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Unread 08-11-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
TeeCee
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Vinyl window in the shower

This site is AAAwesome.

Our new tile shower will include a wall which has a vinyl casement window. The surrounding window trim is also vinyl. Some spray may get on the window, depending on how wild we get in the shower. (the bottom of the window is currently 33" from the subfloor) Does anybody out there think this window won't leak? If so, how can I gaurantee it won't leak. thanks
-tom
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Unread 08-11-2005, 03:06 PM   #2
CCourtney
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Get the Manufacture information and call the manufacture is the best way to be sure you know what will happen.

Vinyl casement windows are usually replacement windows and many times you'll find at the top a strip that can be pulled out that hides the screws during installation, especiall in fixed window cases which I assume this is. You'll probably find the window tag behind this.

If they are like mine, you'll have weep holes on the outside of the window so any moister that gets in will eventually drain to that point and exit the window.

-Chad
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Unread 08-11-2005, 03:28 PM   #3
Paul Zoske
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A window in shower is never a good idea. Just like a roof- eventually it will leak. I have torn out leaky shower windows that have led to serious water damage in some cases. If it is only 33" above the floor it will constantly be taking on water, not to mention to it leaves you in full view from outside. If it is an operable window it will have to be tempered or laminated glass too. I also know from experience that they can be a cleaning headache.

If you absolutely must have a window in the shower, I would set it higher and caulk very carefully anywhere water might travel. You could go with a 1 piece glass block system. Either way you will have to thouroughly waterproof the rough opening first so that any water that would enter the unit and leak cannot get to the framing just as if it was an exterior window.

My 2cents.
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Unread 08-11-2005, 04:45 PM   #4
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I always appreciate the input of pros.
I guess I coulda given more info. The house is six years old, the exterior is brick, so I can't "attractively" move the window. I'm guessing they used vinyl because it is the bathroom. This "area" of the room was tiled , but the wife didn't like the tile or the fiberglass prefab shower surround. (they skimped on some things), so I'm enlarging the shower, and this is the only way I can go. Do you think it will prevent leaks if I silicone caulk between the frame and the CBU. I may be asking for advise that I don't want to hear. But I want to give this the "best" chance for success.
thanks, tcc
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Unread 08-11-2005, 05:36 PM   #5
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Hi Tom, I think with a little extra care you guarantee a good long term waterproof seal. The window itself is probably impervious to rain inside or out. They're made to channel water to the outer weepholes, even if it accepts water from the inside. The real concern of course is getting water to that sill plate underneath if your caulk fails.
I start by leaving the CBU 1/8" to 3/16" away from the window to create a cavity you can fill up with high quality silicone (that's seal #1). I like to use Hardi for the sill because it doesn't allow water to pass thru the core. Next the whole window gets CBU tape, thinset, & then 2 generous coats of Redgard. The Redgard is ramped right up onto the window frame a little bit, both coats (seals #2 & #3). Make sure you put a positive slope on the whole sill before the Redgard to keep the water rolling away from the window. Next I put a generous bead of silicone above the Redgard at the window (seal #4). Then tile & leave it 1/16" away and fill that gap up with silicone (seal #5). Make sure to preserve that positive slope away from the window in your finished tile. You need to keep that water moving in the right direction.
The protected seals underneath will last longer than the shower if you exercise even minimal care to maintain that top caulk every 15 or 20 years.
If you have an opening window it does become a cleaning nightmare like Paul said. If so, I would consider changing it to a fixed window if it was my house.
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Unread 08-11-2005, 08:55 PM   #6
Paul Zoske
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Follow Tom's advice and your chances for success are gettin better I'd say. But I think you might need to keep a close eye on the caulked areas. Those vinyl windows expand and contract with temperature so there will be some movement in that window which might cause the caulk to fail prematurely.

Even on the exterior of a building caulk is only there as insurance, you still need a drainage plane or rain screen system behind the siding to keep water from getting to the structure. Likewise in the shower. I would be tempted to try protecto wrap around the frame just as you would on the exterior side, plus the redguard. Schluter might have a product for such an application. Someone else here would know.


I've just seen some scary results and personally would never put a window in a shower in the direct line of water. The main problem I think is that often you simply can't tell if it is leaking or not until its usually too late.
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Unread 08-12-2005, 08:31 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. you've given me that glimmer of hope.
tcc
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