When we moved in, the shower curtain rod consisted of a homemade-looking D-shaped contraption. It seemed like a great shape, but we immediately realized that the D shape combined with the tub’s unusual placement at a distance from the wall allowed water to go down the back wall and into the basement! Not good. The original shower curtain rod didn’t even hang high enough to manage shower splash. We couldn’t continue using this bathroom without resolving this right away.
Unfortunately, having a clawfoot tub requires unusual techniques for shower curtain enclosures (we actually use 2 complete outer shower curtains, and three shower curtain liners). A simple shower curtain rod won’t work, and the unusual placement of our clawfoot tub (with a long side, rather than an end, facing the wall) precluded the use of many traditional clawfoot shower enclosures. It also explained why the wall would leak with the initial arrangement.
After seeing that new oval enclosures cost hundreds of dollars, we chose to create one of our own. We used plumbing conduit and electrical conduit plus some plumbing joints and flanges.
In order to ensure that the conduit didn’t fall out of the flanges, we split the ends of the pipes into 4, then hammered each quarter flat inside the flange. We used JB Weld at the corner joints and hammered the conduit in until it flattened a bit while drying.
Screwing the rod into ceiling joists while holding it up was difficult, but with two people and two stepladders proved manageable.
After almost a year of seeing the rod the way it was, I decided to try my trusty Rub N Buff techniques on it. I used two separate colors- Grecian Gold and Spanish Copper. I used the Grecian Gold for most of the surfaces, then added Spanish Copper for low-lights and texture.
I do have some found objects I’d like to eventually use in place of the flanges, but for now, I’m happy that the gold colors match the brass 1920s light fixture, the claw feet on the tub, and the toilet!
Although our shower curtain rod is still homemade, hopefully it looks less so than the previous version, and at least it blends in a bit more.