Bathroom windows are wonderful for bringing in natural light and air while protecting privacy when there is a shade or window covering. But a window in the shower itself can be more complicated for privacy. Many shower windows have beautiful outdoor views, and those that open allow more ventilation. But if your view is anything but private, it’s tough to put that window to good use. Showers with windows don’t have to be an inconvenience. In this guide, we look at the best ways to maintain privacy when there’s a window in the shower.
Window coverings for showers with windows
Moving into a new home, updating your windows or renovating your overall home often involves replacing window coverings in all rooms, including a window in the shower. The good news is that several water-resistant options are not only beautiful but also practical for concealing outside views. Blinds, shades and shutters all allow light to come in when they’re open and protect privacy when they’re closed.
Adding privacy is quick and easy using window treatments. Some people prefer faux wood shutters that fit directly into the window frame and are resistant to humidity. Others want vertical or horizontal polyester window shades that mount over the window.
Shades are a practical option because, when they aren’t in use, you can pull them up to allow light to come through the window in shower areas. When you need privacy, they lower just as quickly. An additional benefit to using shades is their insulating properties. They’re more energy-efficient than shutters because shades prevent heat from escaping.
Despite the difference in energy-efficiency, some homeowners like shutters because they block out more light and have a higher degree of privacy. Though they don’t raise and lower like shades, you can still open and close them quickly. If you opt for shutters, be sure not to install bamboo due to mildew, mold and warping risks.
Frosted glass for shower windows
If you don’t like the idea of using blinds, shades or shutters, decorative film or frosted glass adds water-resistant beauty to bathroom shower windows. You can also use etching techniques on the window’s surface. This technique allows light to shine through the window without compromising privacy.
Opting for frosted glass both enhances the appearance of the window and increases privacy. The pitted effect on one side of the glass blurs images when people are looking through the window. Depending on the effect you’re looking for, there are several DIY techniques you can use.
If you want a temporary fix, static window clings, or film is a practical choice. These clings are removable and work well as an alternative for permanent window glass treatments. Use a glass cleaner and a soft cloth to wash the glass down before applying the film. You’ll find instructions on the package for application, but it typically involves using a squeegee for removing air bubbles.
Using frosted glass spray paint creates a semi-permanent effect. Applying this spray adds a layer of frost that dries into a decorative finish. Before spraying, clean the glass thoroughly. If you would like to remove this treatment later, you can use a glass scraper.
Glass etching cream is another way of capturing natural light while simultaneously creating privacy in showers with windows. Be aware that, if you choose this decorative option, the effects are permanent. The main reason is that the etching cream removes a thin layer on the glass and leaves behind a frosted finish.
Install a new window in a shower
If you would prefer to replace an existing window with one that offers more privacy, that’s another way of adding appeal and practicality to your shower space. Options include antique, pebbled, rain, stained glass and glass blocks with ventilation that allow for moisture to escape.
Choosing obscured glass finishes, like pebbled or rain patterns, creates privacy in showers with windows. However, this obscuring doesn’t make the window entirely opaque. Instead, the manufacturer creates a pattern or texture that is difficult to see through. Some manufacturers allow you to choose the level of obscuring you want.
Instead of covering up windows in showers, reimagine them as focal points for the room. Use a stained glass window insert, or install a new one. Not only is this addition beautiful, but it’s completely private while letting in colored light. Adding stained glass is an excellent opportunity for adding a one-of-a-kind art piece to your space that is as distinctive as your personality.
Installing glass or acrylic blocks is another decorative way of maintaining privacy in showers with windows. There’s no need to add a window covering because the texture and pattern on the blocks prevent clear sight into the window. This method involves a permanent installation whereby the windows don’t open but create a minimalistic design.
If you choose acrylic blocks, they’re available as casement or crank-out awning style windows. Even though the acrylic block windows open, that doesn’t detract from their privacy benefits. You can install them as replacement windows or by using nailing fins during new construction.
Frequently asked questions
What do I do with a window in the shower?
You can use window coverings, film, permanent frosting and etching techniques, or install a new window. Focus on a method that allows for privacy, light filtering into the room and sufficient air ventilation.
What kinds of window coverings are best in a bathroom?
The best window coverings are water-resistant such as faux wood, vinyl, PVC and aluminum. Avoid using wood, which can mildew, mold or warp from the moisture.
What types of textured glass are there for windows?
Dozens of textured glass styles are available depending on the manufacturer. Many have aquatic, chord, frosted reed and hammered textures to match your bathroom’s decor.
Is installing glass blocks a good idea in a shower window?
Before installing glass blocks in your shower, make sure the pattern is highly textured to ensure the best privacy. If you have experience working with mortar, you can install blocks as a DIY project.