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Bathroom skylight questions

Posted by tanama (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 26, 08 at 16:06

I'm planning the renovation of our small bathroom in our 1930'shouse. The bathroom currently has no windows, and I want to bring in some natural light. I had original thought to put in a window, but as I research it further I've decided that it's not our best choice since the only spot for a window is also the only spot for the shower/bath. An additional reason for going for a skylight is that with our plans to tile the bathroom walls, the window would have to go in before we tiled, but if we put in a skylight that could be a project done later, after we saved up a wee bit more money after the initial renovation cost.

Because our attic is partially finished, the skylight would have to go in the space above where the tub/shower is located, which would go up through the kneewall space above. It would have to be one of the type of skylights that.. I don't know the word for it: It won't be directly on our bathroom ceiling but we'd have to build a walled opening between the ceiling and the roof a few feet above. (please someone tell me the correct words to use for this!)

My questions are:
1. Is there anything we should look for and/or avoid when considering putting a skylight in a bathroom?
2. Are there any brands that people would recommend to consider or stay away from, and why?
3. What do I look for in a potential contractor to install this, since it will not be a DIY project?
4. Are there any things we can do (or specific types of skylights we could get or avoid) to make the skylight not look really out of place in an older house? I seem to recall being in old homes that had skylights of the type I'm describing (up a passageway, with chains hanging down that allowed you to open/close them, but I don't really remember much about them specifically.

Thanks for any suggestions and ideas that you can share!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bathroom skylight questions

Have you checked out the www.Solatube.com website? Their skylights give LOTS of light...WAY more than the 2' x 2' regular skylights we have in our two bathrooms. Cost is lots less than a regular skylight too.


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RE: Bathroom skylight questions

I have a 'fixed' (does not open) window in my bath. It is wide, and up high. If I could find my tape measure, I could give you the dimensions and height from the floor. It does not require a curtain, and is just now, after 20 years, needing some polyurethane work on the trim.

I second the vote for the solatube. I think there may be other brands out there also. I am interested in them for a dark hall, and did a little research a while back.

I have skylights in my living room, and while I enjoy the extra sun generated heat in the winter, they sure put a strain on the AC in the summer.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: google result for solar tube light


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RE: Bathroom skylight questions

I worry about cutting an extra hole in the roof for any reason. I feel that a skylight will eventually leak, be it 5 years, 10 years or whatever. I second the idea about a Wide but short (in height )window above the shower. I did this when we built our house. It looks like the old glass blocks but is a one piece unit. A window supplier can show you one in a catalog. We just love ours. It lets in light and I have peace of mind about the roof. If you are determined to have a skylight then I think the previous recommendations are your best bet.


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RE: Bathroom skylight questions

Newer skylight systems, when installed properly, should be no more likely to leak than any other penetration through the roof deck.

The deployment and proper usage of Ice/Water, flashing kits, and step flashing all make for a leak proof install that should last the life of the roof.


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