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farrington135 10-27-2005 11:01 AM

shower window
I'm remodeling my bathroom with tile going on all walls around tub. I found there was at one time a window in the shower that was closed up. I'm not passing this up seeing all the frame work is already there. I need some advise on what type of window is best and should i replace the sill plate with pressure treated wood. Also assuming the window will be recessed i plan on tiling the jams and installing a marble sill. I was planning on tiling right up to the edge of the jams cutting the tiles as straight as possible and using bullnose on the jam itself to cover the rough edge of the wall tiles. Or maybe i should use quarter round trim to do this?? The corners of the window is what i'm concerned about. The rough opening is 22x36 by the way. Is this a standard size????? What and where to seal is something else I'm thinking about. Thanks for any advise. By the way I heard most people close up shower windows when remodeling because there nothing but problems and i was also given this advice. What gives.

mighty anvil 10-27-2005 09:17 PM

Having lived with several showers with windows I can tell you that you should slope the window stool steeply not only so that water can't sit there but so that no one can put anything on it. A flat sill will create a serious problem. All tile should be set in thin-set mortar on cement board. Put a heavy polyethylene sheet behind the cement board and also install Ice & Water Shield behind it at the sloped window stool. Let a pro do the tile if you want it to look good at the window.
Determine now how you will provide privacy. It shouldn't be an afterthought.

K2eoj 10-27-2005 11:21 PM

By the way I heard most people close up shower windows when remodeling because there nothing but problems and i was also given this advice. What gives.[/quote]

I have several rentals and I try to close up windows above tubs whenever i can. I think if you follow anvils advice you might be ok if you keep an eye on everything and maintain it but I've seen too many rotten walls under tub windows. If i had to have natural light in a bath I would think about glass block above tile line. Ventilation? Fan. HS

747 10-29-2005 04:03 PM

I have a window in my shower. He is want you want to go with. Go To a glass company and you want to purchase a glass block window with finns in the middle that crank out. There are 3 finns in mind. Just crank them out a little bit before the shower and the steam goes rite out the window. $150 is what mind cost and it was put in 9 months ago. Window only not labor.

Teetorbilt 10-29-2005 10:56 PM

I have a bath with an exsisting window and all of the previous info is correct. Bath windows are tough, mine happens to be in the shower stall and leaks to the outside. I'm sure that it has other leaks as well.

First check with your building dept. concerning egress. This is seldom a concern in small baths and it is not in the one that I'm speaking of. I'm thinking about glass block, flush with the interior tile and with a top vent or wine bottle windows, also top vented.

justdon 11-16-2005 02:16 PM

I agree with previous posters here. I would leave the window closed or at least use glass block solid, non operating. In rentals I remodel I put in the vent fan but add one important step. renters will burn them out faster than you can put them in. leave them on for days and weeks on end. I put the vent on a timer so they can turn it on for five minutes and it goes off automaticly. Saves alot of my time and money and more of there heat than they know!!! Even in baths with windows. Works for everybody and is win-win!!

billinak 11-17-2005 06:36 PM

I just did this...
I just remodeled my bathroom, and when I first started, I found that the old window had been removed but had completely rotted the entire back wall of the house, which I had to fix before starting on the actual bathroom. So what do I do...I put the window back in!!! I found a good vinyl privacy window, framed it in (as I was replacing the wall) then caulked the sh** out of it. I put cement backerboard around the entire frame and caulked the sh** out of it also and sloped the windowsill to drain water and so no one would put anything on it. Then I tiled the entire window frame, grouted, then sealed the sh** out of the grout on the window.

No problems so far. We needed light pretty bad in the bathroom and we have a great fan that pulls all the moisture quickly from the bathroom after a shower. I think if I keep an eye on it, it should be fine, especially if you figure the house was from 1952 and probably had a wood window in it to start.

bobo 02-20-2006 01:14 AM

Shower Window....

i have noticed that the window frame over the tub/shower is starting to look alittle rough. it is all wood and it is showing signs of paint chiping, and the molding around the window is pulling away from its miters. would it be wise to replace the window sill and molding with new wood and polyurathane the wood? then paint over it? is this even possible??? or would the paint peel off even easier due to not being able to soak into the wood? maybe just polyurathane the wood, and leave it like that????


daveincincy 03-06-2006 01:24 PM

I had a similar dilemma while remodeling our master bath this time last year. I wanted to seal over/remove the window, but there would have been a lot more involved to deal with. For example, what to do with the outside wall? I knew, eventually, I would be redoing the siding (which should be going up within the next 2 weeks), and didn't want to mess with it. I don't like glass block much for this type of application. Also, keeping the window left easy access to replace the flood light outside (probably not the best reason to keep the window). Also, we had a matching window in the other upstairs bath that would look out of place from the back of the house. So, short of redoing both baths, or replacing both windows, things would look odd from the outside. So, I decided to keep the window. Besides, I like the natural light. But, in my typical procrastinating way, I hadn't ordered a new window in time. The work began, and it would take 4-6 weeks to get a bathroom window with obscured glass. We recently got all new replacement windows, and have replaced both bathroom windows since the bath remodel.

Just like Billinak says, cualk the crap out of it. The guy that did the work on our bathroom not only used concrete backer board, but he sealed every joint, seam, and nail hole with some sort of a latex (or silicone) type sealer from a tube that you spread on.... the same stuff he used on the walls from the floor to about 36" up. Our sill has a limestone slab on it sloped away from the window, as mentioned. But you could still put something on it if need be.....although after the new window was put in, there's less room since the old window was a smaller single pain aluminum window. With the remodel, we had a vent put in the ceiling of the shower...something we didn't have before, as code (back in the day) was either a window or a vent. The builder decided on a window and no vent. The window, IMO, is really useless in terms of ventilation. When it's 10 degrees outside, the last thing you want to do is open the window while you're in the shower.

Here's a before shot. The grout was toast, and water got behind the window pretty seen in following pics.


A reason to not have a window, or to atleast take whatever precautions necessary for a very very thorough install. This is what was inside the wall. Note, insulation turns into wet cotton candy.


Ceiling...lighted vent.



So, if you want to keep the window, I say keep it. But do a very thorough job in sealing it.

edit: I don't understand why I'm haveing a problem linking to pics. You can cut/paste the link to view each pic if you want. Or here's a link to my before and somewhat after photo album.

skits 03-19-2006 02:06 PM

wow, just saw the pictures. I bet when I finally get all that mesh out (need a crane) I'll have much the same problem. I posted about adding a glass block window before I found this thread. Someone posted that they did it. Could I have some instructions?? I found my window behind my bath still intact and useable. I thought a shelf would be nice...seems it's not a good idea. I don't think I can get the window flush with the inside, so I'll think about the slope. I'm just not sure how to attach the glass block to the sided :-( brick exterior.

skits 03-19-2006 02:19 PM

Had to post again
Hey, Daveincincy.....nice job! What kind of tile did you use? Did you make your own shower pan (think that's what it's called)? Besides my disaster with the window, my other bathroom has a "buy it and install" type shower (neo-angled) and I'd like to tile that. Guess the question is, could I keep the shower pan that came with the shower, remove the (extremely) thin plastic walls (presently glued to the greenboard) and tile it and reuse the glass neo-angled doors again? FYI One wall of the shower is exposed to the room.
Thanks for any ideas anyone has!

bmorefella 12-04-2008 11:05 AM

Skits... I know this thread is from 2006, but did you ever finish the bathroom? I'm actually looking to convert a half bath into a shower and use part of the hallway (upstairs) to create a full bathroom. There is a full window in the shower area...I would like to expand it and make it into a block window... can any of you pass along any pictures that you've down and let me know about the experience. Any info will help. thanks.

JohnFRWhipple 06-10-2012 04:23 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I've seen dozens of great example of showers with windows. If your looking for inspiration check out these showers.

Showers with Windows


Blondesense 06-10-2012 09:08 PM

Old, old, thread.

JohnFRWhipple 06-10-2012 09:17 PM

I find that the liquid membranes and Kerdi Fix work great for tying in the shower's waterproofing with a window.

Some pictures of a Hydro Ban Kerdi Fix installation here.


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