Ask The Expert: Window Trim Rot In Bathroom


“The trim on my window, which is located on the back wall above my bathtub, is rotting. What kind of paint should I use to keep the window trim rot from getting worse?” – Chris M.

window sill rot

Window sill rot


“Chris, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if the trim is rotting chances are there is more water damage than meets the eye. My suggestion is to replace the window with a vinyl window. You can buy a vinyl replacement window at any home improvement store or you could hire a window company to replace the window. Repair any water damage before replacing the window. If you find mold, treat it accordingly. Use vinyl trim, acrylic, or tile to trim out or case the window. Good luck.” -Tim

Wood is a very porous substance that tends to retain water, making it less-than-ideal in a bathroom. A wooden windowsill is even less practical IN your shower.  Although coatings like paint, lacquer or varnish create a waterproof seal for a little while, it’s only a matter of time before it erodes and leaves your wooden window units exposed to water damage and mold.

When you are able, reinstall a vinyl window unit, avoid using porous grout or caulk that can also harbor mold spores. Be sure to check your window frame and surrounding sheetrock and wall frame to make sure the water damage hasn’t spread further than you may have anticipated.

Vinyl window units or glass blocks are great alternative to wood window units. Glass blocks and textured glass windows can provide needed privacy without reducing the natural light coming into your bathroom. Switching to glass block windows or textured glass also means you can get rid of blinds or curtains that may also be suffering from moisture.

textured glass

Different styles of textured glass




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