Showers & Bathrooms


Bathroom Ventilation - How To Install An Extractor Fan

Bathrooms get damp and steamy on a regular basis, and as a result condensation is prone to form, which can result in mold growing and other damage to your décor.  It can help to open a window after using the bath or shower, to let the air circulate, but if this isn’t enough to ventilate the room sufficiently, you could install a ventilation system.

A mechanical extractor fan is specially designed for reducing humidity and removing damp air from the atmosphere.  Fans can be mounted in the ceiling, such as in a shower stall, or on an exterior wall.  They can also be mounted in a window.  It’s common for fans to be operated by an electric switch that is activated whenever the bathroom light is switched on.  Some extractor fans have a cut-off switch that automatically switches the fan off after a defined period of time, which means you don’t need to be there to switch it off after it’s done its job.

In order to install a wall-mounted fan, you need to have a hole made in an exterior wall, using a core drill bit and drill.  You can hire this, which is a much cheaper option than buying the equipment yourself. 

To fit a fan in a plaster ceiling is a simpler process.  Carefully decide where on the ceiling to mount your fan, making sure there aren’t any cables or pipes nearby that you could accidentally damage.  The fan also needs to be away from ceiling joists, which would get in the way of the installation.  Once you’ve decided on the best position, draw round the outside of your fan to leave a pencil guideline on the ceiling.  Then use a padsaw or dry wall saw to carefully cut out your access hole.  Fix the first section of the grille assembly into the hole, with retaining screws.  You can then clip on the grille and fit the ducting hose and extractor above.

An alternative to installing a mechanical extractor fan is to put in a static vent.  Vents use natural draughts to let air flow into the room and keep it circulating.  There are various types of vents, some of which are open all the time, others of which can be opened and closed as necessary.