shower walls where you intend to install the curtain rod. Typical shower curtain tension rods come in varying sizes ranging from 36-inch lengths to 72-inch lengths. The diameter of tension rods varies from 3/4 inch to 2 inches.

  2. Adjust the rod to fit your space. Place one end against the wall in the desired position, and pull the other end apart until it reaches the adjacent wall. Push the rod into the walls until it won’t move anymore, and twist the rod to hold it in place.

  3. Adhere to weight limits. Check the package for the manufacturer’s recommended weight limits. Tension curtain rods are typically not able to withstand more weight than a curtain and a towel or two at any one time.


Choose rods in materials to match your existing bathroom fixtures. The general materials for tension curtain rods include inexpensive plastic, durable aluminum and the more expensive steel. In addition, the rods come in a variety of sizes from straight rods and U-shaped rods to larger, curved rods that allow you a little more space to move in the shower.