DIY Message Boards
Window in a Shower

This topic can be found at:

Mar 06, 2014, 05:26 PM
Window in a Shower
We are trying to figure out the layout of our enlarged bathroom and have been hearing that windows in showers are a "no-no" ... It seems like the knee jerk reaction is usually to remove a window in the shower. Are they always so problematic? I have always liked a window in the shower, and none of the places I lived with windows in the shower had water issues with the window /surround. In this case it is an existing vinyl bathroom window with privacy glass. It is a basement bathroom so moving the window is not a realistic option. We are living in the home, but have long term plans to turn it into a rental.

The question we have is in regards to future water damage ... Can we have a window in the shower that will not be a repair waiting to happen? If so what/how do we ensure that we do not have future water issues with or surrounding the window in the shower?

We can design the bathroom with the shower elsewhere, if necessary; however, it seems to be the best place for the shower ...

Any information, help, etc ... is much appreciated ...

This message has been edited. Last edited by: dburkard,
Mar 06, 2014, 10:52 PM
The least problematic window is a fixed picture window - glass or glass block set into a vinyl frame. Make sure the glass or block is opaque so no privacy curtain is needed. You can get either style made up in about any size you need.

When installing, your shower surround needs to overlap the vinyl edge of the window to make as smooth as a surface as possible to allow water to drain all the way down.

On operating window will have areas that can trap water, making for a possible mold problem.

Mar 07, 2014, 06:23 AM
I'd suggest a transom style window with all PVC trim.

Mar 07, 2014, 08:47 PM
Remember that the glass must be tempered as well. Plain old annealed glass {most common residential type} will no meet current building codes.

Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Mar 09, 2014, 04:11 PM
The windows are 1 year old, double pane, low e, tempered, privacy glass windows ... just trying to figure out if we can have a waterproof solution that will last ....
Mar 09, 2014, 06:04 PM
Double hung? Casement? Awning? Fixed?

The above list is in order of which styles will cause problems - from most to least. It's very important that all frames of the window are either vinyl or aluminum. If the window is wood then it's just a bad idea to keep it there as the wood cannot withstand the constant moisture.

Beyond that, styles like a double hung or a casement will capture water between the opening sash and the fixed frame which will eventually cause a mold problem. It's also important that any interior trim around the window is made from your shower surround material and is not any kind of casing.

Simply put, if your window is made of a waterproof material and sheds water well, then it can work fine. If not, then it will fail.