30 answers

Bathroom Window Advice

Hi, I need some ideas on what to do with a bathroom window that is IN the shower stall. I know I've seen bathrooms that had the window in the shower stall and I guess I never paid attention to what they did with it. I have a pretty small bathroom so I dont really want to cover up all of the natural light, but the window gets wet (freezes in the winter) and the paint is starting to peel. Right now I just have a cloth curtain over the bottom half of the window and I still dont like it because of the water on the window sill. I've had a couple of suggestions that I'm just not happy with - such as "just put up another shower curtain", but I think that would look weird.

Any ideas would be sooo helpful! Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My sister's house had a bathroom window right in the shower/tub area and she had her mother in law do a stained glass window for her. It looks awesome! If you know of someone who does stained glass, you could ask them to commission one for you at a reduced rate, or you could do what the others have said and use the colored clings.

I have the same problem. Most hardware stores sell window clings. They're a decorative pattern, you can do colorful or just a bubble glass look. As far as the frame, we put a new water seal on once a year (best done when the weather's nice enough to leave it open, because of the fumes). Or you could have the window replaced with one with a waterproof frame.

We have the same thing too. i went to Home Depot and got "window cling" stuff. they have different ones you can get, and you just stick it to the glass and it makes it so you cant see in. the one i have is covered with squares that makes the window distorted so you can see outside, and light can come in, but you cant see details. my husband said when he looks in from outside, he can see a tan blob when i'm standing in the shower, but no details. and it's less than about $10 depending on how much you need.

More Answers

Yikes! I would remove the wood trim around the window and tile around it - including the sill. If you already have tile in the shower, select something different - almost like a picture frame - unless you can match it EXACTLY. If you have a fiberglass or acrylic surround, select a tile you like. Inexpensive glossy wall tiles come in a ton of colors and with trim pieces like bullnose, which would be great for the edge of the sill. If privacy at that window is a concern, check with a glass company about getting a piece of frosted or patterned glass - keep the light, block the view. Or, you can find sprays or window films that will do the same thing. Just make sure they will work in wet areas. Good luck!

T. Larsen, ASID
Owner/Interior Designer
T. Larsen Design, LLC
http://www.tlarsendesign.com

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same issue, and our window started to mold. We can't afford a remodel, so we did the shower curtain thing.
We bought a clear shower curtain, so it is completely see through. The only time we see it is when we are in the shower :) I bought a very pretty curtain for the outside of the shower, and I keep it closed unless someone is in the tub.
It has stopped the mold/mildew, and the window stays dry now.

We also have a window with wood trim in our bath/shower. We have one of those old-fashioned circular shower-curtain rods and have a curtain on the wall/window side and a curtain on the outside of the tub. I have alternated between a clear vinyl liner on that side and a semi-sheer fabric liner. The fabric liner doesn't keep the window sill 100% dry, but it does keep the majority of the water from the shower from getting to the window and sill. When the curtain gets wet, it is not totally waterproof. The vinyl curtain does not have this issue but I prefer the fabric liner. We still get a decent amount of light in the bathroom, even with the shower curtains closed.

My parents bathroom was in the same configuration as yours and it ended up that we had to place a plastic shower curtain over it. But we cut it to length, just long enough to cover the sill and over the tile. We also dressed it up using a color shower curtain and even pleated it to look more like a traditional window curtain. I don't you have any alternative in your situation.

We have the same thing. We had a glass block window with a vent put in. The glass block allows light through but you can't see through it. Good luck!

I had a window in the shower once. You can but a spray that fogs the glass so that no one can make out what is in there. It works great! Check or ask at a Menards or other home fix it store.
Christa

How big is the window? We just had the same issue - our window is smaller - but the wood peeled and then rotted. We also had tile issues, so we retiled the bath tub surround but struggled with the window. What we ended up doing was tiling with a complementary tile that was intended for a vanity edge - so it is 90 degrees. It actually looks pretty good and I'm SUPER happy with the result.

I can send you a pic if you want.

I've had several bathrooms with this and the shower curtain worked the best.

If you don't want to use another shower curtain than you may want to consider using marine based paint to help with the weathering and possible replacing any weather stripping. Do some extra insulating. I would also recommend the prism contact film to frost the window. A more expensive solution would be to replace the window with glass block which would allow you to keep the light. Glass blocks have better insulation than just a regular window and you can replace the sill with a composite material that is alread painted. Good luck.

We have the window in the shower and the have had an extra shower curtain up for years. We have delt with the same isues you have mentioned.
We recently redid our bathroon and decided to leave the window because of the vventilation and the light. We used ceramic tile and tiled around the window (no wood trim)and the entire tub/shower area. This has really helped as we tilted the tiles at the bottom enough that the water does not sit there but runs out. I use a tension bar and fancy hooks to hang a "fansy" shower curtain and so it looks more like a cutain instead of a shower curtain. Prior to the tiles I used a regular mildew resistant shower curtain and hung a valance to cover the rings. I treated the valance with Scotch Guard to keep it from mildewing.

This is the best option we have come up with the provide privacy and keep the water off the window so it doesn't freeze in the winter.

My husband and I moved into an apartment that had the same problem and I thought that having two shower curtains up would be weird as well, but it actually looks pretty cool. I hung the back shower curtain (the one in front of the window) up really really high (so the bottom of it barely touches the tub). Then I hung the front one like normal. Because our bathroom is small as well, when you walk in, if both curtains are closed, it makes the back wall look pretty large. Besides that, the only other thing I can suggest is blinds.

My father recently remodeled my grandmother's bathroom with the same problem. What he did was pretty simple - just purchased another shower curtain rod to run along that wall in the shower and close that curtain (you may want to get a shorter one, or cut off a standard one) when you take a shower. I'd recommend getting one of the curved rods for the other one to give you more room in the shower.

You could hire someone to replace the window with those glass blocks that you can't see through but still let light in.

I personally would have it removed. I hate windows in bathrooms regardless of where they are! :)

I have a shower/bathtub combination and the window is right above the tub. My shower is attached to a rod for the shower curtain. This rod is shaped like a rectangle with round corners. I use three clear but textured shower curtain liners so the entire tub/shower area is encircled. When I take a shower, I make sure the liners are inside the tub so the water will drip inside the tub. Because the liners are clear they let in light from the window but the texturing keeps anyone from looking in and seeing anything. This is a little confusing, I wish I could draw you a picture. If it is still unclear, I could email you a picture.

We have a glass front door. I dont like people being able to see in my house though. I went to Home Depot and back in the blinds dept they have this film/paper stuff that you can put on your windows. You can still see shadows through it (they may have some that you cant, if they are darker). It works for me though. It is super easy to install too, just water and a squeegee). Our door gets quite a bit of condensation in the winter, and I worried about it peeling off, it doesnt.

You can get a sticker-like thing that you can cut to size and stick on the actual window. It Provides privacy and also allows the light to filter through. There are different patterns and also a frosted-like look. You should check, though, that it's waterproof. Good luck!

You can buy something like a "light diffuser" to put on the window that lets in all the light, but blurs the window so nobody can see in. I think it's just a plastic piece that sticks to your window from the inside. It must be waterproof, of course. You could also get a colored one, so it looks similar to stained glass. Look at Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, etc.

We replaced our shower window with glass block and tiled around it in the shower. I think that is your best option and if you know someone that is handy that can install it you could probably get the job done for less than $250.

I know you've gotten a lot of reponses but I thought I would second the glass block idea -- we're doing it in our bathroom (we also have a big window above the tub) -- they even make a vent that's built into a block or two that can circulate air for you. It's the best way to go energy-efficiency-wise (bathroom windows are a #1 heat loser in a house) and you'll still get the nice light in the bathroom without being surrounded by shower curtains :-).

We are struggling with the same thing too... we have a full size wooden window in our shower/bath. We are going to replace the window next year, that seems to be the best option for us because we can then get a window that can stand up to all the moisture, not wood with peeling paint, and then have the glass obscured.

In the mean time this is what we are going to do, not sure how well it will work... we are going to find a cheap shower curtain that is "clear" but can not see through it. I will cut the shower curtain down so it is not so big but yet covers well enough around the window edges so water will not get to the window. That is the only thing I can think of off the top of my head, I am interested in what others suggest, might find a better solution!

Hi S.,

Lots of good suggestions here. I didn't see anything about the 'freezing in the winter' part...yikes!! Not sure if this is anything more than a short-term solution but with four kids I'm guessing you might need to cut a few corners here and there.

You might try on of those plastic window seal kits (at least when the weather gets cold it would help insulate the area, and your wet selves from the COLD!!!

Last I knew they were under $5.00 and if you get lucky (and get a good seal on it) it might help keep the water off your woodwork for the time being.

You can stick the adhesive to the trim around the window. I suspect they have some different shades of it as well. Or you could apply the window decals that others suggested and then just add the window insulating plastic over the top.

Don't know for sure..??? but GOOD LUCK!! As a mother of five I know you have your hands FULL!!!

Many blessings!!!

I don't know if you can afford to, but you might remove the window that's there and seal up the wall and put in a shower surround. If your wall is big/tall enough you could put a transom window at the top to still get natural light. I think over time the water from the shower is going to ruin your window sills and framing.

Another thing you could do is install a circular shower holder from the ceiling and make it kind of an "old fashioned look"--good luck, don't know if these are very helpful...

you can buy a textured film for it. It's kinda like contact paper. Not sure where to find itm but ask at home depot.

This is probably the spendy version of "what to do" but it might be a good long term solution, if you're planning to be around the house for a while. In my parents' house, when they bought it, was a tub--just a regular, insert tub. Not a full one, up the sides; just the tub. It had a shower and such, and they have sliding glass doors, which obscure the view out the windows when, say, someone is using the toilet. They have two windows facing the street, which would look really dopey if they were removed. Their shower surround is Corian, or another solid-surface product. I remember when they bought the house, 20 years ago, how amazed they were that someone would put THAT much Corian into a bathroom--but the walls of the shower, all the way to the ceiling, are Corian on the three sides that are not the glass doors. This means, also, that the window sills are corian. They are caulked at the seams. My parents recently got new windows, and they got etched glass or clouded glass or something to that effect--anyway, it affects the glass and not the window. They don't have to worry about clings getting grimy and yucky, and while their windows used to be double hung, they're now the kind you can rotate out...so you can open them when you're showering, get the steam out, and not have people able to peek in at you. Anyway--that works well for them, provides privacy 100% of the time, and is not a hassle to clean. But, like I said, it's an expensive option.

I would try the window cling film to obscure the view (if necessary) and strip and repaint the trim with exterior or marine paint.

We have the same thing too. i went to Home Depot and got "window cling" stuff. they have different ones you can get, and you just stick it to the glass and it makes it so you cant see in. the one i have is covered with squares that makes the window distorted so you can see outside, and light can come in, but you cant see details. my husband said when he looks in from outside, he can see a tan blob when i'm standing in the shower, but no details. and it's less than about $10 depending on how much you need.

My sister's house had a bathroom window right in the shower/tub area and she had her mother in law do a stained glass window for her. It looks awesome! If you know of someone who does stained glass, you could ask them to commission one for you at a reduced rate, or you could do what the others have said and use the colored clings.

I have the same problem. Most hardware stores sell window clings. They're a decorative pattern, you can do colorful or just a bubble glass look. As far as the frame, we put a new water seal on once a year (best done when the weather's nice enough to leave it open, because of the fumes). Or you could have the window replaced with one with a waterproof frame.

Have you thought about installing clear glass rectangles and taking out the window? We just moved into a house that had a window in the tub, and this is what one of the previous owners did. It still lets in a ton of natural light.

I am not sure if you are still reading responses, but I was browsing Craigslist and saw this ad and thought of you! Good Luck. [The picture showed a plastic (plexi-glass?) that went over the window and trim. It looked really cool]

"Finally a solution for homeowners with a window in their shower! No putting up another shower curtain or fabric valance over your window. Let the sunshine in!

Clear, virtually unnoticable. Works with blinds - keeps them clean! Stops water damage, mold, mildew. Keeps water out of your window. Doesn't discolor, washable, solid, affordable. Easy installation.

Custom made to your exact measurements in about a week.

$199.00

Uni-Line, Inc.

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