Is there a magical spell to getting a shower rail to stay up on tile?
June 17, 2020 5:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently at a rental where I can't make extensive renovations to the walls. I have lovely white tiles in the shower/bath, and I bought what looks to be a pretty standard weight shower rod/rail that I hang the shower curtain on. Every single thing I've tried - various tapes and online hacks - doesn't seem to work and the shower railing comes down in about a month. Help me fight the Tile Gods and win.

I'm currently at a rental where I can't make extensive renovations to the walls. I have lovely white tiles in the shower/bath, and I bought what looks to be a pretty standard weight shower rod/rail that I hang the shower curtain on. Every single thing I've tried - various tapes and online hacks - doesn't seem to work and the shower railing comes down in about a month. There's a dehumidifier (?) that I have running during the shower, but it's just a moist environment because it's a shower. The only thing that somewhat worked was using fuzzy fabric/foam feet that you have on chairs, and sticking that to the tile and balancing the rod on those and duct taping it, but the idea of having to fix that over and over again because of the wetness isn't a great solution. The only place I could potentially even attach something is to the ceiling - the entire bathroom is white tiles so no walls on the side to attach even if I could. (See photo). I don't know if suction cups are even an option as I doubt they'd be able to keep much weight. The alternative - not having anything and cleaning up any water after the shower - doesn't feel like a great solution either.

Are there very light brands of shower rails? Is there a super glue I don't know about? I haven't tried Gorilla Glue because I want to eventually take this down when I move. Heck, I'd settle for some screen thing (like a screen room divider I put up when I have a shower). The railing is smooth at the end - if I attach something with some purchase/score it up some way would that help? I realize I sound like an idiot but have never dealt with a tile bathroom box scenario before. I'm ready to take a flamethrower to it (the railing, possibly the tile) and don't know what to do. I know it's a very trivial thing but it's also driving me batty.
posted by rmm to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have a spring loaded rail that doesn't require any attachments to the tile. The tension holds it in place. Works great.
posted by lollusc at 5:39 AM on June 17 [28 favorites]


Lollusc is correct - you need a spring loaded rod. You twist the pieces to create the needed tension, and they have rubberized ends.
posted by rich at 5:54 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


A "plain" shower rod (one not including tension springs) is intended to be held up by drilled-in flanges like this. If you're not able to drill in and mount something like that, you want a tension rod. (Links are just intended as examples, there are a million different brands for these products).
posted by mosst at 5:59 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


4thing the tension/spring-loaded rod! They grip pretty well if put up nice and tightly.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:19 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


as lollusc does, I use a tension rod for the same reason: tiles tiles tiles. But Every other shower I take the darn thing comes down on me. How does yours stay up? I'm going to be watching this one, hoping that someone has a good solution for mm.
posted by james33 at 6:25 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I have a tension rod mounted on tile. It has NEVER fallen down. You really need to crank the two pieces when installing it. Also, make sure the spots where you're mounting it are completely clean and free of any oil or residue. I used rubbing alcohol to clean the spots before installing it.
posted by XtineHutch at 6:34 AM on June 17 [14 favorites]


This is the curved, tension-y, suction-y rod I installed over tile in my rental in 2014. It has never fallen.
posted by thejoshu at 6:43 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


You can use two adjustable wrenches to twist it extra too.
posted by bbqturtle at 7:06 AM on June 17


I used to have a rental with a shower stall, without a built-in rod and no doors and the tension rod held up my curtain no problem. I don't think it ever fell down. I was always more mindful though that it was never going to be as sturdy as a built-in so I definitely was a little more gentle with it.
posted by Aranquis at 7:18 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Thank you kind people for making me realize I'm not the only one dealing with the madness that is a shower rod that isn't a tension one. I'm going to try theone that thejoshu mentioned - I'm curious how the end piece sticks to the tile - and see how that works. AskMe is a sanity keeper in a stressful world!
posted by rmm at 7:21 AM on June 17


I have a spring loaded rod in my rental bathroom. I've lived here for 8 years and it has never fallen. I adjusted it one time, the week I moved in, to raise it 6" so the curtain didn't drag in the tub. I suspect prior to that adjustment it had been in place since the Carter administration (so I have no product to link you to).

Spring loaded is key though. Those twisty tension rods have always been total failures for me in past rentals.
posted by phunniemee at 7:34 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


bed bath and beyond has a curtain rod that will hold up to 50 lbs. curtain rod. i had trouble with my cats pulling down the curtain and rod, and now i have a curtain that has 9 pockets on it, which are all full of stuff, and it hasn't come down since i got it. the curtain rod is $25, in line with other rods. it's perfect for a renter.
posted by ydaltak at 9:48 AM on June 17


I have a curved rod like the one linked (it might be a different brand, though). It's probably worth it to comparison shop the various curved rods to pick the one most likely to stay up. A note: the instructions on mine specifically said it required two people to install it (I did it alone, but I'm pretty used to installing stuff).
posted by amtho at 9:50 AM on June 17


The rod ydaltak recommends has a video with installation instructions.
posted by XtineHutch at 10:44 AM on June 17


I have actually worked on shower rod (and other products) development for the past decade and am at least partially responsible for many of the ones that you will see in major retailers.

There are a lot of great recommendations above and I won't push any product in particular but I do want to add two things.

First, if you do want something light weight most retailers carry aluminum rods which are considerably lighter than steel and won't rust.

Second, for installation make sure the rod is extended all the way to each wall before tightening. That is going to give you the best hold.

Feel free to me mail me with any shower rod related questions.
posted by nolnacs at 3:32 PM on June 17 [14 favorites]


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