When designing a bathroom, one of the most important factors to consider is lighting. However, not all bathrooms are fortunate enough to have windows and therefore don't benefit from natural lighting. 
Windowless bathrooms can present a unique set of challenges that homeowners must be aware of when planning a remodel or design. Furthermore, homeowners need to be more proactive with air quality when dealing with a windowless bathroom.
Here, The Bathroom Showroom explores the potential problems faced by windowless bathrooms while providing some tips on how to overcome them.

Why Are Some Bathrooms Windowless?

Lack of Available Space - In buildings where space is limited, bathrooms are often tucked away in interior locations where it’s not feasible to have windows. This lack of space means that architects and builders have to prioritise functionality over aesthetics, leading to the omission of windows in the design.
Privacy Concerns - Privacy often influences the decision to exclude windows in bathrooms to help maintain the privacy of occupants. This is particularly important in shared spaces where individuals expect a certain level of anonymity while using the bathroom.
Structural Constraints - Some building layouts or surrounding environments may present structural constraints that prevent the inclusion of windows in bathrooms. For example, those bathrooms located in the centre of a building or surrounded by other rooms may not have the option of adding windows without significant modifications to the existing structure. 
Ventilation and Odour Control - With advancements in mechanical ventilation systems, some buildings have made it possible to achieve adequate airflow and odour removal even in windowless bathrooms. By utilising exhaust fans and other ventilation solutions, designers can create a comfortable and hygienic environment without the need for windows.
Building Codes and Regulations - Some bathrooms are windowless due to building codes and regulations that specify the minimum requirements for bathroom design. Depending on the jurisdiction and type of building, there may be specific guidelines that dictate whether windows are necessary in bathrooms. 

What Are the Problems Faced by Windowless Bathrooms?

Before we dive into solutions, let's first understand why heat and humidity can be a problem in a windowless bathroom. When you take a hot shower, the steam created can quickly build up in a confined space, leading to high levels of humidity. This, combined with the lack of ventilation, can create a stuffy and uncomfortable environment.
Because of this, the main problem faced by windowless bathrooms is poor ventilation. Without a window to allow fresh air in and humidity to escape, the bathroom can quickly become damp and musty. This can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, which not only looks unsightly but can also pose health risks to everyone using this space.
The absence of a window in the bathroom means there's no source of fresh air or natural ventilation. This can result in unpleasant odours lingering in the space, which can be off-putting for both residents and guests. Proper ventilation is essential to maintaining a clean and fresh-smelling bathroom, and without a window, this can be a challenge.
Another issue with windowless bathrooms is the lack of natural light. Natural light not only makes the space feel brighter and more inviting but also can kill off bacteria and viruses that may be lurking in the shadows. Without natural light, windowless bathrooms can feel dark and unwelcoming, making it less pleasant to spend time in.
Furthermore, privacy can be a concern in windowless bathrooms. Without a window to provide natural light and air, homeowners may feel the need to keep the door closed at all times, making the space feel cramped and claustrophobic.

Tips for Managing Heat and Humidity in Windowless Bathrooms 

  1. Install an Exhaust Fan: The most important fitting in a windowless bathroom is a good-quality bathroom exhaust fan. Investing in a quality model here will remove steam and excess moisture from the air and circulate the air for good flow. If installing an exhaust fan is not possible, consider using a portable ventilation system to help improve air circulation.
  2. Use a Dehumidifier: A bathroom dehumidifier can also lend a hand to help remove excess moisture from the air while reducing humidity levels in this space. 
  3. Avoid Taking Overly Long Hot Showers: Taking shorter showers is the best practice for helping reduce steam and humidity levels in a windowless bathroom. So too can actively working to drop the temperature of your hot showers and aiming for cooler showering sessions.
  4. Make Good Use of Lighting: Windowless bathrooms work better with bright, artificial lighting. This will not only make the space feel more inviting but also help kill off bacteria and viruses.
  5. Keep the Bathroom Door Open and Open Windows in Adjacent Rooms: Leaving the door open when you take a shower can help improve air circulation especially if you have windows in adjacent rooms. This will create a cross breeze that can help remove steam and humidity from your bathroom and prevent humidity build-up.
  6. Install and Use a Towel Warmer: A towel warmer not only keeps your towels dry and warm but also helps absorb moisture from the air.
  7. Consider Using Light-Coloured Paint and Adding Varied Reflective Surfaces - Light-coloured bathrooms open up a bathroom and encourage the illusion of a brighter space. What's more, when coupled with several mirrored surfaces, light will bounce around the room and help open up this space. 
  8. Add Plants Around Your Bathroom: Several specific houseplants, such as ferns, orchids, Ivy, and Aloe, can help absorb excess moisture in the air, acting as natural dehumidifiers.

Get Creative With Your Windowless Bathroom 

Designers are continuing to offer creative strategies to address the challenges of windowless bathrooms. From artificial lighting solutions that mimic natural light to innovative ventilation systems that enhance indoor air quality, there are various ways to make windowless bathrooms more inviting and functional. 
Yet, by making good use of ventilation fans and making a few small changes to daily routines, as mentioned above, working in harmony with a bathroom with no window is still achievable.
For more help and advice in and around the bathroom, take a look at both our Blog and Rest & Relaxation section.
If you’re looking to create a healthy and inviting space, book an appointment with The Bathroom Showroom. Experts in all things bathrooms, we can help turn your dream bathroom into a reality.