I rented a unit that had window in the shower. Aside from it feeling like your being watched. The water damage was massive and had completely rotted everything around the window. Get rid of it ASAP.
In our long term holds I prefer no window in the shower. I have rented out a home with a pre existing shower window. After about 7 years under my ownership the tile began to part from the horsehair plaster. I gutted the bathroom and removed the window, waterproofed the tub surround and subway tiled to the ceiling. This setup should last many years.
Granted the existing window was on 1930's horsehair plaster. A proper water proofing/tile job done today will last much longer. However in a rental I think it is best to eliminate repairs and much as possible and this is a great place to start. Ditch the window, patch the siding and put in a bright LED fan/light on a dimer.
In our flips we occasionally install or leave the shower window. This window is always very short and it is placed high in the shower to help avoid water pooling up there. If your tiling yourself make sure to put some pitch on those sill tiles or use solid marble.
In our apatment building we provide a plastic curtain on a bar that cowers the opening. Pretty sure you can get them at places like WM maybe HD. The tenants have been cooperative.
Trying not to overthink this. I have dealt with many of these in the remodeling business. Windows are preferred by buyers and renters alike. An operable window or the vent in the glass block is required by code if no exhaust fan to the outside is present. A vinyl window with properly waterproofed frame is best here. Use the product "Red Guard" before tiling and be sure the returns and sills are prepped this way. All the material in the shower should be vinyl or tile. It the window is somewhat recessed used a solid piece or Corian and marble and not tile as the sill. Also be sure the exterior of the window is capped properly as well as caulking.
@Bill Sargeson I am curious as to what you ended up doing with this property. Did you remodel the bathroom or did you put in a glass block?
I would put a fogged over glass block in its place.
You could also get a shower curtain that covers the tub that hangs from the ceiling. Cheap alternative. It is what you would do with a clawfoot tub.
I know this is an old thread but wanted to add in. Having had a contractor install tile block windows in two showers - both of which have now failed with water in my walls. Please pay attention to glass block windows installed in wet locations. There are pre-made glass block windows intended for wet locations and there are those which are made for non-wet locations. Make sure you know what you are installing or getting.
Remove the window. Block it in and stucco or side the exterior to match. I use caulk-less all in one tub/showers because they install easily, don't cost much, and look clean when done. Also the all in one is less expensive then tiling...
I'm personally not a fan of glass block in showers, we use them for basement windows all the time though. If you do use for shower, I would recommend using the silicone units not the grout. We had a small bathroom that was going to be way too dark if we closed off the window, instead we built a custom frame out of pvc boards and had a friends glass company build me a thermopane glass panel that was frosted and tempered. Turned out pretty good and no worry about rot.
I've been a property manager for over 20 years and all the units that have windows in the showers always develop dry rot issue in the wall; it's a problem waiting to happen. Whenever this happens we raise the window up outside of the shower and install a rectangular narrow window completely above the enclosure height and just below the ceiling so it lets in light and can be opened for ventilation to minimize mold issues. We never have to deal with it again. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish....windows don't belong in showers "period".
I removed the bathtub window during new siding, then tiled the whole wall inside.
I've had the same problem myself. Make sure you take the old window out and remediate any mold problems before doing anything. You can replace it with a good quality vinyl window if you don't want to change the look of the exterior. Lowes sells good privacy glass films that you can apply. Make sure to use a pvc foam trim and seal it like crazy with caulk.
@William Allen no need to use film, if you will order a new window it is a very small upcharge for getting frosted glass. If you have a non-private window in your bathroom the spray frosting works well.
@Bill Sargeson put in a new one, why remove it , ? I have many props with them .
I have a similar window in my house. I live in the house and so what I did was put a heavy duty clear plastic shower curtain over the window. I trimmed the shower curtain to about 10 bigger than the window. Never had a problem with it since and it cost my just a few bucks.
If replacing the window make sure to check with local codes. Most that I know of require this window to have tempered glass because of its location for safety.
Originally posted by @Andrew Cordle :
Replacing the window with glass block window with a vent maybe the easiest option for you. Like the other guys stated above.
The other idea is to close off the window completely. I am not sure what your outside texture is some are easier than others. Such as Vinyl Siding or Hardiplank, of course brick is a lot more difficult to match.
So at the end of the day there is really only two options:
1. Glassblock Window
2. Close it off and redo the outside
Hope that helps.
PS If you want to see a full bathroom rehab with the SKUs from HD for a glasblock window you can search a old forum post of mine titled:
LOOK! Bathroom Rehab pics & SKUs! - Merriville, IN
I'll second this as the two best actions.
Transom window with tile surround. A little pricey but looks great, gives natural light, and don't have to sacrifice privacy.
Yikes! Experienced something similar with a property that had built-in wooden shelves in the shower with a light coat of paint over it. I would expect the worst and hope for the best -- the water has likely been seeping through that wood and into the wall for years, so budgeting for a whole gut job on there would be in your best interest.
I can't tell if the window is opaque or not, but if replacing it and gutting/repairing the water damage are not both in your budget then at least take care of the damage and get that sorted out. Figure out a way to prevent water from pooling around the window, and apply an adhesive opaque film (you can find rolls on Amazon for $5-10 that work just fine) in order to maintain privacy for anyone using the shower.
Raise the window up, and install a smaller sliding window. Being able to open it helps with humidity, and fresh air! Jeld Wen has this on Home Depots site, though I'd raise it higher.
If you're trying to be cheap and don't have a lot of capital, I feel like just frosting the window or adding blinds/curtains would be a solid idea. Remodeling the shower and covering it with tile isn't a bad idea as long as it makes sense for the property so you don't over-improve and lose money.
we have a window in our steam shower that we installed for ventilation after steaming. All you need to do is thoroughly waterproof, install some sloping metal at the outer edge so any water that does linger on the sill doesn't rot it.
please, folks . . . glass blocks are DATED. and hard to clean
Glass blocks or frosted window works well.