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Bath Remodel
Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
Bath Remodel

We are nearing completion of a master bathroom remodel. The contractor installed a new shower next to the large bathroom window and installed privacy glass. Unfortunately it isn't as private as we would like. (I tried uploading picture, but it didn't work.) You actually can't see out, but when someone is standing in the shower they are visible from the outside. The glass seems to be some type of plexiglass. The contractor said he contacted the manufacturer who recommends applying a permanent tile applique to the exterior of the window using an epoxy based bond. I'd like to hear comments, opinions, suggestions if you've heard of something similar. We are in N. Carolina where it is hot (90 - 100) in the summer and can get below 10 in the winter; so I'm also wondering what effects that may have on the window with the attached "tile applique". Thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
A. Spruce

This is something that should have been made perfectly clear, no pun intended, BEFORE the window was purchased and installed. When the layman asks for "opaque", they expect barely a shadow to be visible behind the glass, unfortunately, glass manufacturers have gotten lazy or sloppy in their methods of creating an obscured glass panels, they are NOT all created equal! There is acid etching, sand blasting, and wavy/hammered/fractured looks, all have differing level of opacity.

Because the window is already purchased, installed, and the contractor is not likely to be willing to change it on his dime for his mistake, you are left with applying a surface coating of some sort. If you put the coating on the exterior, then the coating has to be up to the task of handling an exterior environment. My suspicion is that you will have to use an automotive window tint type film or contact commercial store front glass companies for a suitable product/installation of said product.

It is not clear if this window is within the shower or outside of it, if it is within, then whatever interior window film you use, must be rated for wet locations. If the window is outside of the shower, then typical interior grade window film will work.

Another option would be to install a curtain or blind on the interior side or build a screen outside the window to block the view.

dj1
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
dj1

From Spruce's reply:

"Another option would be to install a curtain or blind on the interior side or build a screen outside the window to block the view."

- Cheap and effective.

Yet another option: Use the second bathroom for showers.

ed21
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
ed21

3M and others make films that are meant to be applied to windows that may do what you want. Not generally consumer marketed products. You might be able to get them through a glass shop.

bill
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
bill

I bought and installed a film on the inside on my garage doors windows that worked very nicely. It was like a cellophane that had a colour motif on it

Bill

hollasboy
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
hollasboy

I sympathize with the problem. I had [expensive] privacy windows put in 2 of my bathrooms, but if a white guy stands naked in front on either window at night, with the bathroom lights on, you can clearly see a white guy standing naked, just without the juicy details. During the day, you can't see anything though. I guess the outdoor sunlight is bright enough that it washes out things going on behind the frosted glass.

We ended up putting blinds on our frosted windows. During the day, it's safe to open the blinds. At night, you only open them if you dare. In rent houses, I have used spray frosting that comes in an aerosol can in the paint aisle of any hardware store. Problem is that it applies in a splotchy manner, unless you have a really steady hand. I have also seen some neat work done using adhesive stencils and this spray stuff, to add a pattern in the frosting.

Never used professional grade stuff like your contractor is describing.

keith3267
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
keith3267

I have used the "cracked ice" plastic panels for ceiling lights o the inside of a bathroom window. You absolutely cannot see anything on the other side, but it passes almost all the light. It comes in 2 x 4' panels and is pretty inexpensive. How you attach it depends on your window construction.

dj1
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
dj1
keith3267 wrote:

I have used the "cracked ice" plastic panels for ceiling lights o the inside of a bathroom window. You absolutely cannot see anything on the other side, but it passes almost all the light. It comes in 2 x 4' panels and is pretty inexpensive. How you attach it depends on your window construction.

Certainly an innovative idea.

Only drawback: these sheets are very brittle and breakable.

Bath Remodel
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
Bath Remodel

Thanks for all of the comments, suggestions, and humor; it was good to find out others have had a similar problem. I still can't get a picture inserted or attached... so I'll provide more details about the window. It is 4' wide and 5' tall; it is pretty much most of one wall in the shower and exposes everything from about the knees up. It is an acrylic window made from about 8" x 8" squares and the texture is somewhat wavy. It is definitely not a smooth surface and I don't think a film would stay attached to it. We took a clothed picture and you can make out the persons body including hands and even parts of the face; so it will expose way more than we are willing to show the neighbors. Anyway, the contractor is going to apply an epoxy and Epsom salt mixture to each individual square on the exterior of the window. They showed us a sample and it looked like it will do the trick; but also looks like a lot of work to do each individual square, especially since it is installed. Thanks again.

keith3267
Re: Options for privacy glass for bathroom window?
keith3267

Are these 8x8 panels individual panels or is it a large sheet of acrylic with wood dividers? Is this single pane or is this an acrylic panel over double pane glass?

If it is individual panes, are they held in place with putty or something else? If they can be removed, the take them out and sandwich a piece of "cracked ice" ceiling panel with it and reinstall. I did that with an aluminum framed window in one bathroom.

Edit: another solution I have seen is a custom made stained glass panel that just fits inside the window box and is fastened to the window frame or to the window box sides. It is expensive and you have to be able to remove it for cleaning.

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