windows inside shower

jleAugust 21, 2010

We're struggling with how to deal with competing interests in the layout of a master bath redo.

One possibility would place the shower such that the only window in the room would be inside its square footage.

My impression, based on rentals years ago and friends/family members with them, is that a window inside a shower can be a maintenance nightmare. But maybe technology has changed? I have no clue.

So please weigh in with your experience and opinions! Thanks so much!

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Ooooo, I would strongly urge against it. We had one in our previous home and it was such a pain. When we built, we could have done it, but instead we opted no window. We just installed a Solatube to get that natural light. I would never have a window in the shower again unless the water couldn't reach it.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:04PM
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We had a window in a tub/shower and it was fine. We chose a fiberglass casement window because of the water contact and never had any problems with it at all.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 12:38AM
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I struggled with this same problem in my home renovation design. We installed the only window smack in the middle of the shower.

We have a vinyl window installed and I will tie my waterproofing measures right into the window. I have notice there is a certain amount of flex that comes with the locking mechanism so my waterproofing tie will need to be in low where the window does not flex.

I'm sure this waterproofing steps and extra tile backer will strengthen the window but I think it wise to tie in low anyway to be safe. The added value of cross ventilation was too much of a pro and out-weighted the Con lists of having this window in the wet zone.

The benefits of natural air flow will improve the dry out times and in the winter I plan on another "Air Circulation System" to improve the dry times in my master en-suite's shower.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 4:05AM
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We have a privacy glass block window in our 2 person shower. The tile runs up to and encases the entire window. We haven't had any issues. I really like the natural light in there.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:43AM
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Our old second bath has a windowsill right under the showerhead - not good. I was thinking about a smaller window. The builder says to close it up and put in the solar tube, and a light and a fan. He says there is no way to reliably waterproof that window, although he did mention glass block. Better artificial light is probably best for us - half of the year it is dark out when we bathe anyway.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 8:21AM
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We just opted to move the shower/tub to the wall with the window as the original layout of the bath showcased the toilet...ugh. since our neighborhood historical codes would not let us cover the window we bit the bullet and have a window in the shower. I like the concept of the natural light. I can't really give you any personal experience on the durability of the window and upkeep, etc. since the bathroom is not yet finished, but here's a link to advice that I got that may be helpful should you choose to go this route. (link below, scroll down to photos and commentary from Bill Vincent)

I think alot will depend upon whether or not you are replacing the window however, based on reading posts both on and off this site, my sense it that while there are plenty of situations where the lack of prep work has made windows inside showers a disaster... done right they can last a long time.

It might be helpful for you to describe the window and/or post a few photos if you are truly interested in going this route.

best of luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: another shower window discussion

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 10:53AM
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dont be scare of the window in the does give you a great deal of natural light. it really brightens up our bathroom and I could have removed the old window and then closed it in but instead installed a smaller one. The original was 36 X 36 and I installed a newer one that was a Marvin Integrity (fiberglass) awning window. Which is perfect for the bathroom. Bill has a few pictures of how he worked around windows in showers. I think they were not even waterproof windows...they looked like Andersen.

Go for it...worth the natural lighting value alone.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 6:34PM
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Thanks so much! We have decided to go ahead with the plan that will put a window in the shower. I've printed out the discussion and photos you recommended, southerngalinnyc, and we will definitely pass that along to the good folks with whom we'll be working.

And southerngal, I love your bathroom! Where did you get your floor tile, what subway tile did you use, what medicine cabinet did you use, and did your folks construct the molding on the front of the tub?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 5:27AM
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I think they were not even waterproof windows...they looked like Andersen.

The ones that weren't, including one in a steam shower, were coated with a marine boat paint to protect them, and give me something watertight to waterproof up to. Keep that in mid if that's the route you go. I recommend against this, but if you really feel the need to, a fixed window (one that doesn't open and close) is your best bet, preferrably vinyl clad.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 9:27AM
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Hi jle,
Sorry for the tardy reply. I'm not getting notifications for some reason and just happened upon this...
Thanks for the nice comments... still stressing about the design of the room.
The tile is El Barco beveled ( that I picked up from Tile World here in NY. The problem that we discovered later is that that manufacturer does not offer 3x3 square beveled tiles. (They are important when you are having to cut the beveled tile to butt up against bullnose, etc because the bevel means that the center of the tile is fatter than most of the edges you are butting it up against and so the red clay portion will show unless you have these 3x3s) I ended up having to pay to express order the 3x3s from Luxe Tile and they were marginally thinner and also for some reason not exactly the same width as the El Barco so my tile guy had to do a lot of fudging (more "glue" underneath and the grout lines had to be bigger than I originally planned) that's a long way to saying I would just order all the tile from luxe if I had it to do over again.

I also got the floor tile from Tile World, I think it was $12 a s.f. A note of caution. I thought is was Carrera (it's not, i think i comes from China and has cream color running through it also) I would look on ebay if you are interested and go with something like this if you are really interested. Its a little more expensive but probably worth it.
My medicine cabinet, which isn't in yet? is an oval beveled mirror from Broan.
And yes, I ordered an hourglass tub from Kohler which didn't have an apron and had my guy build the "molding" on the front. It was pretty easy, I think he used 1x3s and then we added some cove trim molding. I was originally going to put in wainscoting around the rest of the room that had a similar look but backed off because i thought it might feel too tight.

Good luck with the window, I think its a great choice. Hope to see your finished bath on line soon!
All the best,

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 11:23PM
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How do you like your hourglass tub ? I'm looking at one for a remodel and can't seem to find anyone here that has one .

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:56PM
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Hi Salbwil,
So I have to confess since this is a guest bath... I haven't actually taken a bath in it... my guests seem to like it, its pretty roomy. I wish the tub floor had more slope to it as it is not the easiest to clean... I would install a separate hand shower if I had it to do over again since I have a rainshower.
Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:44PM
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