Believe it or not many years ago the builder put a window over the tub area in all of the bathrooms in this development. My mother is handicapped and I need to remodel the bathroom and remove the tub completely and put in a full walk-in shower. There is siding on the outside of the house and I would hate to board up the hole from the window so I was wondering if it's feasible to remove the window and replace it with glass blocks.
I would be happy to hear any other suggestions. Also, after so much exposure to water the wood around the window is no good either.
Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!
You'll want to use some of the same tips and tricks that BlakeTheDiyGuy describes in this thread for building gaps and insulation for in and around the window. I'd advise to use a new window frame, so that it can handle the new glass blocks (usually 4" thick) on a flat surface, something that an older frame may not be able to handle. You'll need to carefully inspect how you want to disassemble the frame and the panes of the old window. As Blake also states, you'll want to have a sill that when water hits the window, it will go down into the shower and not collect on the window itself.
Let us know if you have any further questions or concerns,
Hi, I know this is an older post but i have a similar problem. I just bought a house and was wanting to tile the bathroom shower. I removed the old bathtub and sheetrock and found a window behind the sheetrock. I also found that there was not any insulation behind the sheetrock. I was wondering if I can use glass blocks in the spot of the window, and if I need to keep the window there or remove it.
Hey Nmalczewsky I can only imagine your state of shock when you discovered a window hiding behind your shower enclosure. I am always amazed what hides behind a little bit of sheetrock.
I talked with SteelToes about your new window and there are a few things to look at before you start your work. Most importantly, can you find a match for your existing siding? If you are looking at replacing your window with a smaller one the hole will have to be patched and it can be a real pain trying to match weathered sheathing. (this may be why a previous owner kept the window)
If you decide to forge on with your retrofit you will want to frame the window as high as possible to keep unnecessary moisture away from the frame. Ensure that you install a large enough header to satisfy local code requirements. leave yourself a 1/2" gap on the sides and 1/2-3/4" gap on the top. If the glass is fitted with silicone then fill these exterior gaps with silicone caulking. If they are bonded with mortar, use mortar. Remember to flash the top of the window so that water weeps away from the house.
Take this opportunity to install unfaced insulation in the exterior walls, and remember that a vapor barrier will be needed on the interior wall and in hot climates will also be needed for the exterior wall. You can install backerboard directly on top of the interior vapor barrier or with a 1/4 air gap (preferred).
Also remember that it is important to use a bottom tile sash to force water into the tub rather than going down into the wall.
In another thread SteelToes talks about interior wall tile and backerboard.
We also have a good guide for framed window installation.
I hope this helps Nmalczewsky, let us know if you need any more help!
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I am in somewhat of the same boat. The original plan was to remove the shower walls and install hardiebacker and tile the walls. When I removed the existing walls, I found a window (somehow I never noticed the extra window on the outside of the house!). The bathroom is pretty dark and gloomy, and could use the extra light. I'd like to remove the old double-hung and install a smaller glass block pre-fab. The rough opening is something like 28 x 45-1/2. I was thinking a vented pre-fab of 24 x 16 would be nice (even though I already have an exhaust fan). How do I go about framing this out? 2x4's? How much of the old window and frame do I remove? What can I do to close up the extra opening after the smaller window is installed? And can I use a frameless pre-fab glass block window and how would I secure it? Here are a few pictures:
Hey there Marym, AboveAverageJoe is on the ticket about framing the window itself. I would like to add that most building codes specify that a shower/bath must have either an exhaust fan that vents to the exterior, or a window above the shower / bath to allow moisture to escape.
If you do glass block the window you will need to install an exhaust fan if you do not already have one. Luckily there are a vast selection of bath fans at a wide range of prices. We even have exhaust fans that are cleverly disguised as light fixtures!
I hope this helps blow off some steam!
I am aboveaveragejoe from the Home Depot here in the Atlanta area and would be glad to help you.
Sounds like you have a serious issue with your window in the shower, and what you would like to do with your window by improving it is by way of glass blocks, a beautiful and economical choice. Luckily, thats not an impossible feat to get the new look you want. However, I would like to see or have you go into a bit more description of the wood surrounding your window. It may be an issue of replacing or reinstalling a new frame before you go ahead with the new glass blocks if the wood is not as in good shape as you stated. Before we get into that, is there anyway you can post pictures of your bad window, or give us a bit more information about the window and shower(ex. size)? After me and my team on the community can assess it from there, we can help you on your way to make it look better than it was before!
Hope to hear from you soon!