Frosted glass windows are most familiar in bathrooms, where privacy is important. In many older homes, windows have been positioned in the shower area. Living in New England where there are many homes that are over 100 years old and a experienced Realtor, over the years I have seen my share of bathroom windows situated in the shower area. Not the most sensible location, so you have to work with what you have.
Frosting diffuses the natural light, blurring out the view through the window. Frosted glass windows may still need curtains or window treatments for full privacy, as frosting does not totally obscure the view, but it will create a more private room without removing all natural lighting. I personally do not want curtains hanging in my shower area, but I have found that the frosted window provides enough privacy and still provides some natural light so I am able to omit the curtains.
Partially frosted designs in window panels on entry doors are also common. These are usually more decorative than functional for privacy, depending on the extent of the frosting in the design. In other words, you are not limited with your creative ideas when it comes to frosting.
Installing professional frosted glass~
Permanent window frosting is done either by sandblasting or acid etching the glass panes. Both techniques are best left to professionals. Frosted glass windows are available as full window inserts that skilled homeowners can install themselves.
Budget friendly DIY alternatives~
Frosted glass window films offer an inexpensive DIY alternative to permanent window frosting. I chose this alternative for my own bathroom window. The films are removable and can even be cut to make unique and creative designs for entryways. Krylon makes a frosted glass finishing spray that applies to glass like spray paint. There are plenty of choices so shop around and see what fits your needs and of course budget.
Decorative glass windows provide beauty and privacy with colored and patterned glass work. They are most commonly used in entryways, stairways and bathrooms. Decorative glass windows may be stained, frosted, beveled or a combination. All three use soldering techniques to assemble the glass. The decorative glass window panels are sandwiched between plain glass panes to limit potential exposure to lead solder and to increase energy efficiency.
Stained glass is the most common form of decorative glass windows, and uses colored glass to create a pattern. In full windows for residential applications, geometric or abstract designs are preferred. There are paints you can find especially in your local arts and craft stores for painting glass. These paints are very user friendly and provide the look of expensive stained glass without the cost and cut fingers.
Whichever style of glass you decide to implement, just remember there are many choices and creative patterns to create that personal look you desire. I suggest shopping around, collect the information you would need such as out of pocket costs for materials, labor costs for installation and what kind of time frame will your project demand.