Putting a Custom Wood Window in the Bathroom

It's been awhile since I talked about the bathroom remodel. Sorry 'bout that!

The Gold Hive - Installing a Wood Window in a Bathroom

After gutting the whole room, rebuilding the walls and window was next on the list. The previous window was a little aluminum sliding thing with opaque textured glass. It wasn't great at letting in light or providing ventilation.

The Gold Hive - Before Window

Since the walls were opened up, we had the opportunity to make the new window frame as big as possible. During the initial design phase, I was digging gigantic windows that took up nearly the whole wall above the tub - like this, this or this. I was genuinely considering making the window fill a major part of the wall and trying to come up with creative ways to provide privacy, but we ultimately downsized. I'm so glad we did. The final dimensions are 45"x26" and it lets in so so much light - without sharing too much with our neighbors. For reference, the room is 9 feet tall.

The Gold Hive - Installing a Wood Window in a Bathroom

Now, most everyone would say that wood windows don't belong in showers. Water plus wood equals rot and termites and mushy windows. However, I don't care too much for aluminum or vinyl windows in old houses. Plus, I wanted a window that hinged (more on that in a bit) which isn't a common off the shelf vinyl window option. So, we went with a custom wood window. To make sure it was water resistant, we took some precautionary measures.
1. The window is surrounded by tile that's installed on top of a waterproof membrane on top of cement board.
2. The wood itself is coated in marine-grade primer.
3. The window is situated at a height that doesn't get hit with water from the shower head.
4. When water does get on it, the marble sill tilts down so water doesn't pool next to the wood.
5. It's a window, and we open it. It gets all sots of breezy ventilation.

The Gold Hive - Installing a Wood Window in a Bathroom

Was that a convincing argument? Will you still follow my blog even though I put a wood window in a shower? Please do!

Once I ruled out the plan to have a gigantic window, the idea of having any kind of mullions or details in the glass was also nixed. One big piece of glass was the only way to go. Thus, the window had to open with a hinge, (since you need multiple pieces of glass to have any kind of sliding mechanism). Enter, transom hinges. I got these beefy brass transom hinges and they work like a dream. While they are pretty, they also hide behind the frame when the window is open, so there isn't a bunch of hardware to get in the way of the view.

The Gold Hive - transom window hinge

I love that the window opens like an ol' fashion hinged transom, plus with the opening at the top, the steam floats out of the room swiftly.

If you're reading this post in an RSS reader, this spiffy animation of the window opening may not show up - click through to the main post.

Those hinges get a ton of range and tilt the frame 90 degrees. On a daily basis, we only open the window a few inches to release the shower steam. Yet it's super convenient to open it all the way to clean both the interior and exterior glass. My preferred cleaning method is a squeegee - i'll never clean windows with towels again.

Note that we used tempered glass in this window. It's what building code calls for, and it's the safe thing to do. If it shatters, small pieces of glass would fall into the tub rather than big shards. Be safe, folks.

The Gold Hive - transom latch

That cute lil' latch at the top of the window? It's this gal. On my to-do list is to get flathead screws to look more authentic to an old house. Maybe one day.

The window frame was custom made by our trusty contractor. After the cost of his labor, the materials, and the hardware, the window cost the same, if not less, than a vinyl one from a big box store.

The Gold Hive - Bathroom window view

Have I mentioned we live under the flight path? I get to enjoy views of landing planes while I bathe.

The Gold Hive Bathroom Window

The exterior wall got an update, too, with new the siding to surround the resized window. Previously, a piece of plywood was used to surroung the aluminum window. Nice, eh?

The Gold Hive - Bathroom window view

The view looks into the side of our neighbor's house, but it kind of resembles a painting, no?

I jumped way ahead in the bathroom renovation to show you "after" photos, but fear not. I'll dish on the recessed shelves and storage cabinet, the window, the extra tall shower curtain, the tile, the finishes, and all the other goodies. You can also revisit the plans and demo. Stay tuned by subscribing!