Project managed bathroom, en suite & downstairs loo installations

Utilising Natural Light in En Suites to Avoid Dingy Rooms

Ways to get natural light into new en suites

Introduction

Where possible, it is always recommended to add an en suite where there will be some form of natural light through an existing window into the room.

Maintaining privacy

If there is already a window, it is likely that it has clear glass in it rather than obscured glass.
Therefore you may wish to do one of the following (from cheapest 1st):

• cover the glass internally with an opaque finish – either a film or spray applied finish (DIY option)
• fit a blind (DIY option)
• replace the clear glass with a obscured glass (not a DIY job)
• replace the entire window with obscured glass (also not a DIY job)

frosted-glass

When there is no natural light….

If you plan to add an en suite to a location that will have no natural light, you need to either:
a) ensure that the level of artificial light is sufficient.
OR
b) consider how you can gain some artificial light

This situation tends to arise in bedrooms that only have 1 window and homeowners do not want to cover the only window with the en suite.

However, there is still hope in these situations…..

Options for Utilising Natural Light

1. Install a new window

This is probably the most expensive option and would need to be undertaken by a builder.

It may also need council approval and planning permission and it is your job as the homeowner to make sure the work being done at your property complies with all local regulations.

This job will probably require scaffolding.

adding-a-window-to-add-light

en-suite-scaffolding
2. Install a velux

Velux windows can be installed in en suite ceilings in the loft i.e. where the ceiling of the en suite is the underside of the roof (rather than the loft above.)
As well as providing a source of natural light, these windows can also act as an escape route in the event of a fire, and as a form of natural ‘purge’ ventilation.
This is a job that is best undertaken by a roofer, and again you should check permissions with your local building control department.
marking-the-space-for-a-velux

velux-fitted-to-ensuite
This job may require scaffolding.

3. Install a suntube

Suntubes can be installed when there is a loft space above the en suite location (rather than the underside of the roof.)
suntube-in-en-suite

Suntubes are installed by cutting holes in the en suite ceiling and the roof above…..

sun-tube-hole-in-ceiling

suntube-hole-in-roof

….and then linking them up with a suntube set in the loft space between:

suntube-in-loft-for-new-en-suite

They deliver lots of natural light into the room, and are very useful for 1st floor en suite installations in ‘landlocked’ en suites.
natural-daylight-in-a-landlocked-en-suite

Suntubes DO NOT act as an escape route in the event of a fire and DO NOT act as a form of natural ‘purge’ ventilation (as Velux windows do.)
Suntube fitting is also a job that is best undertaken by a roofer, and again you should check permissions with your local building control department.
This job may also require scaffolding.

4. Steal natural light from an adjacent room
If there is no opportunity to install a window / Velux / suntube, then you can still steal some natural light from the adjacent bedroom through a specially constructed window:

adding-a-window-to-steal-light

custom-made-shelving-window
Or through a glass door:

adding-an-en-suite-to-a-bedroom

finished-en-suite-with-glass-door

PS Please note that glass doors in en suites do not provide much privacy for the user as shapes and sounds can be seen and heard through the door!

Any thoughts?

What other ways can you think of to maximise natural light in an en suite?
Chris

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