The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in any home, but the possibilities for variations in bathroom design are often overlooked. When renovating a bathroom space, including the right replacement windows can create a functional style that fits any architectural design.
Replacement bathroom windows should provide adequate ventilation and lighting to the bathroom while complimenting the fixtures, color and general design of the space. Possible styles for bathroom windows vary widely with a great number of operable and non-operable windows available to compliment the bathroom's colors, fixtures, tiles and millwork. All of these elements surround the bathroom window which can serve as the bathroom's focal point.
 Bathroom Window Considerations
When replacing a bathroom window the design plan should take into account the existing size of the bathroom and the possibilities for expansion, the installed (or planned) fixtures and cabinet space and the bathroom's exterior area including light exposure and visibility access from outside the house. These elements will provide a general framework that can guide the bathroom's architectural plan.
 2-Wall or 3-Wall Layout
A two-wall bathroom layout provides convenient and functional window space above either the sink and toilet which are plumbed on one wall or the tub and shower which is plumbed on the second wall. With a three-wall layout the window can be installed above any of the bathroom fixtures or above a separate cabinet.
 Bathroom Mirror
Bathroom lighting should highlight the mirror. In addition to wall lights, a well-placed bathroom window can illuminate the mirror from both sides to eliminate shadows.
 Window Treatments
Sound can be absorbed and visual access limited with window treatments for clear glass replacement bathroom windows. Blinds, shades, shutters and curtains add to a bathroom window's appearance both inside and outside and provide privacy while helping to control light. These window treatments can resist moisture and humidity which is prevalent in bathrooms.
 Bathroom Windows Framing Materials
Homeowners can choose their replacement bathroom windows with wood, wood clad, composite, fiberglass, vinyl or aluminum framing materials.
 Wood and Wood Clad Windows
wood clad frames and all-wood replacement window frames present a traditional window appearance. However interior wood frames can warp or rot if the bathroom is not properly vented. In a well-ventilated bathroom the wood interior frames offer an attractive and long-lasting window alternative.
 Vinyl and Aluminum Frames
Vinyl frames and aluminum frames are lower-cost replacement window framing options for bathroom applications. Aluminum frames attract condensation so only top grades of aluminum frames should be used for bathroom windows.
 Fiberglass and Composite Windows
Fiberglass frames and composite material frames offer a durable and long-lasting replacement window frames for bathroom windows. These framing materials are not susceptible to condensation, warping or rot, even in the high-moisture atmosphere of a bathroom.
 Bathroom Windows Glazing
Glazing options for a bathroom window should address privacy and insulation considerations.
 Privacy Glazing
Depending on the location, homeowners can choose clear glass or privacy glass for their replacement bathroom window. Bathroom windows located on upper floors generally don't require any kind of clouded glazing unless there is visual contact from other nearby buildings. First-story bathroom plans generally involve a privacy glass alternative which include options for opaque, stained or acrylic block glass windows.
 Thermal Insulation
Proper bathroom thermal insulation ensures a comfortable environment for household members who bath or shower when the weather is cold outside. In addition, the high level of moisture and humidity in a bathroom can cause condensation build-up along improperly insulated bathroom windows. A bathroom window with multi pane windows can provide adequate protection from the weather's elements.
 Insulation Concerns
In addition to the glazing, the frame and weatherstripping of the replacement bathroom windows should be checked to ensure that they provide the best possible protection from the weather.
 Styles, Sizes and Shapes
A bathroom's architectural design may include windows of any size, shape and style. These options should be considered based on the proposed location of the bathroom window, access to the window for operating and cleaning purposes and available space. Double- and single-hung windows, casement and awning windows, sliding windows, garden windows, fixed picture windows and even bow and bay windows can provide a good window choice for a bathroom.
 Bathroom Window Sizes and Shapes
The installation of bathroom windows provides the homeowner with a wide range of window options that allow for the selection of single windows or window units of any size or shape. After venting and lighting concerns are addressed, the bathroom window selection can mix and match a variety of window styles, sizes and shapes which work together to form an aesthetic and functional window application.
 Double & Single Hung Windows
Single- and Double-hung replacement windows are common window choices for bathrooms. These vertical sliding windows offer a traditional style that is functional, attractive and easy to clean. Operating a vertical sliding window is accomplished by standing right under the window to push it open and pull it closed so the window should be located in a space where the homeowner can stand in close proximity to the window to open and close it.
 Casement and Awning Windows
Casement and awning replacement windows operate with a hand-crank or by remote control. They are a more costly window option due to their operating mechanism but they are popular for bathrooms because they provide full venting. Casement and awning windows may be installed in the center of a bathroom wall or near the ceiling, above bathroom fixtures and furnishings.
 Bow and Bay Windows
Bow and bay windows add a unique architectural element to a bathroom. They expand the daylighting opportunities while providing additional bathroom space. Some bathroom designs call for a bathtub to be installed within the opening created by a bay or bow window, allowing an individual to relax in the bathtub while enjoying an expansive view. Other possibilities may involve a vanity cranny or a storage area in the nook created by the bay or bow window.
 Garden Windows
Garden windows are popular bathroom windows that can fit in a small area and provide extra storage space and ventilation. A garden window juts out a bit from the home's exterior wall to add a decorative shelf space to the bathroom or provide an extra area for placing soap, shampoo and other bathroom necessities.
 Picture Windows
Picture Windows increase daylighting into a bathroom and are a good window solution for a tight area. However, they do not increase the air flow for the bathroom so should be considered as an additional window solution alongside a venting window.