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Joe18 Oct 13th, 2014 07:15 PM

Why don't the French use shower curtains
I know from experience that some French hotels do have shower curtains but others don't. A friend who has returned from his first trip to Paris raised the question. Any ideas why?

IMDonehere Oct 13th, 2014 07:39 PM

Because they never use the shower. OK, cheap joke.

I have seen no shower curtain in a number of countries and I have seen the shower head placed in various odd spots including over the commode.

MmePerdu Oct 13th, 2014 07:53 PM

In many countries the bathroom is tiled with slightly sloping floors to a drain and no need for a curtain. The first time I saw such an arrangement was in a friend's home in Denmark and I think it's a great solution. I think, from time to time, about redoing my own bathroom in just that way. I hate shower curtains, especially when they stick to you while imagining all the previous occupants. Big ick!

anyegr Oct 13th, 2014 08:16 PM

But a sloping floor doesn't solve the problem of water spraying everywhere while you take a shower. Maybe it would work if you had the showerhead permanently fixed up over your head, but I really hate that.

At home I have a small shower enclosure with frosted glass doors. That solves most problems, except that it's difficult to keep the glass clean.

MmePerdu Oct 13th, 2014 08:23 PM

I don't care if the water goes "everywhere" if the room is tiled. What possible difference does it make?

joannyc Oct 13th, 2014 08:32 PM

Mmeperdu, is the toilet in your desired bathroom? If so, how do you keep the toilet paper dry? I haven't had a lot of success with those little metal bonnets I've seen in Europe when the shower head drenches the room. Thanks!

MonicaRichards Oct 13th, 2014 08:41 PM

Also some of us have the clothes we're going to get dressed in in the room as well as the dry towel, so it does kind of matter that the water doesn't go everywhere.

Plus there's the issue of goosebumps when you're shaving. If there's a shower curtain or doors there's a little sauna effect that keeps that from happening. Without the shower curtain, goosebumps, and I cut the heck out of myself.

IMDonehere Oct 13th, 2014 08:42 PM

When the shower is over the commode, I like to think of it as multi-taking.

This must be a cultural divide as I think Americans prefer a segregated shower with a curtain.

joannyc Oct 13th, 2014 08:52 PM

IMdone, hope your commode is a combo toilet/bidet! ;-)

IMDonehere Oct 13th, 2014 09:13 PM

I use the bidet for my traveling gold fish.

IMDonehere Oct 13th, 2014 09:14 PM

I think the Fodor's gerbil died, their system is slower than usual.

MmePerdu Oct 13th, 2014 09:40 PM

The open tiled room only works well if the room is large enough for distance between the shower and the rest. If the room is small then a barrier of some kind becomes necessary. But even in a smallish room, a tiled wall can be the barrier, rather than a curtain. It's the curtain I dislike even though I'm stuck with one now. My last home had a glass enclosure and I didn't like that very much either. And yes, the room must be warm. I have heaters in my bathrooms, very important.

aliced Oct 13th, 2014 10:10 PM

Bathrooms large enough?? Our 3 bathrooms are quite small and tiled; however, why would I want my bathing water splashing into a larger area than necessary? Also, the shampoo & conditioner,and body wash or soap gobs in the shower/tub, why do I want that on other walls or floor? My son's house has 6 bathrooms, three w/ glass doors and three w shower curtains. I need the following dry: floor so I do not slip and fall , the rug on the floor, towels, my robe or underwear, the toilet tissue, Kleenex dispenser. Yes, there are some lovely showers w 'walk in' style lined w/ tile that separates bathing shower from rest of room, but most of us in the good ol U.S. of A. do not have them. I change the liner curtain in my home every few months regardless, and do not come in contact with ones in hotels -- thankfully I am not that wide. My glass door at home is not that hard to clean, I use a squeegee and spray it. I also find annoying hand-held showers in tubs with no curtain; I have amusing memories of such shower at the Esmeralda in Paris many years ago.

MmePerdu Oct 13th, 2014 10:26 PM

"...why would I want my bathing water splashing into a larger area than necessary?"

Apparently, alice, you wouldn't. I'm not suggesting you do. I speak only for myself in this regard and admit my homes reflect my own somewhat deviant tastes. I'm not concerned with what anyone else likes and I'm happy for you that yours is how you like it, too.

kerouac Oct 13th, 2014 11:03 PM

Lots of places in France have shower curtains but I think that most hotels avoid them since they are hard to keep clean.

I have a shower curtain and when I bought it, I was perplexed by the zillion models that were available.

Christina Oct 14th, 2014 03:57 AM

It isn't just France, few hotels anywhere have shower curtains because they get moldy and gross. Most hotels with showers in any country I've been in either have a regular shower stall, or sliding glass doors attached, or if neither of those exist, they have that half-door on the tub that is better than nothing but lots of water may still get onto the floor.

And I sure care if the water goes everywhere, everything in the room would get wet including your clothes, toilet paper and the extra towels. Not to mention, how would it dry? A guest shouldn't be spending their time swabbing down bathrooms. I've never been in a hotel in Europe that didn't have at least that half-door on the tub, if not a real shower stall, that isn't common in any country I've been in.

vincenzo32951 Oct 14th, 2014 04:04 AM

>>It isn't just France, few hotels anywhere have shower curtains because they get moldy and gross. <<

I assume you mean in Europe when you say "anywhere." Most of the hotels I've stayed at there have shower stalls of varying size. Lots of hotels in the US have shower curtains. The cleaning people there must have figured out the secret, because I can't recall ever seeing on that was moldy and/or gross.

RM67 Oct 14th, 2014 04:35 AM

I'm with you Mme Perdu. Much prefer a wet room with no shower curtain - the curtains always try and stick to you. If the room is fully tiled, or lined with something like limestone or marble I can't see the problem.

colduphere Oct 14th, 2014 04:45 AM

No shower curtain conserves water as it encourages people to turn off the water when they are rubbing themselves, as opposed to rinsing.

annhig Oct 14th, 2014 04:54 AM

i simply can't abide shower curtains, and would rather have nothing at all than one of those.
but I agree that you need some way of preventing the rest of the room and your slippers and dressing-gown, [not to mention the towels] getting wet.

However, even with shower screens this is not a given, often because little or no thought has been given to the positioning of the shower itself. So often you can't get to the controls without getting wet and if the shower head points outwards into the room, the room gets wet as well while you are adjusting the temperature etc. ideally the controls need to be positioned so that you can reach them with the door open with the shower head at 90 degrees to the door.

I can't say that the french are any better or worse at bathroom design than anyone else.

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