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girl_wonder

Window in shower options: blinds between glass?

girl_wonder
3 years ago

Are there any good options for privacy glass for the shower window? We looking at Marvin and the only real options for my 1940 bungalow are “frost” (sandblasted) or ”rain.” I’m not thrilled with either.


Are they any other options I haven‘t considered? Pella has blinds-between-the-glass but it looks like it’s only available on the aluminum windows. (We’re thinking fiberglass due to the moisture). Ages ago I read about “smart” windows that you could wire to have it flip from clear to opague but adding electricity to a shower area doesn’t seem great.


FWIW, the room is 6x11 with door at one end and shower at the other. Currently it’s a 2x2 slider; the new one will be an awning, either 2x2 or 3x2. It’s on the first floor. Neighbor has no windows there on the first floor, but does have windows on the second floor that could look in. I may ask my neighbor if I can come check it out this weekend. But I’m curious if anyone has a great idea I hadn’t considered. Thanks for your help!

Comments (31)

  • branson4020
    3 years ago

    a 1940's bungalow? Patterned glass block.

    girl_wonder thanked branson4020
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  • PRO
    toddinmn
    3 years ago

    Many Glass block units are assembled with silicone joints now.

    girl_wonder thanked toddinmn
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thanks everyone. i don't like the look of glass block but appreciate the feedback. I guess I was hoping for some "blinds within the window" solution, but haven't found one that's fiberglass. Or other creative solution. thanks for your help!

  • erinsean
    3 years ago

    I have heard of hanging a shower curtain over a shower window....pull it back when done showering but closed while bathing. Would be a temporary fix but does work. Or how about making a frame with glass the size of the window and putting frost on the glass. Just hang it in front of the window. Will let in light but have privacy. Or is there room above your shower window for a plastic pull down shade? I am not fond of glass block either so good luck finding something.

    girl_wonder thanked erinsean
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thanks erinsean. I was googling and saw something like you described. But when I look at that, the moving parts look like a potential hazard.



    I'm leaning towards just getting frost (sandblasted) and call it a day, but if others have ideas, I'm open. FWIW, light isn't the issue (they'll be skylight over the vanity and window across the hall; this is the master suite) and it's not like I'm blocking a great view.....but I still prefer to see the jasmine on my fence vs. a generic frosted window...

  • Dayna Frei
    3 years ago

    I think the switchable tint would be great! I saw it in a Parade Home a few years ago and thought it was so cool. I'm sure there's a way the wiring is done so it's rated for safety.


    Switchable Privacy Glass

    girl_wonder thanked Dayna Frei
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Dayna, thanks for the nudge. I noticed that even the bathroom applications don't show shower windows so I wonder....but I'll call and we'll see.


  • acm
    3 years ago

    Could you frost the lower window and leave the upper clear? (Guess you might need to check the view angle from the neighbors first!)

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  • North Texan
    3 years ago

    Interior mount, polywood plantation shutters? They would mount flush with the tile wall and protect the window from splash, and can be opened for light.

    girl_wonder thanked North Texan
  • scottie mom
    3 years ago

    What’s the height (from the floor,) of the window? I like your idea of asking the neighbor. And I get the desire to be able to see out! I have done a few bathrooms with shower windows recently. In one (my own,) the glass starts just above head height and I much prefer it clear. The view of sky and tree tops is really nice, especially in an urban setting. Wondering if you could obscure the lower panes if you’re doing a 3x2, for example. I did that at another bathroom. The owner really enjoys seeing out. It’s a big difference and I’m glad you are deliberating! Also: window film is surprisingly good, and completely reversible. Good luck!

    girl_wonder thanked scottie mom
  • Ruth Ann Widner
    3 years ago

    We used a frost film for privacy but left the top third of the window clear to enjoy the tree tops and sky. It’s was an economical and convenient solution.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    3 years ago

    Ruth I love using the garden bench in the shower. How long have you had it, any cleaning issues?

    To the op, I’m going through the same conundrum in my shower and my water closet. They face a tall fence and my neighbors house is only one story but still considering frosted glass. Going to wait to order until the framing is done and I can really see.

    girl_wonder thanked HALLETT & Co.
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the feedback and good ideas. I did reconnaissance today, peering down from my neighbor’s 2nd story windows. It’s actually not that bad (and I trust these neighbors. But they are renters, and the owner has talked about selling the house). But when I asked her opinion, my neighbor ( a woman) said that she would get obscure glass, especially to have coverage at night. (i.e. you never know.....) So I’m leaning towards the “frost.”. My architect recommend an awning window but it dawned on me (duh) that the screen will be inside. Won’t that look bad too? Maybe I’m overthinking this...


    FWIW, I left a message for one of those companies that sells “smart glass.“ But no call back yet...I searched here and found older comments that it is “very expensive” but I’m not sure what that means.


    If anyone has other thoughts, I’m open. Thanks!

  • North Texan
    3 years ago

    Be aware that “frosted” or opaque glasses often allow a recognizable form or shadow to be seen or recognized when the person behind the glass is backlit.

    girl_wonder thanked North Texan
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    NorthTexan, what do you mean, that the person will be seen in silhouette? Maybe one option to make sure there is an overhead light in the shower itself, so the person isn’t solely backlit?


    Scottie_mom, the idea of a transome window or leaving the top of the glass clear sounds interesting but, as it turns out, the eaves of the roof overhang, so the top of the window doesn’t look at trees or sky (and with my neighbor’s looming 2 story house, I’d just see more of their house if the eaves weren’t there).. I guess the good news is that the visibility isn’t that great, but, after talking to my neighbor and another friend (also a woman), I think most women would prefer to have some obscure glass, “just in case.,” with those second story windows so close.


    I guess I was hoping for some solution where I could flip between clear and obscure (like the blinds within the window) or some other creative solution. Pella has it but not in a fiberglass window. The window store I’m working with doesn’t have it.

  • North Texan
    3 years ago

    They do make a cutable obscuring film product, but it looks expensive.


    Yes, you see the shadow or outline of the person and their activities through the opaque glass. It’s pretty unprivate, really. Try googling “backlit opaque glass shadow” and there are varying stock photos that give you an idea.

    girl_wonder thanked North Texan
  • justlol
    3 years ago

    I would either hang vinyl blinds to cover the window or hang a roller shade that you can pull down while in the bathroom. My daughter had a frosted glass bathroom window in her shower. When she first moved in, I went to visit. I asked her if you could see through that glass at night when the light was on. I stood in the shower and she went outside to check. She couldn't believe how much you could see while it was dark outside. We went to the local home improvement store the next day and bought vinyl blinds to hang on the window.

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  • cpartist
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Make the glass like the following pattern since this would have been the right pattern for the age of the house.


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  • dsgts
    3 years ago

    A neighbor has rippled glass on each side of front entry door and in the bathroom of her 1912 home. You can see that a person is on the other side, but details are obscured. Another friend solved the problem with well-placed shrubbery.


    girl_wonder thanked dsgts
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Dsgts, Marvin calls that pattern “reed” or “narrow reed.” I really like the look but associate it with doors, like pantry doors, or today for mid-century modern homes. It’s interesting to know it’s in a 1912 home. Good to know. Unfortunately, Marvin doesn’t offer it on the fiberglass window I want for the shower. The pattern that’s closest for the period is “rain” but....I’m leaning towards frosted.


    Thanks North Texan. I did google and I see what you mean. One of the photos (giving Halloween tips) suggested using a projector to maximize the back lighting. So I guess I could do the opposite. On the rare days that I’m showering after dark, maybe just use the overhead light in the shower and turn off the other lights in the bathroom, the minimize the back lighting. (?)


    FWIW, on my reconnaissance I saw the top half of the window is blocked by eave. Today I have shampoo bottles on the sill (cuz it’s a crummy old backroom w/o a niche). With those, there’s only about a 4” gap above the bottles, where someone could possibly see though, and that gap is 63-67” off the ground. So I’m thinking maybe this isn’t so bad. I’m still leaning towards getting “frost” but maybe it’s not such an issue. I could possibly put a nice plant on the sill and/or put a pot of tall bamboo outside. I Iike the ideas of the bamboo anyway. I currently have vines growing high on the fence but the two story house is obviously taller than that. So a pot of bamboo, for example, would at least obstruct my view when I’m looking out.


    Anyway, all this is making me wondering why the heck I’m planning to expand the existing 2x2 windows to a 3x2? I thought the rectangular shape could better coordinate with other windows in the house (we have a lot of pairs of double-hung windows that, when mulled together, create a rectangular window unit). So maybe I should just keep it a square, get an awning that’s frosted and call it a day. There will be a skylight over the vanity and a window across the hall.


    If anyone has other thoughts, lemme know. This has been very helpful. Thanks everyone who has been helping me think this through. I’ve deinfitely spent more time debating this one window than any other in the house (maybe all the other windows put together? Lol) Thank you!!!!

  • mle0782
    3 years ago

    Are you committed to Marvin’s? I am wondering if you went with a vinyl slider with matte frosted glass if you wouldn’t be happier? Lots of vinyl window manufacturers and a shower is the perfect place for one. I don’t know if your window faces the street so it would have to match all your other windows exactly? We have an old house with a shower window that is on the back side of the house . The shower window is our one vinyl window and has done great-no rot and easy to just wipe down.

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  • North Texan
    3 years ago

    Consider landscape lighting outside. A LED spotlight on the window would make it much more difficult to see in at night...but might be annoying bright into the bedroom.

    girl_wonder thanked North Texan
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Mie0782, what’s the advantage of a slider over an awning? Or were you thinking vinyl vs. fiberglass? We installed vinyl about 15 years ago and they have performed well, but now that we’re changing out windows with this remodel, I want to upgrade them. I’m also more concerned about environmal toxins today, so I’m trying to avoid vinyl if I can (creates toxins during manufacturing and also if the house catches on fire. i live in CA and though my town isn’t considered high risk, the last few years have seen unprecedented wildfires so you never know. Even if I’m not exposed to the chemicals personally, I’d rather avoid putting them into the environment if I can).

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    North Texan, that’s an interesting idea. Would it help to place an outside light on that side of the house? It is the narrow side yard and the times I need to walk there at night I need to bring a flashlight.... We’re replacing the siding (it’s that crap masonsite cardboard) with HardiPlank and the bath is a full gut, so we will have access. Where would you place the light? Right now there is only 10” of siding between the roof and the top of the window trim. So maybe to the side of the window? (my showerhead is to the left side of the shower, so maybe put it on the outside, to the right, in a place that’a fairly close but makes sense?)

  • mle0782
    3 years ago

    I was thinking slider instead of awning because sliders work well with exterior screens but if bugs aren’t an issue I guess it wouldn’t matter (sorry , I always think of bugs because where I live they are an issue about 10 months a year). With regard to vinyl, it just seems you aren’t thrilled with the Marvin options and there are a lot of decent vinyl window companies out there with a really wide selection that are reasonably priced and you might find something you like more. No question about environmental issues and vinyl though.

  • North Texan
    3 years ago

    I’d use an LED landscape light. Get a low voltage landscape lighting transformer and a long run of power cable. Place several around the house on a timer or light sensor. A lit up house is a much less likely to be hit on a break in.

    girl_wonder thanked North Texan
  • PRO
    toddinmn
    3 years ago

    What product are you going to use? Fiberglass is a plastic is fiber reinforced. Plastic, wood windows have Many plastic parts and chemical preservatives,some more than others, Fibrex is about 60% Plastic and other things. An all aluminum window wood be where you’re headed?

  • egarmstrong
    2 years ago

    Hi. How did this end up working out? I have a similar issue and am wondering what your solution was. Have also been considering all of the options that you discussed.

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I just did frosted glass. It’s fine.

  • Jane G
    2 years ago

    Can you share any details about the “frosting” that you used. I’m starting this journey and know just enough to be confused right now! There seem to be many variations of frosted windows.