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How to Choose a Shower Window for a Remodeling Project

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block, Windows

Glass block bathroom window in a shower area

Glass block bathroom window in a shower remodeling project

Casement style operable acrylic block window

Casement style operable acrylic block window

Figuring out the right shower replacement window can be difficult. Although it’s nice to have the sunlight and ability to get air flow through this window, the fact that it’s located inside the wet shower area presents privacy and frame deterioration concerns not normally associated with most windows. Here is the low-down on different types of shower windows to consider: 

  • Glass block window– An unframed glass block bathroom window is an excellent choice for showers. In this application an unframed block window can be mortared into a wood framed window opening that has been lined with cement board. On the inside the window can be finished with tile or an acrylic window trim kit. The advantage of this window is no maintenance, durability and there are also high privacy patterns available. The disadvantage is air flow (unless you choose an air vent) and the need for an exhaust fan to move steam out of the shower.

 

  • Acrylic block window – Since acrylic blocks are much lighter than glass blocks they are designed with operable single hung and casement designs. They can be made with energy efficient low E window packages. Purchasing a remodeling style acrylic block window can be sized to the opening with a vinyl frame (like a traditional vinyl replacement window). The disadvantage of acrylic windows is you cannot use any types of abrasive shower or window cleaners or the acrylic might scratch or develop a series of fine cracks called “crazing.”

 

  • Vinyl replacement windows– Vinyl replacement windows are easy to install in upper floor bathroom remodeling openings and are available in a wide variety of types (including double hung windows that open up and down, sliders that open for side to side and casements that crank out).  These windows can be custom fit to any size opening at a cost effective price point and are even available with “wood grain” looking finishes. Shower vinyl windows must be made with tempered glass so if the window is broken the pieces of glass won’t hurt anyone taking a shower. The advantage of this type of window is flexibility, the disadvantage is privacy (although you can use a obscure frosted glass package) and the strength of the glass is easier to break than glass blocks.

 

  • Wood replacements windows – Simply put – stay totally away from using wood replacement windows for your shower remodeling project. The wood will likely crack, chip and deteriorate over the long run as it’s exposed to water on a daily basis.

 

If you’re struggling to choose the right shower window and need some input post a comment and I’ll see if I can help. If you’ve got some handy tips to offer others on a past project you’ve done please pass your words of wisdom along as well.

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If you need any more information or pricing about glass, acrylic or vinyl replacement windows contact Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363) , Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888) , Mid America Glass Block (513-742-5900), Eastern Glass Block  (973-777-8989) of New York and New Jersey, Cleveland Window Company or Clear Choice Window and Door.

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Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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