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How to Waterproof Your Shower Window (8 Tips & Tricks)

modern bathroom with shower curtain liner in the bath

Having a window or two in your shower is immensely beneficial. Not only does it let in the fresh air and natural light to enrich your showers, but it also gives you an excellent outside view so that you can take in the beautiful outdoors while showering.

Windows are inherently built to withstand the elements. High-quality windows can hold out against years of rain, snow, and wind without issue. However, that’s all on the outside. Things tend to be a little different with the window’s interior.

It’s no wonder the window in your shower slowly deteriorates with every shower you take.

To stave off the detrimental effects of water and shower steam, you’ll need to waterproof the window. Don’t know how? Keep reading to find out. But first, why should your shower have a window in the first place?

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Why Does My Shower Have a Window?

Windows in showers are not uncommon, especially in older homes. That’s because these showers first had bathtubs, making it hard to splash water on the windows. However, as the popularity of showers grew, these windows started to degrade because of excessive exposure to moisture.

That said, the windows served a pretty essential purpose other than providing shower bathers with a pleasant view. For one thing, windows help filter out some of the shower steam so that it doesn’t cause eventual damage to the shower walls. Second, they offer great ventilation.

Without windows in showers, it would be hard to get rid of all that hot, humid air after taking a shower. So, having a window in your shower is beneficial from both an aesthetic and functional perspective. Now that you know why shower windows are important, it’s time to learn how to waterproof them properly.

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How to Waterproof Your Shower Window

Waterproofing shower windows is not as hard or expensive as one might think! Here are a couple of ways to do just that.

1. Hang Shower Curtains From the Ceiling Down

The easiest and most cost-friendly way to waterproof shower windows is by hanging shower curtains from the ceiling. This method prevents water droplets from coming in contact with the window frame, keeping it safe from deterioration.

Note that shower curtains must cover the entire window for proper protection. The bottom of the shower curtain should be low enough to reach the shower floor so that no droplets can reach the window frame.

wet shower curtain
Image By: eyepark, Shutterstock

2. Install a Waterproof Window Treatment

Another way to waterproof shower windows is by installing waterproof window treatments. This includes materials such as shower blinds and shower shutters, which are designed to keep water away from the window frame.

It’s important to note that these treatments must be made of waterproof material for maximum protection. Otherwise, they’ll not provide sufficient water resistance, and shower water will still seep in. Some of these materials include vinyl, shower boards, and shower glass.

3. Try DIY Waterproof Window Treatments

If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can also make your own waterproof window treatments with shower-friendly fabrics. Fabrics like shower-based Velcro, shower-friendly foam board, and shower-friendly shower curtains make excellent window treatments.

Once you’ve installed your window treatments, make sure to give them regular maintenance checks every once in a while. Check for any signs of damage or deterioration that may require immediate repair.

4. Slope the Windows Sill

installation of new window sill
Image By: VH-studio, Shutterstock

Shower windows can be made waterproof by creating a slope on the window sill. This method involves installing a slight slope (or angle) along the edge of the window sill so that shower water runs off instead of pooling at the base.

By doing this, any shower water that contacts the window sill will not stay there for long. Instead, it will quickly run off, leaving the window sill free of any standing shower water.

5. Replace Wooden Sills With Tile

Wooden window sills may look attractive, but they’re not the best for shower windows. That’s because wood is a porous material and will eventually deteriorate when exposed to shower water.

Replacing wooden window sills with shower-friendly tiles will help waterproof shower windows while providing them with a beautiful decorative touch. Tiles like ceramic, porcelain, and shower boards are all waterproof options that also look great.

6. Install a Vinyl or Fiberglass Window Frame

Consider installing shower windows with vinyl or fiberglass frames. These materials are waterproof, meaning shower water won’t be able to seep into the frame and cause any damage.

What’s more, vinyl and fiberglass window frames come in a variety of colors and styles, so you can pick one that fits your shower’s aesthetic. Just be sure to properly measure your shower window before you purchase the frame for a perfect fit.

7. Replace Your Window With a Glass Block

Glass Block Shower Window Glass Bath tub - Jumpstory

If your shower window is in bad shape, you could always replace it with a glass block. Glass blocks are waterproof and designed to last, so they won’t warp or rot over time like shower windows often do.

Plus, modern glass blocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them perfect for shower window replacements. They also provide your shower with natural light but diffuse it, so you get the lighting without compromising on privacy.

It’s worth noting that glass blocks are heavy but just as fragile as regular glass. Be extra careful when installing them to ensure you don’t crack or break one of the panels. Alternatively, you could always hire a pro to do the handy work.

8. Get Rid of the Window Entirely

There’s always the option of removing shower windows altogether and patching up the hole with concrete. However, this should be a last resort when everything else fails.

Removing shower windows will leave your shower with less ventilation and likely result in more steam buildup. That said, if you find that no window treatments or waterproofing solutions work for you, this is always an option.

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How Do I Pick the Right Window Treatment for My Shower Window?

Your choice of window treatment will determine the overall aesthetic and functionality of your shower. That’s why you have to put a lot of extra thought into the treatment you settle for. Here are a couple of pointers to help you make the right pick.

Consider the Room Size & Window Size

The last thing you want is a shower window that disrupts your privacy. That’s why it’s important to consider the size of your shower window relative to the shower room. If you have a large shower room, you can opt for larger windows with more elaborate treatments like curtains and blinds.

On the other hand, if your shower is on the smaller side, go for something small and unobtrusive, like shower roller shutters.

Consider the Lighting & Ventilation

a modern bathroom
Image Credit: Steven Ungermann, Unsplash

Shower windows can also be used to let in natural light and provide some ventilation. That’s why you should opt for shower window treatments that complement this purpose. Sheer or semi-sheer curtains are a good option if you want plenty of light and ventilation.

On the other hand, shower roller shutters can provide you with extra privacy and still let in some light. You can also use shower curtains for privacy without sacrificing the natural lighting of your shower.

Consider the Treatment Material You’ll Use

The material you choose for your shower window treatment will determine how waterproof it is. For best results, opt for a shower-friendly material like vinyl or fiberglass frames with waterproof curtains or shower roller shutters made from plastic or metal.

In any case, be sure to take your shower window’s measurements before you purchase the treatment for a perfect fit.

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Clearly, waterproofing your shower window is not rocket science. Provided you have the right tools and materials and take proper measurements, you should be good to go. Remember, you could always hire a professional to do the job for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Hopefully, today’s guide helps you waterproof your shower window without breaking a sweat. Good luck!

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Featured Image Credit: Artazum, Shutterstock


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