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One of the quirks of my house is a 1945-vintage double-sash window, with wood trim and probably wood sashes, chest height, located above a tub where it could be nicely soaked by side-splash when taking a shower. I've always wondered what the designer was thinking...

My current solution for it is a multilayer kluge: glass frosting for privacy, inside trim mostly spar-varnished, and finally a shower curtain spread across that wall so it shouldn't get splashed under normal conditions. (Just steamed.) Massive overkill, I presume.

What would the right solution be, given that I'm not eager to reconstruct the wall or replace that window?

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  • Original design was tub with no shower, window for light and ventilation. Just keep it clean, painted, and caulked and you will be fine... – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 24 '15 at 20:15
  • @JimmyFix-It: In other words, I'm being overprotective ? Wouldn't be surprised... Why don't couses co e with maintenance schedules and service manuals? ;-J – keshlam Jul 24 '15 at 20:19
  • the maintenance schedule would say "continuous". – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 24 '15 at 21:45
  • True, but each item has an expected life, many have preferred seasons for particular checks or recommended frequencies, some should be done at the same time for efficiency reasons... Maint. on a car is also "continuous" but they manage to schedule the basics. – keshlam Jul 24 '15 at 23:19
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If it's an old house, it may have originally been a claw-foot tub with a full surround curtain. And the window was the ventilation.

If you want to keep the window (as it sounds like you don't want to seal it off), one option would be to replace it with a vinyl window with vinyl trim. Make sure the vinyl trim is glued and sealed. That would get rid of the 'wood in the shower' issue.

  • I was pondering that. And yeah, i'd like to retain some natural light in there so it doesn't feel like a closet, – keshlam Jul 24 '15 at 19:06
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I was about to put a comment, but it may be too long, so I go for an answer (sorry, if it's not so good...).

  1. Aestethical solution.
    As the curtain is already in place, i's quite awful-looking (imho, of course). If my intention would be to leave window in place (cuz I like the idea of some fresh air or/and more light during daytime) and replace curtain with hardened glass spaced like 5-10cm from the wall, larger than the window so no water would reach it.
  2. Who needs Windows after all?
    If You care to remove the window and fill this gap, that would definately be no-problem solution, given that it's ok with You to forget that window.
  3. Another one - with ventlator.
    Remove window, install a ventilator in place, You may cover the space that will most probably be 'visible' with a bathroom shelf. This combo may be designed in many ways, so it's hard to formulate this answer here. Experiment, check with people that live with You (if any).
  • The cats don't care, so my opinion's the only one that matters --- which is why this workaround has persisted as long as it has. And it isn't as bad in normal light, with)out the flash. But something should be done someday, hence my question. – keshlam Jul 24 '15 at 19:10
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Hm. Possible answer to my own question, synthesizing what others have said:

Another option would be to frame in and close off the bottom half of the window (improving privacy and reducing splash), and replace the top half with a swinging/tilting window. Largest complication would be properly closing the outside of the house; I presume I could just install and seal a plywood panel, then install cedar shakes to match the surrounding (staggering the rows and re-staining so this difference between old and new is less visible).

Not sure it's an improvement over redoing the window in its current size, just closer to what I would have done if I was doing this from scratch. A chest-view window doesn't bother me, that much, but it might perturb guests.

Worth noting: Closing off a window space is a lot easier than opening one, since you don't have to reframe -- you can leave the framing in place and just toenail in new cripple studs to fill the gap and support the surfaces. You'll confuse the next person to open that wall, but such is life.

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