Bathroom Ventilation


Installing Ventilation

Ventilation is important in bathrooms because of the damp, moist atmosphere. This type of environment suffers from condensation, which can damage decoration and finishes unless adequate ventilation systems are installed. The advent of double glazing has increased the problem and made ventilation systems essential since the somewhat draughty nature of older windows and doors that at least allow some flow of air.

installing-bathroom-fanMechanical Ventilation

Mechanical ventilation is usually in the form of extractor fans. These fittings remove the Damp air from the room and help to produce a less humid atmosphere. They can be positioned in either walls or ceilings. The latter is particularly common in shower cubicles. Most are operated by an electrical supply that switches the fan on automatically when the light is turned on in the room. This mode of operation varies according to the manufacturer, and many designs incorporate automatic cut-off switches after a set period of time. It is worth bearing in mind that building regulations in new properties specify that an extractor fan must be fitted in a bathroom.

Window Mounted Fans

Fans that can be fixed into a secure circular hole in a window pane are readily available. You will need to cut the hole using the correct type of glass cutter, although it may be easier to get your local glass merchant to perform this task. You should never attempt cutting holes in double glazed windows. The actual fan assembly is fitted on the inside of the pane, with an inner casing covering the moving parts. The exterior grill is used to finish the outer part of the assembly.

Making Access

For wall mounted fans, a hole must be cut through the wall to the exterior of the house. In order to cut a hole through masonry with any degree of accuracy, you will need to hire a core drill bit and drill. It is not worth buying this type of equipment because it is extremely expensive and will only be needed for various occasional use – it is much more cost effective to hire from a local supplier. For ceiling mounted fans, the equipment required is not as heavy duty since there is no masonry work involved. The simple technique for making an access hole in a plaster ceiling is demonstrated here.fitting-bathroom-fan

Tools for the job

  • pencil and tape measure
  • cable and joist detector
  • pad saw
  • screwdriver
  1. Work out the position of the fan, using a cable, pipe and joist detector to check that there are no supply pipes or cables in this area. These will obstruct the fan and could be dangerous if cut. There should also be no ceiling joists because they would make it impossible to install the fan. You may, therefore, have to make a small compromise when deciding on a position. Hold the girl in place on the ceiling and use a pencil to draw around the circumference of the circular section of the grille. This provides a cutting guideline.
  2. When you have determined the position of the fan, use a pad saw or drywall saw to cut out the circular section of the ceiling.
  3. Secure the first part of the girl assembly in the hall with the retaining screws. Click the grill in place, then fit the ducting hose and extractor above the grill assembly.

static-ventsStatic Vents

Static vents are an alternative type of bathroom ventilation that do not involve any mechanical parts. They simply allow air to flow into the room, using natural drafts to create the circulation. Some examples of static vents systems, and covers that are used to meeting the finish look, as shown here.

Louvre vents act as the interior covers for ventilation holes or ducts in exterior walls. Different designs and finishes are available. Plastic and aluminium examples are shown here. Plastic vents can be painted to blend with their wall finishes. As with the airbrake, the grill is permanently open. Hit and miss vents at interior covers for holes or ducts that have an opening and closing mechanism. The bricks are positioned in the wall secure and permanently open.

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