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How to Drill into Tile To Hang A Shower Curtain

March 29, 2018  —  Written by Julia 

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Drilling into freshly laid tile is a little bit scary, even for seasoned DIYers like us. In fact, last year after we finished the girls’ bathroom, we thought we’d bypass the whole project and just put a tension shower rod up and call it good. Fast forward and every two weeks since finishing, we were dealing with a rod that would come crashing down! Eventually we decided, a shower curtain is always going to live there–might as well make it permanent. Here’s how we did it!

We bought this Moen Shower curtain rod (in chrome) for about $20 and you buy the flanges separate (here) for about $7. $27 total is a steal for the minimalist and slightly utilitarian design.


1. Find the right height. 
We had purchased this extra long shower curtain from Restoration Hardware, so the first thing we did was hold the curtain up to mark an appropriate height. Since it’s a bathroom, we opted to hang it about 3″ from the ground.

2. Mark and drill the holes. 

Drilling through tile is a bit tricky. Chris uses a hammer drill with a masonry bit. Some have said they would worry that the hammer action is too aggressive, but Chris promises he has found the opposite to be true. The drill does most of the work so you end up pushing on the drill with a lot less force. Do what you feel comfortable with, but I’ve never had a tile chip on me when using a hammer drill to make holes (and I’ve done it a lot).

3. Measure the space and cut the rod.
If you have a standard 60in tub, your rod will likely be a bit too long. Measure the space, mark the bar and cut it using a metal-cutting blade on a miter saw or angle grinder.

4. Mount the end supports and hang the bar.
Mount one end support first, slip the bar into that side, slide the other bracket onto the opposite end, then raise the bar into place and mount the second support.

This was one of those tasks that was hanging over us, and only took about 30 minutes to execute once we got the rod in! And now it’s not going anywhere which gives us a lot of peace of mind when it comes to our girls bathing in here. Hopefully this gives you some confidence to do something similar in your home!

Check out their full bathroom reveal right here

And here are all the sources:

Wall Color: Farrow & Ball Calamine
Double Wall Sconce: Schoolhouse Electric
Single Wall Sconce: Schoolhouse Electric
Mirrors: Target
“Mask” by Jennifer Ament: Serena & Lily
Sink Faucet : Delta Faucet
Faucet Handles: Delta Faucet
Towel Bar
: Amazon
Shower Head
: Delta Faucet
Shower Curtain Rod: Amazon
Towel Ring
: Amazon
Toilet Paper Stand
: Amazon
Drawer Knobs:
 Rejuvenation
Tub Spout
:Delta Faucet
Shower Valve
:Delta Faucet
Cabinet Pulls
: Rejuvenation
Toothbrush Holder
: Pottery Barn
First Aid Box
: McGee & Co
Bath Towels
: Target
Basket
: McGee & Co
Hand Towel
: McGee & Co
Subway Tile
: Wayfair
Floor Tile
: Cle Tile 
Vanity
: Wayfair
Linen Closet
: Pottery Barn
Soap
: McGee & Co
Brushes
: McGee & Co
Striped Linen Tray
: McGee & Co 
84″ Shower Curtain
: Restoration Hardware
Over-The-Door Hook: The Container Store
Stool
Grout:
Warm Gray
Tile Chair Rail

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What do you think?

  1. Taylor says:

    Is this rod straight or slightly curved? I ordered the same model, but on build.com, and it has a subtle bend to it. Thanks!

  2. Jennifer says:

    What did you screw into? Were you lucky enough to screw directly into a stud? Did you use a wall anchor? What kind?

  3. Norm says:

    Why not turn the end brackets to were you still holes in the grout lines instead of the tile

  4. Ash says:

    Ha! Maybe I should be worried because I bought the tension rod you guys linked to in the reveal! At least now I know what “permanent” rod to get if the tension rod fails.

    • Chris says:

      We had a tension rod in the shower in our last house and it didn’t fall down once the entire time we lived there! Maybe they just don’t make them like they used to. :/

  5. Lynsie says:

    We had the same issue with the tension rod in our guest bath falling every few weeks- the walls of our builder grade home are definitely not straight : ( We decided to use support brackets on either end that are mounted to the ceiling. It felt like a safer choice in case we wanted to change the shower curtain length down the road or switch to a glass enclosure. And the thought of drilling into our new tile is enough to make me break out into a cold sweat :’D

  6. Nancy Sherman says:

    Perfect timing – I actually have plans to hang a shower rod this weekend!
    Thank you.

  7. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’m looking to cover wall-to-wall windows in my girls’ room with blackout curtains to help with light leak from the shades…but I’m having trouble finding the right hardware. Do you think something like this shower bar with inside mounts would work? Or is there an easier solution I’m missing? I thought if mounting the curtain bar on the ceiling but it’s concrete and we don’t have the right drill bit for that. Thanks!

  8. Molly says:

    Do you own or rent your hammer drill? We’ve rented one once and I’m curious if it’s worth it to just buy one vs renting. Same question for a tile saw- do you own one or rent it?

    • Julia says:

      We own, but we use it all the time! And when we use our tile saw too (all of our wood floors upstairs are actually faux wood tile). But I think it’s really smart to assess if it’s something you may only use once or twice and then renting is the way to go. The other positive about renting is you likely get a higher quality tool that might have been out of your budget.

  9. Bethany says:

    Why did I not know this was even an option?! I’ve never had a problem with the tension rod in our master bath, but the guest bath is another story. Every once in a while it will go through a phase where it falls a couple times a week. SO ANNOYING. Definitely going to look into this for our home!

  10. Sara Kral says:

    What kind of shower curtain liner do you use? I have tried to find a good fabric one, but they tend to get yucky even after washing them. Thanks! Love the bathroom! Perfect for growing girls!

  11. Fiona says:

    Haha – still laughing about your wedding photos – too funny! What if a photographer was asking for those poses now – you would be like “Don’t think so”

  12. JL says:

    This is so feminine and sweet, but something they can really grow into. I love that it won’t look dated and they won’t tire of its overall design. Need to do the same for my boys’ bathroom. Did you keep/use the original countertop that came with the Wayfair set?

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