Many times a bathroom remodeling project includes replacing the window(s). If the excess moisture in the bathroom is not adequately vented out of the room, bathroom windows can begin to have rot or mold and mildew issues before other windows of the home.
Simply replacing a window with one of the same dimensions will not usually require any changes in the wall structure. However, if you decide a window needs to be moved or increased in size,
carefully examine the wall space on which the changes will be made. Be aware of any structural issues, such as studs that need to be removed or moved, vent stacks that might be present, or headers that need to be modified. Also check for any specific code requirements related to the type of window glazing to be installed.
With any type of replacement window, consider the fenestration pattern of the windows on the exterior. You want a new window to blend with the other windows of the home, especially if it faces the street. Also, if you modify the size or move the window opening, consider whether exterior surfacing materials can be repositioned or reapplied to blend in.
There are numerous window choices and considerations when selecting a bathroom window.
• Operability. Windows can be operable or fixed. If your client desires some natural ventilation in the bathroom, an operable window would be the choice. Place this type of window where it can be easily accessed. Locating it at the back of a counter or tub area would make it difficult for the user to reach and open.
• Security. Vandalism, break-ins, or theft can be a concern for any window in the home. Glass block is often used in bathrooms as a good security option. When natural ventilation and a view are not considerations, glass block can provide a large amount of natural light, an obstructed view, and a surface that cannot be easily penetrated.
• Privacy. If privacy is a concern, especially if the bathroom window is facing a busy street or the house next door, select a type of window glass that offers the maximum amount of privacy. For example, frosted glass does not allow a clear view through the window. Inside window treatments can also add privacy, but you need to discuss that option with your client.
• Cost. The cost of windows can vary tremendously. The framing materials, size, quality of con
struction, and energy efficiency can all factor into the cost. It is usually advisable to buy the best windows you can afford, as they will last a long time, be easier to operate, and make your home more pleasant and comfortable.
• Exterior bathroom features. Many times clients want to take advantage of an exterior feature outside the bathroom. This could be a wonderful view they would like to enjoy while soaking in a tub or perhaps a patio and flower garden they would like the bathroom to open up onto. Keep these features in mind as you plan the window space for the client.
• Tempered glazing. The code requires that glass be tempered or equal if it is located within
reach (60 inches [1524 mm]) of the tub/shower floor. See "Guideline 15 – Glazing" for more information on the use of tempered glazing.