Apart from making your shower look elegant, placing a window in the shower has several uses, from increasing air circulation to bringing in extra light. Besides all this, you can also enjoy beautiful scenery right from your shower, depending on your location. But bound to moisture from the shower, you may have to deal with potential damage to your window.
While some bathroom types may not need a window, the ones that have them need to be taken care of. If you wonder if these installations can be kept safe as a homeowner, keep reading this article. We have a pretty good number of hacks to help keep water from gathering around your sill.
How to protect window in shower from water spray
Below are several inexpensive ways to waterproof your window and protect it from shower spray:
1. Add a shower curtain
Adding a shower curtain to your shower is a fast and inexpensive way to keep water from getting to your window. While this is a pretty effective method, it is best suited for a homeowner looking for a short-term fix while figuring out their permanent solution.
To achieve this, measure your window length from inside the shower and install a shower rod a couple of inches wider on both ends a few inches above it. Also, fit a shower curtain bigger than the size of your window for maximum protection. While there are standard shower stall liner sizes to pick from, choose one that is slightly larger than your shower.
2. Remove or replace the window trim
A water-logged wood window trim always, if not eventually, develops rot. Having a trim also provides an excellent avenue for water to enter from behind your window.
If you have a tile surround, removing the wood trim and bringing the tiles to the edge of your window opening is always best. Additionally, you can check the caulking surrounding your window trim for any signs of wear.
Finally, always wipe down the window sill dry after every shower, which helps guard it against rot.
3. Add a slope to the window sill
From experience, anything flat in a shower will always pool up water, and window sills are no different. As a result, they tend to collect lots of water and have it running down your wall.
The best solution is to install a slopping or slanting window sill instead of the flat one. While the tile sill is the most recommended type as it doesn’t collect or absorb any water, an even better solution is using solid surface material.
The best solution is always to have a continuous solid surface material that can run from end to end instead of numerous grouted seams found in tiles. Even when you use grout pens or other sealing methods, they’re worse than having a continuous surface.
4. Install a vinyl or fiberglass window
If you have a wooden frame window in your shower, replacing it with either a vinyl or fiberglass window is the best way to stop deterioration. This is because both materials are water-resistant and won’t rot like wood.
5. Install a glass block
Installing a glass block saves energy from natural light and is easy on worn eyes early in the morning or late in the evening. They also ensure privacy while still providing you with better moisture protection.
6. Close the window
If you have had multiple waterproofing issues, it’s probably time to consider seriously removing your window and closing the space.
When you decide to rebuild your wall, it will be considered a major project requiring a permit. However, doing so allows you to check and fix the water damage on the wall studs and replace any moldy insulators.
What to consider when protecting your shower window
From the outside, windows are built in a manner that withstands the elements, especially moisture, but that’s from the exterior. Window interiors are not made the same, but before you decide on how to waterproof it, below are several factors to consider:
1. Type of window sill
Deciding on the type of window sill you want to be installed is the most critical factor, as anything flat in a shower will always pool water. Installing a slanted waterproof sill will be more effective and serve you better than a flat one.
Depending on the location of your shower, you have to consider the level of exposure from the window. If your shower window is exposed to the public and you opt for a shower curtain, you can choose between translucent and transparent ones, each with its own levels of privacy.
3. Distance from the shower head
The positioning of your shower head and the direction of the water flow are primary factors to consider when protecting your shower window. If your window sill is out of the water splash region, then you have nothing to worry about: just wipe it down after your shower. However, if it is within the splash region, it’s best to install a waterproof shower sill to prevent any damage.
4. Source of lighting
The type of material used to waterproof your shower window affects the amount of lighting in the room. For example, installing a waterproof vinyl or fiberglass frame has little to no effect on your lighting as compared to a translucent shower curtain, especially if you’re keen on natural lighting.
5. Material used
The material used to make your shower sill is also a factor. While there are water-resistant materials, some rot and corrode from exposure to moisture. As such, having a tiled window sill is a good option.
Again, the solid surface material is the best option as it eliminates seams. If you still want a trim, use a plastic one, as it doesn’t rot like the wooden options.
Before waterproofing your window sill, it is crucial to determine whether the solution is long-term or short-term. This essentially defines the shower-proofing method to be used, as there are temporary methods like draping over a shower curtain.
How to waterproof a window in a shower
Waterproof your shower window as follows:
- Start by stapling a 15-pound builder’s felt along the bottom of your window opening.
- After that, apply an adhesive-backed membrane over the felt.
- Cut all the corners and fold any excess membrane over the uneven sill.
- Cut small pieces and strips of the waterproof membrane and cover all the voids in the opening corners.
- You then apply a wide strip of the waterproof membrane on each opening side. Ensure to run the flashing past the header and overlap the bottom flashing.
- Set your window on the opening.
- Slip the shims under the window.
- Center your window while it’s still in the opening, and check the bottom of your window to see if it’s level.
- Drill a nail through the nailing flange after raising the lower side to level.
- Then check the vertical edge of the window for plumb or shim if necessary.
- Measure the opposing diagonals of the window and ensure it’s square before you finish nailing the wall.
- The final step is to apply a strip of waterproof membrane across the top of your window.
If you cannot carry out these steps on your own, enlist the services of an expert.
How to clean a shower window
For this procedure, you need a squeegee, microfiber rag or a soft sponge, spray bottle, vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, and a glass cleaner (optional). The steps are as follows:
- First, wet your window with the shower sprayer or container.
- Thoroughly spray and saturate the window glass with vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Dip your sponge in your baking soda and scrub the glass. After you’re done, rinse off everything.
- Dip the rinsed sponge in dish soap and scrub the rest of the window until you’re satisfied with the results.
- Rinse the whole window with cold water.
- Use a dry piece of rag and squeegee to dry off the window.
To keep your shower windows clean, you should repeat this procedure at least once every week. Avoid harsh cleaners since they might damage some window materials.