Window to the World

August 19, 2009

Natural light in our home is usually something we desire.  In fact, it is a major selling point in real estate.  However, having a window in the shower area is not so favorable and can be down right annoying.

It’s not unusual to walk into a older home and find that the tub/shower has two shower curtains – one to keep waterout of the room and one to cover the ackwardly placed window.  There are better ways to address this common problem.

Bathrooms need ventilation and before vent fans were an option, there were operable windows.  Older homes often used the same windows in the bath area as they used in the rest of the home.  This poses two problems, lack of privacy and wood rot from excessive moisture.

The quick and cheep way to tackle lack of privacy is to buy contact sheets for glass.  This material will adhere to glass and create a semi-opaque appearance.  It comes in a number of different textures like frosted and rain; it is available at many hardware stores and can be found online and in specialty catalogues.

The more expensive option is replace the window.  New vinyl windows can be fitted with textured glass.  New windows will also cut down on drafts and heat loss.

Vinyl windows are the best replacement window for the shower area.  Metal windows can rust, while wood windows rot.  Once you have decided to replace a window, the next step is to determine the window moulding.

Windows don’t need to be outfitted with moulding.  Tile or other shower wall material can be brought up right to the window frame.  But in many older homes, sometimes we want to maintain the original look to the home.  A solid surface material, like Corian, can be custom fabricated to look like the original trim to the house.   This works exceptionally well when the trim in the house is painted white (wood grains and stain finishes are impossible to match).  The new moulding is easy to care for and is impervious to water, so mold and rot are no longer an issue.

Now is the time to replace your bathroom window if you find that ice damns build up inside the window during the winter months.

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