Window in shower

karle13September 26, 2013

We are doing a total renovation , and the master shower is 8 feet by 4 , on one of the 4feet walls there is already a window! If we leave it, do we need a special kind of window in there? My contractor said to get rid of it ! That it can be a problem with moisture and keeping the window clean? We would put the shower heads on the other 2 walls?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
GreenDesigns

Get rid of it unless you want to completely rebuild the wall and buy a new window and still worry nights about whether or not it's actually waterproofed correctly. Windows are HOLES in your waterproofing and building structure.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 9:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pricklypearcactus

Is there really no way to have a waterproof window? My parents home has had a window in the shower (admittedly just a standard shower/tub combo) for 30 years without any water issues. Depending on cost, I personally might like to keep it if possible.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
s8thrd

We had the same reaction from our builder. And I had a similar reaction to it, since I've lived in two houses with windows in the shower and it certainly didn't keep me up at night! And, I looked online and found lots of photos of showers with windows, including big, low, double-hung windows. Somehow, lots of houses have lasted a long time with windows in the shower without developing problems, and that was mostly without vent fans to get the moisture out of the bathroom.

We were going back and forth between just replacing the old wood window with vinyl and getting a plastic curtain (to our builder's chagrin), or replacing the old window with a wide transom up high, which is what many people do. Then other potential problems appeared with moving the tub/shower, and we opted just to leave them where they were.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 4:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chefnewbie

When we did ours, we put in a glass block window. Waterproof, but lets in light. Very pretty

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Carol.33

We are also doing a glass block window in our master bath shower. It's a walk in shower and the window will be 5 feet wide and 2 feet high, and be about shoulder height with a ledge for "stuff".

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
OldTimeCarpenter1

The traditional solution is to replace the window with glass block, but this can be tricky since often the opening needs to be either enlarged or reduced to accommodate the fixed dimensions of the block.

Our solution is to replace any wood or steel window with a good (emphasis on the "good" -- most vinyl windows are not so good) vinyl window. We match the look of the original windows, so the substitution is not obvious. Vinyl is not affected by moisture, and windows are designed so that any water that gets behind the sash will just drain outside.

It is important that the window opening be completely waterproofed before the window is installed. We use kerdi cloth, a product made for waterproofing showers as a water barrier. It works well. Other manufacturers now make a similar product. Using this method, the chance of water getting any place it should not be is very minimal. You will need to add a little wood to the bottom of your window opening to slope it slightly into the shower. This prevents water from just sitting on the window sill where it might cause problems.

Once the tile is installed, the juncture between the tile and window is caulked with a good polyurethane caulk for maximum flexibility at the joint. This should be inspected yearly and replaced every 3-5 years.

We have been doing this for 10 years, and have never had a problem.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
southernstitcher

We're doing the glass block solution, and yes, we may have to pay more for the install, as the blocks are not the same size as the opening. OldTimeCarpenter1, thanks for that idea. I may mention that as an option - though I do love the look of the glass blocks.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alexagrn

We are about to begin a remodel, including an addition, on our master bath. When our architect did the plans, he designed a window in the bathroom. I was concerned about this, so I asked our contractor what his thoughts were. He said he's seen lots of problems over the years with shower windows and recommended against it. So I had our architect move the window outside of the shower, which I actually like better anyway.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 5:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jacqueline5

We built our home nine years ago and two of the bathrooms have windows in the showers. Our contractor was careful about waterproofing and slope, we special ordered vinyl (we have Lowen double hung wood windows everywhere else) and continued the shower tile all the way around the windows. I love them! They let in fresh air and it's very relaxing taking a shower with a view. They also serve as the niche to set shampoo and such, we haven't had any problems with them.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

I have windows in both of my showers, built 22 years ago. They're the long, narrow kind that are high up. They look like mere slits from the outside but actually let in abundant light and a view of the sky. I don't have fans in my bathrooms but leave the windows open year-round (I'm in No. Calif.). Fresh air, no problems at all. They're vinyl windows and this is a builder's grade home. :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
divotdiva

Both our showers have windows are similar to linelle's. We have 24 year old builder grade, I think they are aluminum - same as the rest of the house. They are 16" tall by 44 or 45" - high up from the tub ledge by over 5 feet. They have wooden sills which I have repainted from time to time, using bathroom type paint. I have a bigger problem with the sun peeling the sill every few years than any water damage, which has never occurred. I just strip it down, sand it, primer and paint. No fans in bathrooms and windows opened occasionally. I'm in Hawaii. Perhaps the heating of homes in colder climates coupled with the steam causes more issues.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
divotdiva

Both our showers have windows are similar to linelle's. We have 24 year old builder grade, I think they are aluminum - same as the rest of the house. They are 16" tall by 44 or 45" - high up from the tub ledge by over 5 feet. They have wooden sills which I have repainted from time to time, using bathroom type paint. I have a bigger problem with the sun peeling the sill every few years than any water damage, which has never occurred. I just strip it down, sand it, primer and paint. No fans in bathrooms and windows opened occasionally. I'm in Hawaii. Perhaps the heating of homes in colder climates coupled with the steam causes more issues.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kaysd

Our 1960 home has a window in the master shower. We keep it open most of the year for fresh air, light and a view of the tropical plantings in the side yard (So. Cal.). We remodeled down to the studs, and there was no water damage in the walls around the window.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 4:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Innercityskyline

To remove a bathroom completely i would not advise it. However, there are placement of the window that can help. If its directly inside the shower then yes i would not recommend it. But if its outside of the shower or some where that does not get direct water, then it should be fine. Light inslulation and patch it up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bathroom Remodeling

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

My windows are approx. 44" x 10" and start 6 ft. up the wall. The tile goes all the way up and slightly past the bottom of the window and the sill is tiled. The only water that lands on the sill is occasional rain when the window is open and the wind is blowing that way. My tub and shower alcoves span the entire exterior wall, so there is no other place for a window. I wouldn't give up my bathroom windows for anything, even if the room was being built from scratch.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 3:24PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
amerec vs mr steam vs thermasol steam shower
Trying to choose a steam shower for a 4 x 5 shower...
panchoandlefty
tile drywall corner transition
I'm trying to figure out how to complete the corner...
mattt19
So upset about marble floor
This is how my expensive marble basket weave floor...
aiallega
Finishing touches – Towel Ring location, need opinions
Hello. My bathroom is starting to come together and...
mrsshayne
Date on thinset
Someone mentioned they would help homeowners decode...
mmaggied
Sponsored Products
Square Natural Wood Shower Platform
TheBathOutlet
Grace Sky Blue Cotton 2-piece Bath Rug Set
Overstock.com
Love Vision Shower Curtain
| Dot & Bo
Thermostatic Shower System & Curved Arm, Slide Rail Kit & 4 Body Jets
Hudson Reed
Antique Copper Whitehaus 614.835PR Shower Set with Tub Filler & Diverter
$399.00 | Blue Bath
Dual Thermostatic Shower Faucet, Rigid Riser Kit, Round Head & Handset
Hudson Reed
Shower Curtain Artistic - Story of the Tree 59
$89.00 | DiaNoche
Remer by Nameeks Q39US Hand Shower - REMER Q39US
$355.00 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™