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Bathroom windows have three major purposes. The first purpose is ventilation. The second purpose is natural lighting. Since windows would have glass panes, it is necessary for them to ensure optimum privacy. This becomes the third purpose by default.
Choosing the right type of bathroom windows for your home will be influenced by many factors. The size of your bathroom, how many windows you can have, the directions your bathroom walls face as that would determine its exposure to natural light and also wind, your personal preferences and the décor you wish to have, will be the main decisive elements. Let us explore the various types of windows you can consider for your bathrooms to help you choose the right one.
• You need at least one window in your bathroom that can be opened. This is a quintessential requirement. You can opt for casement windows or awning windows. Picture windows cannot be opened. Double hung windows can be opened and hence they are a natural choice. Double hung windows and casement windows have a bit of a problem with privacy as they have a substantially large opening. Awning windows are deemed the best. They have a tilt feature wherein the panes can open without compromising the privacy. If you choose awning windows and they are placed high enough on the bathroom wall, then tilting them up will give you the opening needed for ventilation and this would not facilitate any direct view of the bathroom, at least at the eye level. Even if you have awning windows at the waist level or at the chest height of an average adult, the tilt feature will prevent a straight view from outside. Awning windows are naturally the most preferred choice.
• There is a problem with awning windows. The opening is too small. If you have a large bathroom or if you need substantial ventilation, then you might have to go for double hung windows or casement windows. It is not just the moisture and the steam from a hot shower that must be got rid of through ventilation. Many people use a variety of appliances in their bathrooms. These appliances generate heat and that can increase the relative humidity in the bathroom. Use of various cosmetic products will also lead to a buildup of fragrances that only fresh air can replace. While the fragrances may be pleasant initially, the molecules in the air will not remain fragrant in due course of time. A bathroom should have well circulated fresh air. This is as much about odor as it is about hygiene. Double hung windows and casement windows would allow much better ventilation. For those who are trying to choose between the two or are more inclined to awning windows, there is always a possibility of having more than one type.
• You can have a casement window and an awning window. You can combine a picture window with an awning window or a casement window with a custom shaped window. One may open and another would serve the purpose of letting enough light in. Both would serve the collective purpose. You don’t have to worry about privacy with any of these types of windows when they are closed because there are many types of glasses to choose from. There is frosted glass, stained glass, privacy glass and window films among others. You can also combine double hung, casement, awning and picture if you have enough space. If there is a large wall, then you can also opt for a bow and bay window combination. In here, you would get a picture window at the centre that does not open. The curvature of the bow window will make your bathroom look more spacious. Two pieces on either side of the picture window in this combination can be opened so there would be no dearth of fresh air and hence ventilation.
• If you have a bathroom wherein two walls can have windows, then you should go for a type that allows you to open the windows on both sides. Cross ventilation is much superior to having just one window circulating fresh air in a unidirectional manner. Even if you don’t have such a provision or you cannot install two windows on opposite walls, do so on adjacent walls. The two windows can also be close to one another but ideally they should not be side by side as it does not facilitate cross ventilation. They must face one another, even if it is diagonally.
As is the case with every other window in a house, your bathroom windows must also be properly insulated. Energy efficiency is an imperative requirement. Whichever type of window you choose or whatever combination suits your needs and preferences, you should ensure that does not compromise the insulation in your bathroom.