It is not the end of the world if you have a bathroom without a window. After all, most bathroom windows have obscured glass. So you cannot see through them at any time to get a clear view outside. Blinds will be closed at night, further shutting the room off from the world beyond.
But you need to be careful with your bathroom design because we are programmed to feel a bit more enclosed when there is no window present.
So what do you need to do to make the room feel as airy as possible?
It’s All Done With Mirrors
Mirrors are great for deception hence their use in conjuring tricks. They can trick the eye into thinking something is a lot bigger than it actually is.
This is the perfect way to make a small enclosed room feel much roomier. There is a rule that works perfectly when it comes to the size of the mirror that you choose: the bigger the mirror the bigger the effect it will have.
Glaziers sell mirrors in large sheets. You could have a mirror made to order to cover a large section of one wall. It will have a huge effect on how big the room feels.
Off-the-shelf mirrors are also available. Again, go for the largest design you can accommodate and afford. Some come complete with demister pads. These warm up the glass so that condensation does not form on it. This makes them much more useable when the shower or bath is in use.
Bathroom Walls Choices
The walls of the bathroom represent the biggest surface area in the room. So your choice of wall covering will have the greatest effect on overall appearance.
When there is no window present, you need to follow the common practices employed in small bathroom designs. Your aim is to keep everything feeling as light and open as possible.
With this in mind, keep the wall covering light in appearance. There are many different types of wall covering that can be used in bathrooms. But some work better than others – especially if there is limited ventilation.
The two most common materials would be tiles or bathroom wall panels. Both have their shortcomings but panelling is totally unaffected by condensation so might be the better option. This article has details on choosing between the two.
White is the lightest option but you ideally want some form of a pattern (such as marble) to break it up. The room can look a bit clinical if you don’t. Very light greys are ideal because they have no discernable colour to them which allows you to add stronger colour into the room as accents.
Bathroom Ceilings Also Have An Impact
Most bathroom ceilings that you see will usually be white. And this design practice should be continued in a bathroom without a window.
The conditions in a bathroom can get quite steamy, especially if you have a shower. Traditional ceiling coverings can suffer in such conditions and if you are unable to open a window (or fit an extractor fan) then ceiling panels might be a good option.
You can make a feature of the ceiling if you want or you can use plain panels – the choice is yours. These panels are suitable for use with recessed lighting although some work better than others.
Flush-finish panels enable the flange from the light to sit flat on the surface. If the panels have a tongue and groove effect then gaps might be visible under the flange. It’s not a big deal but it’s just worth pointing this out to ensure your ceiling is 100% to your liking.
You can afford for the flooring to be a bit darker if you have kept to the design rule of keeping the walls and ceiling light in colour.
The floor is further away from your line of sight when you enter a room. So a dark floor will be less of an issue. Also, the actual area of a bathroom floor is relatively small, much less so than the walls.
Lighter colour floors will probably work best if you are introducing highlight colours into the room. This can be done with towels, mats, blinds or other decorative items.
Your choice of floor covering will be a matter of personal taste. We have a guide to help you choose available here if you would like a bit more information.
Lighting A Bathroom With No Window
Obviously, a bathroom with no window will need plenty of artificial light.
There are various options when it comes to illuminating the room. But beware that different regulations apply in bathrooms in the UK. The lights that are used have to be rated on how waterproof they are.
Lights near or above a shower require the highest rating. You should use a qualified electrician for any electrical work and they can advise on what is and isn’t suitable.
Ideally, you should be able to obtain a mixture of light levels. Separate illumination around or above a mirror is always a good idea. It will enable you to have a little or a lot of light depending on what suits the mood or time of day.
Recessed lighting will enable the light sources to be spread around the room. If the ceiling is not suitable for recessing the lights you could fit ceiling paels. By attaching these to battens you can create a gap into which the lights can be fitted.
Keep Things As Open As Possible
Certain fixtures in the bathroom can have the effect of dividing the room up. Bath shower screens, shower curtains and shower cubicles can cordon off sections of the room. This will make the room feel smaller.
A clear bath shower screen is a good idea. Some screens have modesty panels on them or patterns etched into the surface. These do not really serve any purpose and make the screen more visible. You want the screen to almost disappear from view so clear glass is the way to go.
If you have to use a shower curtain then make sure it can be stowed away as tight as possible to the wall. A towel ring can be used for this purpose.
A shower enclosure should also have clear glass to keep things feeling as open as possible. Keep the glass clean with a shower squeegee to prevent any soap residue from building up and blocking the open view.
Window sills have a habit of collecting clutter so all the stuff will have to find another home. Try and incorporate as much storage as possible in your design. Clutter will prevent the room feel open and spacious when there is a bathroom with no window.
Vanity units and bathroom cabinets are the obvious candidates to help hide away all the soaps, shampoos, lotions and potions. Bathroom cabinets can tick quite a few boxes. They can have mirrored doors, built-in lighting and provide storage space.
But there are other areas you can exploit too – this article has some great bathroom storage ideas.
Ventilation In A Bathroom Without A Window
Last but not least you need to ensure that the bathroom has some form of ventilation.
With no window, there is no way that steam condensation and odours can escape so an extractor fan will need to be installed. There are a few different types but they all do more or less the same job.
Some have a humidistat built into them that triggers the fan when it detects high levels of moisture. This works fine when the shower is in use but it will not come on automatically when the toilet is used.
You could wire the fan to come on with the main lights which negates the need to switch it on separately. Or you could just buy a fan that has its own pull cord and can be switched on and off whenever required.
So In Conclusion…
Bathrooms with no windows tend to be on the smaller side so most of the rules listed here could equally be applied to any small bathroom.
Following these design guidelines will help you make the most of your space and ensure you have a useable, attractive functional space.
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