Bathroom windows can pose a bit of a design dilemma. You want ultimate privacy in the bathroom, but natural light is helpful for most personal grooming tasks. In small bathrooms, there aren’t always options when it comes to the location or size of the window—and interior rooms prevent the luxury of having a window at all. But before you resign yourself to unflattering overhead lighting, check out these bathroom window ideas for inspiration.
A fixed skylight window above the shower is just what you need to be one with nature. An overhead window retains privacy while bringing in the gorgeous daylight. If you haven’t decided on tile, consider going with something earthy to make your shower feel like a peaceful paradise. Because the project involves cutting into your roof and ceiling, it’s not exactly cheap—a double-glazed skylight costs anywhere between $60 to $100 per square foot.
For a budget version (which may serve an especially small bathroom best), opt for a tubular skylight or, as it’s also known, a solar tube (pictured above). A much smaller version of a traditional skylight, a solar tube is a 10- or 14-inch diameter sheet metal tube which reflects and diffuses sunlight throughout a room. Because they don’t require new drywall and alterations to framing like a traditional sunlight, they can be installed for between $500 and $1,000. Keep in mind that a solar tube will offer light but not the view that a traditional skylight affords.
Shutter-style blinds, also known as plantation shutters, can be adjusted to easily adapt to your privacy needs and add an elegant focal point to any room. Open them up with a flick of the wrist to let the light in, or close them to conceal the room. Cost depends on the size of your window, as well as choice of material, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $62 per basic faux wood shutter all the way to $258 at the high end.
Your bathroom window doesn’t have to be on the ceiling to offer both sunlight and privacy. Glass that has a heavy texture or high opacity (as seen above) obscures the view and doesn’t make much of a difference as far as the lighting goes, which is ideal for small bathroom windows. Still, this project is on the expensive side, since a 3-by-5-ft. double hung window with translucent glass runs between $400 to $600. You can also use privacy window film, a temporary contact paper that has a frosted look or texture to it for a quick and cheap solution at just $21 a piece.
Glass Block Windows
Like textured glass, glass block windows let ample light into a space without compromising privacy. You can even make an entire wall out of glass blocks if you want to brighten up the room. Individual glass blocks run between $5 and $15 each. Installation alone runs between $350 to $600 per window. There’s also the option of purchasing a pre-formed glass block window to fit in most standard-sized windows, which averages between $50 and $800 depending on the size of your window and type of glass you choose.
Transoms are typically accent windows that go above or below a door or larger window. But in a space where privacy is key, a transom window works well as a standalone. These are a more affordable choice on the list, since their average cost runs between $200 and $575 including installation. Just make sure to position the window high enough that privacy isn’t compromised for a view of the outdoors.
Like a transom window, a hopper window is usually set high on the wall, but it opens downward to provide ventilation when need be. If your bathroom gets soaked with condensation when you take a hot shower, consider getting one you can easily open without having to get out of the shower. Based on size and materials used, a hopper window will cost between between $260 and $720 each.
If you keep an open mind about your options, there’s a solution that will make a tight space look larger and feel as refreshing as a spa. If you know which direction you want to go for your bathroom or need more information, check out our window buying guide to get started on the process of installing or replacing your window. Find the best window replacement contractors to install your new bathroom window.