Is window possible in tub/shower with acrylic/fiberglass enclosur

orourkeAugust 15, 2009

I have stripped my bathroom down to the studs (see my other post for structural work done) and I want to install a new shower/bathtub combo with a fiberglass/acrylic tub enclosure (there was only a small corner shower there before).

The problem is that there is a window on the long side of this shower/bathtub. How do I seal around the window? This must be a common problem. Is there something that can be used around the window that will even remotely look like a continuation of the fiberglass/acrylic enclosure? Of course, it would have to be something that keeps the shower water out. As far as the window itself, IÂm planning to change the current aluminum frame with dual pane vinyl.

I found something along these lines:

http://www.americanbathind.com/productdrawings/AmeriWall-Simulated-Tile-Window-Kits.pdf

but judging from the fact that it only protects 3 sides (what about the top?) perhaps it does not provide the watertightness I am hoping for.

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P.S. Window is 2Âx2Â about 60" up from floor level. Eliminating the window would make things easier but this window is the only source of natural light in the bathroom, so IÂd like to keep it.

I know that using tile rather then a fiberglass enclosure would allow me to tile around the window and that with proper waterproofing it could turn out decent. However, call me cheap, but I do prefer fiberglass/acrylic over tile. Tile feels harsh and cold (it IS actually cold in the winter) and seems more difficult to keep clean than fiberglass/acrylic.

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sombreuil_mongrel

Sorry, there is no satisfactory way to do what you want. It will either leak and do damage, or look like crap; more likely both together. Have you considered Abitibi board for the surround?
Casey

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 11:50AM
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mooie

I gutted and remodeled my bathroom last spring and it also has a window over the tub/shower. I considered the surrounds because of price at first, but after doing the number crunching again, I ended up having it tiled. The watertightness of the tile around the window is what sold me. I used regular ole porcelain tile in there and have had no regrets. It's simple to clean and I always use a squeegee after use. It seems easier to me than any acrylic surround I've ever had.

Teresa

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 6:32AM
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orourke

Thanks for the suggestions.
I had not heard of Abitibi board before. I goodled it but seems like abitibi makes so many different panels so I did not find anything specific for bethroom enclosures. I assume the abitibi panel sombreuil_mongrel is talking about is a waterproof type of panel? Seems like an attractive option if I can find it in the San Jose,CA area and if they make enough trim/flashings to achieve water tightness around the window.

Mooie, thanks for sharing your tile experience. I may consider tile too, after all.

I even thought of perhaps making something from scratch myself around the window like fiberglass (liquid form+glass cloth) or same with epoxy and glass cloth? On the other hand, IÂm weary of using non standard methods/materials in case I ever want to sell the house. Unfortunately I have found that inspectors tend to flag anything they are unfamiliar with even if it is superior to the "standard" stuff.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 2:21AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

It's like a masonite with a factory-applied finish that is basically waterproof except where cut. But they make moldings of aluminum extrusions just for this so you can join sheets at flat angles or in- or outside corners. You can apply it over 1/2" plywood for more rigidity. It is also made to simulate tile patterns, BTW.
It's obviously a stop-gap thing, and if not caulked and sealed properly, if will break down where water gets in, but for the cost and effort, you can't ask more of a product. IMO, it's better than the stick-on plastic tub surrounds.
Casey

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 7:17PM
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