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Are windows necessary in a bathroom?
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Are windows necessary in a bathroom?

Posted by Rebecca Doody in Room planning | 1 year ago 6 min read

In this in-depth article, we discover whether windows are a must-have fixture in your bathroom, or whether you can function without one...

Your bathroom is probably the wettest room in your house, and this means that good ventilation is a must. Have you ever encountered a bathroom riddled with mould in the corners or in between the tiles on the floor? The reason for this usually lies in poor ventilation or a windowless bathroom, causing excess moisture and humidity in the bathroom. 

For this reason, it is important that bathrooms have an ideal source of ventilation, and a bathroom window is the perfect option. However, why is it that some bathrooms don’t have windows built-in? Whilst windows are good for ensuring proper ventilation within a bathroom, they are not the sole option available. 

According to planning, bathrooms do not necessarily require windows if there is already an artificial source of light, as well as a ventilation fan installed. Those who prefer not to have windows in a bathroom can have a mechanical ventilation fan installed instead to prevent mold growth and provide adequate ventilation. Exhaust fans have been used for this concept successfully.

Adler bathroom furniture

Why having a ventilation system is important for your bathroom

Out of all the rooms in your house, the bathroom is probably the most susceptible to improper ventilation and a buildup of excess moisture. This can lead to all sorts of issues, hence why having ventilation for unwanted moisture is necessary. Having a window, or other systems, such as ventilation fans, will help moisture, high humidity and foul odors escape from the bathroom. This works for both tight spaces and a larger bathroom.

Too much dampness in the walls and tiles of your bathroom can lead to all sorts of issues in the long run.

Mould and mildew growth

Excess moisture is a recipe for disaster. Water is a vital ingredient for mould and mildew to grow, and hence they appear easily in humid and damp bathrooms. Not only are they unsightly, but mould and mildew can cause allergic reactions or even respiratory infections in extreme cases. Having proper ventilation would prevent health-related issues that come with a mould or mildew buildup.

Unpleasant smell

A buildup of moisture in your bathroom can also cause an unpleasant smell to occur. This happens due to the smell released from mould that is unable to escape due to poor ventilation in the bathroom. Over time, the smell will begin to build up and progressively worsen until the mould is removed and the air is properly ventilated.

Beaumont collection

Damaged structures

Mould isn’t the only cause for concern when it comes to improperly ventilated bathrooms. A buildup of moisture in certain materials in your bathroom can cause damage to your house as well. For example, the wood in the structure that houses your bathroom can become damaged and rotten, causing structural instability issues. Leakages through wooden floors are also a possible issue. Metal structures are also susceptible to rust if exposed to too much moisture.

Peeling paint

No one wants a beautiful paint job to be ruined so easily, but that is exactly what can occur when you don’t have a proper ventilation system in your bathroom. When moisture seeps into the walls, it causes the paint to easily peel off.


A damp room can certainly be very unpleasant to be in. Excess humidity can cause issues such as fogged-up mirrors and difficulty breathing. Furthermore, any item you intend to hang and dry in the bathroom such as towels and bathrobes will only take longer to dry.

When is a window not needed in a bathroom?

Although windows are an effective way of ensuring the good circulation of air within a bathroom, they are not required under certain circumstances. Most residential codes state that your bathroom is not required to have a window if it meets these two criteria, there is an artificial source of light and a local exhaust system installed.

This means that if your bathroom contains a lightbulb and a ventilation fan, it is sufficient enough to not require a window installed. Here are some common forms of ventilation systems that homeowners typically have to help prevent a buildup of moisture in their bathrooms.

Orchard Derwent square straight shower bath suite

Bathroom ventilation fan

Bathroom ventilation fans are commonly installed in bathrooms that don’t have windows. These fans help draw air out of the bathroom and into an open area, pulling any moisture out as well. This keeps the air in the bathroom sufficiently dry, which in turn allows moisture in the floor and the walls to easily evaporate and be drawn out as well. If you are facing issues with mould and unpleasant smells, a bathroom fan would be the best way to remedy them if windows are not an option.

Heated floors

Heated floors are also a great way to keep moisture from building up in your tiles and pooling in the corners of the bathroom. Heat allows moisture to more easily evaporate from the floor, keeping it dry. However, these heated floors aren’t sufficient enough to keep moisture away, a proper ventilation outlet is still needed to allow damp air to escape.


A dehumidifier works to extract water from the air to prevent a humid and damp environment. This can be a great way to prevent moisture and mould from building up in specific areas of the bathroom, but it certainly won’t be powerful enough to keep the entire bathroom dry.

Vintage Chic bathroom ideas

Tempered bathroom windows

Tempered glass is a type of glass that shatters into many small pieces when broken, reducing the chance of sharp edges. It is also significantly stronger than normal glass. Due to this, it is highly recommended that your bathroom windows be made out of tempered glass for safety reasons.

Frosted bathroom windows

Frosted bathroom windows are an excellent option if you require privacy due to the placement of your windows. There are windows that are frosted on one side, meaning that you can look out, but people on the outside can’t look in, giving you the freedom to a great view without worrying about your privacy.


Having a form of ventilation in your bathroom, be it a window or a ventilation fan is extremely important. Without them, your bathroom becomes susceptible to mould infestations and other problems that arise due to an overly damp environment. Furthermore, windows are a great way to naturally light up your bathroom, and if you don’t have one installed, artificial light sources are definitely a must for safety purposes.

More modern bathroom ideas

At Victoria Plum, we’re full of fresh modern bathroom ideas, so why not check out further inspirational bathrooms on our blog? If you’re interested in a specific style, our Get the Look style guides are a great place to start.

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Author, Rebecca Doody

Posted by Rebecca Doody in Room planning | 1 year ago

Originally from Somerset, Rebecca is our resident copywriter who takes care of all things product related. Rebecca loves the modern interior style with both neutral and bold influences to create a statement look.

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