Every month, I get a few emails asking how we handled the window in our shower…
I’d like to reply—oh, la la la… that’s so boring… Wouldn’t you rather ask me what I’m planning to be for Halloween?
Why is no one curious about that?
But instead of grilling them about their failure to ask me the truly important questions, I cobble together a response about the window. And I promise that SOON I’ll do a real post.
So—to the people I told that to, and never did it? I’m sorry.
Now you know what my husband deals with every day.
What takes other people one hour? Takes me 49 years.
It causes all kinds of problems… Most of which are way more serious than unwritten blog posts.
Anyway. We have a large window in our shower… it’s not unusual in old houses.
Below is the bathroom before we began the remodel… the layout was awesome.
You can see that our ever-creative, previous-owner applied his signature brand of totally-impractical-I-found-this-in-the-trash-and-couldn’t-pass-it-up-solution.
He covered the window with shutters. Wood shutters… because they’re so easy to clean?
I will give him credit for ONE thing, though. Take note, because this may be the ONLY thing in this house that ever prompts me to say anything nice about him. He used a luxury ledge tub… The side of the tub that’s against the wall has a ledge 4″ wider than normal.
That doesn’t sound like much, but it really is… especially if you’re concerned with being too close to a shower window.
Incidentally— when you start a blog, you have NO IDEA that you need to take 12,000 pictures of EVERYTHING.
I would forgot to take pictures for entire days, and therefore am missing huge chunks of the project… So if this is the one thing you most needed detailed, step-by-step instructions on? Sorry.
As we planned the new bathroom layout, (which involved gutting the room down to the studs, and moving the sink over to the same wall as the super-fancy concealed trapway toilet,) we tried rearranging the shower location.
But the room is really narrow, and we decided there was no good way to align the tub with another wall.
Here’s the window before. It was the original one, and trimmed out in wood… Please don’t ask me about the sill. I DON’T KNOW.
We also considered putting in a smaller window… and moving it well above the shower area.
But in the end, I didn’t want to give up the natural light. For some reason, I like my bathrooms to be BLINDINGLY bright.
I’m really not kidding… I would put floodlights in, if Paul didn’t stop me.
Plus? By the time we began the bathroom remodel, I had decided that having a giant window in your shower is a total luxury.
What initially felt like a design-challenge is one of my favorite elements of this bathroom… In the summer, it feels like an outdoor shower.
If you don’t have one? I suggest you go hack a hole in the side of your house RIGHT NOW.
I should say that privacy is not an issue for us, so I get this may not work for you, but either way, here is my not-very-technical summation of how we waterproofed the window in the shower.
I do not pretend to be an expert on any of this. At all.
Mostly I held things. Or handed things… Or provided valuable commentary that Paul could not have lived without.
I have so many good suggestions ALL THE TIME.
Like what? I’m so glad you asked!
Like: all grout should be PERFECT.
And? Guess who is the grout-inspector.
That is correct. I was BORN FOR THIS JOB.
- We (Paul) backed the subway tile in the shower with Wedi board.
- He cut and installed the Wedi boards around the sill, continuing it around the window edge, right up to the frame.
- Then we tiled right up to the window.
- We used a narrow marble sill on the bottom lip.
- Remember to caulk, not grout the change of planes.
We ordered a window with vinyl interior trim, and pebbled privacy glass.
Theoretically the water wouldn’t hurt the window– it’s just vinyl and glass. Plus the whole thing pops out for cleaning…
But Paul wanted to keep the water from hitting the window directly, so to make it REALLY classy— we cut a piece of plexiglas to cover just the bottom half of the window.
It’s held in place with four small dots of caulk. It’s actually great, because you can pull it out to clean it, it doesn’t block the light, and the window stays remarkably dry.
If you don’t have an old house, you may not understand that sometimes the ultimate solution is unconventional…
And, there is really no way to make plexiglas sound like anything other than how you might fix a window in your Appalachian shack… so I won’t try to convince you.