I have a window in my bathroom that is inside the shower/tub area, and the shower head basically directly sprays it. The window trim is wood and is warping like crazy so I'm not sure how the previous owners kept it from breaking. We just had our windows replaced and now water is pooling on the inside window sill, hence the temporary caulking until I replace it with tile.
I'd like to pull out all the wood trim and replace it with simple tiles but I have no idea how to do that. I can watch YouTube videos on how to actually place tiles, but the part that I worry about is what goes behind the tiles. So that's my question, what do I need to do to make sure water doesn't get into the walls?

  • I can't see the warping but wonder if the backside of the trim is protected from water. Wood trim is usually nailed on, so either the tiles stop at the edge or the trim is on with glue/caulking(tiles don't like nails). A piece will need to be removed to see.
    – crip659
    Sep 23, 2023 at 21:08
  • It sounds a bit strange, but have you considered an entire shower curtain for that side? If it's getting all kinds of water, then waterproofing it without tearing it apart is going to be really really hard. (I might even say impossible.) Sep 23, 2023 at 21:23
  • and here is he again contaminating the whole process
    – Traveler
    Sep 23, 2023 at 21:35
  • 2
    It will be almost impossible to answer this until we know what's behind the wood trim.
    – JACK
    Sep 23, 2023 at 21:39
  • @ruskes -- who you talking to/about? Sep 23, 2023 at 22:37

2 Answers 2


Wood in a shower area is not a good idea.

You would be wise to remove all the wood trim around the window. Examine for any additional damage. The result of that inspection will govern your further tasks.

If all is well and no other issue are present, you should consider installing new trim made of PVC. All pieces should be properly caulked with silicone or polyurethane caulking.

PVC will not rot, swell or discolor from water. Most big box stores have it in stock, but if you want something more similar to the existing window frame, try shopping a local lumberyard.

If the idea of removing and replacing all the trim if daunting. you should probably interview Carpenters to hire.

If you are set on tile, all window trim should be removed to get an assessment of whether that is feasible. It may, or it may not be a possibility.


Don't know if you've gotten this sorted yet, but we had nearly the identical situation in our older home. Our exploration revealed that water had poured into the wall for six decades, and made mush of the drywall behind the shower enclosure and the building sheathing. I easily stuck a screwdriver entirely through the wall, from the drywall through the insulation and the sheathing. It pushed a cedar shingle off as there was little to hold it in place anymore. Mold everywhere.

Further investigation revealed that the window had been installed completely without flashing or insulation of any kind - they just stuck it into the wall. We live in Iowa, a drafty window in your shower is ... inspirational in winter. In this case, the "wet" side of the window was entirely inside, as my house has deep eaves and rain never touches this window. Our shower overspray was draining into the wall.

A normal window installation must shed the water that hits the outside of the window, and flashing is installed to direct that water to the outside of the weather barrier in the wall. In this case, the flashing needed to direct the water to the inside of the shower enclosure. So I ended up using window flashing tape wrapped over the edge of the enclosure. Water hitting the window now drains harmlessly into the shower.

But the damage was extensive. We demo'd the entire shower enclosure, removed and replaced the exterior sill plate, patched some studs and rotted sill plates, fresh insulation, used GoBoard to replace the drywall, put a 3-piece shower enclosure in, replaced window with a smaller one mounted higher. We used a composite crank-open style. Trimmed it with PVC. I like being able to look out the window in my shower without giving the neighbors a free show, and in nice weather I like getting fresh air in.

It was a lot of work, but we did it all ourselves. I was 56 and my husband 70 at the time. And the lingering "old house" smell in that bathroom (from mold) went away, permanently.

Good luck! I hope you don't have nearly the damage we did.

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