Ensuites - do they 'have' to have a window

Don't get me wrong - I know the don't - but when i'm looking at the plans for our renovations in three of the upstairs windows - the ensuites will be in situations where they won't have natural light.... is this frown on.....

It may be a silly question but it will be a costly mistake to make if you have the experience of guests being unhappy with no natural light in their ensuites... to be perfectly honest I can only really change one room to make it have light and that will make the bedroom smaller....so I don't want to..

Thoughts would be appreciated - especially from the B & B' ers....



we've got the his & hers sink but hey you'd be surprised what you can pick up on ex-display bathroom showrooms- Urinals for him & wc for her..think I'll skip on that though

As our bathrooms will be used by both genders we intend to have lass and lad blocks.... :-)


@James. What's a "lass" block, Is it like a "lad" block but curvier?

totally agree - it's preferable but it does depend on budget and the layout of the house, how much will it cost to put in the window or if a light tube has to go via another room & create an obstruction/duct through that room - that's not always practical/desirable. Older houses with other houses attached on more than one side don't always support having windows in en-suites (which was the case with our house). I also know a village house which has a light well (light tube) which creates an obstruction in their roof terrace AND it can be problematic to create a tight weatherseal so in bad storms water comes in. Is it worth the hassle? Many bathrooms in new build houses/apartments don't have windows as they are located centrally in the house to give the windows to the bedrooms. If you have a detached house then perhaps it is easy to put a window in each en-suite but otherwise it may not be practical or even possible. The key is the ventilation. Ideal world - yes lovely to have a window and natural light but will it stop people renting your B&B? I think they will be pleased to have a private en-suite.

Could lass blocks high up in a wall that does have available light be a nice low cost option?

The bedrooms are all large doubles, and we are taking up minimal space for the ensuites.... after I posted this and started getting the replies Nicholas and I talked about doing something different and on the thinest wall facing the window putting in nice glass from the waist up.... thereby letting in natural light....

when we were looking for our house we stayed in many B & B's throughout various regions and I would say it was probably 50%, if not more, that didn't have windows... it's not until we're doing it that I ever actually thought of it. Yes I agree that natural light is preferable..but I'm not sure it's worth spending lots and lots of money on (especially the velux) for a 6 x 8 ft room.... I've seen in some B & B's now that they don't have a bath 'room' but a wall with the bath the other side of it... very chic...but I'm not sure it will be practical for family which will be one of my target market. I guess, at the end of the day, I will have to price everything out and go with the best option for what we can afford... but hopefully it won't be just a light bulb..


In order of preference for me, and I imagine most people would be, window, velux, light tube. That would also be the order of ascending cost. No light in any room is dull and depressing. Even a tiny window would be better than nothing, is there no external wall in the room?


Yep, just about sums it up. I have been looking into them. A 250mm tube in the UK can be found for £180, including fixtures and fittings. Flexi tubes are just about OK with a single bend, but even a 90 degree angle makes then pretty pointless. The power saving is worth it. I think we are saying more the less on the PIR, but there are lots of variables to decide on. I would never, ever again connect to a light circuit and switch as I did before. In my case, leave the light on and the extractor ran and more than once did all day.

Would go with the sun tubes, might be pricy to install (although that seems a little steep) but will save you money in the long term and natural light is preferable. My daughter has one in her ensuite and it is very effective. I would also recomend a PIR for the fan in a small area, set to a run on for ten minutes after last movement. These small ensuites can get very musty if people do not turn the fan on when needed. (Make sure you get the right PIR for the job, needs to be watertight - lights could go on the same circuit providing people are not going to sit on the loo and read for ages). You could get away with a 250mm tube - prices are dependant on the run from roof to room but can start from just over £200 in the UK (only a 400mm run to the roof so may not be enough but the straight extensions do not break the bank). Beware of flexible tubes, too many bends and they become useless. Think more along the lines of a periscope. Hope this helps :)

I've just googled sun tubes and over here they cost approx £400 - un fitted and £1,000 fitted.... is it the same over there because if it is it will be good old light bulbs.... and a good VMC

I'd go with James on the light/sun tube option. They are surprisingly effective and en suites rarely need as much as a velux. I have plans for VMC when we convert our attics and recommend pretty powerful extractor fans to get steam out. Do not make the mistake I made before of connecting it to the light switch though because they usually need a fair bit longer than it takes your guest or you to dry yourself and get out.Good ones have delays of five, ten or more minutes. About 10 should usually do it. Do not have one without something to put it off itself, if it is forgotten and runs all day it will eat electricity voraciously.

If at all possible I would try to add some natural light, even if you have to use a light tube/sun tube or velux. The rooms will be much more pleasant for it.

excellent - thanks for that

Not at all, I had to learn something from my last renovation - glad to be of help.

Ventilation Mécanique Contrôlée - basically air extraction which keeps the air fresh into the bathrooms. We had fans fitted into ours to make them more effective but you have to specify this or else the plumber might just put in a simple VMC without fan assistance.

Hi Suzanne - sorry whats VMC??? I know i'm probably being thick..

I'm not a B&B'er but as a customer I'd say that I'd be happy to have an en-suite with a decent VMC and good lighting.

of course I ment to say 'three of the upstairs Bedrooms... not Windows...