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AIA Small Project Design (SPD) Knowledge Community supports, celebrates, and promotes small projects by engaging designers and the public.

  • 1.  One way glass for a residential bathroom

    Posted 04-30-2020 02:16 PM
    Hello! I have a good friend who wants me to help her renovate her bathroom. She has an existing fixed double paned window but wonder if a glass where she could see out but no one could see in would be possible. I remember seeing an interior glass partition system where you could change the visibility but have never seen anything for exterior use. Does anyone have any idea who makes such a thing?
    Thanks very much for any ideas.
    Carol A. Cioppa AIA LEED AP
    Cioppa Architects LLC
    92 Fancher Road
    Pound Ridge, NY 10576
    tel: 914 764 1549
    mobile: 203 273 7171

  • 2.  RE: One way glass for a residential bathroom

    Posted 05-01-2020 05:42 PM
    Edited by Steven T. Christopher AIA 05-01-2020 06:10 PM

    Curious if a local car wrap company could assist?  I've seen perforated films on advertising car wraps that are "one-way", and I don't believe they are dependent on light levels (such as one-way glass in police stations).  Fast food restaurant advertising is another example. Might be pretty economical as well!  The exterior could simply look like frosted glass, but from interior a clear view.

    Steven Christopher AIA
    Component President
    State Farm Insurance Companies
    Bloomington IL

  • 3.  RE: One way glass for a residential bathroom

    Posted 05-02-2020 08:23 AM
    Edited by Thomas Bank II AIA 05-02-2020 08:23 AM
    Just remember that at night you will still be able to see through from the outside. Heavier opacity will limit this, but with a dark night and the lights on in the bathroom your client will be visible to some level.

    Thomas Bank AIA
    Principal Architect
    Simply Stated Architecture, P.C.
    Lemoyne PA

  • 4.  RE: One way glass for a residential bathroom

    Posted 05-03-2020 03:45 PM
    Are you thinking about Smart Glass -    - There was a bathroom in a NY SOHO  club that used it.   There is applied films     But that may change the look of the house.

    I have used  reeded glass as sidelights in front entrace  to a home.   there are other types of patterened glass that could go into an insulating unit.


    David DeFilippo AIA
    Tsoi Kobus Designs
    Boston MA

  • 5.  RE: One way glass for a residential bathroom

    Posted 05-21-2020 02:29 PM

    The switchable glass units are an attractive option but are so expensive that they end up being VE'd out of most projects.

    The least expensive alternative is an interior-applied obscure film. 3M and others make them. Local applicators have samples. It is not a DIY job. Select one with adhesives that will be suitable for a high moisture environment.

    More reliably permanent would be replacement glass within the unit: acid etched or sandblasted to a selected level of translucence. Most glass shops have access to these products.

    Philip Kabza AIA
    SpecGuy Specifications Consultants
    Mount Dora FL