How to Install a Tub and Shower Around Existing Window

If you are remodeling an older home, knowing how to install a tub and shower around an existing window, can mean an extra bathroom in your home.
The natural lighting provided by a window in your shower can help save a little money on your electric bill if you shower during daylight hours. The window can come in handy if you hear someone knock on your front door while showering. You can also call out to your barking dogs or arguing children. Take some simple steps to assure your privacy while showering, reduce moisture build up in the window, and in the frame.

Measure the area below the window as well as the length where the bathtub will be placed. This will determine the size of a bathtub you can purchase. Measure beside the window to the wall and add in the width of the bathtub times two to determine the number of 4-inch ceramic tiles, and the amount of backer board you will need to purchase.

Install a wall at the end of the tub where you plan to put the showerhead. Build the wall the same width as your new bathtub will be. After the plumber installs the plumbing to the showerhead, you can add shelves between the new wall and the existing wall for your towels.

Have a plumber install the drain and water pipes before you set the tub, it will make their job easier. Hopefully, that means less time and less money out of your pocket.

Install ceramic tiles around the window, below the window to the edge of the bathtub, and both end walls using ceramic tile adhesive. Place spacers between tiles where grout will go. Place your ceramic shelves where you want them instead of tiles. Use a ceramic tile cutter and tile scriber to cut down tiles where needed for a proper fit. Remember to cut holes in the tile where the faucet and handles will be placed. Allow to dry for 24-hours before grouting.

Remove the spacers. Apply grout between every ceramic tile using a grout float, forcing it down into the joints. Use a barely damp sponge to remove excess grout. Wait 10 days before applying grout sealer.

Caulk around the bathtub edges where the tub meets the wall and the floor. Allow the caulk to dry for 24 hours before use. Install faucet, handles, and shower head.

Cut a shower curtain with scissors so that it will cover the window and the frame completely with a couple of extra inches. Use a narrow curtain rod that will fit through the holes in the top of the shower curtain. Hang this on the window located in the tub to protect it from collecting moisture and protect your privacy. Hang your other shower curtain and your bathtub and shower are ready to use.

Things You Will Need

  • Ceramic Tiles 4x4 inches
  • Ceramic shelves and soap dish
  • Cement backer board
  • Ceramic tile cutter
  • Tile scriber
  • Ceramic tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Grout Sealer
  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Bathtub
  • Faucet with handles
  • Shower
  • Two shower curtains
  • Narrow curtain rod

Tips

  • The grout will dry better with lower humidity.
  • Run a dehumidifier in the room during drying if you have one.
  • Mix the grout into a thick yogurt like consistency

Warnings

  • Don't mix up too much grout at a time, you don't want it to dry out before you can use it and you can always mix more.
  • Seamless tubs probably will not work around your window.

About the Author

Julia Fuller began her professional writing career eight years ago covering special-needs adoption. She holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Marywood College, is co-owner of GJF Rental Properties as well as a livestock and grain crop farm. She worked for the United States Postal Service and a national income tax service.