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Finding the right bathroom window can be challenging due to privacy concerns, but there are several types of windows that protect your private space. A bathroom window brings more light and fresh air into the room. Plus, the added ventilation helps reduce the air’s moisture and prevent mildew.
This guide explains what to look for in replacement bathroom windows based on appearance, functionality, ventilation, and privacy. We’ve also suggested the best replacement windows to upgrade your bathroom’s look and comfort levels.
What to Consider for Bathroom Window Replacements
Although there aren’t windows designed specifically for bathrooms, several window types and styles work better than others. Bathroom windows offer numerous benefits, including added ventilation and natural light. Here are some key factors to consider before deciding on new bathroom windows.
Bathroom windows have several practical functions. They help release the room’s moisture and odors and reduce the chance of mold or mildew. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, you’ll need windows to improve airflow. You’ll also benefit from more natural light, reducing the need for artificial ones. This helps lower your electricity bills over time.
If you want more fresh air and sunlight, choose operational windows that open and close. You’ll also want windows with limited grille designs for maximum sunlight.
Select smaller, operative windows if you want to improve airflow without more sunlight. If you already have an exhaust fan or prefer not to have more fresh air, choose inoperative or fixed windows to benefit from the added natural light.
You should also consider multipane windows to help reduce condensation. Double-pane windows use insulating gas between their panes to protect your home from extreme external temperatures. The insulation also protects your windows from sweating due to humid bathroom temperatures.
You’ll want to keep privacy in mind when choosing bathroom windows. Consider your bathroom window placement and current level of privacy. You can install larger windows with limited privacy protections if you have a secluded yard or distance between your neighbors. If you lack privacy fencing around your home, consider adding window treatments such as blinds or curtains.
You can also opt for frosted or textured glass, which blocks internal viewing without sacrificing natural light. Window film or tinted glass provides privacy but will reduce incoming sunlight. Some windows include privacy glass, which reduces visibility for interior and exterior views.
Depending on your bathroom design, you may have much less wall space than in other rooms in your home. Smaller guest bathrooms or half-baths have considerably less wall space than primary baths. Installing a window will take valuable wall space away from other bathroom necessities, such as shelving, cabinets, and racks.
If your wall space is limited, consider installing small bathroom windows higher up. This protects your privacy and conserves the lower wall space for bathroom accessories. If space isn’t an issue, you can choose standard window sizes for your bathroom. Larger windows, such as picture windows, create a more open space and make your bathroom look bigger.
Window Frame Material
The best window brands offer a wide selection of frame materials to complement your home’s design. Although most window materials work in every room, bathrooms are an exception. Due to the higher humidity and moisture levels, wooden windows would deteriorate in this environment. These windows are susceptible to water damage and require resealing to prevent rot. You should choose nonporous materials for your bathrooms, such as aluminum, fiberglass, or vinyl windows.
Your frame choice will also impact your window replacement costs. Vinyl and aluminum are some of the most affordable replacement window options. Fiberglass has a higher price point but is energy-efficient. Many window manufacturers offer fiberglass windows with wood-grain details to mimic wooden windows’ elegant look. Vinyl windows also offer good energy efficiency but often look artificial and have limited customization options. Aluminum provides a clean look but offers little efficiency.
Recommended Window Styles for Bathrooms
When choosing a bathroom window style, consider your bathroom’s size, design, and privacy. Window styles have different benefits, features, and customization options. Below is our list of window styles best suited for a bathroom.
Awning windows have a hinge at the top and open outward from your home. Selecting a smaller size provides excellent airflow and privacy when hung high on a wall. If you choose a larger size, consider updating to privacy glass for added protection.
Casement windows have side hinges similar to a door. These windows open away from your home and are larger than other options. Casement windows open fully, allowing for maximum ventilation. Given the windows’ size, they’re best to install if you have a private view and fencing. Consider window treatments or specialty glass for additional privacy.
Double-hung windows are popular among homeowners. They have two movable panels, or sashes, that open at the top and bottom, providing excellent airflow to your bathroom. Many double-hung windows include tilt-in sashes for easier cleaning.
Double-hung windows are typically recommended for installations on the second floor or higher due to the security concerns around dual openings. Homeowners can opt for additional locks and other security features to keep these windows secure. Upgrading to double or triple panes (or glazing) improves energy efficiency.
Glass Block Windows
These decorative windows offer eye-catching designs and optimal privacy. Glass block windows use a textured pattern in each pane that obscures the view while letting in sunlight. Homeowners can also add decorative elements. Although glass block windows don’t open, they’re a great option for bathrooms that already have proper ventilation but need added light.
Sliding windows have a track with a sash that moves to the left or right. For added security on a ground-level floor, consider a sliding window with one fixed sash. These windows work well in tight spaces and allow fresh air to enter the bathroom. Sliding windows come in various sizes and can be small enough to put in a shower for added ventilation.
Transom windows usually serve as added focal points above existing windows and doors. They come in operational or fixed varieties. The operational version has a hinge at the bottom, allowing the sash to tilt into the room. Transom windows come in basic shapes and often incorporate decorative patterns such as frosted and stained glass.
Skylights are an excellent alternative to traditional wall windows. They protect privacy and offer unobstructed sky views while providing plenty of natural light. Skylights come in fixed or operable styles that bring fresh air into the room. They work well in bathrooms with limited wall space or no external walls. The additional window heat helps warm your bathroom, especially during winter.
The right bathroom window balances style and function. Some bathrooms are small and have a limited wall area, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Consider your wall space, privacy concerns, desired features, and current design when planning for replacement windows. Look for styles that complement your bathroom and offer upgrades for energy efficiency and privacy.
We recommend using a professional window installer for your bathroom window replacement project. Request quotes from three or more companies to find window selections and upgrades that suit your bathroom needs.
Replacement Bathroom Window FAQ
Are there special windows for bathrooms?
No, there aren’t special windows for bathrooms, but some styles work better than others. Awning, casement, double-hung, and sliding windows provide excellent ventilation and ample sunlight. Add frosting or textured glass to restrict views. You can also install windows higher on walls to protect your privacy.
What are the benefits of a bathroom window?
A bathroom window can bring more sunlight and ventilation into the room. They improve airflow by reducing humidity, which helps combat mold and mildew growth. Bathroom windows also help a small space feel bigger and can add a new design element to the room.
How big is a typical bathroom window?
There’s not a typical bathroom window size. It depends on the room’s design and available wall space. Since many bathrooms are small, homeowners choose smaller windows to conserve space. You can install standard-size windows for better views if your bathroom has a full-size wall. We recommend having a professional installer review your bathroom to find the ideal window size.