Everything You Need To Know To Install A Bathroom Vent

One of the best upgrades you can make for your home is definitely the bathroom vent. If your current vent is still fogging up the mirror or spreading odor, it is time for an upgrade by getting a Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted from Amazon.

Broan QTXN110HL Ultra Silent Heater Combination Ventilation Fan with Light in 6″ Round Ducting (110 CFM)


Inexpensive and easy, the upgrade can help protect the home and your overall health. It is one of the most important features in a bathroom and can be an absolute blessing. While it is a common feature in modern homes, older homes often don’t have them. Often homeowners don’t want to go through the hassle of installing the fan which takes innumerable steps. From passing through attics and joists to puncturing the roof/ exterior wall, the steps can be daunting. This comprehensive guide will help you figure out the steps to select and install an exhaust fan.

Broan-NuTone F403004 Exhaust Fan for Under Cabinet Stainless Steel Convertible Range Hood Insert with Light, 30-Inch


What does an exhaust fan do?

Bathroom exhaust fans are small fans that are mounted on the ceiling or wall. It helps suck air from the bathroom and passes it through the venting and passes it outside. This can be beneficial for your home in the following ways:

  • It improves the quality of air indoors by eliminating bathroom odors.
  • It helps regulate bath and shower humidity levels.
  • It helps prevent fogging up of the mirrors.
  • It helps prevent the growth of mold in your home.
  • It prevents the doors and windows from warping due to humidity.
  • It slows down the process of rusting for your bathroom fixtures.
  • It slows down the process of wallpaper peeling and paint blistering.

You can get a Broan 70 CFM 6 Sone Ceiling or Wall Mounted HVI Certified Bath Fan from right aray. 

Broan Very Quiet Ceiling Bathroom Exhaust Fan, ENERGY STAR Certified, 0.3 Sones, 80 CFM


Tools and Equipment, you will need

If you are attempting to install/upgrade your vent, here are thethings you need.


  • Drill and different bits
  • Keyhole/a jab saw
  • Fish tape
  • A reciprocating saw and different blades
  • Pliers
  • A wire stripper
  • A utility knife
  • Screwdrivers


  • The new bathroom exhaust fan
  • Some flexible duct tapes
  • The roof vent for the exhaust
  • Different gauge screws as required for the model you are working with
  • Some roofing sealant
  • Shingles
  • Nails for roofing
  • Different gauge wire nuts

What to look for before bathroom vent installation?

There are some things you will need to keep in mind before you start off the installation process. These include:

Determining the fan size

If you are replacing a pre existing fan, the installation process is the easiest. You can simply use pre existing switches, ductwork and wiring. If you are upgrading, choose a fan with same dimensions as your previous model to avoid hassle. To choose a fan, you need to look the CFMs and sones. CFM is the measure of airflow. You will need a fan with the appropriate CFM for your bathroom size. Small bathrooms need around 50 CFMs while larger ones need 100CFMs. You also need to factor in the sone, the sound emitted by the fan. A rating of 2 is a quiet fan. If you are confused about the size, you can always start with Panasonic WhisperWall 70 from

Broan-NuTone 678 Ventilation Fan and Light Combination, 50 CFM 2.5-Sones


Exhaust route

The exhaust fan needs to vent outside the home. If your fan isn’t accessible through the attic, you need to vent through the sidewall. These vents and ducts are typically installed when the house is built. If you don’t have one, you need to call a professional for help. If you can access the attic, the fan can vent through the roof or gable wall. If you leave the exhaust on an open attic, the lower part of the roof will gather moisture. Don’t leave it in any place where the air can re circulate into the home via another vent. You can check out the complete range of exhaust fans from

Electrical outlets

Ifyou have an existing switch for the fan, use it. If you have lights in the new vent, you need to install a double switch/ an additional switch.


1. Start by drilling a hole for reference and marking the ceiling. Use the power drill and a 3 or 4 inch (1.9 cm) spade bit to make a reference hole. This marks where the fan is to be placed. Measure the dimensions of the fan. Find the reference hole in the attic and remove any insulation that surrounds the hole. Ensure that the fan fits in the spot at the joining of the two joists. Measure the intake port of the fan and mark out an outline in the bathroom ceiling.

2. Cut out the hole for intake port and use the saw to cut out the marked part. Wear protective gear and gently lower the part onto the floor.

3. Attach a 90 degree duct elbow to the outlet port with a piece of foil duct tape. Add the cane connector through the hole on the side of the fan and slide the metal brackets back in place. Lower in the fan and make sure that all points of connection are properly oriented.

4. Attach the fan to the joists. Extend the metal brackets till they reach the joists and screw them down with drywell screws.  Use flexible duct tape and attach one end to the 90 degree duct elbow. Run the cable through the connector and secure it by tightening the screw.

5. Find the exit point and map out the straightest and shortest route to the outside.

6. Attach the cap of the vent based on exit point. For sidewalls, you need to pick a place between two studs. Cut the wall with the saw and secure vent cap. For roof, draw a circle on the inside and cut out. Install vent caps, replacing any loose shingles. Attach the end of duct pipe to vent cap connector with some foil duct tape.

7. Wire the connections as necessary or call a professional.

8. Attach the grille bit with appropriate screws. With the blower motor, plug into the electrical receptacle and screw it down. Add the decorative grille by slipping mounting wires into appropriate slots and ta da! You should have a working vent. 

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