Can You Have A Window In Your Shower? Pros, Cons & Considerations

Is something missing in your shower? Is it always dark? Does it take forever to air out the room after a hot washdown? Maybe a window positioned in the shower would solve all your problems. Can that even happen?

In this post, I’ll go over the pros, cons and everything you need to know about having a window in your shower.

Let’s dive in!

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Can You Have A Window In Your Shower?

Yes, it is possible to have a window positioned inside a shower enclosure. However, there are some considerations and practicalities to take into account in doing so.

Considerations When Placing A Window In A Shower

When you put a window in a shower, you must realise that it will be subjected to conditions unlike the picture window in your lounge. There are a few things to keep in mind before you have one installed.

Tempered Glass Is A Must

Maybe you are adding a bathroom in an older house that has a window in the room. If the window is located in the shower enclosure, all glass panes must be switched to tempered glass.

If you slip and fall, the tempered glass shatters into small bits that are less likely to cause serious injury. The use of tempered glass for bath and shower enclosures is a requirement in all building codes.

Design With An Eye On Privacy

As you’ll be standing next to the window in your birthday suit, you may wish to switch out a standard double-hung window for a smaller one positioned above shoulder height.

You can also have the glass etched, tinted, hang shades, or use glass blocks for added privacy.

Upgrade A Vintage Window With A Waterproof Frame

If you live in a home built in the last century or earlier, your window frames will be made out of wood. The window frame must be sealed so that the wood will not soak up water and turn to rot.

You can opt for a window with a vinyl or aluminium frame that will better stand up to the constant moisture.

A Skylight Could Be The Solution

Will this be a new bathroom added to the top floor of your vintage home with sloping ceilings? Instead of using valuable wall space for a window, pop a skylight into the roof.

Add a remote crank controlled by a switch, and you get natural light and fresh air while keeping your shower fully tiled.

Skylight window in a shower

Finding The Right Height And Size

Are you planning on a huge window in your shower that looks out onto your private garden? If the window can be opened, the sill must be no lower than 800mm above the floor. Should you wish the window to start at the floor, it cannot have a moveable pane below the 800mm mark.

Even a small window positioned near the ceiling is a huge upgrade for a small bathroom. Select the one and the position that works best for you.

A Solution For Venting Your Bathroom

Every bathroom must have an extractor fan or a window that can be opened to prevent the buildup of mildew. Constant exposure to water can lead to structural damage. If you are planning on changing out an old casement window that cranks open for a plate window, then you must add an extractor fan.

If the bathroom is a new addition, you will have to add the vent regardless of whether a window can be opened.

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Advantages Of A Window In A Shower

There are a number of positives associated with having a window in your shower or bathroom.

Easier To Keep The Whole Bathroom Clean

Did you know that ultra-violet light kills mould? When you add a window to your bathroom, you will be fighting less black mould on every surface. That is why the tiny bath in your old flat could never stay clean.

Natural Light Saves On The Utility Bill

There is no need to hit the light switch when you enter the room during the day. Even a small window gives enough natural light to take care of business without a lightbulb. If you live in the city, the street lamps may provide just enough illumination for nocturnal visits.

Keep An Eye On The Back Garden

Do you worry about the kids when you are in the shower? Take some me-time and still be able to see or listen to their latest football game while you are under the water. It’s also nice to look at your roses while mulling over today’s work schedule.

Let The Steam Escape

Does it take forever to clear the mirror of mist after a hot shower? Open that window wide and see your reflection appear in short order. It also helps nasty odours to escape before the kids have time to complain.

small window in a shower enclosure

Disadvantages Of A Window In A Shower

Not everyone is destined to have a window positioned in the shower enclosure with them.

Nosy Neighbours Get An Eyeful

If your window is facing the neighbour’s window, well, they get to see what you want to show. You may need to add blackout shades so you can shower in private. At the same time, those shades tend to defeat the purpose of the window.

The Wood Frame May Rot

Showers are wet by definition. Most windows built before 1980 are crafted out of wood sashes and frames. Wood and water do not mix. You will need to use waterproofing paint and caulk to protect the window, or you will need to invest in one that is designed for use in a wet room.

One More Worry When The Kids Are In The Shower

The most common place to suffer an injury in your home is in the bathroom. A window in the shower is just one more thing that the kids might break, cut themselves, or fall out of in an older home.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know if you’re considering having a window in your shower.

It can be a great design addition and practical ventilation option. However, as with most things, there are a few considerations you’ll need to take into account to do so.

So, what do you think, will you install a window in your new shower enclosure?


Michael R

Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.