Home Hacks

This Tension Rod Hack Changed My Shower Curtain Game

I never have to replace a broken tension rod again.

February 11, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

Picture this: It’s 3 a.m. and you’re snoozing peacefully. The fan is gently whirring next to you; your silk eye mask is blocking out errant light; the dog is curled up at your feet, keeping them nice and warm… and then, CRASH. Suddenly, you’re convinced there’s a murderer inside the house (and so is the dog), so you stumble out of the bedroom to suss out the source of the noise.

Well, it’s not a murderer… it’s worse. The shower curtain rod has fallen down.

Somehow, your partner has slept through the ordeal, so you try in vain to reinstall the tension rod yourself. After what feels like hours of struggling and your arms shaking from the effort of holding it above your head, you think it’s probably good enough and shuffle back to bed. Surprise: it wasn’t good enough. The thing falls down as soon as you’re settled back under the covers. Oh, and once more while you’re trying to shower the next morning—just for good measure.

Let’s face it: once a tension rod has fallen, there’s little to no chance that it’s going to work properly again. If you don’t get it exactly right the first time, you’re probably doomed to repeat this 3 a.m. nightmare somewhere down the line, because the mechanisms in these things are just—well, they’re crap.

Fallen tension rods have plagued me multiple times in multiple homes. I’ve mostly lived in rentals with tiled showers, so I sadly never had the option to drill a rod into the wall or install a sliding glass door. I recently posted about these woes on Instagram, as one does, and received possibly one of the best messages of my life: there’s a hack for this.

An Instagram friend and professional organizer (@NewYorkeratHome), sent a link to a product that costs all of $7, and it might have changed my life. Adhesive. Tension. Rod. Holders! I mean, of course! How did it take me this long to realize there was a solution right in front of me? That I didn’t have to get a new tension rod each time it failed me?

The miracle item at play in my own bathroom. Photo by Caroline Mullen

I immediately ordered them and stuck them right up when they arrived, ecstatic that I could once again use the matte black shower curtain rod that perfectly coordinates with my bathroom. And guess what? They work like a charm. Since they’re clear, they blend seamlessly into the white tile, and not only do they add a little extra give for the rod to tighten into, the lip that holds up the rod prevents it from falling, even if it does loosen. Genius.

“Installation” (if you could even call it that) is as easy as peeling off the paper backing and sticking the holders up where you want the tension rod to sit. I ended up resticking them a few times to get the rod exactly where I wanted, and have had no issues with the adhesive. When we move out, I can simply peel them off! There’s also two different sizes, so make sure you check the circumference of your tension rod before ordering.

The best part? I can sleep peacefully knowing that the next time I hear a crash at 3 a.m., I at least know it wasn’t the shower curtain. Probably just a murderer.

Do you have any tricks for keeping a tension rod up? Tell us your secrets below!

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When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.


Cindy August 16, 2023
Thank you for this. Actually, I went online this afternoon to try to find a shower rod like we used to have (15-20 years ago). They were tension rods, too, but they worked differently; and they did not fall like these do, today. The biggest difference was they only moved in one direction when you twisted them. These today slide back and forth, making it hard to adjust them in exactly the right place. I will try the hack, because I could not find any old-fashioned ones.
arismomkaren May 6, 2023
just hung mine up.....and really weird, only 10 minutes later ...I was visited by the murderer! how frusterating
My F. February 28, 2022
I laughed out loud as you told about my, I mean your experience!
Look forward to trying your life saving “hack”.
Lynne D. February 28, 2022
Oh. MY. GOD. Thank you for this. May be life-changing! :-)
Rhonda35 February 17, 2022
I am ridiculously excited about this hack! Thx for sharing.