Windows in the Shower – Why They’re There and How to Maintain Privacy

Bathroom

Windows are wonderful. They let in light and allow us to open up our homes to fresh air without letting flies and other pesky bugs inside. They even add beauty and character to houses. There are times when windows aren’t so great, though. For example, having a window in the shower can be awkward and annoying.

When you’re in the bathroom, you want privacy. Whether you’re using the facilities, showering, or simply getting ready for the day, you don’t want all of your neighbors looking in and watching your routines. The last thing you need is a window in the bathroom. Or worse, in the shower. It’s hard to feel at ease when you know that someone could be looking in and watching you going about your business.

Since they make everybody so uncomfortable, why in the world are there windows in showers in the first place? Here’s why there are windows in certain showers and what you can do to maintain your privacy:

Why There are Windows in Some Showers

Newer homes don’t often have windows directly in the shower. If they do, most are windows that use privacy glass. Older homes, though, more commonly have windows inside of the shower, and they may be windows that are quite clear. Because electricity may have been added to older homes long after they were built, or because vents were not easily installed or commonly installed as part of construction back in the day, windows were put in place as a way to ventilate the room when it was filled with unpleasant smells or too much moisture. Additionally, most old houses only had bathtubs until later years when new owners renovated and added a shower to the bathroom, meaning that bathers weren’t at risk of being seen since they were sitting down instead of standing.

The problem with having a window in the shower is that it takes away a lot of privacy. It can be difficult to relax or even want to shower in the first place if you feel completely exposed to the outside world. Don’t give up on hygiene just yet, though. If you have a window in your shower, there are some things you can do to help maintain your privacy.

How to Maintain Your Privacy

Before you start to make any adjustments, look at the window and determine what it’s made out of. If the window is made out of wood, you could run into some pretty big issues since wood absorbs moisture and can house mold. If you have a wood window in your shower, you will want to either replace it or cover the wood with waterproof sealant or plastic casings to keep it from warping or inviting mold. If you do choose to replace the window, opt for privacy glass which will allow you to feel more comfortable and at ease without getting rid of the window completely.

If the window is made of composite or plastic, here are some other things that you can do to help maintain your comfort and privacy while showering.

  • Avoid curtains. If you were thinking about putting in a window treatment, avoid curtains completely. The fabric can absorb moisture and, like wood, allow mold to grow, making them a dangerous privacy option.
  • Install blinds. If it’s the cheapest and easiest thing for you to do, installing plastic blinds in the window can help you maintain your privacy while showering, but still, let the light in during the day. Just make sure that the blinds you purchase are completely plastic and waterproof, otherwise, you could end up with warped, moldy blinds.
  • Replace the glass with privacy glass. Even if you don’t want to replace the window, some companies will come out and replace only the glass. If you have a double paned window, you can replace both or only one pane of glass with privacy glass so that neighbors and nosy passersby can’t see in while you’re in the shower. With the privacy glass, you won’t have to install any blinds or other treatments.
  • Get a privacy sticker to put over the glass. If you’re on a budget or don’t want to go through the hassle of having someone come replace the glass, there are stickers you can place over the glass that will distort the window and make it so that people can’t see in. This is a quick and cheap fix that will give you the privacy you need without requiring much effort.
  • Move or remove the window completely. If it’s in the budget and realm of possibilities, you may want to move the window to a different section of the bathroom so that it’s still there, but not in a position that will violate your privacy. If you don’t care to have the window in the bathroom at all, you may want to consider removing the window completely—that way there will be no privacy concern ever again.

As odd and uncomfortable as they may seem, windows in showers actually did serve a purpose. With ventilation systems now, though, they’re more of a discomfort than anything else. Luckily, there are a number of things that you can do to maintain your privacy from covering them up to having them removed completely. If you have any questions about bathroom remodeling and what can be done about that window in your shower, give us a call.