Window Sill over tub in Master Bath? Contractor says No.

jedingJanuary 29, 2014

Hi, all. We have recently finished our build and I noticed that we do not have a window sill (we paid an upgrade fee to have them added to the house as they do not come standard) in the master bathroom.

It's not a small window, approximately 35 inches by 50. When I asked our builder, he said they don't put the wood trim in there due to the potential water/mold issue.

The window sill is at least 15 inches above the top of the tub. It is currently just painted drywall (won't moisture potentially cause the paint to raise over time and chip off, anyway?) Should they have included one? I looked at photos on Houzz of master bathrooms and a lot of them have window sills. There is tile leading all the way up to the window, so I'm wondering if they're just skipping out on doing it, or if there's an actual concern for mold over time.

Any thoughts?

Thank you!

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Can you post a photo? They don't put wood just to save money.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 10:14AM
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I'll take a photo in a sec and post it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 10:18AM
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Plain sheetrock window sill? yuck - will look like a commercial building. It is normal to install a window sill. If you have a hand shower in your roman faucet set, then wood wouldn't be good. But if no hand shower, then wood would be fine. A nice touch would be a granite window sill that matches the vanity top. Or you can run the tile surround up higher and incorporate the windowsill. Make sure you don't put anything on the inside of the window that will interfere with blinds, etc. Even in the 80's and 90's when cultured marble was the rage, production home builders installed cultured marble sills. Now it's wood, tile and/or stone that matches the vanity.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 10:32AM
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Here's the photo

This post was edited by jeding on Wed, Jan 29, 14 at 11:03

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:01AM
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    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:04AM
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The rest of our house has white wood window sills, which we paid for.. the didn't specify that this window wouldn't have one and I think it looks plain. If they put a sill on it would cover part of the tile work, but I think that would look okay?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Very nice sheetrock work. Nice tile work. Is that a Sterling Lawson tub? How do you like it?

I think you need a window sill, especially for cleaning. Dust and dirt in a moisture environment can get sticky. A wood sill with a good paint job will hold up well here.

For your tub it's tile surround, the builders here in Houston would install a wood or granite window sill.

So your contractor owes you a wood sill. Or upgrade to granite.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Wed, Jan 29, 14 at 11:26

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Yes, I believe it is. We really like the tub. I was kind of surprised at how long the water stays hot. I've used the tub a few times and I leave the water in to see how long it stays warm, it's been at least an hour since it was filled and it would still be warm enough to be in. We did have them stuff additional insulation around the tub before closing in the walls as I was concerned because our last tub did not retain heat.

I also didn't think I liked the style where there is handles down the side as opposed to the more oval tub, but after I've used it, I realized how functional those are - my arms just sit right in them when using the tub, which is very nice, and you can steady yourself as you're getting out without getting water over the edge of the tub.

I agree, I think we need a window sill because i can imagine it will get sticky. He said it was a potential mold issue but I don't see how as long as we're running the fan when using the shower/tub.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:31AM
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Why not use matching tile on the horizontal part of the sill?

I would want something minimal there that didn't conflict with the existing tile layout.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:48AM
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Since the tile doesn't extend all the way to the edge of the window sill, I think it would look too off-centered to have tile? I wish they would have changed the design of the tile to match up with the window.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Since the tile surround is very exact and the sheetrock finish is extremely true, you could go with a minimalist look with beveled tile. Since it is not a wet area, tiling directly to sheetrock should not be a moisture problem - it's similar to a tub only surround or kitchen backsplash. So I don't think it's a moisture problem like your GC says - if anything, the sill is going to get abuse from sun and temperature changes.

Get what you want - I know that I spend a lot of time soaking in my tub and notice EVERY little detail around the tub.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 12:06PM
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I think a wood sill would look better than tile here, as your tile ends before the window ends, so it wouldn't look natural. Yes, they are going to have to cut the sill a little to go over the tile, but it should look fine. Just make sure they use a good trim paint for the wood, I just happened to pick up a new formulation from Benjamin Moore called Advance, (waterborne interior alkyd). Haven't used it yet, but it's supposed to combine the good qualities of oil without the yellowing and with water clean up...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:40PM
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Seems absurd for the contractor to say there would be mold issues were you to put a sill on that window. Bathrooms have window sills!
Seems like more of an issue might be someone hitting their head on a sill that is extending out.

What might be nice there would be to continue the tile onto the sill that is there. Since it's a tub, it's likely bottles of bath stuff will end up on that sill, so a stone/tile might be nice and not leave bad marks, unlike a painted sill.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Have a piece of 1/2" solid surface fabricated with 1" returned ends and silicone caulked in place with a bit of pitch away from the window. It will outperform anything else in this application.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 5:29PM
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I would put a sill. Our house had wooden sills throughout and the new section has the entire window framed in wood, it looks great and everyone is commenting on it.

The problem I see with drywall only is not from the tub but if you open the window a lot, or leave it open and forget about it, rain can blow in and eventually soak in and ruin the drywall. Our uncle's house across town has all-drywall sills (the whole house) and he is currently replacing windows AND sills due to the damage that has occurred over the years with the kids leaving the windows open. It got soft.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 1:32PM
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My contractor put a sill on my window, but not the bottom wood frame that usually goes below the sill.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:23PM
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Looks 100% better!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 10:22PM
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